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They were the stars of their year back in 2004, poised to take on the world. Seven years on, Kim Dungey has caught up to see what they are doing now.
Bayfield High School
• Aimee Ross (24)
Is a registered nurse working in the operating theatre at Mater Misericordiae Hospital, in Bundaberg, Queensland.
- Qualifications: bachelor of nursing; postgraduate certificate in nursing (perioperative).
• Matt Winter (24)
Is in Mooloolaba, Australia, working as a part-time consultant for a provider of enterprise business solutions, and will travel to Guatemala next month to volunteer at a children's orphanage.
- Bachelor of commerce and agriculture in farm management; graduate diploma in commerce (accounting).
Blue Mountain College
• Michael Marshall (25)
Is a contract milker near Gore and owner of about 300 cows.
- Diploma in agriculture; diploma in farm management.
• Nicole Stuart ( 24)
Does administration work for Dunedin accounting firm Markhams Clarke Craw Ltd. This year she has captained the Southern women's rugby team and attended the Rotary Youth Leadership course.
• Laura Hughes (24)
Is studying for a bachelor of architectural studies degree at Unitec in Auckland, where her final second-year project was published in the annual Unitec Asylum book. Works part-time as a draughtswoman.
• Karen van Halderen (24)
Teaches at City Heights Childcare and Montessori, Dunedin.
- Bachelor of arts (hons), in anthropology; graduate diploma in early childcare education.
• Julia Leiss (23)
Is studying geography at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, where she also tutors in cartography. Leiss was on a year's exchange from her home country of Germany when she received her Class Act award.
• Rebecca Lingard (24)
Works at the Waikato Institute of Technology as a student experience adviser, focusing on scholarships, and has her own small business providing massage and fitness and nutrition programmes.
- Bachelor of sport and exercise science.
Dunstan High School
• Simon Forrest (24)
Plays at hooker for the Dundee High School Former Pupils Rugby Club in Scotland. Formerly in the New Zealand under-21 and Otago Air New Zealand Cup squads, Forrest works as a strength and conditioning coach for the club and as a project manager for a fencing company. He also represented Otago at softball.
- Bachelor of science in land planning and development; diploma in sporting performance.
• Erin Smyth (25)
Teaches an accelerated learning class at Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch. Has played in the national hockey league for Otago and Canterbury.
- Bachelor of education in mathematics.
East Otago High School
• Samuel Lind (25)
Is completing his PhD in chemistry at Otago. His research is on understanding the photophysical processes that occur in organic photovoltaics. This work uses laser-based experiments and calculations based on quantum mechanics to study light-absorbing molecules. Received the R.H.T. Bates Postgraduate Scholarship from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2010, a Top Achiever Bright Futures Scholarship from the Tertiary Education Commission in 2009, and a University of Otago Undergraduate Prestige Scholarship and prizes for best honours project (chemistry) and top honours student (chemistry), all in 2008.
- BSc (hons) first-class in chemistry.
• Rachel Sloan (24)
Lives in Dunedin and works as a community occupational therapist for the Southern District Health Board.
- Bachelor of occupational therapy.
Gore High School
• Melanie Mearns (24)
Is a rehab trainer and receptionist at the Gore Physiotherapy Centre and farms a sheep and cropping property.
- Diploma in sporting performance; diploma in personal training and exercise prescription.
• Haley Sinclair (25)
Is working for the Capital and Coast District Health Board at Wellington Regional Hospital as a trainee anaesthetic technician, while completing a diploma in applied science, majoring in anaesthetic technology.
- Bachelor of science, majoring in physiology.
John McGlashan College
• Soongwon (David) Cho (24)
Is doing chemistry PhD at Imperial College, London, working on developing droplet-based microfluidic platforms for high throughput screening. Microfluidic technology could help fight cancer and provide cheap diagnosis devices for developing countries.
- MSc in chemistry, first-class honours; recipient Global Research Laboratory funding from National Research Foundation, Korea; Sir Derek Barton Award.
• Alex Latu (24)
Works in the Supreme Court in Wellington as a judge's clerk to Justice William Young, carrying out research for upcoming judgements. Admitted to the Bar last year. During his time at Otago, he received a University of Otago Prestige Scholarship in law, the Law Society Prize, and the Pacific Peoples Final Year Achievement Prize.
- Bachelor of laws (hons); bachelor of arts, majoring in politics.
Kaikorai Valley College
• Hamish Patterson (24)
Is starting a one-year diploma for graduates in anthropology at the University of Otago, specialising in archaeology. He is also a singer-songwriter and plays with the Oxo Cubans.
- Bachelor of arts in history and political studies; TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) teaching certificate.
• Sarah McGregor (25)
Is the academic committees' assistant at the University of Otago. Since graduating, she has published two articles in collaboration with her honours supervisor in Planning Quarterly and the International Journal of Sustainable Society.
- Bachelor of arts with first-class honours in geography.
• Joseph Donnelly (24)
Is studying for a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree at Otago. Has had five peer-reviewed publications and in 2008 went to Nepal with a team from the University of Otago physiology department to research how the brain adapts to a low-oxygen environment at high altitude. Is principal bassoon with the Southern Sinfonia and until last year was in the National Youth Orchestra.
- Bachelor of medical science (hons); diploma for graduates in music.
• Sean Eathorne (25)
Recently returned to Dunedin after finishing a contract with North Otago Cricket, where he was the community co-ordinator and coached at Waitaki Boys' High School. Played cricket for the Gold Coast Dolphins in 2007, for Sparta 1888 in Rotterdam last year and for the North Otago side which won the Hawke Cup in 2010. Has played five first-class games, six one-day games and five twenty/20 games for the Otago Volts.
- Bachelor of commerce in marketing and design.
King's High School
• Sam Dallimore (24)
Manages a bar in Thame, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.
- Bachelor of science, majoring in land planning and development.
• Simon Versteeg (24)
Is a junior doctor in Gisborne. He had a three-month medical placement in Lesotho and while in South Africa climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery.
Lawrence Area School
• Rex Cullen (23)
Is living in Christchurch and studying hotel management. His film, Blue Rising, recently won Best Incredibly Strange Film at the V48 Hour Film Festival.
Logan Park High School
• Joshua Tang (23)
Is in Dunedin where he is studying medicine (sixth year), a trainee intern at Dunedin Public Hospital and a violinist with the Southern Sinfonia.
Maniototo Area School
• Debbie Adamson (23)
Works at Nova Cafe and makes contemporary jewellery. Last year, she was part of a graduate show in Fingers gallery in Auckland, was second in the jewellery section of the ID Emerging Designer Awards and sent work to a jewellery conference in Perth. Also has work in a contemporary jewellery project, Handshake, showing in Sydney this month.
- Bachelor of fine arts, majoring in jewellery and metalsmithing.
• Shelley Adamson (23)
Is restaurant manager at Scotia Bar and Bistro and an artist whose last exhibition was a group show last year. Has run several workshops at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the Otago Settlers Museum, teaching children basic construction techniques.
- Bachelor of fine arts, majoring in sculpture.
Mt Aspiring College
• Sarah Gillespie (24)
Is a physiotherapist and Pilates instructor in Auckland and studying towards a postgraduate certificate at AUT. She was eighth in ski-cross at the World University Winter Games in China in 2009.
- Bachelor of physiotherapy.
• Andrew White (24)
Lives in Melbourne and hopes to get into medical school. He has been studying the prerequisite subjects and is now going through the interview process. He previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group in Auckland and Melbourne.
- Bachelor of engineering (electrical and electronic).
Otago Boys' High School
• Konrad Hanson (24)
Lives in Dunedin and plans to train as a secondary school music and English teacher.
- Bachelor of arts; bachelor of music (hons).
• Iain Notman (25)
Is a front-line police constable working out of the Mount Wellington Police Station in the Auckland city east area and is studying criminology and management through Victoria University.
Otago Girls' High School
• Patrice McKenzie (25)
Plays professional basketball for the Frankston Blues in the South Eastern Australia Basketball League. Recently made the Tall Ferns for the second successive year and played for them in a four nations tournament in China as a build-up to Olympic qualifying. She previously studied in the United States, while playing college basketball on a full athletic scholarship.
- Bachelor of science in criminology.
• Jenny Stein (24)
Is an exploration geologist for Venture Minerals, which is looking for tin, tungsten and iron in western Tasmania. Has just spent two months with a sister company, doing geological mapping in Namibia.
- Bachelor of science with first-class honours in geology.
Queen's High School
• Kathryn Bulk (24)
Is a dairy farmer working at Cedric Holdings Ltd, in Mid-Canterbury. She is also studying for her private pilot's licence.
- Bachelor of consumer and applied sciences, majoring in clothing and textile sciences.
• Kanoa Lloyd (24)
Lives in Auckland, where she is a presenter for Sticky TV. She also does some writing and directing for the show.
- Diploma in massage therapy.
Roxburgh Area School
• Cole Bennetts (25)
Is a commercial pilot employed by Kiwi Air and contracted to geophysical survey companies. Bennetts has worked in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali and Liberia and is now in Portugal, flying a New Zealand-built aircraft, the PAC570XL. Sensors attached to the plane pick up the magnetic fluctuations influenced by changing geology.
- Commercial pilot's licence.
• Joshua Dennis (24)
Is ministry assistant at Harbourside Church in Auckland, having previously served five years as a war officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy.
- Royal NZ Navy: grade 1 bridge watch-keeping certificate and minor war vessel navigating officer certificate; national certificate in maritime commercial coastal watch-keeping. Alphacrucis Bible College: diploma in Christian ministries (with merit).
St Hilda's Collegiate
• Polly Higbee (24)
Is a solicitor for commercial law firm Duncan Cotterill, in Wellington. Was a research fellow for the New Zealand Centre for Public Law in 2010, investigating the use of urgency in New Zealand's Parliament. In 2008, she interned for the Government Whip at Parliament as part of the political science honours programme at Victoria. She won the Victoria University witness examination competition. She has won national university debating tournaments, was a finalist at the Australasian University Debating championships and a semifinalist at the World University Debating chamionships. President of the Victoria University Debating Society in 2009.
- Bachelor of laws; bachelor of arts in political science and history, with first-class honours. Admitted to the Bar.
• Emma Peart (24)
Is a judges' clerk for the High Court of New Zealand, in the Wellington registry, assisting a High Court judge to carry out his judicial duties by doing legal research and the like.
- Law degree (hons); bachelor of arts majoring in philosophy. Admitted to the Bar.
St Kevin's College
• Joseph Lill (25)
Works for DLA Phillips Fox, Auckland, as a solicitor in the litigation team. New Zealand handball representative. Education vice-president of the New Zealand Law Students Association 2010.
- Bachelor of laws (hons); bachelor of arts (classics). Admitted to the Bar.
• Rachel O'Connell (25)
Teaches maths and social sciences at Mt Aspiring College, Wanaka.
- Bachelor of arts; graduate diploma of secondary education.
St Peter's College
• Matthew de Groot (25)
Lives in Perth and works for Boart Longyear Drilling, in Leinster, as a trainee driller assistant. The rig he is on drills core samples of nickel.
- Bachelor of physical education.
• Alisha Webster (nee Stirling) (25)
Is a registered nurse working at the Gore Medical Centre, a role that includes giving vitamin C and other minerals intravenously. Farms at Wendonside with her husband. Was named in the Canterbury women's rugby development squad but injury prevented her playing.
- Bachelor of nursing.
South Otago High School
• Kerryn Veitch (25)
Lives in South Otago and works as a dental therapist for the Southern District Health Board, providing dental care to preschool and primary school children.
- Registered dental therapist.
• Blair York (25)
Is a junior doctor for the Canterbury District Health Board, based at Christchurch Public Hospital. For two years part of the NZRFU referee's academy and this year was selected for the southern zone referee's squad.
- Bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery.
• Andrew Haines (24)
Won a Woolf Fisher Scholarship and is studying for a PhD in physics in the nanophotonics centre at the University of Cambridge.
- Bachelor of science (hons) in combined mathematics and physics.
• Taarati Taiaroa (24)
Is completing study for a master of fine arts degree at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, where she also tutors and works as a research assistant. She won the school's senior prize in fine arts and prize for visual communication design in 2009.
- Bachelor of fine arts with first-class honours.
The Catlins Area School
• Alice Eason (25)
A locum radiographer in Australia, she is at present touring Europe.
- Bachelor of medical imaging.
Tokomairiro High School
• Delia Stammers (23)
Has been nannying for a family in London and is about to move with them to Mallorca, Spain. Worked as a physiotherapist before leaving New Zealand in April. Was top in class for year 2 electrotherapy.
- Bachelor of physiotherapy.
• Tim Tait (24)
Was a multimedia developer at Te Papa in Wellington and is now looking for IT contracts in London.
- Bachelor of science in computer science.
Waitaki Boys' High School
• Adam Halkett (25)
Is an insulation inspector based in Brisbane. Has also worked as a personal trainer.
- Certificate in personal training and exercise prescription.
• Ian Notman (25)
Works for Deloitte Christchurch, in the accounting and advisory team, and is in the final year of his professional accounting studies.
- Bachelor of commerce; diploma for graduates in accounting and economics.
Waitaki Girls' High School
• Megan Galloway (nee Hamilton) (25)
Lives in Christchurch and is on maternity leave from her job as a social worker.
- Bachelor of social work (hons).
• Courtney May (24)
Works as an occupational therapist at Princess Margaret Hospital, Christchurch. Rowed for the New Zealand university eight.
- Bachelor of occupational therapy.
Wakatipu High School
• James Boult (22)
Is an account executive with Beat Communications, in Auckland.
- Bachelor of communications in public relations.
• Jodi Ford (22)
Is completing study for a bachelor of physiotherapy degree at the University of Otago Wellington campus. A former competitive swimmer, she gained bronze awards for backstroke at the 2005 and 2006 New Zealand youth and open championships.
• Natasha Daniel, of Logan Park High School, declined to respond.