School Board
The School Board

The School Board provides strategic leadership and direction to their school or kura. The board works in partnership with the community, principal, teachers, support staff, and the government to ensure the best possible outcomes for all students.

The board is accountable for student progress and achievement to its parents, community and the Crown. The board has the overall responsibility and accountability for the school or kura. The legal responsibilities of school Boards are determined by the Education and Training Act 2020.

Board members represent the community and benefit from the input of parents.
To read more about School Boards please click

Southland Girls’ High School Board:

  • Board Chair: Aaron McKenzie
  • Deputy Board Chair: Kelly Tagg (Enwood Sub Committee member)
  • Principal: Yvonne Browning MNZM
  • Board Member: Liz Henry 
  • Board Member: Michelle Mitchell (Enwood Sub Committee member)
  • Board Member: Nigel Finnerty
  • Board Member: Tarl Barnes (Co-opted)
  • Staff Representative: Marama Davis
  • Student Representative: Lucy Sparrow
Strategic and Implementation Plan 2024-2025

Read more about our Board Members

Aaron McKenzie, Presiding Member

Kia ora,

I was elected to the board in 2019 and am employed as Corporate Agribusiness Manager at the BNZ. I am married to Megan who is an alumni of Southland Girls High School. We have three children – Amelia who graduated from SGHS in 2019, Paige who graduated SGHS in 2022 and a son Max who attends Southland Boys’ High School.

I am a strong advocate for our students to receive the very best education possible: to be actively engaged in a school environment that both motivates and inspires them to be the very best they can be. To ensure they have full access to the school curriculum: academic, sporting, arts and culture and relevant life skills.

Southland Girls’ High School provides an excellent education for its students and produces confident, well rounded young women ready to take on the world.

The challenge in today’s world is delivering a high level of education consistently. That takes a considerable amount of effort by teachers, support staff and other stakeholders with the support and leadership of a strong BOT.

Kelly Tagg, Deputy Presiding Member

Kia Ora,

I first was elected to the board in 2019 and am currently serving my second term.  I work as a Community Partnership Leader for the Southland District Council – a role that takes me all over Southland.

My husband and I live in Otautau and we have two children – our daughter finished at SGHS in 2023 and our son is in year 11 at SBHS.

I’ve enjoyed my time to date as a parent representative on the Southland Girls’ High School Board of Trustees, where the focus is very much on developing an inclusive learning environment, where our girls have every opportunity to achieve their goals and grow into fantastic women of the future.


Liz Henry, Board Member

Kia ora tātou. I’m Liz Henry, a parent representative on the SGHS Board of Trustees.

In my day job, I am a solicitor and the sole director of Mee & Henry Law Limited.

Along with the key responsibilities of setting the strategic direction of the school and developing a long-term plan; monitoring and evaluating student learning outcomes and ensuring continuous improvement; managing the school’s financial resources, ensuring the efficient use of funds; and supporting open communication with the parents, staff and the wider community, I believe in the potential of every student and strive to ensure SGHS is a positive learning environment that is inclusive, supportive and challenging.

I am passionate about fostering student success and well-being and working collaboratively with the school leadership, staff, and wider school community to achieve this shared vision.
Kia kaha te waka, e whānau. Tena koutou katoa ki te whānau o SGHS.
(May the canoe go strong, family. Greetings to all the families of SGHS, a reminder of the collective journey of the school community, and the importance of whānau in the school’s success).

Michelle Mitchell, Board Member

My name is Michelle Mitchell, and together with my husband Glen, we farm our Sheep and Beef farm at Lumsden. I am a trained teacher, and am still very active in our local schools, teaching on a regular basis. We have three children – Fynn who is in his first year at Lincoln University; and Maisie and Tilly who are both at Southland Girls; boarding at Enwood House.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s future, and it is paramount that every student at SGHS receives the best education possible. It is a challenging world we live in, and we must equip our students with all the skills they need to succeed in it!

It is an honour and a privilege to represent the parent community. I am very committed to supporting both staff and students in the development of our tamariki, ensuring they become strong, confident young people; keen and eager to learn, and ready to face an ever-changing world.


Nigel Finnerty, Board Member

I joined the SGHS Board in 2023.  I manage my own business that actively supports the growth and resilience of Southland businesses. Prior to this, I served as an Engineer in the Royal New Zealand Navy and held senior leadership roles at both Tiwai and Invercargill Airport.

My wife and I have a lifestyle block just outside of Invercargill, and we are proud parents of two children. Our daughter, Sara, is a 4th Generation Red Shoes girl currently in Year 9, while our son, Cooper, attends Makarewa School.

As an experienced board member, I bring extensive governance expertise and a diverse skill set to advance the vision, goals, and strategies of Southland Girls’ High School. I am committed to fostering an inclusive and forward-thinking environment that empowers not only the school but, most importantly, the students to thrive.

Tarl Barnes, Co-opted Board Member

Hi there,

I am excited to be part of the SGHS Board of Trustees, I am an SGHS Alumni and have a child currently attending the school, with another child starting next year. I have a background in business management and human resources and am currently the General Manager of Bayleys Southland.

I am pleased to be part of a team that helps empowers well-rounded students with essential life skills and a sense of community responsibility, our students face challenges in an ever-changing world and it is important we give them the tools and skills they need to not only survive this environment but thrive in it!

Yvonne Browning, Principal

Yvonne Browning

Marama Davis, Staff Representative


Marama Davis – Staff Representative

Student Representative 2023-2024

Lucy Sparrow – Student Rep





Board Meeting Dates

Meeting Dates 2024

Term 1 6 March, 3 April
Term 2 29 May, 26 June
Term 3 14 August, 18 October
Term 4 13 November

Agenda and Meeting Minutes are available by emailing the Board Secretary:

Board Elections

Want to know more about becoming a board member? Click on the link below:




Book a Tour of Enwood House

Come and see all that Southland Girls’ High School offers boarders with a tour of Enwood House that allows you to see our facilities in action, while meeting the staff and the students.

To book in for a tour of the boarding house, please email Jenni Dennis, or telephone 03 211 6030.

RISKS Disclosure

Weekly sports contains risks, including common injuries like strains, sprains, bruises and dislocations. These events are managed by the appropriate sporting body in conjunction with school staff who will manage risk and hazards according to the school’s safety management plan. This includes careful consideration of the risks, all risks will be outlined to the students. While risks can be maintained to acceptable levels they cannot be totally eliminated. Some risk is retained for its learning and experiential value. If you wish to come in to school to see our safety management systems or have any questions, feel free to contact Ashleigh Rabel 03 211 6030 or

It is important for safety reasons that students follow instructions given to them by all staff and follow all appropriate school rules. Behaviour by students that is deemed dangerous and puts themselves and/or others at undue risk will result in your child facing disciplinary actions on their return or sent home at the cost of the Whanau/parents or caregivers.

RISKS Disclosure

This event contains risks, including possible injuries. This event is managed by school staff or other organisations who will manage risk and hazards according to the school’s/organisation’s safety management plan. This includes careful consideration of all procedures while carrrying out the activites. While risks can be maintained to acceptable levels they cannot be totally eliminated. Some risk is retained for its learning and experiential value.

If you wish to come in to school to see our safety management systems or have any questions please phone 03 211 6030.


I understand that sports, trips, and extra-curricular activities are opportunities for me to learn, practice skills, and gain attitudes and values in an environment outside of the school.  I realise that this requires me to take on genuine responsibility for my own enjoyment and safety and that of others.

I agree to do the following to make this happen:

  • Show courtesy and consideration to others.
  • Follow the rules and instructions of staff and other supervisors at the events.
  • Look after myself and my personal belongings.
  • Declare medical conditions that could affect participation in the events.
  • Accept the rules set by the school for the events.
  • Take part in all activities within ‘challenge-by-choice’ options

I understand that my parents / caregivers will be contacted and I may be sent home at their expense if:

  • My actions are considered unacceptable by staff / supervisors of these events.
  • I breach the behaviour / discipline standards of the school.
  • My actions put me or others in any danger.

Book a School Tour

Come and see all that Southland Girls’ High School offers students with a school tour that allows you to see our facilities in action, while meeting the staff and the students.

Student tour guides will answer questions and offer a student’s perspective, before meeting with a senior member of staff to discuss your child’s enrolment.

To book in for a tour of the school, please email Nicola Macpherson on or telephone 03 211 6030.

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