An interview with Norwich High School for Girls alumna Val Sarah, AM, CJSJ

Posted on 12th December 2023

In September, alumna Val Sarah made a very generous donation of dyslexia friendly books to be used in our Library.

We have recently had the pleasure of being in contact with one of our Alumna, Val Sarah. Val was at Norwich High School for Girls from 1948 through to 1958 and very much enjoyed her time here.

A generous donation

In September Val made a very generous donation to the High School to be used in our Library. Miss Katie Smith, our Librarian, was delighted to be able to have the opportunity to expand our range of dyslexia friendly books which will benefit many students across the school.

A career in TV in both East Anglia and Australia

After attending Norwich High School, Val won a scholarship to the Whitehall Secretarial College in Eastbourne.

She later went on to have a career in producing and presenting for TV both in East Anglia and in Australia where she now lives. Among her many achievements in this field she was the first woman announcer for Anglia Television and for BTV6 in Ballarat Australia. She worked alongside her husband in the fashion trade and the travel industry before finally working as a community liaison for child and family services.

Alongside working with for many community groups and organisations Val has been a member of Zonta International for 45 years, an organisation that stands for women’s rights.

“It has been a privilege to serve a wide variety of community groups and organisations, locally, nationally and internationally, which is a strong reflection of the spirit of giving instilled in us at Norwich High School. For that I will be eternally grateful, as it has enriched my life through friendships made and knowledge gained.”

Val Sarah AM, CJSJ, Norwich High School for Girls Alumna

An interview with Val

We asked Val a few questions about her time and experiences at school.

Q. What subjects did you enjoy? What interests did you develop through your time at Norwich High School for Girls?

“I particularly enjoyed Art and Languages, and having the opportunity to study Greek. I was involved in music, choir, sport, social justice activities and joined a small art group led by Miss Ogden spending time in the South of France, centred around the Palais des Papes in Avignon, with a memorable performance of scenes from Macbeth in the crypt!”

Q. What was it like attending a girls school?

“It was all I knew, and suited me well, nothing to distract from study and extracurricular activities.”

Q. What opportunities stand out as being transformative for you?

“The opportunity to learn about civic matters, to participate in social justice programmes, to participate in inter-school activities and the opportunity for group-travel overseas. Focus on external communities afforded a broader outlook and expectations in life. I was privileged to serve as Head Girl and Vice School Games Captain and gained an understanding of the responsibilities which go with such privileges.”

Q. What did your education at Norwich High School teach you?

“Independence of thought, self-sufficiency, tolerance for ‘otherness’ in all its forms, basic decency and honesty and respect for others in all circumstances.”

Giving to Norwich High

If you are interested in giving to the school through a regular donation, one off or even a legacy gift then please contact Norwich High School for Girls Development Officer Elli Mitchelson via

  • AM, Member of the Order of Australia, honoured for service to women internationally, and to the community through a range of cultural, social welfare and youth groups.
  • Dame, Commander of Justice in the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, Australasia, the oldest International Order of Christian Chivalry dating back to the year 1048.