Tag Archives: Student Volunteer Army

Join the 2018 SVA Exec

Jane Goodall visits Christchurch and gives a presentation at a Sumner school to school children and talks with members of the SVA Student Volunteer Army, 30.6.17 Photography by Paul Daly.

Jane Goodall speaking with members of the SVA Student Volunteer Army on her visit to Christchurch.

In 2015, in my third year at UC, I joined the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) Exec team as a Platoon Leader. I’ve now been on the Exec for 3 years and am currently Vice President of the Club.

Being part of the SVA Exec has been a highlight of my time at UC. As an Exec team of 25 with over 2000 volunteer members, we are the largest club on campus. There are so many awesome opportunities I’ve been able to take part in through my involvement with the SVA.

I’ve learnt different skills through each of the positions I’ve held on the Exec – like organising events, taking accurate meeting minutes and overseeing the operation of the Club. The SVA offers a variety of ways to develop your skills and leadership experience, with leadership seminars, paid trips to conferences such as Festival for the Future and Aspiring Leaders Forum and free courses such as first aid and media training. Other highlights of my time on the Exec have been meeting HRH Prince Harry and hosting a talk with Dr Jane Goodall. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to get outside the ‘Ilam bubble’ and work in different parts of the city, meeting members of the Christchurch community – who are always incredibly appreciative of the work we do.

Most importantly, over the last three years I’ve got to meet and work alongside an awesome team of people. Together we’ve worked on projects that have been fun and rewarding for students but also made a real impact in the community.

I’d highly recommend applying for the SVA Executive team for 2018. The process is easy – all you need is a short CV and cover letter outlining the position you are applying for and why. Applications close Friday 1 September – don’t miss out!

Find more information here>

Written by Isabelle Smith, Student Volunteer Army – Vice President

SVA Connect the Community


The Student Volunteer Army (SVA) is heading to Linwood Park for the City Care Connect the Community event on Saturday 29 July.

This Connect the Community event will be bigger and better than ever. We are looking for 300 student volunteers to help give some TLC back to the Linwood Community. We’ve got heaps of great volunteering activities planned at the park including painting, planting, and projects around the school. As always, our volunteers will get free transport to and from the event and we’ll finish off the event with a free community bbq set up in the central hub at Linwood Avenue School.

Find out more and sign up here>

Meeting Dr Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall visits Christchurch and gives a presentation at a Sumner school to school children and talks with members of the SVA Student Volunteer Army, 30.6.17 Photography by Paul Daly.

Student Volunteer Army (SVA) executive with Dr Jane Goodall during her visit to Christchurch.

Most 83 year olds have done a fair bit of living, having survived the Second World War, the Cold War and now the war on terror. They’ve experienced an unparalleled explosion in connectivity through invention of the world wide web and the advent of the information age, but few could lay claim to a life so full of living, that it rivals the extraordinary journey of Dr Jane Goodall.

The Student Volunteer Army (SVA) executive, members of our high school programme from Cashmere and St Andrew’s Colleges, along with students from Sumner school, were lucky enough to meet Dr Goodall recently and talk with her about a range of issues, from animal rights activism and climate change, to a society struggling to deal with apathetic youth, and what these issues may mean for our future.

In 1960, at just 26 years old, Dr Goodall set up a study of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream Tanzania, that has continued for over 55-years and seen her become not only the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, but an ardent campaigner for conservation efforts and increasingly a voice for social change. Meeting Dr Goodall was a remarkable experience, as she shared with us her stories from Gombe Stream and also her thoughts about the future.

There were several points made by Dr Goodall that really resonated with me and many of those present. The first being of the vital need to swiftly and decisively change the way we treat our planet, its animals and its people. Dr Goodall used the quote “we have not inherited the plant from our ancestors, we’ve borrowed it from our children”, she then went on to say she believes this is wrong and instead, “we’ve stolen it from them, and we’re still stealing”. For the young people in the audience it was hard not to reflect on some of the political, economic and social decisions made in the decades before and since our birth, and how these decisions might impact our future, had we been stolen from?

Her fight against apathetic youth was the second key message that really struck a chord with the audience, mentioning numerous times that “the greatest danger to our future is apathy”. Dr Goodall, at 83 years old, spends roughly 300 days a year travelling the world promoting the idea to young people of how absolutely critical it is that they engage and participate. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear these words from Dr Goodall herself and to share in some of the wisdom that a life so well lived can bring.

SVA President – Jared McMahon