Sarah Olson

CAREERS CORNER

Former WHS students contributing to the international community:

Sarah Olson                         

Profession: Neurosurgeon

Attended Westland High School: 1983 – 1989

Vocational Pathway:

Sarah is a fifth generation West Coaster, attending Hokitika Primary and Westland High School.

She always had a strong interest in mathematics, science and music and knew at a very young age she wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Sarah saw it as the hardest thing in medicine to do and she wanted to see if she could do it!

After Otago Medical School, Sarah moved to Townsville, worked in outback towns and then started on neurosurgery training. The first exam had a 17% pass rate and then she commenced 100-hour weeks in training. Any extra time was spent studying.  Sarah was posted to Auckland then Brisbane then Melbourne. Finally, she finished some extra training in Toronto Canada. Her husband is a doctor too and they, with their three children, are now settled in Brisbane but Hokitika is always home! Sarah plays the piano, and is currently finishing her Diploma in Classical Piano which Hokitika music teacher, Jessica McMillan, started her on many years ago!

Sarah’s impressive CV includes:

  • a neurosurgeon at three hospitals
  • Vice President of the neurosurgery society of Australasia
  • Surgical Education and training board member for Australasia 
  • Previous director of neurosurgery Princess Alexandra Hospital

And chair Neurosurgery society of Queensland 

  • Chair of the multidisciplinary brain tumour clinic 
  • Member of the gamma knife and deep brain stimulation

clinical delivery team princess Alexandra hospital 

  • Bio banking project team member 
  • Adjunct research Diamantina institute
  • Winner Peter leech prize in neurosurgery
  • Winner marshal prize in surgical training 
  • Pride of Australia 2016 finalist 

Upcoming events

Thursday 27 Sep

Te Hui Ahurei O nga kura o te Tai Poutini kapa haka festival is the West Coasts annual kapa haka festival. Sch... [Read more]

Wednesday 19 Sep

This years Westland High School musical, Bye Bye Birdie is set in 1958, about fictional pop sensation Conrad B... [Read more]

Monday 17 Sep

Koru games take place in Lincoln from 17th September to 20th September. Information for those students partici... [Read more]

Friday 14 Sep

  Introducing forty eight hours of working bee madness – say hello to The Great 48! A unique event ... [Read more]

Monday 10 Sep

10th – 14th September. Students make their first choice course selections for next year, interviews take... [Read more]
All events

School news

  • 23 Jul

    New Website for Westland High School

    After a lot of hard work and content preparation, we are delighted to make our new website live for Term 3 2018.

  • 12 May

    Hospitality – Lions Dinner Catering

    Tarm Tumahai and Hannah Kelsen, two of our Level 2 Hospitality students, volunteered to serve the meal at this...

    [Read more]
  • 11 May

    Students from France arrive

    Westland High School welcomes six students from France for nine weeks this term.

  • 11 May

    Bake Sale – Blue Penguin Trust

    This trimester, Mrs Cunningham’s year 7/8 class has been studying sustainability in social studies class...

    [Read more]
  • 08 May

    Year 13 Career Trip

    On the 10-11th of May a group of year 13’s, accompanied by the French Exchange Students, went to Christchurc...

    [Read more]
All news