Emma Gilmour | Professional Driver and Business Owner
Emma is the world’s fastest female rally driver.
“(with racing) I have been lucky enough to compete all over the world chasing my dream of being a professional driver.”
With her partner, Emma owns and runs Gilmour Motors which is the new Suzuki and Isuzu franchise for Otago. The business was bought off her parents last year, so cars and driving have always been in her family.
“It looks like the seventh form (year 13) predictions in the 1996 St Hilda’s Magazine were correct in me being a car dealer!”
Emma also works as a driving instructor on and off the track as well as being an ambassador for Road Safety.
Emma’s best memories of St Hilda’s were the friendships that she made and the teachers that she had.
“The most important thing I took away from St Hilda’s was the belief that women could do anything and that if you put your mind to something, anything and everything was possible.”
Hannah Lemon | Graduate Student
Hannah recently received a degree from the University of Otago, a BA in Film and Media, and is now living in Japan. She is currently applying for a Masters photography course in the UK, She is hoping to get a certificate in the UK and bring her talents back to New Zealand to apply for a media or photography related job.
“For me, New Zealand is the country where I spent the best years of my life so far.”
“My best memories from St Hilda’s were in the final year (year 13). I started the school in year 11 but at that time I was still adjusting to the new environment (having been brought up in Japan), and could not speak English very well. By year 13 I could relax and fully enjoy my school life. I particularly enjoyed my photography classes during years 12 and 13. It was there that I could really express myself in the assignments. My photography classmates spent most of their time together after school. Even during the holidays we were supporting friends, developing new ideas together … I truly miss those days - it was all so much fun!”
Hannah recounts that entering St Hilda’s was really the biggest turning point in her life so far. “I left Japan when I was 15, and a whole new life began for me in Dunedin and at St Hilda’s. Learning the different culture and life-style from my classmates and the enthusiasm of my teachers have made me who I am even today. I am not afraid of challenging new things, and communicating with people from different cultures. The school life was very different in comparison to school life in Japan, and I really enjoyed the difference.”
Hannah notes that, “at St Hilda’s you can find both yourself and what you are good at. My vision of life changed completely, in a very beneficial way. Receiving a First Class Photography Award and an Academic Blue during my time there gave me great confidence. That confidence led me to try and get into university.”
Sarah Bryant | Dentist
Sarah currently live and works as a Dentist in Dunedin.
While at St Hilda’s, ”I enjoyed both the academic and sporting activities St Hilda’s had to offer. I spent a lot of time travelling with the athletics team to events, all of which were a lot of fun and well organised. We had a good team environment with all individuals wanting to do their best. The teachers and support staff were enthusiastic, supportive and accommodating to any events and training sessions.”
Sarah feels that, “the supportive atmosphere helped me push myself both academically and in sport. I was taught that anything is achievable if you put the work in.”
Polly Higbee | Solicitor
Polly currently works in the litigation team in the Wellington office of Duncan Cotterill. “My best specific memory of my time at St Hilda’s would be going on camp in form 2 (now year 8). We got to go kayaking and our teacher, Ms Bell, made a glow-stick trail through the forest for a night time treasure hunt. Overall, what I remember most about St Hilda’s was the positivity of the students and the teachers. Everyone was friendly and engaged.”
At St Hilda’s, “I learnt how to manage my time and to take responsibility for my work. Particularly in years 12 and 13 I juggled a lot of extra-curricular activities with NCEA assessment. St Hilda’s provided a very supportive environment, however you were still encouraged to stand on your own two feet. At the end of the day my exams and assignments were my responsibility – no excuses! The teachers at St Hilda’s instilled that work ethic right from year 7 and it has served me well throughout my time at university and in the workplace.”