Tag Archives: Student Volunteer Army

UC unveils sculpture, dedicates pathway on quake anniversary

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On the seventh anniversary of the 22 February earthquake, the University of Canterbury dedicated the Unicycle pathway along University Drive as a commemorative pathway to acknowledge the courage and contribution of the University community, and the losses and injuries sustained by students, staff, alumni and friends of the University in the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

As part of this dedication, a specially commissioned sculpture, Roimata, was unveiled at the Clyde Road end of the Unicycle pathway. It has been designed for UC by Māori artist Riki Manuel.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the UC Student Volunteer Army was an example of extraordinary generosity.

SVA founder Sam Johnson and former UCSA President Erin Jackson also spoke at the event. Sam said he was often asked if there would be an SVA without the earthquakes and mentioned the thousands of primary school children who took part in SVA voluntary work across New Zealand last year. He praised the ongoing momentum and strength of the current SVA and noted that the SVA is now the largest student club at the University of Canterbury.

The sculpture Roimata tells a story of remembrance, and depicts a community ritual that has emerged from a tragedy that is now an inherent part of the heritage of Christchurch. The sculpture depicts a koru facing down, as it represents a life taken before fully grown. The undulating surface is rippled, to represent the river Ōtākaro Avon, and a scattering of brass roses, cherry blossoms and daffodils on top represent the flowers that the people of Ōtautahi Christchurch throw into the river each year on 22 February, in remembrance.

After the unveiling UC staff, students and guests were invited to throw flowers onto the river to flow into the city in time for the formal remembrance service at the National Earthquake Memorial in central Christchurch.

Read Rev. Josh (Spanky) Moore’s prayer>

Be proud of this special place says Mayor>

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>