Board of Trustees Members

Guido Ballara
Kia ora kotou, I have two sons at Rongotai; Reuben in year 13 and Sean in year 11. My eldest son Eli finished at the College in 2020. I have been thankful for the opportunity to contribute to board across what have been challenging times for everyone. In my professional life, I am an employment lawyer representing employers, unions and individuals, including working with the education sector, and therefore consider that I can offer the board a useful skillset. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to contribute to the college, which is in great heart and has offered my sons an excellent education and school life. 

Louise Carter 
Tēnā koutou e te whānau o Rongotai Nō Ngāti Raukawa ahau Kei Te Whanganui-a-Tara ahau e noho ana Ko Jesse rātou, ko Mahe, ko Niko āku tama Ko Hiwa-i-te-rangi tāku mokopuna Ko Louise Carter tōku ingoa Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

My eldest son Jesse is a proud Rongotai College Old Boy, with his younger brother Niko currently attending in Year 10. Every day I am in awe of the education my sons receive as Men of Rongotai College. I believe that boys’ schools provide an invaluable educational experience, and I strongly advocate for Rongotai College as a premier provider of boys’ education in Wellington. I am a secondary school teacher, with roles as Head of Junior Health and Physical Education and Kaiāwhina Māori (Māori Student Mentor). While I enjoy all aspects of teaching, it is my role as Kaiāwhina Māori that I love the most. It is a role of advocacy and support, centred around the provision of opportunities for Māori to succeed as Māori. A true passion. As a teacher within secondary education, I have a solid understanding of the New Zealand Curriculum, including the current opportunities and challenges in this time of NCEA change. Personally, I love being as active as life allows. Much of my free time revolves around my sons’ sport, my own sport/recreation, and of course, cheering for RC every opportunity I get! The culture of the “Rongotai Way” is a powerful and influential factor in raising our sons into men and every time I walk through the gates of Rongotai or watch a sporting or cultural event, the choice of sending my sons here is reaffirmed. I love this place and the wonderful village that raises our sons into men. I am a member of the whānau rōpū and a proud “RC Mama” – now, and for years to come. 

Justine Crawford
Kia ora koutou.  I am married to Andrew and we have three sons. Max is Year 13 at St Patrick’s College, Charlie is Year 11 and Tobie is Year 9 at Rongotai College. I enjoy contributing and serving our school community. I have governance experience from Board of Trustees at Rongotai College (2022), Seatoun School (6 years), Gisborne Central School (3 years) and Worser Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.  After graduating from Waikato University with a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Secondary Teaching I taught at Fraser High School and Sacred Heart Girls’ College. For the next decade I worked for ICT companies [Telecom, IBM, Gen-i] in training specialist, training management and project management roles. A return to my home town of Gisborne resulted in a career transition into community development. I led the Gisborne Voter Participation Project, designed to increase voter turnout in the local Council and DHB elections. Following that, I was employed by Te Ora Hou as a researcher, analyst, project manager for Tiakina o Tātou Tamariki, or Keep Our Kids Safe. This project focused on building strong neighbourhoods and communities to prevent child abuse and neglect. I also supervised a research project on local attitudes, beliefs and awareness of sexual violence against children. For the last 7 years, I have worked in the public service as a Programme Manager at Ministry of Social Development, Oranga Tamariki and I am currently working for Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. I value teachers and education extremely highly, and consider schools to be dynamic and vital hubs within our communities. I am looking forward to continuing to help and support Rongotai College build on its many strengths through the Board. 

SYLVIA SOMA
Talofa lava and greetings. I was born in Samoa but Wellington raised since the age of 7. A proud mother of three boys attending Rongotai College, one in Year 10 the other in Year 12 and the eldest in Year 13. We currently reside in Porirua, but work in Wellington City as a Librarian. The need for my boys to be part of the Brotherhood is important for their growth as young men, like their uncles before them. I’m passionate about ensuring the education and opportunities are available to them. I want to support all the boys in all aspects of their education and growth. Understanding the governance of Rongotai, by giving the support for our school to manage this, but also be able to contribute my voice to the better of, and in support of the wider Rongotai community. With the growing number of pacific students attending Rongotai, it is important that our pacific community are heard, and have a voice. 

JOHN SOULIS
I currently have a son in Year 11 at Rongotai, a daughter at WEGC in Year 9 and a daughter in her second year at Otago University. I have lived in the Eastern suburbs almost my entire life and have a great affection for the school. I am currently on the Rongotai College Football committee, with football being one of my great loves! As a Rongotai College Old Boy (1981-1985) I have always felt a very strong connection with the school, so it was with great pride when my son enrolled at Rongotai in 2020. I want Rongotai to cultivate a culture that continues to provide a great learning environment, strong brotherhood, good values and delivers an amazing education experience for both students and staff. I currently hold the position of Deputy Chief Executive/CFO with the Tertiary Education Commission and have been there for the past six years. Working in the tertiary education sector has given me a greater understanding on how important it is for students to have a great secondary school education to enable them to set themselves up for their future transition into tertiary education and work. I believe that all students leaving college at the end of Year 12 or 13 should have a good base education and a plan to build on. I feel my understanding of the transition from secondary to tertiary and my experience in the sector can help the board make better informed decisions about the boys’ education at college and beyond. I am also keen to use my 30+ years of business and commercial finance experience to help advise and support the school in making decisions to enable it to be financially sustainable and help guide and advise key operational and strategic matters.

Kevin Carter (Principal)

Dinesh Bhindi (Staff Representative)

Jamal Howell (Student Representative)

Debra Honeyman (Board Secretary)