Shirley’s hard work through both her studies and her professional career has made her a real success story. From her first year at Matamata College, she took part in everything possible and worked hard to become Head Girl in 1979.

Her academic success continued after college, at Waikato University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours, majoring in Marketing and International Management. She now owns her own marketing business, after gathering a wealth of knowledge and experience in various marketing positions in the country.

Her greatest professional milestones, besides owning her own business, include becoming a Marketing Manager at Bendon in 1989 (she later became Director in 2005) and working at Tru-Test Ltd as a Marketing/Business Development Manager in 1992.

Her next job was with TV giant TVNZ, where she continued her marketing career. All this experience has meant her company has had opportunities to work with big-name clients such as Whitcoulls, Pumpkin Patch and the New Zealand Herald.

Her vast experience in Marketing and Management also helped her branch out into another of her hobbies: Sport.

A desire to be great in sports like her father but having “missed those genes” meant Shirley took a different approach, rather than being an athlete. This led to her becoming one of the youngest umpires to get their New Zealand badge. She then went on to umpire at several national tournaments.

She continued to succeed in the sporting world despite not being an athlete herself and became an elected board member for Netball New Zealand in 2009. Throughout her career she has also been Director and Chair of both the Auckland Diamonds and the Mystics, playing an integral part in establishing their franchises.

Her international management skills also come in handy, as she is the Director of Trans-Tasman Netball Ltd, the company responsible for running the ANZ Championships.

Her sporting interests span further than netball, however, as she is also the Director of Synchronised Swimming NZ Inc, a sport her daughter Eva is involved in on a competitive level.

The rest of her family includes her husband Terry and her other daughter Isabella who followed Shirley’s footsteps and became Head Girl at Tauranga Girls College.

Shirley has gone from strength to strength in her years since Matamata College but says that Matamata will always have a special place in her heart. She credits the town and college as creating “the desire and enjoyment of life and learning that will always be a part of me”.

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