Stephen Gillingham

Stephen GillinghamStephen has travelled to most parts of the globe over the past 30 years. From Vietnam to Cuba and all parts in between. Stephens travels have reinforced for him the huge learning opportunities that present themselves in the many diverse lands, rich in culture, language and history.

Defining Moments was established out of Stephen’s aspiration to allow senior secondary students the chance to learn parts of the curriculum in a global setting.

Specialising in travel programmes for Social Sciences and Languages, Defining Moments is structured in such a way that it ensures teachers are well supported throughout the entire tour organisation process.

Having had 3 of his own children undertake one of the many Defining Moments tours he is even more of an advocate for parents allowing their children the opportunity to travel with their peers on what is a life changing journey.

 

Amber Healeyimg_0671

With a secondary teaching background and a passion for travel, Amber is perfectly placed to understand the pressures and commitments of a teacher organising a tour. Having personally led five international school tours through Europe and America and lived and travelled extensively around the globe, Amber’s knowledge of the details of her tours set her apart.

She understands firsthand the benefits students gain from these tours and is passionate about helping as many students to experience these as possible. With an eye for detail, Amber works closely with the teacher to create an itinerary that will leave a lasting, inspirational and educational memory.

One of Amber’s most memorable school trips as a teacher was taking a group of 53 Science students to Florida, USA. She was impressed with the educational value and variety of experiences that the Kennedy Space Center was able to offer students. A delay in flight schedules meant missing the planned satellite launch, but lunch with a decorated NASA Flight Commander was an absolute highlight. The incredible cultural and social elements including theme parks, airboating through the everglades and spotting manatee made it an unforgettable trip.

Amber comes to Defining Moments with a double degree from Otago University in Education and Physical Education and a number of years teaching experience both in New Zealand and abroad. On returning to NZ, she made the decision to share her passion for travel and to encourage students to get out there and see the world. In her work as a school travel agent, she accompanied Northcote College on their inspiring trip to South Africa. A group of 92 travellers, who spent two weeks touring a country with beauty to rival our own. When reflecting on this trip, she feels one of the most rewarding experiences was a visit to a local orphanage and the opportunity to spend time with the students there (see photo). A reminder  that sometimes it takes some time away from NZ to truly realise the fantastic opportunities we have here.

 

Kristy WhitakerKristy Whitaker

There are not many parts of our planet that Kristy has not ventured upon, so she is ideally suited to work alongside history, geography, classics and tourism teachers to ensure that their journeys are everything they imagined and more.

Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and Vietnam are a couple of her favourite destinations but having just returned from her second visit to Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest it has reinforced for her that there are so many other favourites as well.

Kristy holds a Degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, and has a passion for adventure. Her ability to call on her personal travel experience ensures she creates the very best itineraries as they relate to the curriculum. Being a dedicated resource for Social Science groups is what teachers appreciate the most, and it gives them confidence and peace of mind to know that everything has been taken care of, right down to the last details.

 

Arden Hermansimg_7021-russia

Raised in the South of Holland, Arden was born with the travel bug, packing her suitcase when she was 3 and announcing to her
parents she was 18 and going to travel. That is just what Arden did when she actually turned 18. After having moved to New Zealand at the age of 11 with her family, she went to live in Spain as an Au Pair at 18, learning the Language and Culture for a year. She travelled through Europe extensively before returning to NZ to settle back here.

She speaks fluent Dutch, Limburgs and English, with a bit of Spanish and German in the mix. She’s enthusiastic about learning the history of every country she visits and discovering hidden gems to make other peoples travel experiences unique.

Having travelled away with student and teacher groups she knows just how to look after you and your school from start to finish, whether it be guiding you through board approval or supporting the time leading up to your tour departure.

Some of the countries she’s visited include the USA, Russia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, France, Czech Republic and Germany.

Alysha MacInnesAlysha

Starting her travels early, Alysha was one of the very first students to go on a Defining Moments tour to Vietnam. Ten years later, she still looks back on this educational tour as one of the highlights of her life.

In her own words “It gave me my true inspiration towards travel as a career and opened my eyes to see that the world is such a big place and any chance you get to experience and understand it, you should’.

Vietnam was just the beginning of Alysha’s travel experiences having since lived and travelled to various states in Australia, America, Japan and the Pacific islands. Cambodia and Argentina are next on her list.

She holds a Diploma of Hospitality Management & Higher Diploma of Hospitality Management, International College of Management Sydney in association with César Ritz College, Switzerland. With her love of travel and history, along with her personal experience as a student, Alysha is a great advocate for future students and teachers who are looking to embark on an educational tour.