This is the annual publication of the Villa Maria College Past Pupils’ Association, and is emailed or posted to all members of the PPA.
Vmail is all about connecting Mercy women – sharing stories of our Villa Alumnae, current students and the College. It’s one way all Villa past pupils can keep in touch, reminisce and celebrate our wonderful College.
Not a PPA member? Become one today. Email Miss Emily Rosevear at email@example.com or call 03 348 4165.
Villa Maria College is pleased to offer our current Year 13 students and all Past Pupils the opportunity to own a piece of Villa jewellery, a Villa ring. The ring comes in sterling silver and is priced at $100. Gold is available POA.
To find out how to order, please contact Keri Crompton, firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2020, the Villa Past Pupils’ Association launched Year Group Reunions, and held a 20 Year Reunion for the Class of 2000 – those who were in Year 13 in 2000; and a 50 Year Reunion for the Class of 1970 – those who were in their 7th Form year in 1970.
These Reunions are designed to be informal and are all about reconnecting past pupils. Guests were treated to a drink on arrival, nibbles and a tour of the College. The tour was a highlight for both groups of women.
It was heart-warming to see Mercy women reconnect, here at the College, and share stories and memories from their Villa years.
These first Reunions, held in November 2020, were the first ‘pilot’ reunions held by the PPA for this new programme, and we will make improvements to the way these are facilitated for future reunions – so keep an eye on this space!
In 2021, we will be hosting the following Reunions:
20 Year Reunion for the Class of 2001 – those who were in Year 13 in 2001 – Friday 26 November 2021, 7pm
50 Year Reunion for the Senior Students of 1971 – those who were in 5th, 6th or 7th Form in 1971 – Friday 19 November 2021, 5pm
We would like to make sure we connect with as many past pupils in these year groups as possible. If you were part of these year groups, please get in touch with Emily Rosevear – email@example.com
Please save the date and spread the word among your school friends!
The Past Pupils’ Association is proud to continue to offer its Mercy Grant, which is worth $2,000 and is awarded to one past Villa girl each year who is undertaking extraordinary work or study that aligns with Villa’s Mercy values.
The PPA is pleased to receive a number of impressive applications for the Grant each year, and it’s wonderful to see so many of our past pupils undertaking life-changing work in the community – both in NZ and overseas.
What has poverty got to do with children’s language development? Well, as it turns out, quite a bit.
Meet Catherine Sivertsen Campbell, a Villa past pupil, and this year’s recipient of the PPA Mercy Grant. Catherine attended Villa from 1989 to 1993, and went on to become a Speech Language Therapist.
“Ever since my first Mercy Day at Villa, where I was encouraged to hang out with a non-verbal disabled child in a wheelchair, I have found joy in my work as a Speech Language Therapist, frequently working closely with the poor, the disadvantaged and those on the fringes of New Zealand society,” explains Catherine.
“Language is a taonga, a treasure, it is how we make sense of our world and our place within it, it is inseparable from our thinking skills, and as the foundation for all literacy and learning, language has become the currency of education. Of all the neuro cognitive domains, language is also the most susceptible to poverty. Unfortunately, it is also the easiest to ignore. Language delay is not visible, it’s not immediately obvious and as a result, it is frequently overlooked. It’s so easy to turn a blind eye to poverty in our country and the devastating impact it has on language development and education.”
UNICEF NZ reports that in 2017, 27% of children in New Zealand were living in poverty. UNICEF defines poverty as “children being deprived of the material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive.” Catherine identifies language as one of these resources.
“Research tells us that children from low socioeconomic homes typically hear far fewer words, have fewer words spoken to them, have lower quality interactions and have less rich and diverse conversational experiences than those children from wealthier backgrounds.”
“Children in New Zealand are increasingly starting school with low levels of oral language and communication skills. This can result in behaviours that are not conducive to learning. This has far reaching consequences for future learning, future earning potential, future health status and future quality of life outcomes,” adds Catherine.
Catherine works for a charity organisation providing intervention in early childhood centres where poverty abounds. Her role is to work with these children and their language development.
“These experiences as a Speech Language Therapist lead me to discover that New Zealand has no data on how our young children acquire language, especially in low socioeconomic communities. Without knowledge and data, it is difficult to affect change at higher governmental levels,” she said.
“This prompted me to call on my Mercy background and the Villa motto of Prize What is of Value, and I feel compelled to do more. This year I am studying towards a Master of Science in Child Language Sciences, which includes a thesis on Child Language Development across low socioeconomic communities within New Zealand.”
The PPA Mercy Grant will assist Catherine with her University fees. The desired outcome from her Masters thesis is to shed light on the plight of thousands of young children who are growing up in poverty, and building a detailed data source for government to act upon – therefore creating meaningful change in our society and for the outcomes of our children.
“Being a Mercy woman means not turning away from those who need our help, particularly those close to home, in our own communities, no matter how uncomfortable we might feel. Mercy means helping the invisible become visible and bringing light to those hidden in the shadows.”
Please send any questions and/or applications to: Villa’s Alumnae Coordinator, Emily Rosevear at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted to inform you that the brand new College Film, “Spirit of Mercy, Ngā Wāhine Atawhai, Villa Maria’s First 100 Years” is now available online to watch at no cost.
This film is a very special project that past pupil Kathleen Gallagher has lovingly crafted. It takes the original College film that was released at the time of Villa’s 90th birthday, and reinvents it to showcase Villa’s first 100 years – a proud moment in the history of the College. The film features the Sisters of Mercy – the very foundation of our College – as well as many staff, students and members of the Villa community.
Spirit of Mercy – Villa Maria’s first 100 years, Ngā Wāhine Atawhai
Here is the link so you are able to watch the film :
Password : villamaria
As Mercy women, we share a common bond that has shaped us all in a multitude of ways.
2018 was a very special year for Villa Maria College, as it marked 100 years since the first pupils walked through the school gates. After our Centennial year, we continue to celebrate of all Villa’s Mercy women.
Become a member and make sure you don’t miss out on all the latest news.
Members of the Past Pupils’Association will…
Annual Subscriptions are $50
Life-time Subscriptions are $200
Please make sure you complete the Membership Form – button above – before you pay.
Contact the Villa Office on 03 348 4165
Top Of The South Gathering – info to come
Mother & Daughter Breakfast (College event) – October 2021
50 and 20 Year Reunions!
This year, we will be hosting a 20 Year Reunion for the Class of 2001 – those who were in Year 13 in 2001; and a 50 Year Reunion for the Senior Students (5th, 6th and 7th Form students) of 1971.
The 20 Year Reunion will take place at 7pm, Friday 26 November 2021 at the College.
The 50 Year Reunion will take place at 5pm, Friday 19 November 2021 at the College.
To register your interest in attending, please email Emily at email@example.com
Please save the date and spread the word among your school friends!
We’d love to stay in contact with as many Villa past pupils as possible! If you are not sure if the College has your current address, please click here and fill in the Past Pupils Form.
Become a Past Pupils’ Association Member to ensure you keep receiving our Vmail magazine and are kept well informed about PPA events and reunions.
Lifetime Membership $200
Annual membership $50
Email Emily Rosevear at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about joining the PPA.
President – Nicola Anthony (Cantwell)
Treasurer – Jacqui Restieaux
Secretary – Emily Rosevear
Address for Correspondence
Past Pupils’ Association
Villa Maria College
21 Peer Street