St. Joseph's School School Otahuhu


Previous Visitors

Alan Duff visits us!


We were very fortunate recently to have a visit from Alan Duffy, the founder of the "Duffy Books in Homes Programme"  Alan's talk was an inspiration as he told us about his life journeys.  Read what some of our senior girls had to say!


 An Inspirational Man

Alan Duff reminds me of my dad, a man of his word, who encourages me to stand up for myself and not to take the negatives that people throw at me. Like my dad, he inspires me to read, because that is what got him through 13 years of torture and got him to where he is today, a successful writer, traveller a philanthropist, but most of all, a loving, inspiring father and husband.

There are two quotes that sum up what Alan said, "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade", this is saying when you are faced with difficult challenges you work with or around them. The second is "Life is not handed to us on a silver platter," which means life is not easy, but we carry on anyway because the harder we work the more we will achieve.

Alan has made me change my thoughts about the world. There are people out there who need our help or who have gone through the same situation as Alan. We take our loving family for granted, when there are people who don't have a loving and nurturing family like I do. It's made me realise that we need to be there for others in this situation and appreciate all that is given to us during our lives.

Written By Madison            


  How to read and to choose the right books.

 Alan Duff is an author of 13 books. Alan inspired me with a few things I want to talk about. He encouraged me to read more. Alan said that your vocabulary can improve through reading and writing.

 One of Alan's tips on how to read is to choose the book you're really interested in. If you think a book is too hard to read then choose a slightly easier book. Choosing the right book for your level is important because choosing difficult books to read is not going to make you improve your level because you won't be able to understand what you're reading, in fact you will become more confused.

 Thank you Alan for teaching me new tips on how to read. You've inspired me a lot. Hope to see you visitus again some time. Thank You                                     Written by Selina



Thank you Alan

Alan Duff has taught me to not always settle for 2nd place, when you can step up and go for first place. I learnt this when he asked everyone if they had a question for him, and one of my friends' Jasmine, was the only one to raise their hand. I find this very encouraging, and I think it means to take risks and be more out there. I think this is what it means, because I guess I need to take more risks and not be cooped up in front of the computer all weekend reading Percy Jackson fan fiction. So even if this just came from the first person raising their hand, it gave me inspiration.

During Alan's speech he kept saying not to let anyone push you around. Now this one I've been thinking about a lot, because sometimes I feel like a big push over around my friends and just laugh along pretending I wasn't totally embarrassed. Alan also said if you have the right words, you can stand up for yourself and not let anyone push you around.

Before Alan Duff came to our school I didn't even know he was real, but when he came he brought his whole life story with him which included a lot of violence, he was surrounded by an inordinate amount of negative and bad influences when he was growing up.  I can't really relate to that, because my parents are more positive than negative, but then I think, it's not all about me and that there are plenty of children with lots of violence in their lives and lack of education. That's why Alan created Duffy books in Schools, so that kids with problems like he faced, can get an education. Alan you are a true inspiration to us all.     

Contributed by Angel


  The Secret to Success


Alan Duff was a very motivating speaker. Reading has always been one of my hobbies, but after Alan's motivating talk, I feel like I can become a motivational speaker myself, because even if life is difficult, reading and writing will always be the key to success in life.

Alan is a real inspiration for children, to teach them about persevering and never giving up. We shouldn't be passive and let others push us around. We've all got a right to stand up for ourselves.

Alan Duff taught me to be grateful and I will always know that I can believe in myself when others don't. I can strive to do my best. I can make my dreams become a reality.

Written by Brianna


Thanks Alan Duff

 On Tuesday afternoon, we had a visitor named Alan Duff. He talked and motivated us to make the right choices in life. During the talk, I was inspired by him because he taught me to follow my hopes and desires in the future and to work hard to achieve them.

 One of the things that I learnt, is to immerse myself in a positive environment, make friends who help me do the right things and don't cause me any trouble. I also learnt that it's not only me who needs to read books, but to encourage other people to read as well. When I walked out of that room, it gave me a silent wake up call to make my life the best of both worlds (work hard and have fun!) and it's not too late to do it.





Duffy Assembly 1st April 2014


On 1st April we welcomed Tony Williams to St Joseph's.  Tony is a writer of both adult and childrens literature.  As a sports writer and journalist his topics range from New Zealand's most notorious criminals to Sporting Heroes.


 We are extremely luck to be a part of the Duffy Books in Homes Programme and love receiving our free books.