Tag Archives: UC Connect

UC Connect – Black Flu: the 1918 New Zealand influenza pandemic

A century on, the lessons of the 1918 influenza pandemic could help New Zealand plan for a future pandemic, according to Canterbury historian Dr Geoffrey Rice.

The risk of another major influenza pandemic is even greater now, thanks to international jet travel.


Video – Rob Fyfe: dare to be different

Rob Fyfe

You can now view  Icebreaker chief executive and University of Canterbury alumni and honorary doctorate recipient Rob Fyfe share his experience leading three very different companies over the last 15 years, his unique approach to change, his successes and failures, and his perspective on risk taking.

This video is from the UC Connect lecture Dare to be Different on Friday 23 September. Watch it now.

One of New Zealand’s most influential business leaders, Rob has had a varied business career over the last 40 years, both in New Zealand and internationally.  Born and raised in Christchurch, Rob left Burnside High School to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force and complete an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Canterbury.

You can see more UC Connect videos here.

EQ f***ing C’ – A Revenge Comedy in the making

In this upcoming UC Connect public lecture, University of Canterbury academic, playwright and director Dr Christina Stachurski will discuss the process of researching, planning and writing a comedy especially for (and of) our city.

“For a play to work, its main character has to have a problem to solve, a goal to achieve, or a mission to accomplish.  After the earthquakes, Christchurch people had a simple goal – to get their houses fixed or rebuilt. Yet bureaucratic bungling, shysters and dodgy agendas created a widespread living nightmare,” Dr Stachurski says.

“Reputable studies show that laughter improves mental health.  An international expert, John Vorhaus, tells us that good comedy is based on the truth and pain of the audience’s shared experience.  In that case, post-earthquake Christchurch has to be prime material for a play to make you scream with laughter and feel a lot better afterwards.”


An award-winning playwright and theatre director, Dr Stachurski researches and teaches Drama and Creative Writing in UC’s English Department. Her first play, Hot Stuff, won the Aoraki Festival Play Writing Award in 1996. Her second play, Domestic Blitz, was selected for the Adam Play Reading Series at Downstage Theatre (2004), followed by SKOOL! for the Aotearoa Playwrights’ Conference (2006), and Pitcairn for Auckland Theatre Company’s The Next Stage in 2013.

After growing up in a rugby-mad small town in Taranaki, Christina Stachurski experienced culture-shock amongst the polite middle classes at the University of Canterbury.  This experience started her thinking about novels and plays as social and cultural guidebooks as much as stories.  Later, she completed MA and PhD degrees exploring ethnicity, gender, sex and violence in New Zealand literature. Her book, Reading Pakeha (Rodopi 2004), was published in New York and Amsterdam.

UC Connect public lecture: ‘EQ f***ing C’ A Revenge Comedy in the making, 7pm on 14 September at the University of Canterbury, Central Theatre Block.