Kia ora Koutou. I’m Sally Aitken – a mother, a partner, a communications professional, a manager, a runner and a resident of Southgate. I have a son, Flynn, in Year 10 at Rongotai College and a daughter, Lola, in Year 9 at Wellington High School.
During a two year stint as the Communications Manager at the Education Review Office, I gained an insight into and an appreciation of the key role trustee’s play in the lives of our children. I also started to really understand what good governance looks like and the real difference it can make to individuals and communities.
The Board’s key role is to ensure the school is doing the very best it can on behalf of all its students. This is a critical role and one which requires a diversity of thought, skills and experiences. As trustees, we get the opportunity to ask questions, request information and scrutinise that information on behalf of all the students at the school. In doing so, trustees get to hold the Principal and teaching staff to account in the interest of all the students. That’s critical and requires planning, collaboration, courage and a relentless approach to improving the outcome of all students at Rongotai College.
I’m inquisitive by nature and very passionate about education and making sure every child has the opportunity to achieve success as a lifelong learner. With a background in communication, people management, strategic planning and accountability, as well as managing budgets, I bring a selection of useful skills to the mix.
Importantly, I’m a mother who is always thinking about what I can do to help my kids achieve in all aspects of their lives. I look forward to bringing that focus to all the students at Rongotai and work with other trustees to continue to improve a school with strong foundation and commitment to students and the wider community.
Nga mihi nui.
I am of Samoan heritage and am a new parent to the school. My son has just started in Year 9, although I have previous links to the school as my brothers and eight of my nephews are old boys. When one of my son’s friends from his previous school asked him why he was going to Rongotai, he answered “its tradition, this is where my family goes”. As you can see, my family has been investing the future of the boys in our family at Rongotai for a long time- for them being part of the brotherhood has always been strong.
With my son being in his first year at Rongotai College, one of my interests in applying for this role focuses on being able to contribute to keeping the best interests of the school’s students and community at the heart of what we do. In my current role as deputy principal at a local primary school in Wellington, I am well aware of what it takes to be able to do this, and am prepared to put in the hard work to see it happens.
My professional and personal experiences are varied and I believe I have the necessary knowledge and skills to be an active member on Rongotai College’s Board of Trustees.
I have been a staff representative on a couple of BOT’s and it would be wonderful to be able to contribute ass a Rongotai trustee wearing my parent hat.
I would relish the opportunity to be part of growing young men of excellence, encouraging them to be the best that they can be in all areas of their lives so they may find success in the things that bring out the best in them and bring them joy.
Louise Carter (Chairperson)
Kia ora te whānau.
Ko Louise Carter tōku ingoa.
Nō Waikato ahau.
Kei Te Whanganui-a-Tara tōku kāinga inaianei.
Ko Jesse rātou, ko Mahe, ko Niko āku tama.
Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa.
Kia ora. My name is Louise Carter and I am privileged to be on the Rongotai College Board of Trustees. My eldest son Jesse is in Year 12 at Rongotai College, and will soon be joined by his younger brothers, Mahe and Niko. Every day, I am in awe of the education he receives as a Man of Rongotai College. I believe that boys’ schools provide an invaluable educational experience for the boys who choose to attend them, and as such, I strongly advocate for Rongotai College as a premier provider of boys education in Wellington.
I currently teach at Wellington College, where I am Co-HOD of Health and Physical Education, and am also the school’s Māori Student Mentor – a role of advocacy and support, centred around the provision of opportunities for Māori to succeed as Māori. As a teacher within secondary education, I have a solid understanding of the New Zealand Curriculum, including the current opportunities and challenges there within. I am currently involved in researching cultural connectedness within the classroom, specifically centred around integrating cultural artifacts into educational practice.
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.
Ngā mihi nui, Louise Carter.
“Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tatou mahi”
“Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.”
Kia Ora. It has been a privilege to have been part of such a strong board for the past 3 years and believe that I still have more to offer as a member of the school community and am hopeful for the chance to continue.
I am married with four children with my eldest son currently in Year 12 at Rongotai and my younger son in primary school. My son travels 3 days a week from our home in Wainuiomata, which involves multiple buses to get to school. For me and him, what he gains from the “brotherhood” at Rongotai, and the values it is instilling in him, far outweighs the effort to get there.
In the past 3 years I have also been involved with the Whānau group and the whānau involved with Waka Ama and Dragon Boating and look forward to continuing on this association in the future , I urge more whānau to come to the meetings, the more the better!
Outside of Rongotai I have a background in construction with almost 20 years’ experience as manager of Allied Concrete in Wellington. I currently chair the Concrete NZ Lower North Island Sector Board as well as sit on the NZ Concrete Council. I am also currently a member of the Wainuiomata Primary School board where my younger children attend.
Dave Sutich (Deputy Chairperson)
I am a proud Rongotai College old boy (88-92), parent of a current Year 11 student and have shared success in both sports and business in Wellington. I feel passionate about Rongotai College and where it is heading, so have stepped forward to join the Board and offer my in terms of strategic leadership, management and governance.
I have a diverse background in teaching (BEd & Dip Teaching – VUW), marketing, project and programme management (AdvDip PPM – ACPM), technology, banking and strategic management (currently a senior manager in treasury at ANZ).
I play basketball, coach netball and am actively involved in the very successful Rongotai College basketball programme. I have seen first-hand the culture of inclusion, the educational drive, array of extra-curricular activities (the Big Band is a highlight!) and the time and care that Rongotai College staff put into their students.
There are many challenges facing the educational sector currently, at both a local and national level, so as a Board we need to ensure Rongotai College is well placed to succeed in this environment and be the best it possibly can. We should aspire to be the logical first choice for all boys in Wellington. We’re well on the way to achieving this and I am privileged to be part of this team with the opportunity to further plan, support and enable this.
I am excited to be a member of the Board of Trustees. I have two boys at Rongotai in Year 10 and Year 12 and I am also a Rongotai College old boy as was my father, so it is fair to say Rongotai means an awful lot to me.
I am currently involved at the school coaching the 1st XI cricket side and I want to do more.
I presently own a data company, advertising/design agency and a digital agency. My main role in these companies is to quickly analyse opportunities that will drive the companies forward.
I believe I can use my marketing, business and strategic skills to continue to grow Rongotai’s reputation, and capitalise on the excellent progress the school has made in the past few years.
Kevin Carter (Principal)
Bella Cook (Finance & Administration Manager and Board Secretary)
Dinesh Bhindi (Staff Representative)
Jamal Fiso (Student Representative)