Christchurch Girls’ High School

Tēnā koe Angela

I wanted to let you know what our Year 9 and 10 students found especially helpful and valuable, and why we as teachers, Deans and counsellors were so appreciative of the messages you communicated.

Your genuine, authentic and articulate presentation style is also professional and intelligent, infused with your own background industry insight and lived experience. This combination ensured both a level of credibility but also ‘reach’ to our girls as you spoke with them rather than preaching ‘at’ them.

Your videos were particularly arresting, engaging and relevant – and held everyone’s attention. Even the title of your organisation/presentation is catchy and memorable!  Your messages are simple and powerful: think critically; be media savvy; realise the advertising industry is manipulating the way you think and feel; knowledge is power; be empowered. Your visuals supported these messages powerfully as you demonstrated the “before/after” paradigms of Facetune/photoshop – effectively demystifying this so our girls could wake up to the blatant (and usually subtle) ways in which they are being manipulated.

It was particularly constructive to offer alternative narratives to what is flooding through the students’ social media feeds – ideas for alternative posts to friends, tips to be media-smart, ways to turn down the ‘noise’ from advertisers who are there to make you feel “less than”. Thank you for encouraging us to let whānau know about the presentation so they could follow up with a conversation at home; I know many, many mums and dads feel very uncertain as to how they can open a useful discussion in this space.

Thank you so much. You bring huge skills and a beautiful wairua to this important area of learning for our adolescent girls: you are a taonga!!

Ngā mihi arohanui

Julia Fields
Head of Guidance
Christchurch Girls’ High School

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Author: Angela Maree Barnett

Fitful writer. Over Enthusiastic Dancer. Shame Buster. Amy Schumer Stalker.