Interview and photograph by Florence Noble.

Volunteer Week Special: Westpac communications specialist Tayla Nalder tells us how she learned about being a true team player through volunteering at Auckland’s Special Olympics.

Are you from Auckland? 

I am from Auckland. I live out in Botany, Howick way.

How do you get to Britomart? 

Botany, Howick is not the best place for public transport so I drive to Panmure station and then train in from Panmure. There’s a real disconnect from Panmure onwards in terms of public transport. Or it’s 40 mins on the ferry from half moon bay.

What do you do here at Westpac? 

I’m in the internal communications team. We sit under the corporate communications and events area of the business, so I just focus on all of the internal communications that goes to our staff. So working on staff emails, the internet site and our social channel, so that our staff are all aware of what’s happening across the business. It’s mostly lots of writing!

What’s the best thing about working here? 

Probably the culture, I’d say it’s really good. I have a really good internal team. We’re all really supportive of each other. The bank has a really good culture with their staff. There are lots of initiatives that come out for our health and well-being. Giving us the one day a year of volunteering work, to go out in the community and help.

Who do you volunteer for? 

We volunteered for the Special Olympics. All of the special schools around central and east Auckland do a sports day, so last year we did the basketball game. And this year an athletics event.

Why did you choose this in particular? 

I did it last year, and it was such an amazing day I encouraged more people to do it this year. I think the thing that we were really humbled by was the sportsmanship of all the teams. They’re all so conscious of each other, and they all just had the most amazing team work. They are really conscious of not hogging the ball too much and giving everyone in the team a really fair chance to play.


The kids have a really good day and everyone’s really happy. It’s a really rewarding experience. After the basketball day, we got sent a calendar of all the events coming up over the next year so I went to do a Saturday morning athletics one as well because it was so awesome. Some of the same kids get to go to the same events so you get to see them again.

Where’s the best place to eat around here? 

Probably Amano because they have something for every time of day. A great toast deal in the mornings. And good coffee. Or fancy dinner.

What about a good spot for a drink after work? 

The Chamberlain and Talulah’s for a cocktail. And Seven is also great with a nice view.

What’s your idea of fun? 

I like to dance. I did dancing for fifteen years. I did jazz, ballet – I did pointe for a few years, but it’s quite harsh on your feet. And a little bit of hip hop, but I’m not very good at that!


I did competitions and I danced at Candy Lane for a bit, the dance studio. But it’s harder to find time now. I’ll just go to a class in the evening now and I love it.

If you could do any job in the world, what would you be? 

A dolphin trainer. I love dolphins so much. I swam with them in Hawaii. But maybe that’s a nicer idea than the reality of it. Maybe do communications for a big worldwide company like Disneyland or Google.

Whats your favourite thing to spend money on? 

Travel and experiences. And then clothes.

Have you got your eye on anything to buy at the moment? 

A winter coat. Ted Baker’s got amazing coats. I’d love to get one from there.

What’s something not many people know about you? 

I was an Anne Geddes baby. She’s a famous baby photographer. I was the waterlily baby. It was on Friends the TV show. The photo was on the wall and Joey talks about me with his flatmate. So that’s my claim to fame. Reached the peak of fame at six months old and didn’t quite pick up from there!