Class Act 2023: St Peter’s College

Rachael Millar


Rachael Millar is not afraid of the hard work it will take to be able to use the law to help people.

The 17-year-old St Peter’s College pupil wants to do her bit to make life better for the many children who have tough lives.

A potential career as a family and criminal lawyer could allow her to do just that and more.

‘‘I feel that as a lawyer, I could make a difference to help families by taking on their cases, finding out the details and restoring justice,’’ Rachael said.

To be a lawyer requires a lot of hard work. Fortunately, Rachael is ready for the challenge.

‘‘Through working hard on the academic aspect of my life throughout my schooling, I feel as though it has prepared me to go into the competitive course of law at Otago.’’

The idea of becoming a lawyer was always in the back of her mind, but it was not until after Covid-19 that she seriously considered it.

The idea became a firm plan at the inter-schools' Bishop Shield speech and drama competition.

‘‘I enjoyed the research side and also the presenting, which felt very rewarding for me.’’

As a self-motivated individual, Rachael always kept her head down to achieve her goals.

Despite all the hard work, she also understands the importance of a balance between work and social life. She is an avid player of netball and is the captain of the St Peter’s College senior A team.

‘‘[Playing] netball has given me a solid work ethic and improved my dedication skills as I learnt the value in ‘practice makes perfect'.

‘‘I have always made sure to put myself out there and try new things, which I believe has prepared me to take on any obstacles life will throw me.’’


Achievements: NCEA level 1 endorsed with excellence (2021); NCEA level 2 endorsed with excellence (2022); Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award (2021); Silver Duke of Edinburgh award (2022); second place in the New Zealand Gold Guitar awards traditional country section (2021); ru nner-up in Country Music Dunedin Awards solo section (2022); Senior Speech winner (2022); Senior Poetry winner (2022); St Peter’s College Senior A netball team captain (2023); Senior A netball commitment trophy (2022); St Peter’s College Outdoor Education trophy (2022).

Role model: Bethany Hamilton. Her bravery to return to surfing and push on with life even after she lost her arm made her an outstanding role model.
Plans for the future: To attend the University of Otago and complete a double degree in law and forensic analytical science.


Lauryn Pinckney


Growing up on a farm has given Lauryn Pinckney a desire to make a full time job of getting her hands dirty.

As a youngster, she would look over the shoulder of her father as he worked on broken farm machinery.

Later, following her father's example, the 18-year-old St Peter’s College pupil would spend her weekends fixing and doing up vehicles at home.

It is a pursuit that has piqued her interest in becoming a mechanic; specifically a heavy diesel mechanic.

To achieve this goal, she will venture to the Southern Institute of Technology to complete the heavy diesel mechanic pre-trade course and then go into an apprenticeship.

Becoming a diesel mechanic would allow her to do something she already enjoys as a hobby as well as giving her the chance to travel.

‘‘After my apprenticeship I may venture over to Australia and work in the mines maintaining the mining equipment.’’

Lauryn is actively involved in a lot of sport and had entertained thoughts of becoming a physiotherapist or being in the industry.

She is a member of the Southland Hinds rugby team and was Eastern Girls 1st XV player of the year in 2021 and 2022.

But she decided the sports was something she could continue while pursuing another career.

‘‘It's not that long ago I figured out that I wanted to be a heavy diesel mechanic.’’

Recommendations from friends already enjoying doing the polytechnic course only increased her interest, she said.

Now Lauryn's long-term plan is all mapped out — become a diagnostic heavy diesel mechanic and travel while fixing trucks.

‘‘I hope to manage, or even open, my own mechanical workshop.’’


Achievements: NCEA Level 1 and 2 endorsed with excellence (2021, 2022); Top of physical education (2021, 2022); Southland rugby referee (2023); Southland Hinds (2023); Eastern Girls 1st XV player of the year (2021, 2022); Southland U18 rugby team (2022); Southland U19 Girls Rugby Team (2022); Southland Women’s Rugby high performance development squad (2022); Service to Netball 
(2022); St Peter’s College senior A netball member (2021, 2022); Co-coach of the St Peter’s College 8A and intermediate B netball team (2021, 2022).

Plans for the future: I plan to do a heavy diesel mechanic pre-trade course at SIT and then go into an apprenticeship.

Role model: I don’t have a specific role model as such, but there are many people in my life who display different characteristics that I look up to, such as mental strength and a strong work ethic.