Category Archives: Wellbeing

UC’s first Rainbow Hui

On Tuesday, 23rd October at 12:30pm in Undercroft 101 UC’s inaugural Rainbow Hui will be held. This will be a gathering of staff and students, rainbow and non-rainbow, from different colleges and areas. If you are involved with the rainbow community, or wish to know how to support your rainbow students, staff, and colleagues come along.

You need not bring anything but yourself. 

This is a chance for you to share and observe what has been happening across the university, interact with staff and students, and also plan for the future. 

Spring Clean Your Mind – Message from UC Chaplain Spanky Moore

“Hey, Kiaora everyone! My name is the Reverend Spanky Moore.

I am the Chaplain at the University of Canterbury.  Look, it’s spring time at my house, beautiful blue skies, isn’t it lovely.  Suns out.  Lemon tree fruiting. Gosh, everything feels so good right now.

Something I want to encourage you to do as you come into your first week of term four, end of semester, as you’re driving towards the end.  Is to do something I would call a spring clean of your mind.  You know sometimes we might do a spring clean of our house but often we don’t look at the thing that is closest to us, which is our mind, which has the most impact on how we’ll do in life. 

A while ago, I had in my car, this terrible stink that started to come out of my car.  I couldn’t work out where it was or what it was.   After searching my car i discovered, we had some Dubba Dubba, you know the Moroccan place down on Bush Inn corner.  We’d had some Dubba Dubba and I’d forgotten that I’d half eaten it and slid it under the seat of my car and when I got it out, it had sort of sweated in the plastic bag, and it was moldy and it had stunk out the whole car, but it was really really hard to find the stink.  It was kind of hidden away secretly.

I think that can be same with some of the ways that we think, we call it our self talk, or our mind traps.  Sometimes our brains get stuck in this loop and we start to think the worst of things.  We have a whole lot of self talk that isn’t based on reality.  Sometimes it’s based on our emotions, or just how we feel, our fears.

My challenge for you when you want to spring clean our mind is, You want to hunt down in your mind, where is there stinky thinking.  Stuff that isn’t true, it’s not serving you and in fact it is setting you up to fail.  

So, let me give you an example of something from my own life.  Sometimes, when I go and talk to strangers, I feel like they think that I’m lame, that I’m a loser and that they won’t like me but actually someone said, from now on Spanky, here is what you should say to yourself, say: “I’m going to assume that these people like me, until they prove otherwise”.  Does that make sense?

So, when I walk into a place, I assume that the people will like me and look, they can prove otherwise and I will accept that they don’t want to be my friend but other than that but other than that I am going to assume that they do like me.  That has actually set me up, so that when I go into rooms,  I’m actually much warmer, I’m less fear-filled, less anxious and you know what people actually like me more because of it. 

It’s the same with study, if you go into your exams saying “I’m dumb, I’m thick, I can’t do this”, it’s going to have that knock off consequence.

So, that’s my advice for you. It’s spring time, get into your mind, work out where is your stinky thinking and you’ve got to clean out the car.  Find out wherever that rotten takeaway’s are in your mind.  Get it out, you’ll be happier for it, you’ll be better with your studies, and you’ll actually like being with yourself.  Your mind has to be your friend.

Anyway, that’s my advice, have a great spring.

God Bless,


QCanterbury President Wins YMCA Youth Award

UC Student Hamish Johnston (BSC Graduate in computer science,  currently studying Grad Dip Teaching and Learning – Secondary) has received the Asia New Zealand Foundation Advocate for Inclusion and Diversity Award. Hamish is the president of QCanterbury.

Youth Voice Canterbury values inclusion and seeks to ensure that all young people are included in decision-making. This award seeks to acknowledge a youth participation group or young person who is advocating for inclusivity and diversity of under-represented groups by demonstrating a commitment to and/or promotion of inclusion and diversity within a group, community, project, or place.

Student Experience Advisor Rose Reynolds, who supported Hamish’s nomination for the award, said, “Hamish is such a deserving winner of this award. He has worked tirelessly over the past four years to advocate for better conditions on campus including provision of gender-neutral toilets, LGBTQIA+ safe spaces, inclusive events and broader visibility and understanding about rainbow communities, in particular gender diversity. This work is so crucial because it is well-documented that Rainbow Communities’ youth are at much greater risk of sexual assault, harassment, bullying, and 5 times greater risk of suicidal ideation. The Youth2012 survey of New Zealand high school students indicated as many as 10% of youth identify as ‘queer’ or ‘questioning’.”

Hamish is also the Vice President and Equity officer for CompSoc. In this role he attends multiple college meetings, working groups, and planning meetings. He provides a strong student voice to student well-being decisions, all within his own personal time. He is also a general executive member of both the campus Postgraduate Student Association, Feminist Society, and a student representative on the University of Canterbury Student Association Equity and Well-being Advisory Group.

With the breadth and depth of Hamish’s passions, he not only advocates for those causes that directly influence him but also those that impact every student. It isn’t just pushing for large change within the university, he also works with individuals supporting them when they need to raise an issue. He has sat through a number of situations, being someone’s support person, allowing them to tell their story, and know that someone will stand beside them.

If you want to be involved in supporting Rainbow Communities on campus please come along to the Rainbow Hui, 12.30pm Tuesday 23 October in Undercroft101. This will be a gathering of staff and students, rainbow and non-rainbow, from different colleges and areas. This is a chance for you to share and observe what has been happening across the university, interact with staff and students, and also plan for the future. If there is anything you personally would like to get out of this, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Hamish: