Class Act 2023: Waitaki Boys’ High School

Ben O’Sullivan


Whether it be in academics or sports, Ben O’Sullivan is always extending himself.

The 17-year-old Waitaki Boys’ High School head boy said pushing himself to his limit and taking every opportunity had got him to where he is.

"I don’t want to live with any regrets."

Ben does everything in his life to the best of his abilities and that includes his sport.

His commitment to multisport, triathlon and football has helped him to develop self-discipline.

He said multisport was physically demanding but he enjoyed finding his limits.

"That is what I thrive on."

Ben is passionate about providing for the "brotherhood" of Waitaki Boys’.

"I love my boys, love my school."

He is proud of his school and wants to inspire the people around him.

During his time as head boy, he has worked hard to organise events to get pupils involved and having fun.

He works hard to give them opportunities to succeed, look after their wellbeing and care for those struggling.

"I’m passionate about inspiring other boys."

He wants to make sure all pupils at Waitaki Boys’ are "safe, secure and included".

Ben intends to continue his leadership with a career in project management.

He plans to attend the University of Canterbury next year where he will study a double degree in engineering and commerce.

After his studies, he wants to travel before securing a job.

He believes the project manager role will be interesting and challenging and suit his logical thinking.

"I’ve just always liked challenges."

Ben’s role models are his parents.

He said they were quality people who were highly supportive of his career choices.

"They have an exceptional work ethic and are just really good people."


Achievements: Head boy (2023); NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 with excellence; top scholar (2019, 2021, 2022); First XI football (2021-23); First XI football captain (2023); 1st New Zealand Secondary Schools triathlon tag team relay (2021); 1st South Island Secondary Schools duathlon (2021-23); Board of Trustees student representative (2023); Student Council chairperson (2023); Waitaki District Youth Council (2022, 2023) 

Role models: His parents.
Plans for the future: Attend the University of Canterbury and study a double degree in engineering and commerce, eventually going into project management.


Dominic Walsh


Dominic Walsh will never let his small town background stop him from accomplishing big things.

The 17-year-old Waitaki Boys’ High School deputy head boy, originally from Omarama, credits his background for his honest and strong sense of accountability.

"I’m lucky I come from a town where everyone knows everyone. If you stuff up you’ll hear about it."

He hopes to be a role model to other people from small towns, showing their background does not limit their options.

He says he has had to fight the mentality that people from small towns do not amount to anything.

Coming from a school of 40 pupils to a school of 400, Dominic wanted to take every opportunity he could.

He hopes to become known in his small town for doing good.

Dominic’s first speech as deputy head boy stressed the importance of putting in 100% to get where you want to be.

"You don’t have to be the best, you just have to try the hardest."

He reflects the same mentality in sport.

Dominic has a love of cricket despite saying he is "not very good" at the game.

However, this does not stop him from doing what he loves.

He encourages others to do the same — and founded a hostel cricket team for people who just wanted to play to enjoy themselves.

Dominic is also passionate about providing a voice for young people.

His role as the Waitaki District Youth Council chairperson has allowed him to do so.

Providing a voice for youth links back to his desire to leave a legacy.


Achievements: Deputy head boy (2023); NCEA level 1,2 and 3 endorsed with excellence; runner-up top scholar (2021, 2022); first XI cricket (2023); first XV rugby manager (2023); Waitaki District Youth Council (2021-23); Waitaki District Youth Council chairperson (2023); Waitaki’s Labour candidate volunteer manager (2023); Waitaki Boys’ Hostel head of leadership and direction (2023) 

Role models: His parents and boarding director Scott Mayhew.
Hopes for the future: Not certain, but is considering attending the University of Otago and studying commerce or engineering.