Freemans Bay School, (FBS)  is governed by a Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees shall consist of between 8 and 10 people, namely:

  • the principal
  • the staff trustee
  • the Whānau Ata trustee
  • five trustees elected by parents
  • optionally, up to two trustees co-opted by the Board


The Board is responsible for the governance of FBS, setting the direction and meeting the relevant legal and statutory requirements.  This specifically includes the responsibility for implementing the Charter, setting and reviewing goals, implementing policies and assessing performance in relation to these. 

The Principal, as Chief Executive, is charged with the responsibility of achieving these objectives through effective day to day management of the school’s staff and resources.

For parents and families School Docs provides a comprehensive view of all the  school operational and policy documents.
Click on the link above and search for Freemans Bay School.

Board Meetings:

Board meetings are open meetings and are held twice a term.

  • Notification of each meeting is on the school  calendar.
  • Minutes of the Board meetings are available in the school office or on this page.
  • The Board keeps the parents informed through a Board newsletter.

Current Board:

These are the members on our Board of Trustees: 

Hamish Hopkinson - Chairperson

Kia Ora & Hello

My wife Jo and I have lived in Freemans Bay for 15 years. We love it here. Our son is Year 3 and our daughter will be starting school in 2020. I have previous governance experience, having served on several boards or reporting to them. I have been involved with education, sporting and environmentally focused organisations.

The importance of education and supporting your local school is something I really value. My mother was a teacher and my father was on school boards. Previously I was coordinating the Parent Group here at school. I did this to meet, engage and support other parents but to also help build the parent community inside the school – something that is important to me.

I continue to be amazed with our school and enjoy very much contributing my little bit to help with the great job being undertaken by parents, teachers and all the staff in ensuring that our children grow into happy, prepared and smart teenagers.

It is an honour and a privilege to be on the Board.

Cindy Walsh - Principal

Principals are members of the Board of Trustees and what a pleasure it is for me to work with such a dedicated, committed and engaged group of Trustees that we have at Freemans Bay School.     

School board members have a very important role in making sure every child achieves their potential at school. 

Here are some of the things they do 

  • Work with the principal and consult with staff, students and the community
  • Set the educational goals and strategic direction of the school
  • Monitor progress and let parents know how the school is progressing against its annual targets and how well students are achieving
  • Decide how the school’s funding will be spent
  • Select the school’s principal and support the development of all staff
  • Oversee the management of staff, property, finances, curriculum and administration.

The trusting, collaborative and respectful relationships I have with the other Board of Trustee members ensures we make progress towards our overall goal of making sure every child at our school achieves their potential.   

If you are interested in becoming a Board of Trustees member in the future, I would be happy to talk to you about this.  

Jo Watson - Staff Trustee

I am an experienced teacher and the leader of our Year 1 and 2 classes.  I have been working at Freemans Bay School for 8 years and am passionate about student learning.  I am a Growth coach and have experience in communicating and working with a diverse staff and community. For the past 5 years I have also been the Visual Art leader which involves motivating staff, sharing ideas and organizing our annual art exhibition.  My other interests are teaching mathematics and writing.  Outside of school I spend time with friends, travelling, going to movies, cooking and dining out.

Carel Smith - Whānau Ata Trustee

Tēnā koutou,

He uri tēnei nō Te Aitanga ā-Māhaki, Ngā Ariki Kaiputahi, Ngāi Tūhoe hoki.

Ko Carel Smith tōku ingoa.

My 4 babies have all been part of Whānau Ata, our rūmaki reo pathway at Freeman’s Bay School. My eldest is now 12 at Kōwhai Intermediate, and my youngest is enjoying his first (official) year in Whānau Ata. I say “official” because he has been part of our Whānau Ata whānau since birth.

I hold a strong passion for education, in particular the education and achievement outcomes for Māori tauira (students) and their Whānau. I believe that where school and Whānau can build a strong relationship that provides the foundation of success for our tamariki. This relationship needs to connect at all levels and therefore at a Board level I am an advocate for meaningful partnerships with our Whānau, community, hapū and iwi that demonstrates an equal partnership contributing to brighter futures for our tamariki.

Our dual curriculum makes us a unique school within the inner city of Auckland, and I see this as our point of difference when people enquire about our school. My vision is to see both pathways flourishing, and exemplifying true treaty partnership within an education setting.

Eva Silverstone - Parent Trustee

I have been on the Board of Trustees since December 2017 and grateful for the trust put in me by the parents at school to represent them and work in the best interest of their children.

My oldest daughter Mia started at Freemans Bay School in 2012 and has enjoyed being a student at this school. She is now in year 7 at ACG Parnell College. My daughter Alexa is in year 4 in Whanau Puna and my son Felix is in year 1 in Whanau Rau Rua.

Born and raised in Germany, I met my husband here in Auckland while studying for a German Law degree. I am a qualified lawyer, but after my move to New Zealand in 2006, decided to focus on volunteer work while raising my three children. I have made many strong connections with many families during my 10 years as local Plunket volunteer in charge of coffee groups, fundraising and writing monthly newsletters. Being part of the community and giving back has been a driving force for me and I very much enjoy being a weekly parent helper throughout the school, which I started about 3 years ago, an active member in the parent group, and parent representative on the Board of Trustees.

I have also recently started as exam reader/writer and exam supervisor at ACG Parnell College and value the opportunity to experience education in New Zealand from year 1 to 13.

Last year I joined the Freemans Bay Parent Group and have since been involved in organising and running Let’s Celebrate, Dine around the World, Fabulous Fridays and the Friday Café.

I am passionate about meeting other parents and families, connecting and engaging with the community and I am excited that my roles at school provide me with opportunities to get to know and support the students and their families at Freemans Bay School.

Weibo Li (Bob) - Parent Trustee

It is an honour and a privilege to be elected to serve our community on our school board. Our wider school community has an extraordinary cultural diversity. I am so proud that our children grow up in such a colourful community.

Student achievement is the first priority for me. I care for children who lack interests and motivation in school learning as I believe all our children will thrive with a little guidance and help.

I also care for school staff’s wellbeing. They are the gardeners spending time nurturing and trimming our little trees and flowers (our children).

I believe a proactive loop of communication is the key for implementation of our wonderful school curriculum and I can’t wait to work with our parents and children, our teachers and and staff and our wonderful board in the coming years


Jess Walker - Parent Trustee

Paimaarire ki a tātou katoa.
He uri ahau nō Waikato – Maniapoto, Te Aupouri – I am a descendant from the Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto (King Country) and Te Aupouri (Northland) regions.

My whakapapa (genealogy) to this whenua (land) is best represented through my 3 beautiful children who all carry ancestral names from the areas of which we descend.

Rereahu & Wairere (Tau 4) are my twin boys along with their younger sister Te Aurere (Tau 2) who are all in Whānau Ata.

I love being a Māmā and will do anything to see my children succeed.

I am an educator – Taught at Western Springs College 2011-2019.  I currently work outside of the classroom providing PLD to teachers in various regions.

I am a fluent speaker of Te Reo Māori.  I love to do Kapa Haka.  I love to play sports.  I love to travel.  I love to eat.

I believe our tamariki are our greatest investments as they are the leaders of both today and the future and therefore am grateful for the opportunity to be a BOT representative. I will invest my knowledge of te ao Māori, te reo Māori and Education to help strengthen Freemans Bay Primary School – Waiatarau in any way possible.

David King - Parent Trustee

I am the proud father of Lily (Whanau Rau) and Angus (who will enrol in early 2021). I originally emigrated to NZ in 2007 from the UK with my now wife, Gabby.

I am passionate about improving educational outcomes, and have volunteered for the Springboard Trust since 2016, helping primary schools enhance strategic leadership capacity. Professionally, I am a partner in the Deal Advisory team at KPMG, where I works with companies and people dealing with challenging opportunities and issues. I am a Chartered Accountant, qualified from Auckland and Newcastle (UK) universities, and I completed the Future Auckland Leaders course in 2015.



Elections for the Board shall be conducted every 18 months to ensure continuity of board membership.  The ‘main’ election (ie: at the 3-yearly May/June date gazetted externally) will be for:

  • 3 parent-elected trustees (elected by all parents)
  • the staff trustee
  • the Whānau Ata trustee (elected at a Whānau hui)

The “mid-term” election (18 months after the ‘main’ election) will be for:

  • 2 parent-elected trustees (elected by all parents)


They can be contacted by emailing the Chairperson on