Unconscious (implicit) bias – some take-outs from the talk

Dr Benjamin D. Reese (Duke University) presented a well-attended and fascinating talk on Dilemmas of our time: Unconscious (implicit) bias and race relations last night, organised by the Macmillan Brown Center for Pacific Studies at UC.

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This topic is especially relevant to us in Christchurch at the moment, as many of us reflect on the nuances of racism and what it might be like to look or sound different to others in our city.

Dr Reese presented findings from his many years of research in implicit bias. He explained how implicit bias, which is below the level of consciousness, is learned early and absorbed from our environment. This is one reason why it is so important to have diversity of role models in our movies, TV shows and other media.

No one can avoid having implicit bias – even Dr Reese shared examples of his own bias, however you can counter it. You can do this by being aware of your own bias, reminding yourself regularly that implicit bias exists, and by exposing yourself to different ideas and different people to broaden your experience.

On an organisational level, leadership is key but everyone can play a part. When an organisation focuses on diversity, it has a noticeable impact, Dr Reese says.

As always, sharing stories and experiences is part of the journey to better understanding and a more accepting world.

Upcoming opportunities for engage with discussions around racism at UC include:

31 July – Looking and Sounding Different with nine UC staff and students discussing their experience and exploring ways to create a more accepting society.

12 August – Whites Engaged in Antiracist Action: Struggles and Coping Mechanisms with Associate Professor in the Department of Education and Counselling at Villanova University, Krista Malott.


Taste at the buffet….pre-Spring Gym Membership Sale coming soon!

Are you ready to take the plunge and take control of your wellbeing?  Physical activity is one piece of the jigsaw, and the team at Rec & Sport are here to help! By increasing your activity levels, even just a fraction, you will experience both physical health and mental health gains.

The list is long, and I’m sure you’re familiar with it….lower blood pressure, better sleep, better weight management, lower stress levels, lower anxiety, alleviate depression and better pain management and more. All that can add up to better happy, or a serious case of increased twinkle in the eye.

We all know this deep down, yet we still manage to stay in our comfort zone, which for many of us, is firmly out of the gym! But our gym isn’t like the others…it has a cool retro vibe (who doesn’t love green vinyl floors and what about all that gorgeous wood….), modern equipment, and really nice people inside who want you to have a good time. Okay, that does sound like a lot of other gyms, but our difference is that we offer a buffet of experiences for your health and wellbeing, not just cardio, weights and classes, so you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy to fuel your happy.

As a staff member, you enjoy a 40% discount on our full community rate year round, and for a limited time, we’ll be offering a super sharp deal to get you on your health journey. Not sure?  Why not get yourself a free 2 week trial?

What’s the promo?  Buy 6months, get an additional 3 months on us!  As a staff member, that’s $219 for 9 months, which is just $24ish per month! On top of that, we’ll throw in a free SteerMe programme to get you started (valued at $35), and a full body analysis (LINK TO PAGE), an accurate and non-intrusive measure of your health starting point. For all the T’s&C’s, head to our specials page.


Are you ready to increase your twinkle?

Humanities and Creative Arts: When a reporter calls

Tuesday 30 July (Meremere 105) 12:00-13:00

One way academics can spread the importance of their fields is to work with print, online, and broadcast reporters, but that is an effort that can bring wide rewards as well as significant challenges. In this workshop, an experienced public historian with a background in both journalism and academics will share the do’s and don’ts of working with the media.

Dr. Christopher Bellitto, a medieval church historian, has worked with international and local media for over twenty years, speaking with outlets such as National Public Radio and CNN in the US, CNN International, and many newspaper websites. He is visiting the University of Canterbury as a Fulbright Specialist. Bellitto will share best practices and worst mistakes so participants can leave with a roadmap of what to do when a reporter calls.

Open to all. 

Remembering Maura Minnock

We are sad to advise of the recent passing of Maura Minnock, who worked in UC’s Health and Safety (H&S) team from 2013 to 2017.

H&S Manager from 2015 to 2017, Maura left us to travel (adding to her already impressive travel portfolio), and spend time with her family in Ireland.

Upon her return to Ōtautahi Christchurch, Maura worked with the Christchurch City Council’s Health & Safety team.

Maura recently returned to Galway to be with her family. Condolences will soon be sent to them, on behalf of the University.

Karen Mather and Steve Hunter on behalf of
Paul O’Flaherty
Executive Director – Human Resources | Kaihautū Matua Pūmanawa Tangata


Your invite to Haere-roa’s Community Open Day

This August, come and explore the new UCSA building, Haere-roa, at its Community Open Day.

There’s no need to register, just come along and explore this impressive new complex on Ilam Campus.

  • Look inside the iconic Ngaio Marsh Theatre.
  • Grab a coffee from popular bar, the Foundry.
  • Tour Haere-roa’s social and event spaces, including its outdoor amphitheatre.

The UCSA thanks all UC staff for their generous and ongoing support throughout the building process. It’s been invaluable, and we cannot wait for you to visit.

For more information about Haere-roa, see the UCSA website. You can also visit our Facebook event page.

Date: Saturday 3rd August
Time: 10am–2pm
Location: Haere-roa, 90 Ilam Road

Haere-roa Community Open Day