Tag Archives: UC Sustainability Awards

UC Sustainability Champion: Meet Abby

This year, we’re proud to be profiling students and staff who we believe are contributing to the culture of sustainability at UC. We are running this campaign in the lead up to the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards, so get thinking about who you’ll be nominating this year! Nominations for the Awards are open from now until the 31 August (see our website for the nomination form and all the details).

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our next Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Abby – she’s a keen advocate for climate justice, one of our regular community garden volunteers, and is on the exec for two of our fave UCSA clubs: Digsoc and the Eco Clubs Network. You might also recognise her from the recent UC Me campaign, or perhaps one of her regular pieces in Canta.

Somehow, she’s doing all this while studying towards her BA in Philosophy and Te Re Māori – so make sure you check out the video below of Abby singing a beautiful waiata during last year’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori!

Tell us about yourself!

Kia ora koutou katoa! My name is Abby and I’m studying a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Te Reo Māori. I am passionate about eco-sustainability, languages, and music. A fun fact about me is that I am slightly obsessed with my dungaree collection – I own six pairs of dungarees and one pinafore, and am always on the hunt for more. I have also been teaching myself guitar for 3 years, and have aspirations of becoming a high school languages teacher in French and Te Reo Māori, as well as maybe English, Music and/or ESOL.

Abby in gardens


Tell us how you become involved with sustainability at UC.

I initially started studying a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Psychology (I’m now doing a BA in Philosophy, Te Reo Māori and French – but that’s another story) and I have always been passionate about the environment and advocating for climate justice. When I changed my study pathway I still wanted to keep myself involved in sustainable/eco/environmental pursuits and I started volunteering at the Waiutuutu Community Gardens on campus (previously Okeover Community Gardens). I started helping out there in June 2017 after I accidentally found myself at their end of term pizza party (homemade in a pizza oven onsite!) which was absolutely delicious/glorious, I might add.

Kim, Varvara, Andrew and Abby

What has been a sustainability project that has meant a lot to you?

An ongoing sustainability project has been the process of moving towards a more bilingual community garden at UC, which acknowledges te ao Māori and the relationship tāngata whenua have with their taiao (environment). This includes the new name/ingoa hou that was gifted by Kai Tahu kaumatua at the end of 2018: Te Ngaki o Waiutuutu, or in English, Waiutuutu Community Garden.

Waiutuutu is the historic/original Māori name for our Okeover Stream that runs through UC’s main campus. It translates to waters of reciprocity.

Abby leading a waiata as part of te Wiki o te Reo Māori / Māori Language Week 2018 in Waiutuutu Community Garden

Tell us about some other areas of your life at UC.

  • QCanterbury, Social Media Manager
  • DigSoc, Events ‘Wormlord’
  • CANTA Contributor
  • Thursdays in Black, General Exec
  • Eco Clubs Network, General Exec

 What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC?

End of year sustainability party

I helped to organise a pizza party last year at the gardens last year that had an amazing turn out. It was a little overwhelming to have fifty to eighty hungry university students, staff, and Ilam locals wander through our māra and feed them homemade oven fired pizza. We also had the smoothie bike up and running, and finished with pineapple sage tea and an outdoor movie screening of Occupy the Farm. I loved being able to share my favourite place on campus (and best kept secret) with new people.



Where to next for you?

I am finishing off my undergraduate degree, after which I intend to complete my Masters of Teaching (Secondary) to become a high school teacher in Te Reo Māori and French.


This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This blog is part of our Sustainability Champions Campaign, where we profile UC students and staff doing great things for sustainability. This is part of our wider communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

Join the Sustainability Awards Ceremony this Friday (23 Sept)

awards logoIt’s really important that we recognise and reward the efforts of students and staff in our UC community who are going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to sustainability. Hence the Fourth Annual UC Sustainability Awards ceremony, which is happening this week as part of UC Eco Week!

At the Sustainability Office, we’ve been amazed by the fantastic nominations we received for students, staff and the wider community.

Ranging from programmes to make use of office resources better, bringing students together around green actions, to sustainable building construction, and stepping out on the international stage with sustainability policy and research. The nominations tell a powerful collective story about how much we, as a university community, care about people and planet.

The awards ceremony takes place on:

When: Friday 23 September, 5.30-6.30pm
Where: Undercroft 101

It’s a great moment to celebrate the successes and efforts of some fantastic people, and all are welcome. We’d love to see you there.

For more information about the event, see here. For more background to the Sustainability Awards visit this link.Eco Week snippit 2The Sustainability Awards Ceremony is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.  Events still to come:

Thursday: Tiny House Tour. Booked out at the moment, but ring 03 364 2025 if you would like to be placed on the waiting list! 1.30pm–4 pm. Also: Cowspiracy screening (by VCUC), Kirkwood Village 6pm-8pm
Friday: Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Undercroft 101, 5.30pm-6.30pm
Saturday: Sustaina-ball. Bentley’s, 7.30pm – late. Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz


Today: Eco Week 2016 launch with free goodies

yellow gorillaEco Week 2016 (19 – 24 September) starts today!

A proud tradition  of Eco Week is to start it with a bang by giving away FREE fair trade goodies and this year Jailbreaker Coffee (supplier to UCSA cafes) and All Good Bananas will be handing out delicious fair trade banana ice creams and iced coffee shots!

When: Today, 19 September, 12 to 1.30pm
Where: Undercroft

banana icecreamAnd for those who sign up to the exciting new Fair Trade Student Club, you’ll go into a draw for an extra special sweet treat… Trade Aid chocolate.

What else is happening this week?

Jpeg posterTuesday is about Dumpster-diving and Food Waste! We’ll screen the very entertaining, and thought-provoking doco ‘Just Eat It.’

6-6.30 pm: Nibbles and speakers 6.30-8 pm: Screening of award-winning doco ‘Just Eat It’.

Free, and non-UC folk are welcome too!

On Thursday you can tour two Tiny Houses built by UC alumni. The Tour leaves at 1.30 (meet Katie at Science Road Car Park), back at 4pm. Only a few spaces left. Booking is essential, email ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz. Also, UCSA club VCUC will screen Cowspiracy in Kirkwood, 6-8 pm.

On Friday,  learn about where to find free food on UC campus when you join the Edible Campus Tour! There are lemons, olives, walnuts, figs and more growing all over campus and that it’s all free to eat. Meet tour guide and community gardener Jane Aistrope outside Café 1894 at 12 noon sharp.

In the late afternoon, celebrate student and staff achievements in sustainability at the 2016 Sustainability Awards ceremony! Undercroft 101 – 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

On Saturday, UC’s very first Sustaina-ball presented by the UC Eco Club Network. Theme is Garden Party. Visit here for more information.  Bentley’s (UCSA events centre) 7.30pm to late.

On Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

Check out the events on the UC Sustainability Office Facebook page, or check out the events section on the UC Eco Club Facebook page.

Eco Week snippit 2This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz