Alexandra/Queenstown/Invercargill Local Secretary 

Sandra Schwass

T  (027) 434-6077


Heather Harries, BSLT, CELTA, PGCE, MA

I was born and raised in Kenya, East Africa, and I have been blessed with dual nationality of two beautiful, yet starkly different, countries – Kenya and New Zealand. In my late teens I moved to Christchurch to study a Bachelor in Speech Language Therapy, followed by the Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Adults. The call back to the country of my birth accidentally led me into the world of speech and drama; I gained a job working for a vibrant business that taught speech & drama in schools throughout East Africa. Each year, examiners would fly from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art to East Africa, in order to assess the oral communication and dramatic skills of hundreds of students of all ages and backgrounds – and there my love of speech & drama ignited! The benefits it brought to my students were glaringly obvious and I found myself blessed to be in a job that was fulfilling and engaging. Many years later, I homeschooled my three daughters in a remote part of Tanzania and gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, followed by a Master of Arts. For the next 5 years I worked in a British curriculum boarding school in Kenya; 3 years in the Learning Support department and 2 years as a Form Teacher. Throughout this time, I taught speech & drama as an extra-curricular activity. It was a wonderful experience to be fully immersed in a school and to see how the speech & drama pupils were always the most confident speakers during school assemblies – the proud moments were numerous! I moved back to New Zealand in 2018 to live in Alexandra, with a view to relief- teaching, but soon realised there was a huge need for oral communication tuition and set up my own little business called Chatterbox Central. When I am not teaching speech & drama, I am also an ESOL Tutor.

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