Colleen Toomey

1967 to 1971

Colleen is yet another successful ex-student of Matamata College.  She completed four years schooling before leaving for America as an (AFS) American Field Scholar.  Colleen spent a year in Wisconsin and keeps in regular contact with her AFS family.

On her return, she studied at Wellington Polytechnic School of Journalism.  Before long Colleen was overseas pursuing her career.  Her first job was as a reporter/editor of New Zealand News (UK) in London.  Other interesting reporting positions include:  Woman’s page editor, Stratford on Avon Herald, Financial Times reporter, Observer business reporter.

She has been a freelance feature writer for the Sunday Times newspaper and magazine, Daily Mirror, The Daily Mail’s You magazine, and Forbes magazine among other publications.

Colleen has spent 15 years at BBC Television as a documentary film director. Her BBC career has taken her to many countries including Brazil, the USA, France, Italy, Hong Kong, the former USSR, and later Russia.  She travels back to New Zealand annually as she and her husband have built a house on the Coromandel coast.

One notable achievement in her television career was winning the European Union Gold Nike Prize, valued at 10,000 euros, for a film she directed called ‘Women in Black.’

She has been involved for many years with organisations that include:

  • The Olivier Awards panel as a judge (London West End Theatres)
  • Council member of Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • Council member of the Women of the Year Award
  • Board member of England’s oldest drama school, LAMDA
  • Founding executive board member of Women in Film and Television (UK)

When asked “What Now” Colleen’s response:  “I Write.”

Colleen has one son who has just graduated from Cambridge University with a First Class Honours degree (PPIS) and will be working as an intern in Myanmar for the EU delegation’s political adviser for six months.  Colleen lives in London with her husband, Stephen, a Barrister.