We welcome all former students and staff from Ashburton College, Ashburton High School and Hakatere College (formerly Ashburton Technical) to join us.

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Ross Preece - Principal of Ashburton College
Ross Preece - Principal of Ashburton College

Consideration of our Alumni - As a newcomer to our school and town I was delighted to discover a fledgling Alumni organisation . Like many new organisations  this has been founded by a groundswel [ ... ]

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Liam Kennedy-Clark - Former Student
Liam Kennedy-Clark - Former Student

My years at Ashburton College were ones to remember. I was surrounded by plenty of like-minded people, and many of whom, I am still in contact with today. Along with a lot of the students, I got on we [ ... ]

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Kate Lloyd - Former Student
Kate Lloyd - Former Student

Being a very recent pupil at Ashburton College (2011-2015) I have great memories of my years there, especially my Senior years. This journey began for me playing netball for Ashburton College and the  [ ... ]

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The history of Ashburton College is comparatively short when viewed next to the histories of other Canterbury secondary schools.  However, in the half century since Ashburton College’s inception in 1965, thousands of students, teachers, parents and other supporters have shaped Ashburton College into the highly successful co-educational school it is today.

Although it may seem that Ashburton College is the school that was and, always has been Ashburton’s sole secondary school. Those that attended Ashburton College in the early days know that Ashburton College was hard fought for and rose out of the ashes of Ashburton’s two former schools; Ashburton High School and Hakatere College (formerly Ashburton Technical School).

Thus the Latin maxim underneath the College insignia, the Phoenix, chosen by Brian Dr. Ronald Baker –

‘Resurgamus’: “Let us go forward”, or “Rise”.

  • Snark: It's a winner - David Elliot

    david elliotDavid Elliot with the prize-winning book Snark. Photo supplied.Ashburton-born author/illustrator David Elliot has used his imaginative prowess to secure first prize at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

    At an awards ceremony held in Wellington on Monday night, Elliot nabbed both the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award and the Russell Clark Award for Illustration.

    His genre-bending book Snark: Being a true history of the expedition that discovered the Snark and the Jabberwock . . . and its tragic aftermath won the hearts of judges with its “clear wit” and “universal appeal to all ages”.

    Elliot said the success came as a pleasant surprise, especially given that Snark is a “different kind of book”, with appeal to “certain kinds of kids”.

    “It doesn’t really fit into a box,” he said.

    “The publisher and I didn’t know how it would go … but we were patient and made the best book we could.”

    He said he was pleased and very surprised for Snark to have won among a “strong field of wonderful children’s books”.

    This year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults featured 32 finalists of varying styles and topics.

    Elliot’s 220-page tale is described as a tumultuous romp through worlds, and is based around two 19th Century Lewis Carol poems – the Hunting of the Snark and Jabberwocky.

    It also features illustrations and additional text by Elliot – the outcome of four years’ work and a research expedition to Oxford where the original poems were based.

    Elliot said he was very grateful to Creative New Zealand for providing a grant for his research and to Otago University Press through which the book was published.

    Whilst awarding him $15,000 in prize money, judges declared that Elliot’s efforts were an “outstanding contribution to children’s literature in this country.”

    “The award is much deserved recognition for his captivating compositions,” said Hon Maggie Barry, Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage.

    “David Elliot’s twist on Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poems is unique, and offers everything the reader could want – mystery, adventure and intrigue,” judging panel convenor Pam Jones said.

    Elliot said he would advise anyone interested in children’s writing to keep up their passion, and remember that success doesn’t happen overnight.

    “Take your imagination seriously,” he said.

    “We’ve all got an imagination but we don’t always treasure it … Keep a notebook, turn your ideas into words, or if you’re illustration inclined, pictures. Keep up your enthusiasm.”

    The Ashburton Art Gallery, who are custodians to Elliot’s collection of drawings, were also thrilled to hear the news of Elliot’s success.

    An exhibition of Elliot’s drawings will be on display at the gallery from September 16, and planning is under way for a Snark exhibition next year.

    David will also be in Ashburton for a talk on September 25, but for now it’s back to chipping away on his two upcoming books.

    Snark is available at all good booksellers and online at

    By Katie Todd © The Ashburton Guardian - 17 August 2017