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Where are They Now: Former Salmond Student - Hilary Halba Shares Her Story

I was a Salmond resident in 1980, and I continue to take a strong interest in Salmond College and its sibling college, Knox. I sit on the Foundation for Knox College and Salmond College, and have also been a member of the Colleges’ Board, and previously Commission.


Hilary Halba playing Sarah Churchill in the Court Theatre (Christchurch) season of Winston’s Birthday by Paul Baker, directed by Lara Macgregor. Photo by Lara Macgregor.
Hilary Halba playing Sarah Churchill in the Court Theatre (Christchurch) season of Winston’s Birthday by Paul Baker, directed by Lara Macgregor. Photo by Lara Macgregor.

Although over forty years have elapsed since I lived at Salmond, I still recall many things about life at that lovely college: morning walks through the Botanical Gardens to uni (we called it ‘varsity’ then), escapades to Knox (something to do with a bath?) dressing up in makeshift costumes for an array of social events, being part of the ‘Knox Farce’ in the Capping Show, creative lunch creations in the common room on our floor, and ­–­ of course – the friendships with fellow students from all over Aotearoa.


Hilary Halba in “The Dangerous Wife” by Richard Huber, Fortune Studio, Dunedin
Hilary Halba in “The Dangerous Wife” by Richard Huber, Fortune Studio, Dunedin

Since my time at Salmond, I have worked as an actor and theatre-maker with over thirty years of professional experience in the creative industries in Aotearoa, as well as in Europe and the USA. I studied acting and the teaching of acting at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. I also worked extensively at the former Fortune Theatre in Dunedin, playing more than twenty roles. In my ‘other life’, I am an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies in Te Kāhui Tau/the School of Performing Arts at the University of Otago. I feel privileged to work with students who are passionate about the performing arts, and who seek to make a difference in the future of Aotearoa and beyond. It’s always lovely to meet a current student who lives at Salmond, knowing what a rich residential experience they’ll be having at that wonderful college.


Hilary Halba playing Ruth in Calendar Girls at the Fortune Theatre, Dunedin
Hilary Halba playing Ruth in Calendar Girls at the Fortune Theatre, Dunedin

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