Maybelle Galuvao

Maybelle Galuvao performed with the trio New Zealand Girl Group, Ma-V-Elle, who topped the New Zealand charts in the 1990s. Maybelle has performed with Tina Turner and Jimmy Barnes in her teens and she collaborated with members of Ma-V-Elle on two albums and produced her own album as a solo artist. She was a past contestant on The Voice (Australia) – Season 3.

Q: What year did you graduate from James Cook High?

A: I graduated from James Cook High School in 1996.

Q: What was your favourite subject in high school?

A: My two favourite subjects were English and Music.

Q: Who was your favourite teacher, and why?

A: My two favourite teachers were Mrs. Fraser, who taught English, and Miss Grainger, who taught Music.

Q: Do you have a favourite memory from your time at James Cook?

A: A lot of my favourite memories would have to do with my time in Music class with my friends, writing music together and honing our craft as musicians.

Q: What did you do after graduation?

A: After I completed high school, I along with two other students from James Cook signed a record deal with an independent record label called Festival Records. The year after graduation, we traveled around parts of Europe, the United States, Australia, and the Polynesian Islands, performing and recording our first album.

Q: What is your career now?

A: I am the lead singer of a Sydney-based Corporate band SoulNights, and a Well-Being Officer in two primary schools in western Sydney. My role as a Well-Being Officer works alongside targeted children with behavioural problems or on the spectrum. I also facilitate programs on building resilience, self-image and confidence (SPARC program) with primary school students transitioning into high school.

Q: Did your time at James Cook High put you on your career path?

A: Most definitely! Especially the Music Department. We had good facilities for rehearsal space, plenty of instruments such as acoustic guitars and keyboards). We also had vocal tutors and other instrument facilitators that would assist each of us in fine-tuning our skills. My experience there whetted my appetite for music in the future, and it has contributed to my motivation for remaining in the music entertainment industry today.

A: My only advice for James Cook High Students is remember that there is a wealth of successful people that have come out of James Cook High School because of the encouragement they received from the staff and environment:

  • Joe Rokocoko (All Blacks)
  • Joe Galuvao (NRL First-Grade)
  • AKA BROWN (Musical Artist)
  • Ma-V-Elle (Winners of NZ music Showcase)
  • Scott Dickson (Professional Racing Driver)

We have a great creative space in James Cook High that allows us to have the confidence and freedom to do anything we want in our career. One thing that never changes, regardless of what year you are there, is that hard work and focus are always instrumental. Good luck students!

If you’d like to share your story or recommend someone you know for our newsletter, website, or social media, please e-mail l.haist@jchs.school.nz with photos and more information.

Our students love seeing stories of alumni who inspire them to make a difference and are passionate about their work in their chosen careers. You too can have a positive influence!