Regulus // Issue 1 // May 2023
"Unbelievable. I never imagined I would get such a great opportunity. It’s been a dream since I was a little kid to go to a good school,” says Jiutaisa Manumanuniliwa (Year 10), one of five current George Feilding Hight scholars at St Andrew’s.
In 2013, George and his wife Merrilyn established a Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for young men and women from rural communities in the South Island to attend St Andrew’s from Year 9. Jiutaisa’s family moved to New Zealand from Fiji when he was three years old, and are currently sharemilkers at Killinchy.
Jiutaisa says joining the boarding community at the start of 2022 was one of the most challenging aspects of coming to St Andrew’s. “I find it hard to go out of my comfort zone but it didn’t take long before I started talking to new people and by the end of the year I was close to everyone.” He says the teachers at St Andrew’s are a great support academically, and he is enjoying participating in sports, with a dream to make it as a professional rugby player one day. Director of High Performance Sport, Rod McIntosh, says Jiutaisa is doing well across the board. “He has a real presence in boarding, is starting to understand what is required academically, and is working really hard in the sporting space. It’s great to see him flourish."
Coming to St Andrew’s on a Sports Scholarship has given talented sportswoman, Lily Champion-Smith (Year 13) opportunities to progress in her passion for netball, volleyball, and sevens rugby. But it doesn’t stop there. Lily is also an academic high achiever, and has risen right to the top in her leadership role as a 2023 Head Prefect. “My scholarship has had a very positive impact on my life. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today nor would I have been given the opportunities to achieve to my best potential. My current role is a huge honour and I am forever grateful for the support of the College and the wider community.”
Lily says she had to learn to adapt quickly to the large St Andrew’s community after coming from a small country school, but says the welcoming sporting and academic groups she became involved with helped her to settle quickly. “The opportunities I have been offered here are endless. Coming to St Andrew’s has also given me a sense of connection to my identity and allowed me to grow as a person. I am extremely grateful for the donors who support the Scholarship programme. Their generosity keeps young athletes motivated to develop in their sport and seek great potential for future opportunities.”
Christine Jeon (Year 12) is one of most incredible young musicians to have attended St Andrew’s College. She is a previous winner of the New Zealand Chamber Music Contest and the Strings Open Age category at the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival. Most recently, she was second in her category at the American Virtuoso International Music Competition.
Christine joined St Andrew’s on a Music Scholarship, and says she is 'grateful and privileged' for the support of the generous donors who support the Scholarship programme. “Without their support I wouldn’t be part of this amazing community, where I can try out various academic and cultural activities. The Music Department has one of the best secondary school studios in New Zealand. I have been able to learn composition, and new genres, and get lots of performance opportunities. My teachers also check in on me to make sure I am not overwhelmed or stressed so that I can achieve high performance while enjoying it.”
Christine says St Andrew’s will always be a key foundation which has helped to shape her as a person. “Since I have received so much from St Andrew’s, I also want to give back what I have received to this lovely community in the future.”