ACG Senior College Alumni

About us Alumni


Marc Arwed RutkeArwed

Marc Arwed Rutke, born 1981 in Kamen (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), was schooled in Germany and New Zealand and has studied and worked in Thailand, the UK, Canada, Japan, Namibia and now Germany.

Arwed studied at ACG Senior College from 1998-2000 and passed with an “A” Bursary. He went on to achieve a B.A. Hons. in Politics & International Relations at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK and an M.A. in International Relations (with distinction) at Queen´s University in Kingston (Ontario), Canada on a University Funded Scholarship and Teaching/Research Assistantship.
Since graduating, Arwed has worked for a number of organisations around the world, and is now a Coordinator & Supervisor in the Institute of Political Science at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany). He is also a board member of the Euroculture Consortium Management Committee.

Arwed says he greatly valued the independent and thought-provoking learning and teaching philosophy of ACG Senior College and vividly recalls the mesmerizing classes on English Literature with Mr Trembath, Classical Studies with Mr Westra and the multifarious things he learned in the Economics, Photography and History of Art classes. Arwed had a terrific and rewarding time in Auckland and is still in touch with a number of his former classmates.





Jack came to ACG Senior College in 2008 having already sat IGCSE Mathematics with a mark of 92%. Year 11 held a number of challenges and Jack met these with ease. He not only  gained 81% in AS Mathematics but 82% in IGCSE English, 92% in Spanish, 93% in Geography and 93% in Biology.

This year he has been incredibly busy also. Jack is heavily involved in waterpolo but missed the National Waterpolo Competition because he was taking advantage of a unique opportunity. He was part of a small group of students from ACG Senior College who travelled to Nepal and embarked upon a trek in the Himalayas. This was a unique experience.

This year, in spite of his other commitments, Jack has also found time to study and is completing A Level  Mathematics, AS English, AS Spanish and AS Geography.

He comments that he is impressed with the "willingness of the College to embrace new things such as student activities like waterpolo".

At present, Jack is considering all his options in terms of future careers which may include working voluntarily for an aid organisation.




Sarah joined ACG Senior College this year having already sat IGCSE Mathematics where she gained a mark of 96%. She made the decision to come to ACG Senior College and has never looked back. Sarah is studying  English, Spanish, Biology and Art at IGCSE and Mathematics at AS level. She is having a great year.

Last year, Sarah travelled to Tonga with Senior College to support Ocean of Light School where our students tutor their students. She is also a keen netball player and an avid reader.

Sarah comments that the relationship between students and teachers at ACG Senior College is great. "We are treated like equals and given responsibility. Having an inner city location has been great in that we learn how to use our time productively", says Sarah.

At present, Sarah has no definite plans for a career but will wait and see what eventuates.





On entering ACG Senior College in 2007, Nicola had already sat NCEA Level One Mathematics and passed with 4 Excellences and 2 Merits. She embarked on a course of study that included a variety of subjects – English, Japanese, Mathematics, Chemistry and Business Studies. Taking subjects that one enjoys and having good teaching is a remedy for success and this is exactly what the outcome was for Nicola who gained A passes.

It is in Year 12 and 13 that students are truly challenged in terms of scholarship as they complete the demanding A Levels. Nicola completed her AS year in 2008 gaining 85% in English, 90% in Economics and 73% in Accounting. She sat A Level Mathematics in Year 12 and gained 80%.

This year, Nicola is completing A Levels in Economics and Accounting as well as picking up AS Design. In order to gain experience of a business nature, Nicola took advantage of the opportunity to complete the Young Enterprise course. With 2010 fast approaching, Nicola has already made the decision to enrol in a Business degree majoring in Accounting at the University of Auckland.

Of her time at ACG Senior College, Nicola states simply "that she is proud of her school."





Robbie came to ACG Senior College in 2008 having already gained an A* in Combined Science and Mathematics. A busy student, involved in Music performance throughout the year, Robbie gained excellent results in IGCSE with 90% in English, 95% in Chemistry, 74% in History and 95% in AS Mathematics. He sat AS Music in May this year.

Robbie is an experienced cellist who completed his Grade 8 examination at the age of 12. This year he was selected to go to Melbourne and played in three concerts involving other students from the New Zealand Suzuki Cello Academy. He is well known amongst the College community for, not only being able to play cello, but also double bass and bass guitar. Recently, he was the bass guitar player for our major musical production of Bat Boy.

Robbie enjoys the fact that at ACG Senior College there are 85 minute periods. This is especially useful in Science where he has the opportunity to conduct experiments himself with time to discuss the results. As for his future, he is not yet decided. Like many such multi-talented students, the possibilities are endless.



natalie chanresizeNatalie Chan

Senior College was a relatively new school, just four years old, when Natalie took a risk and enrolled. She graduated from the College in 2000 having gained University Bursary in Classical Studies, Design, Economics and History.

It was clear from the outset that Natalie was an innovator and someone who would create her future with flair. Senior College was just the place to do this. After all, she had a greeting card business whilst still at school.

Natalie attended AUT where she completed a pattern making assembly course. An opportunity arose for her to work in the textile business alongside of well known New Zealand designer Trelise Cooper. Trelise really encouraged her and it was not long before Natalie realised that fashion was a business.  In order to create the business, she headed to the University of Auckland to do a Bachelor of Commerce and then "got on with the business of doing it".

It was during this time that Natalie was given the opportunity to place her stock in a store named Coco Rico and she has not looked back. Now, Natalie has her own clothing label called "Natalie Chan" and she runs this successful business in Parnell. She designs and produces for people from aged one upwards. One niche market she has developed is creating originals for the ball season, especially for those aged thirty and over. However, this changes seasonally.
Natalie's goal is to grow the business to be both national and international. With the help of other past Senior College students, Natalie has placed her creations on line through the internet.

Natalie states "Senior College has given me the confidence to be able to achieve goals that I have set for myself. Nothing is unachievable!" With Natalie, we can say confidently – that is so.



Nathaniel-CheshireresizeNathaniel Cheshire

Nat Cheshire left Senior College in 1998 having completed University Bursary Geography, Painting, Printmaking, Art History, Physics, English, Mathematics with Calculus and Classics. It was clear that his future lay in artistic endeavour and he embarked upon a year at Elam Art School to study painting.

The following year he shifted his creative focus from paintings to buildings, and spent his time between Architects Pacific in Fiji and Pete Bossley Architects in Auckland. A year of focussing on buildings and the way they are made ignited a passion in Nat, leading to his enrolment in architecture at the University of Auckland.

In his second year of study Nat opened his own practice. At the end of his fourth year, he left university to establish Cheshire Architects with his father; Pip Cheshire was until then running the largest firm in the country and Nat the smallest. They joined forces. Nat has since returned to University to graduate in two degrees of architecture, and now teaches and designs full-time from the Cheshire office.

Nat is very clear that he is a delineator, rather than an architect, and is proud of this. When asked where he wants to be in five years he stated "building more of the things I have drawn". To date he says he has had "extraordinary projects to work on".  He has had the opportunity to design everything from 1000sq metre luxury hotels for international clients, to highly detailed fit-outs for major arts patrons.

In the short time since leaving the College, Nat has achieved a great deal, and there is more in store in the future.



Emily-VoyderesizeEmily Voyde

In 2001, Emily Voyde sat at the ACG Senior College Graduation Ceremony listening intently as the Principal talked about a special student who had gained 8 Bursary subjects. Emily was busy thinking about the valedictory speech she was about to make and did not realise that a special award was about to be presented to her. Thus began acknowledgement of a wonderful academic career.

Her first scholarship came immediately when she was awarded a Kick Start Affirmative Action Scholarship for financial assistance in her first year of university. In her second year, she was awarded a First Look Scholarship with Maunsell. This scholarship paid half of her Year 2 fees, three quarters of her Year 3 fees and the full fees for Year 4.

Emily completed an unusual undergraduate degree that combined Engineering and Arts. Her conjoint focussed on Environmental Engineering and Geography. It has been no surprise that Emily made the Deans Honours List every year of her undergraduate Engineering degree, since her second year at the University of Auckland.

Emily was awarded First Class Honours for her Engineering degree and went straight to her PhD. Her topic is unique as she is studying storm water mitigation by green roofs in NZ. This involves engineered roof top gardens designed to be light weight and still retain significant volumes of water. Her research will be completed in 2010 and her PhD will be handed in.
Her research is in conjunction with Landcare Research and has been funded by the Auckland Regional Council who support the development of new green technology which is functional. For Emily, her field of study has been exciting as no one in New Zealand is doing this. Similar projects are underway overseas, however, none are exactly the same and none focus on the NZ environment. Emily finds the whole concept of doing something totally unique a real challenge and very exciting.

It was with great pride that Emily published her first work based on quantifying evapotranspiration rates from NZ green roofs. This is currently in press and will be published in the ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering in the United States.
As a result of her initiative and the fine work she is doing Emily was awarded the Tertiary Education Commission's Top Achievers Doctoral Scholarship. In addition to paying the tuition fees for her PhD, this prestigious scholarship provides a living stipend and funds for conference travel.

It was with great humour that Emily confided that for a brief period of time when she was at school up north, and not being sufficiently challenged, she was seen to be a problem student. I am certain this came about because she innocently corrected her teacher. Upon coming to Senior College in Year 11 Emily was able to work on a combination of Fifth and Sixth Form Certificate subjects and she was challenged. In her words "That's what I need".



William-Habidgeresize03William Harbidge

William experienced the joys of Cambridge International Examinations and completed A Levels in Painting, Mathematics and Design. He made a definite decision to study the arts. William always wanted to have a career in design. His grandmother was a painter and this inspired an interest in drawing. It was always a personal fascination. At Senior College he was able to spend two thirds of his time studying design and painting. In truth, he says "I could do what I enjoyed". At school he realised which aspects he was good at and the experience gave him the push to realise he could make a career out of design.
William has completed a Bachelor of Design majoring in industrial design. This involved the design of a range of products and furniture - anything to do with human interaction. He is proud to gain a First Class Honours Degree from Massey.

He had worked for Photo Warehouse during his study and went back to work for them. In his final year, he started a small freelance design company. Recently, William won his first actual job working for Altitude Aerospace Interiors who design commercial and VIP aircrafts. This is a very exciting opportunity and he hopes that during the initial three month contract he will make himself indispensable.

William believes mid-level design is a good field to be in as there are more opportunities available. He hopes to head overseas some time and, with his qualifications, go to work for a firm like Phillips designing home entertainment.



Iain-ChapmanresizeIain Chapman

Iain left Senior College having completed University Bursary in English, Mathematics, Classics, Geography and Drama. Iain had begun flying at the age of 13. His father, who had been one of the New Zealand War birds, had taught him to fly. Iain had the chance to go solo in a Harvard on his 16th birthday.

He gained his commercial pilot's licence and instructors rating and now has 600 hours of recreational flying. Iain always wanted to be a fighter pilot and it is unfortunate that the New Zealand Government scrapped the strike wing of the air force at the time when he was eligible to join.

He was also interested in the police force and thought he would try civilian flying and the police at the same time. He entered the police force and loved it. Iain qualified as a detective in January 2008 and began work in the general CIB. From there he moved to the Drug Squad after which he was selected to be part of a homicide team. This was a new squad and for Iain to be selected it was a real honour. The role gives him the chance to think outside of the square as he invests a lot of time in keeping one step ahead of the criminals. The best part is that he loves getting out of bed to go to work in the morning.

He aims to make Detective Senior Sergeant and to have more children.




Louise-ChapmanresizeLouise Chapman

Louise left Senior College having completed University Bursary in Mathematics, Classics, Physical Education, English and Japanese. She moved to Otago University to study Neuroscience but soon realised this was not her main interest.

She returned to Auckland University and studied Media and Television for a year. This led to a position at TVNZ in the Advertising and Sales Department looking after their agencies. She left to do her "OE" and travelled to Europe where she worked in investment banks in London focusing on marketing.

A move to Sydney gave the opportunity to work in a branding/design agency where she was involved in the strategic advertising and branding side of business. She returned home to New Zealand two and a half years later to take up employment in an advertising agency where she worked on the New Zealand Lotteries account. Eventually she was the Account Director and, when the account moved to another agency, she followed.

Louise married another graduate from Senior College, Iain Chapman, and they have one son Hunter. She has recently returned to work for a marketing agency and has been doing some consultancy work for an Australian company specialising in marketing to women who market to women. Louise is also a part-time strategist for a small agency and of course busy being a mother. In five years time, she would like to be a senior strategist or the General Manager of an agency.



Robin-KellyresizeRobin Kelly

Robin Kelly completed A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics in 2004 and 2005. In 2005, he was enrolled in the University of Auckland Max programme whilst still at school and gained an A+. At that stage, there was no A2 Music so Robin completed AS Music. He was one of the first students to trial the Critical Thinking Paper and received the prestigious Top in New Zealand award for his mark of 94%.

Robin Kelly was awarded the Principal's Award at Senior College at the Graduation Ceremony in 2005. This is the equivalent of Dux in any other school. As a result of this, he was then awarded the University of Otago Dux Scholarship. It was with great pride that the College received the news in March 2006 that Robin has received an NZQA Outstanding Scholarship, one of 48 in the country.

Robin was always going to find it difficult to find the right career path because he was not only a talented musician but also had considerable aptitude in the Sciences and English.

Therefore, he embarked upon a conjoint degree and will finish his Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Music at the end of 2009. It is no surprise that Robin will enrol in a medical degree in 2010. He has already done the first year and can go straight into the medical year. He thought a great deal about his undergraduate degree tempering Music and Science with some philosophy and Maths to broaden himself. Robin never thought he could compose because he was a performer. He did the composition degree because it was fun and an "amazing experience". He realised at some point that he would be a competent doctor. In his words "It is something I would be able to do and do well".

Robin states that "teachers at Senior College were instrumental in opening my perspective on a range of subjects and especially Music". It was an invaluable experience where he learnt more about music by doing it. The College gave him a 'musical curiosity'.

Reflecting on his time at Senior College, Robin states that "there was a higher concentration of people I consider great. All of a sudden I was surrounded by people who will make a difference who are aware of how they can best conduct their role in society".



Nathan-AtkinsonresizeNathan Atkinson

Nathan was a foundation pupil of Senior College. In his first year as a Year 12 student, he sat University Bursary Mathematics with Calculus and Chemistry. The following year he sat University Bursary in History, English and Accounting. He also resat Calculus and Chemistry. There was no surprise when he received all A grades in Bursary and a Scholarship in Accounting. Nathan was the winner of the prestigious Principals Award – the equivalent of Dux.

Nathan always knew that he was going to Medical School and this involved six years of study. Not being one to take a straight forward route and always willing for a challenge, he did his elective in Kenya, a third world country, and then went to an American top Trauma hospital where he dealt with patients flown in by helicopters who had such things as gunshot wounds. Nathan followed this with two seasons of ski instructing.

Having completed his medical training, Nathan worked at Starship Hospital and completed his Paediatrics Diploma at North Shore Hospital. He travelled to the United Kingdom and spent three years at St Thomas in London working in Geriatrics and Intensive Care. Nathan passed his UK Fellowship exams which gave him membership to the Royal College of Physicians. On his return to New Zealand he sat his Fellowship exams for the Royal Australian College of Physicians. His comment in relation to working with young children was that, at times, it was just too sad. Now an advanced trainee in geriatrics and general medicine at Auckland Hospital, in three years time, at the tender age of 33, he will be a specialist consultant in Geriatric Medicine.

Nathan is married to Genevieve who he met while at Senior College – yes they were unusual circumstances – it was during a bomb scare and students were evacuated. They were the first graduates of Senior College to marry.



Nicola-RobinsonresizeNicola Robinson

Nicky Robson was in the first group of students to sit A Levels at Senior College and, for her, it was a great success. She gained A Grades in English, History and Psychology. She also completed Stage One Classical Studies at the University of Auckland topping the school in this subject.

On leaving school, Nicky enrolled in fulltime study at the University of Auckland and completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Latin and Classical Studies. During her years of study, she gained a University of Victoria Scholarship that took her on a trip to Greece for six weeks. This allowed her to apply for the Colibsri Scholarship that gave financial assistance. She also had a document published in the Dominion Post. In 2008, she was awarded the Minerva Trust grant for students studying ancient languages. It was the only scholarship of this kind that enabled a student to study Ancient Greek for a year.

Nicky is currently doing her Honours degree in Ancient History and is a tutor for the Classical Studies Department. Selected to run a course for the Continuing Education Dept, Nicky is the only person without a Masters degree to deliver the course to adult learners. This is a New Start Programme for people who did not have entry to university. The Classical Studies Department needed tutors who were encouraging and hence Nicky has taught the Classical Studies component of this course for the past two years. Numbers have tripled since she started.
At present she is taking a break from her Honours degree to have her second child. During this time, she is still doing extra marking. The programme she is teaching has been programmed into early August so she can finish her teaching before giving birth to her second child.

Aside from teaching she is involved in the arts. She has had a number of television appearances and even takes on various roles for the medical exams. Nicky is an accomplished dancer who has continued to teach dance throughout her years of university study.



Edward-Caugheyresize01Edward Caughey

Ed Caughey joined Senior College when the Cambridge International Examinations were first introduced to the College. In his final year, he gained A Levels in Business Studies, Economics and English.

It would have been easy to go into the family business, Smith and Caugheys, and simply gain enough work experience to give him a pathway to management. However, that was not Ed's goal as he wanted to further his education. He headed straight to the University of Auckland where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Management.

This led to a graduate position at Smith and Caugheys where he embarked on a series of work experiences to give him an understanding of all aspects of the business with a view to going into management in the future. Ed has worked in most departments of Smith and Caugheys and in 2010 will embark on an overseas experience. Ed's father worked in London in Harvey Nichols and in the family tradition, Ed will follow suit. He aims to work in London in a similar firm such as Harrods. After two years, he will return to New Zealand to take up a managerial position in the family business.

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ACG Senior College

Address: 66 Lorne Street
(entrance from Rutland Street)

Auckland, New Zealand 

Phone:+64 9 307 4477