Dio Arts Award Winners 2018


Dio Arts Award Winners 2018

Cups and Special Awards

Presented to girls with an exemplary level of commitment, ability and participation.

Sandy O’Brien Cup for Excellence in Drama Performance - Belinda Xiong
Diocesan Instrumental Cup for long-term loyalty and leadership - Emily Gee, Sarah Casey 
Jennifer Macdonald Cup for Contribution to Debating in Year 11 or 12 - Lexi Preen
Jean Gallagher Cup for Commitment to Instrumental Music - Melody Chen, Sarah Lee
Terri Crouch Award for Most Promising Vocalist in Year 11 or 12 - Olivia Francis
McCabe Cup for Contribution to School Music - Ally Quatermass, Sofie Yeung 
Hazel Kinder Cup for the Most Committed Chorister - Aadhya Lahoty
The Averill Award for Services to the Performing Arts - Emma Mason, Jordyn Chan
The David Gordon Cup for Excellence and Commitment - Sarah Casey
The Rosey Eady Cup for a special individual who makes a difference - Georgina Brokenshire
Imogen Wells Award - Francesca Towers
Arts Council Award Star Award for 2018 – chosen by Arts Council - Eloise Cameron-Smith

Staff Recognition

Special tribute was paid to two teachers.
The new Teachers Award has been generously donated by Sotheby’s International Realty, and was awarded to Jane Hart for her contribution over many years to debating.
Shona McIntyre-Bull was recognised for her significant contribution to choral music. 

Merit Awards

Merit Awards are presented to students showing a high level of participation and personal commitment to the activity concerned, representing the School through service.

Kaitlin Whiteman, Rebecca He, Emma Wong-She

Shellie Hu, Millie Tye

In BRAIN BEE – for Design in Neuro- Science
Amy Choi, Chloe Hickin, Deborah Huang, Zoe Zhu

Emily Gee, Sofie Yeung, Victoria Young

Sarah Lee, Ling Hui Sun, Marcella Young, Jenny Wang

In DEBATING - Junior Premiere Team
Amy Choi, Dianne Ma, Zoe Zhu

Grace David 

Hannah Barber-Wilson, Jordyn Chan, Anneke Cummack, Aadhya Lahoty, Emma Mason, Nancy Wang

In PERFORMING ARTS – for Urinetown (5 nominations for Showdown) Best Female in a Leading Role and Best Female Supporting Role
Olivia Luxon, Francesca Towers, Ally Quatermass, Olivia Couillault, Emma Mason, Verity Andrews, Eloise Cameron-Smith, Lulu Gordon-Booth, Bree Meyers, Olivia Francis, Jemma Couillault, Jemma Lowe, Hannah Flacks, Hazel Francis, Holly Meyers, Pippa Morris, Rina Nair, Grace Riley

In PERFORMING ARTS – for National Youth Theatre Comp. Performance of CATS
Pippa Morris, Lauren Gregory, Lexie Etherington, Alice Kitching 


Distinction Awards are presented to students who stand out amongst their peers and exhibit an excellent level of commitment, ability and personal achievement. They will have performed with distinction in public, at a regional, national or international competition against senior students in other schools; and are judged to be of a standard equivalent to that of the best students in other secondary schools.

In DANCE - Hip Hop and Jazz
Jessy Berman, Dayna Cornwell, Georgia Dunn, Julia Henderson, Gemma Seymour, Tanushree Sharma, Olivia Tombs

In DANCE – JAZZ - NZAMD National Scholarship Award
Jessica Hunter

Katelyn Thomas, Kaitlyn Whiteman

In DRAMA - winning both Regional and National Awards at SCGNZ Shakespeare Festival, NZ Theatre Federation Festival for 2b or Not 2b, UK National Theatre Connections Festival with When They Go Low
Cindy Bu, Anna Casey, Ella Carter, Olivia Coddington, Hannah Flacks, Hazel Francis, Olivia Francis, Billie Hart, Sharon Hung, Grace Lin, Jemma Lowe, Olivia Luxon, Emma Qiu, Emma Wong-She 

In DRAMA – Directing Shakespeare at Regionals ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Kaitlin Whiteman

Yutong He, Elizabeth Tan

In VISUAL ARTS – COSTUME DESIGN for Midsummer Night’s Dream
Jordyn Chan

Grace David - Best Original Song at finals of Rockquest, Ignite Event Management mentoring programme 
Sabreen Islam - Ignite Event Management mentoring programme, 
Play it Strange ‘Who Loves Who’ competition
Olivia Luxon – national finalist and selection to appear on the 2018 album 

CMNZ, Concert Band, Jazz Combo, Gold award-winning Symphony Orchestra and Silver Award winning Concert Band.

For Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band and NZ Chamber Music competition
Hannah Barber-Wilson, Teresa Gu, Doris Dong, Deborah Huang, Elma Liao, Ling Hui Sun, Emma Uren 

For Concert Band, Jazz Combo and/or Symphony Orchestra 
Jemma Couillault, Diane Ma, Kaitlin Mallon, Holly Meyers, Valentina Rosenbaum-Raynish, Antonia Sowter, Belinda Xiong

Olivia Luxon, Lily Hilary, Rebecca Barnhill, Ella Carter 

Emma Mason, Jordyn Chan

Gold Award winning Choir St Cecilia Singers at National Finale
Lucy Bartlett, Phoebe Chow, Charlie Collard, Doris Dong, Summer Edwards, Hannah Flacks, Lena Jacobs, Lauren Komie, Aadhya Lahoty, Jemma Lowe, Rebekah Matthews, Asmitha Murugananthan, Rina Nair, Brooke Robertson, Lizziey Wright, Chielin Xu

In DEBATING – Dio Advanced Premiere Team and for selection to the Auckland Regional Development Squad
Sarah Morrison Lexi Preen 
Deborah Huang, Jessica Woo, Elena Wood 


The Diocesan Blue Awards are presented to outstanding students who have achieved at a national or international level. It is the top award recognising students selected to represent New Zealand in a team, ensemble or who have achieved top individual results. These students have inspired many younger girls, they have shown grit and determination and have delighted, moved and challenged audiences.

NZ Secondary Students Choir
Olivia Couillault, Ally Quatermass, Valentina Rosenbaum-Raynish

Selected to represent NZ in the Secondary Students Choir, this national choir boasts some of NZ’s top young singing stars. This year they toured Hong Kong and Singapore to critical acclaim. All these students have sung in our elite St Cecilia Singers for 5 years, are in rockbands, Jazz Combo, Symphony Orchestra and have taken lead roles in our Dio/Dilworth productions. They have been finalists in our highly competitive Senior Aria Competition, with Olivia Couillault the outright winner this year.

SGCNZ Shakespeare National Songwriting Contest
Sarah Casey, Olivia Couillault, Eloise Cameron-Smith, Ally Quatermass

Rockband Feijoa Funk featured prominently in both RockQuest and Songwriting competitions. They were regional finalists in RockQuest, finalists in Play It Strange Lion Foundation songwriting and took out a Silver Award at the nationals of SGCNZ Shakespeare songwriting contest with their original song “Lady Ambition” based on Lady Macbeth. 

TEAM BLUE AWARD – for Combined Instrumental, Choral
Students in multiple ensembles, nearly all are grade 8 level or above in their instruments. They represent our top chamber musicians and singers who are involved at the highest level in the country. This year they have each won up to 3 Golds awards in a combination of Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and/or St Cecilia Singers - for some it is their 6th Gold in these combinations over 3 years.
Sarah Casey, Melody Chen, Emily Gee, He-Min Lee, Sarah Lee, Ally Quatermass, Francesca Towers, Sofie Yeung, Olivia Francis, Rebecca He, Sharon Hung, Jacqui Li, Emma Wong She, Anna Casey, Hazel Francis, Emma Qiu, Jessica Woo, Zoe Zhu


Grace Riley
Awarded a national 3rd placing in Costume Design at the Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ Festival in Wellington. She designed a dress for the play Twelfth Night and it was created at Toi Whaakari – it is now on display at the Globe in London. Grace won Best Director at the Regionals of this same competition for her female interpretation of Julius Caesar, with a cast of 30 girls. This won the 15 min adult category and they went onto compete at the Nationals in Wellington. Lead role in When They Go Low, NZ’s entry for the National Theatre Connections Festival in the UK. A lead in 2b or not 2b, NZ Theatre Federation One Act Play Festival where she won a Best Actor Award at Regionals.

Emily Clelland
Awarded the Best Emerging Director at the Nationals of the NZ Theatre Federation One Act Play Festival in Wellington. The play she directed, 2b or not 2b, she won Best Director in Auckland, at the North Island Regionals and Best Youth Production. At the Nationals in Wellington, against adult directors from around the country Emily won the Best Emerging Director. 

Anisha de Silva
Won Best Emerging Actors Award at the Nationals of the NZ Theatre Federation One Act Play Festival in Wellington. Chosen to represent Auckland, the cast performed at the National Drama and Dance school Toi Whakaari and Anisha won the Jannat Aitichson Award for Emerging Distinctive Talent with her lead role of Hedda in 2b or not 2b. She was also the only actor in the festival to have won the best Actor Award at local, regional and national level.

Flora Fan – Graphic Design
Flora entered the Shakespeare Poster competition as part of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand’s national ‘Static Image’ competition.
Her ‘Comedy of Errors’ poster won a National Silver Award and was also exhibited at the Globe in London.

Polly Davies – Jazz/Hip Hop
Team captain and leader of the Dio Senior Hip Hop troupe which won at Project Hip Hop competition against teams from around New Zealand. As team captain she then led the crew at Danz Branz where they were placed first with the opportunity next year to travel to the International 2019 Dance Branz competition. Won 2nd place platinum gold award for her jazz solo and a 5th place platinum gold award for her lyrical solo. Competed in the Australian nationals winning a 1st place platinum gold award with her musical theatre troupe.

He-Min Lee
He-Min gained her ATCL Diploma on piano, this is an international award from the Associate of Trinity College London examining body. He-Min is a true multi- instrumentalist – with Grade 8 in both violin and harp. She holds the instrumental record for 7 Gold Awards across Symphony and Chamber Orchestra since Y9. He-Min has co-led the violin section, been principal harpist and percussionist, she has been in rockbands, has played electric keys in Jazz Combo for 3 years, been in 4 top chamber groups, last year winning National Gold with TrioAstor. She a been in the Premier Debating Team, Leader of the Ethics Committee, been involved in the New Zealand Model UN for 3 years, and last year attended the Student Leadership Conference in at Harvard Medical School and is a top Y13 scholar

Francesca Towers
Selected and published as a writer in the ReDraft writing competition. Run by the School of Young Writers and judged by some of NZs foremost writing talent, hundreds of entries are received from around the country, from which only a few are selected for publication. Francesca is another of our multi-talented and highly creative students and long with leading roles in our last 2 senior Dio/Dilworth Productions, winning a Showdown award for her acting skills, she also took one of the lead roles in the National Theatre Connections play When They Go Low. She is the only student in our Y13 cohort who has been in our elite St C choir for 5 years AND been principal bassoon in both Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. She has clocked up a record 9 Golds across the 3 elite groups over the years. 

Belinda Xiong
Won top award at the regionals of Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ Festival for their highly creative and amusing interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, Belinda then went on to win 2 awards at the Nationals in Wellington.
• The Most Imaginative and Innovative Production Award
• The Best Connection with the audience Award.
Belinda is also a highly accomplished musician – a grade 8 oboist, and a diploma level pianist, this year winning the Concerto Competition. Belinda has sung in St Cecilia Singers and has been principal oboe in Symphony and Concert Band for 5 years. She took a lead role in the National Theatre Connections play When They Go Low and along with hosting this year’s Birthday Concert and the Leavers Dinner.

Olivia Luxon –Drama (Film & Television)
Olivia took the lead juvenile role in NZ Film Commission short film >span >which was screened to critical acclaim at the National Film Festival. She has also appeared in the American Express Credit Card advert which has been internationally aired. Her media appearances have included TV3 cafe news interview as Tearfund youth ambassador, singing on TV3 and discussions around her child sex trafficking work with Tearfund. Olivia has for the past 2 years taken a lead female in the Dio/Dilworth senior production and this year, gained a Distinction in her Grade 8 Speech and Drama. 


Awarded to students who have put themselves out on the national or international arena, in very high- profile way. These awards are for some quite exceptional achievements and personal commitment.

Sharon Hung - Music
This year Sharon gained her LTCL Diploma in Performance, making her one of the very few students in the country to become Licentiate of Trinity College London whilst still at secondary school. She has x6 Gold awards to her name as section leader of Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra and this year won the Most Outstanding Concerto Award at KBB for her Elgar Cello Concerto. She also went to the nationals this year for the Shakespeare Festival, displaying some hidden thespian talents and also composing the music (and performing) for their award winning play Julius Caesar.

Maddie Knight - Dance
Maddie is our top Y12 Classical and Contemporary dancer. This year she won a NZ Association of Modern Dance Scholarship in Contemporary Dance, gaining an Honours with Distinction for her Level 6 Contemporary and a Royal Academy of Dance Distinction for Ballet Advanced
1. She then went on to receive an RAD Dance Scholarship. Recently she auditioned and was offered a place, starting in 2019, on the full-time contemporary pre-professional program at Transit Dance Company, in Melbourne.

Aadhya Lahoty - Indian Classical Music
Aadhya began learning Carnatic Keyboard in 2008, and in 2009 took up both Carnatic Vocal and Veena, traditional Indian stringed instrument. She has regularly taken exams with both the New Zealand Carnatic Music Society and London Academy of Fine Arts, both examining bodies are associated with Madras University, the official university of Carnatic Music in India. She gained the highest marks in her pre-Diploma year for Veena, making her the top student with the London examining body and with NZCMS she was the top student in her pre-diploma year in both Keyboard and Veena. Her results across all 6 exams resulted in the top all-round student across the 3 disciplines for 2018. She has been a member of St Cecilia Singers for 4 years and has 3 National Gold awards under her belt, she is also hugely involved in Handbells, initiating Babybelles, the junior handbell group and along with Jordyn, initiating the Staff Handbell group. She is an accomplished Future Problem Solver and a top Y13 scholar. 


Honours Award recipients have achieved above and beyond at secondary school level on both the national and international stage. They hold top awards from previous years and possess a rare talent in their own field of expertise.

Emma Uren - Poetry and Writing
During her time at Dio Emma has consistently won awards for poetry and prose. Since 2015 she has been a published writer and poet in Signals and ReDraft, NZ’s top secondary school writing publications. And she has had further publications in the Youth section of the National Flash Fiction Competition. She has recently been announced the 2018 winner of the Liam and Frankie Davison Award for outstanding achievement in literary writing on an issue in women’s health. This is an Australasian competition - and as the only NZ student to win, it is a great honour for Emma and she will be presented with her award by the president of RANZSOG (Royal Australasian and NZ Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) later in the year. And to add to her achievements this year, she has had 4 further publications in the NZ Poetry Society International Competition in both the open category and the Haiku section. She is also a highly gifted visual artist and has recently sold an artwork at the Paterson Burn Optometry Art Competition. Emma is also an accomplished musician and dancer, having won awards for her music compositions, is a member of Dio symphony Orchestra and Concert Band, has 3 Golds under her belt and has been in Handbells since Y9.
And as a dancer, this year she passed her RAD Advanced Foundation Ballet exam and gained a Distinction for her ISTD Intermediate Foundation Jazz. She also came 3rd in an Intercultural Dance and Music Challenge with her fusion dance group.

Georgia Brokenshire -Dance
Georgia had her 1st dance lessons at the age of 2½ in her local community hall, she has excelled in dance ever since and is about to fulfil her dream, training to become a professional dancer. For the last 5 years Georgia gained the highest marks in Australasia for both her Jazz and Contemporary - including 100% this year in her Solo Seal for both styles. In Hip Hop she has twice achieved the highest marks in Australasia. Consequently she has received a scholarship for the highest examination mark in Australasia (including Asia) for Advanced Jazz 2 and Level 9 Contemporary from the Asia Pacific Dance Association. This year she was nominated to compete at the national scholarship weekend from the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance. Georgia is also a gifted choreographer, teaching weekly classes and choreographing competition troupes. Her senior dance troupe was awarded a nomination to compete at the national competition, DanceLife United in Sydney later this year. Recently she successfully auditioned for Transit Dance Company, a full time dance school in Melbourne. She was accepted into their 2 year program for a Diploma of Dance (in Elite Performance) in both the Performing Arts stream and the Contemporary stream. Georgia will begin her fulltime study in Melbourne at the beginning of February.

Back to News & Successes