The Marking Service Award is inspired by the St Cuthbert’s College motto By Love Serve and by a desire to celebrate alumnae who have taken the spirit of our motto into their life and work. There is one award presented each year.
2019 – Margaret Vazey (Hopkins)
Margaret, who lives in Marouba, New South Wales, has devoted many thousands of hours to preserving the Malabar Headland and surrounding regions.
Margaret first became involved in bush conservation in the Malabar Headland in 1994, when she founded Magic Point Bush Regenerators. Along with her late-husband, Brian, Margaret founded the Friends of Malabar Headlands in 2010, which sought to protect the Malabar Headland Bush. Through her tireless advocacy, this area has recently been designated as a new National Park.
Margaret’s dedication to bush regeneration has long been appreciated and acknowledged by her local community. In 2006, the Friends of Malabar Headlands received the Randwick City Council Australia Day Award and, in 2017, Margaret was presented with the Vi Robbins Community Service Award, the top award to be given annually by Matt Thistlewaithe, the Federal MP for Kingsford Smith. This award was presented to Margaret in recognition of the long service that she and Brian (posthumously) had dedicated to the community and to the preservation of their local environment.
Margaret is still passionate about bush regeneration and remains an active environmental conservationist to this day.
View Margaret’s acceptance video here.
2018 – Kristina Cavit
Kristina is the Founder & Director of The Kindness Institute, a not-for-profit organisation that helps improve mental health and leadership capabilities through meditation and yoga. She gently changes lives for the better, including the lives of our most vulnerable children.
Kristina is passionate about wellness and mindfulness coaching and works with individuals, organisations, schools and marginalised communities. Kristina’s work with young people increases compassion and empathy, which helps decrease anti-social behaviour. She can make challenging concepts accessible, fun and transformative.
She founded the award-winning organisation NPH New Zealand to support almost 4,000 orphaned and abandoned children throughout Latin America.
Kristina was recognised with the award of MNZM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Find more about Kristina here.
2017 – Natalie Germann
Natalie is a prime example of ‘By Love Serve’. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with First Class Honours, majoring in psychology and is now working towards her doctorate in clinical psychology.
She is an accredited counsellor and mentor for a number of charities working with the disadvantaged in our society. She regularly volunteers her time and energy, she has volunteered and/or worked at Te Whetu Tawera, Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society, Star Jam, Turn Your Life Around, Youthline, Odyssey House, Recovery Solutions and Youthtown. Natalie was named Volunteer Champion for Youthline, who recognised her contribution of over 450 hours to the helpline managing high-risk crisis calls. Natalie is also a member of Auckland Central’s Rotaract Club and is a representative on the Ethics committee at Auckland University.
Her courage and resolve to improve the lives of others is inspiring, she is determined to create a career that is meaningful and beneficial to society.
2016 – Lisa King
Lisa King and her partner Ian Buchanan, together with restauranteur Michael Meredith, launched Eat my Lunch in mid 2015. It’s a simple formula: buy a lunch, and a hungry child will get one too. For every healthy and delicious lunch purchased, a similar lunch is provided to a child in need. In one year, Eat my Lunch has given 200,000 lunches to hungry children in need. Lunches are prepared by volunteers and the business has now expanded to separate premises after they were initially prepared in Lisa’s own home. They have partnered with 32 schools and are looking to expand even further. She, along with her partners, were New Zealander of the Year finalists in 2015.
Lisa previously worked in marketing for many years including the food/consumables market. Lisa has always been interested in healthy eating and has used her passion for good food together with her marketing experience to launch and grow this enterprise. Find more about Lisa here.
2015 – Louise Binns
Louise has devoted more than 30 years supporting and leading numerous charities, combined with her role as a lawyer acting as Counsel for the Child. She has made a huge contribution in her professional life to the protection of children and the care of families. She has been involved with Bethany Home for Unmarried Mothers, Odyssey House for drug addiction and Preventing Violence in the Home. Now known as Shine, Louise made an impact for 14 years, including her chairmanship. Currently she is raising money for the Arts, including the Royal NZ Ballet and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship. She works with the Blue Dragon Trust to help disadvantaged children in Vietnam; the Trust is an agent for change in the fight against child trafficking.
Louise has enormous energy and enthusiasm and has gathered great teams around her to raise more than several million dollars for these causes. She is never one to be daunted by the task and has enthusiastically been an advocate for improving the life of others.
Louise is married to Mark, they have raised three children and somehow she finds the time to run marathons as well!
2014 – Karen Leuschke
Karen has been leading and inspiring people in her community for over 40 years, embodying the St Cuthbert’s motto ‘By love serve’ in her own original and practical way. Her years of service include: Lifeline – 43 years, Kidsline – 27 years, Restorative Justice – 13 years, Justice of the Peace – 16 years, Accredited Celebrant – 14 years. She does all this while holding down a full time teaching job at St Cuthbert’s.
Karen has volunteered as a telephone counsellor at Lifeline for 43 years. She can relate well to people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, is open minded and non-judgemental. Karen has cheerfully accepted late nights, weekends and early mornings, listening and responding to people in need. She helped set up Kidsline and for 27 years has been instrumental in training and mentoring young counsellors.
Over the years, people of all ages and cultures have appreciated Karen’s open door and her ability to listen sensitively and constructively. Her friends are inspired by her tireless devotion to helping others without judgement and without expecting anything in return. With her kindly, giving nature, she has done so much to benefit our community.
2013 – Gretchen Hawkesby
Gretchen has been the Chair of the Friends of Starship for four years. Starship is New Zealand’s national children’s hospital, treating around 120,000 patients a year. She also holds a position of Trustee on the Board of the Starship Foundation charity.
Her impressive fundraising skills, vast networks, work ethic and determination to succeed at everything she sets her mind to, means she is responsible for donations worth over $1.2 million dollars for the hospital. The funds have helped rebuild the Starship’s Neuroservices and Medical Specialities wards, the Starship National Air Ambulance Service and the parents’ overnight area in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Gretchen is a strategic and commercial thinker, which is key to raising funds on a large scale. She willingly sacrifices her time and resources without fuss and without expectation of acknowledgement. Find more about Gretchen here.
2012 – Jackie Oakes
Jackie started St Cuthbert’s at age 5 and was always a stand-out student as she consistently won school prizes and received the General Excellence Prize most years. She was accepted into nursing training at the end of 6th form and topped her class in the first year of her training. At the end of her first year, on the 22nd of December 1985 a drunk driver crashed into her Mini, changing her life. Jackie sustained a serious head injury and was in a coma for four months. She spent a year in Auckland Hospital. She had to re-learn to walk, talk, feed herself and engage with others.
As her peers were out enjoying tertiary education and their new freedom Jackie was dealing with the slow and painful road to recovery. She displayed a powerful and inspirational desire to succeed and rebuild an independent life where she is still able to give to others. In recognition of St John officers saving her life, Jackie channelled her desire to serve and contribute to the community by volunteering for St John.
She has continued to do this for 22 years. She is a valuable and fun colleague at St John, known for her service, her integrity and passion for the organization’s activities. The value St John places on Jackie is reflected in her Priory Award, given to her in 1996 at St Mary’s in Holy Trinity Cathedral. This is a special honour, only given to a select few and she continues to get regular service awards from St John.
Jackie is an important part of her friends’ families and her kindness and generosity of spirit are shown in her relationships with them, their children and their extended families. She lives By Love Serve. She is an inspirational person and this is her gift to us all.