We first met Sarah in 2010 at Westpac when she was Digital Marketing Manager. Back then Big On Writing was a young business breaking away from the advertising model and creating a new niche in digital copywriting. Sarah was initially tasked with pulling together a content team to rewrite the Westpac website.
It was a huge challenge, but I noticed straight away she was willing to jump in and give things a go. She had guts - an inner confidence that I believe came from her schooling. Yet she achieves her objective collaboratively. She has a way of listening to everyone and yet, cleverly, managing to get the work approved in the face of all sorts of obstacles (me occasionally being one!)
Twelve years have passed since then and Sarah’s gone from being a client of Big On Writing to a freelancer, to finally joining us at BOW (what can I say – Ben and I are patient). In those 12 years, I have seen Sarah step up into larger and larger roles in her career.
She went on to steer Westpac Institutional Bank through a copy refresh and worked for their Corp Comms team. Then during the Covid pandemic, she helped to lead the content refresh – over 500 pages – for the Westpac website. She’s worked with many of our clients including big jobs for Zespri, Westpac Business Base, Hato Hone St John, Sotheby’s NZ Real Estate, and REINZ (Real Estate Inst).
Partway through this career trajectory, Sarah achieved first-class honours in her Masters in Screenwriting at Auckland Uni, and a well-known actor caught her eye, Will Hall, from Shortland St. I warned her then, “You know your kids will all be gingas and you’ll have to play dress-ups all the time.” But no, she was in love (and she'd seen Will in a jockey ad).
Her two young boys were indeed born as redheads. And indeed I have seen her dressed up as Princess Leia, an old hag in hair rollers and Pamela Anderson as a vampire!
This is the thing that strikes me the most about St Cuths old girls. They aren't just excellent career woman but they are incredibly well rounded. In motherhood, Sarah's calm management skills came to the fore – although the time Jed took his pocket-knife to grandad's antique table called for all her PR and crisis management skills!
Not a lot of people know this but Sarah’s two children also both had serious major surgery in their first two years. I was listening to Will do a speech for Cure Kids and I’m not kidding you could hear a pin drop when he told of their medical journey. But Sarah and Will are strong. They endure. Cheerfully and with compassion.
Nothing seems to faze Sarah no matter how she juggles being a mum and a working woman. We love it when Will has takes over as 'Daddy Daycare' as we all want to clone Sarah for our jobs, aye Michelle and Adi!
I've never seen Sarah raise her voice or lose her rag. She is far too polite for that and has built up integrity and commitment. I sit in meetings and listen to Sarah and think yes, you’re first class.
And she is, first class St Cuthbert’s College. So much so that she was the natural choice for writing some articles in the school mag (distributed to thousands of old girls – it’s a strong network), a Metro piece about empowering young women for the future and some speech writing for Suzanne Joyce, who is the Advancement Lead for the college.
But the best advertisement for St Cuths, in my opinion, is Sarah Davies herself who embodies all their values. (Her parents may have been a good influence too.) As for Will, hmm...all those generations of straight blonde hair gone in a moment of lust. Sigh.