Tag Archives: UC alumni

It’s UC’s birth-week, let’s celebrate our legend Dame Margaret Mahy

This Tuesday 16 June marked 147 years of UC history. To celebrate our Foundation Day, we’re spending this week reflecting on the triumphs of some of our legends.

New Zealand’s most celebrated children’s author of more than 120 titles.

After graduating from Canterbury University College in 1955, Margaret published her early stories in the NZ Department of Education School Journal.

Her first book, A Lion in the Meadow, was published in 1969 while working as a Librarian in the Canterbury Public Library. She produced over 100 picture books, 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories. Many of her works won medals and awards, and have been translated into a host of languages around the world. Some of her best known books include:

  • A lion in the meadow (1969)
  • The Dragon of an ordinary family (1969)
  • The man whose mother was a pirate (1972)
  • The Haunting (1982)
  • The Changeover (1984)
  • The catalogue of the Universe (1985)
  • The Moon and Farmer McPhee (2010)

In 1993, she was appointed to the Order of New Zealand, the highest of the country’s honours, for her lasting contribution to children’s literature.

Interested to learn more? Check out the rest of our legends here>

It’s UC’s birth-week, let’s celebrate our legend Elsie Locke

This Tuesday 16 June marked 147 years of UC history. To celebrate our Foundation Day, we’re spending this week reflecting on the triumphs of some of our legends.

A woman well ahead of her time – a renowned activist in the peace and feminist movements in New Zealand.

A woman well ahead of her time, Elsie Locke was an ardent campaigner for birth control, women’s rights, nuclear disarmament, social justice and the environment long before these causes became popular.

A member of the Communist Party from 1932-1956, she came to the attention of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service at the same time as she raised her four children and fought vigorously to improve the world around her. Her essay Looking for Answers, which won the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award, describes these turbulent times.

She was a prolific writer, particularly of children’s books, and contributed to a great number of publications for schools including the New Zealand School Journal and a series of historical books that educated Aotearoa New Zealand children about their social history. She studied te reo Māori and incorporated biculturalism as a central feature in her writing long before it became fashionable.

In 1987, Elsie was awarded an Hon Doc Litt by UC for her remarkable contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand society, and the building that houses the English Department at the University is named for her.

Interested to learn more? Check out the rest of our legends here>

It’s UC’s birth-week, let’s celebrate our legend Anote Tong

This Tuesday 16 June marked 147 years of UC history. To celebrate our Foundation Day, we’re spending this week reflecting on the triumphs of some of our legends.

A climate warrior who pioneered the notion of migration with dignity to avoid the people of Kiribati becoming climate refugees.

Born in Tabuaeran, Line Islands, he served as President of Kiribati from 2003 until 2016 and is primarily known for his efforts to raise global awareness of the threat posed by climate change.

In 2014, Tong directed Kiribati’s purchase of 20 square kilometres of land in Fiji as a contingency refuge for his people, whose atoll nation rises a mere two metres above sea level and could well be submerged within a few decades. For this, he has been dubbed as a ‘climate warrior’, pioneering the notion of ‘migration with dignity’ to avoid the people of Kiribati becoming climate refugees.

His other environmental initiatives include calling for a global moratorium on the use of coal in 2015 and overseeing the creation of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area – the largest protected marine area in the world, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – PIPA.

He was awarded the 2015 Sunhak Peace Prize, the Leadership Award from the Hillary Institute of International Leadership, the Peter Benchley Ocean Award, the Order of Brilliant Jade by the President of Taiwan and the David B Stone Award by the New England Aquarium Foundation.

Interested to learn more? Check out the rest of our legends here>