Alumni From 2012

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Hilary Bryan

Hilary Bryan is an energetic communicator who has a keen interest in how leaders communicate at work and also how politicians get their point across.

She runs a learning and development company, The Training Practice. This gives her the chance to work with individuals and groups to improve their presentation and one-on-one communication skills.

Hilary enjoyed working towards becoming a Speech New Zealand Fellow, writing a thesis on How Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Communicate, producing a video and audio recording, and also delivering two contrasting presentations to an audience.

Rachel Chin

Rachel Chin

Mary Flaherty, teacher of Rachel Chin said  ” Rachel was a little girl when she and her sister, Emma, started walking around to my house for her speech and drama lessons.  They enjoyed coming to speech together but as they got older joined friends for their lessons.  Even when Rachel was very young I remember her saying to me that when she grew up she wanted to be a speech and drama teacher.

Throughout her school days aspects of performance dominated her learning.  She was very involved at St Hilda’s in drama both as an academic subject and in the yearly performances at the school.  She also studied aspects of performance at Otago University and performed in local shows while she worked through her ASB and LSB Diplomas.

Rachel has taught in my studio for a number of years and has run the studio when I have been away. She had a number of students in 2012 that she successfully put through exams.  She intends increasing her numbers this year.

Rachel is a very talented actress and loves poetry and all aspects of performance work.  She is an extremely enthusiastic teacher and has excellent rapport with her students.  Beyond her teaching responsibilities she has also been secretary for our local branch of SCA for the last two years.  She has had sound mentoring in this role and has developed some very good skills. And she has run a fun workshop on voice for our branch.

As her teacher it has been a privilege to watch Rachel grow up and share in her triumphs.  I believed in her ability and challenged her to reach for her dreams.  It is wonderful to see her now putting those dreams into practice.

Towards the end of last year an evening to present Rachel’s diploma was organised at Luna, a very pleasant restaurant in Highgate, overlooking Dunedin city.  Rachel’s parent’s, brother and sister and her grandparents were present as well as all the local members of our branch of SCA.  Melda Townsley was examining in the city at the time so after I had addressed Rachel Melda agreed to present Rachel with her diploma.  It was a very happy evening.”

mikaila hutchison

Mikaila Hutchison

Meredith Caisley, teacher of Mikaila Hutchison, said :  “One of the great delights of teaching speech is experiencing the growth and development of students as we journey through the grades and on into Diplomas.  Some teachers are robbed of this because they teach in areas where students have to leave for tertiary study and employment.  I am one of the lucky ones who has grown with Mikaila and had my own life enhanced by her discoveries through to graduating with a Speech NZ Licentiate in Speech and Drama”.

Mikaila Hutchison completed her Licentiate in Teaching Speech and Drama in August 2012, after countless hours of study, practice and pre-exam meltdowns.

After beginning her study of Speech and Drama at age 7, Mikaila quickly fell in love with the subject and set the goal to one day complete her Licentiate and become a Drama teacher.

Mikaila spent 3 years teaching under the marvellous guidance of her teacher Meredith Caisley. During this time she also completed her Bachelor of Communications from AUTUniversity, which has led to her current role in Public Relations.

Although she is not currently teaching, achieving her goal, set at age 7, of completing her Licentiate is one of Mikaila’s proudest moments in life.

All of those years playing characters in imaginary scenarios and presenting speeches have been invaluable in Mikaila’s Public Relations Role, where creativity and communication skills are vital.

Hugh Morrison-Thomas

From a young age Hugh enjoyed performing in theatre productions, speaking in public and singing in choirs. He stated, ‘Learning Speech and Drama has given me the confidence to be myself, and improved my ability to communicate effectively with others’. Developing these skills has helped Hugh in giving presentations and making videos throughout his university studies.

Hugh has completed Speech and Drama exams from Initial Grade to the Licentiate in Teaching. He started lessons at age 7 under the tuition of Zita Roseingrave. At high school Hugh continued following his passion for performing and was tutored by Maria Hinton. When he moved to Christchurch for university he completed the Advanced Associate and Licentiate Diplomas in Teaching. During his time in Christchurch he was mentored by Lynn Williams.

Whilst completing his Licentiate Diploma, Hugh also studied Speech-language Therapy at Canterbury University. Hugh chose this field of study because he recognised the importance of communication, and through his involvement in Speech and Drama became interested in the processes behind speaking.

Hugh recently completed his studies in Christchurch and has returned to Masterton where he is currently working as a Speech-language Therapist. From 2019 he will be working with the Ministry of Education in this field. Hugh is also looking forward to working part time as a Speech and Drama teacher over the coming years.