Christine was born in England (the eldest of three children) and emigrated to New Zealand when she was five years old. Her family settled in Whangarei which is where Christine did her schooling. She and her sister spent many happy times riding their ponies during their teenage years.
Christine started working for the National Bank in Whangarei when she was 16 and she continued working for the National Bank most of her working life, while in NZ. She also worked at Te Puke, 11th Avenue and Tauranga branches until she retired in 2005.
She has always loved travelling and spent many years on working holidays overseas, including two terms as an assistant matron in a boys prep school in Devon and work in a hotel, village cafe and a pub. Her travels have taken her all over the world - from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and many places in between.
Christine is an avid tennis player, being involved at the Otumoetai Tennis Club since 1980, where she has been treasurer and club captain at different times. She enjoys keeping fit with cycling, walking and swimming. Upon her retirement she took up bridge, in the hope of keeping her brain active also. She is a St John volunteer, working as a Friend of the Emergency Department at Tauranga Hospital.
2015 Arts Award winner Anna Mahon and Acorn donor Christine Tustain.
In 2014 Acorn began making distributions from Christine's fund. Christine has established an annual award for further study in the performing arts, which is presented at the conclusion of the Tauranga Performing Arts Competitions held during the July school holidays. From 2015, there is also an annual award to assist an outstanding athlete towards development in international competition. This is awarded by Sport Bay of Plenty at their annual sports awards.
“I have always loved the performing arts and was brought up with classical music. I played the piano for many years, but alas, did not continue in later life. Whenever possible I attend music and dance performances in Tauranga, and I especially enjoy seeing young people performing. I know how difficult it can be for these youngsters to follow their dreams when it comes to performing arts – it is very expensive to train at the top level, and many people have to make huge sacrifices in order to fulfil their potential. It’s not easy to find the funding.
I would love to help some of these talented young people, so I have set up an endowment fund with the Acorn Foundation. They will look after my money, and each year will provide scholarships from my fund to reward the top performers at the Tauranga Performing Arts Competitions, so hopefully they can go on to an even bigger and better stage.”