Hero photograph
Tessa Williamson loving the outdoors, a passion that started at Year 10 Camp.
Photo by Andrew Jones

Outdoors and loving it

Andrew Jones —

Former Colin House Leader Tessa Williamson always had a passion for the outdoors. The spark that ignited at Roncalli has led her to a career sharing this love with the world.

Tessa was always a self driven and reliable student. With a ready smile, challenges were taken in her stride and she followed her passion for Outdoor Education right through until the end of Year 13. In this final year she excelled in the more leadership focused OED programme and understood clearly that it is not the places that you go to that are important, it is the people that go there with you.

Tessa's passion for New Zealand's great outdoors was really lit by her fantastic experience in Year 10 at the Boyle River Lodge. An integral part of becoming a Roncallian, Year 10 Camp gave her the understanding how venturing into the wilderness and accepting challenge by choice led to strong positive relationships. It was something she wanted more of.

Choosing Outdoor Education as a subject from NCEA Level 1 through to Level 3, Tessa realised that the subject is not just about the skills and knowledge to safely experience and venture into outdoor pursuits. Outdoor Education gives the students a wealth of transferable skills that extrapolate outwards in terms of working collaboratively, being clam under pressure, assessing and calculating risk, the importance of planning effectively and lessons and skills of leadership.

With this wealth of confidence and experience, Tessa left Roncalli and has hit the slopes in Canada and Japan returning to be a resident ski instructor with Cardrona in Wanaka, her qualification coming whilst she was at Roncalli through the Gateway programme and Mrs Mehrtens. After exhausting winters in the playground of the south, Tessa unwinds in the summers as a tramping guide. She is truly living her dream.