All posts by adb108

New historical book on craft and culture in Aotearoa

Released this month  Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania brings together three centuries of craft and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The book took five years to complete and a number UC staff and alumni contributed to it including Lydia Baxendell, Reuben Woods, Dr Warren Feeney, Claire Regnault, Justine Olsen and Dr Joanna Cobley.

See more about the book and purchase it here>

UC Strategy resources and workshop

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Strategy workshop on 20 November. The level of engagement and discussion was great. We are collating the notes and will be sharing these with you shortly.

Posters and stickers were available on the tables at the workshop. We will be distributing these more widely soon and ask that you take the time to display these prominently.

We collectively need to stimulate awareness of the strategy and encourage discussions about what the strategy in action means for each of us. I hope the following resources and information will help you in these discussions.

  • The staff intranet strategy site, which includes:
    • the video of the strategy launch – please encourage your teams to view this video found on the bottom of this home page
    • a Powerpoint presentation with key strategy information that could be used in team meetings to discuss the strategy.
  • The public strategy site:
    • the strategy document Tangata Tū Tangata Ora – Engaged, Empowered, and Making a Difference can be viewed and downloaded from this site and check out the short teaser video below.

Also note the following staff Professional Development programmes might be helpful for leaders. 2020 dates will be available soon:

Please keep an eye on the staff intranet site, the public strategy site and Intercom for updates as the planning for strategy implementation progresses.

More workshops will be planned throughout 2020 so that all staff have opportunities to engage with the Strategy. 


151 students graduate in the first NZ Children’s University graduation

151 young scholars walked across the stage of a full-house Christchurch Town Hall in the first ever Children’s University Canterbury Partnership graduation ceremony on Wednesday evening.

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Speaking at the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey, encouraged the young graduates to discover their potential, dream big and become excited about learning as a lifelong journey.

“The Children’s University encourages young people to take ownership of their learning journey, develop a positive attitude towards exploring different subjects and consider what tertiary options are available to them. Learning is a lifelong journey and this programme focuses young minds on a positive path to learning something from every activity they do and experience they have.”

Modelled on the Children’s University initiative launched in Adelaide, Australia, in 2006, the programme aims to inspire young minds to try a variety of different activities, develop a positive attitude towards lifelong learning and start to think about their future pathway into tertiary education.

In 2019, the programme’s first year, 192 Canterbury students from seven schools and one rūnanga enrolled in the Children’s University. The Children’s University plans to expand in 2020 to enrol 1000 students from 20-30 schools and rūnanga.

Community groups and businesses interested in providing locations for activities or funding to expand the programme are encouraged to contact Amy Underdown on to find out more.

The Children’s University Canterbury Partnership programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is delivered by the UC and Lincoln University.

See coverage of the event on Seven Sharp

Read the full story here>

UC Strategy – public launch update

In the last few weeks the UC Strategy has been presented to external audiences in events in Christchurch and Wellington. An overarching driver of the strategy is an institutional commitment to engagement and these events provided the first opportunities to engage with the wider UC community about the Strategy.

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Local launch

The Strategy was presented to local business leaders and friends of UC at the Gala Dinner | Te Hākari held in The Great Hall of the Arts Centre on 23 October. It was well received, especially UC’s commitment to engage with stakeholders to achieve their economic, social, cultural, technology and innovation objectives, and in turn economically boost the city.

Government and New Zealand influencers

On Tuesday 5 November, Hon Dr Megan Woods co-hosted with UC the Creating the Future event at the Beehive, Wellington. Chancellor | Tumu Kaunihera Sue McCormack and Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae Professor Cheryl de la Rey presented the Strategy to Wellington business leaders, Members of Parliament and 80 other members of the public. UCSA 2020 President elect Tori McNoe injected a student voice to the event sharing her experience at UC – a chance for guests to hear from and get to know one of our inspirational student leaders. Overall, the event was a great opportunity to purposefully engage with leaders, decision makers and influencers in Wellington to strengthen our relationships and forge new ones.

Next steps

Coming up is an interactive workshop for the first round of implementation planning of the Strategy. The workshop is an opportunity to continue the collaborative work that went into creating the strategy, and for managers to prepare their teams to meet the challenge of delivering the Strategy.

You can visit the dedicated UC Strategy Site – Tangata Tū, Tangata Ora website to download the full strategy document, and if you were unable to attend a strategy presentation in October you can still view a recording of the presentation here.

UC academics get a jumpstart on their innovations

Enhanced hearing tech, a speech analysis app and high-speed additive manufacturing technology were among the five project winners announced at the annual UC Innovation Jumpstart awards on 6 November.

The Innovation Jumpstart competition gives UC academic staff a chance to transform their innovative ideas into a reality and learn more about commercialisation of ideas in the process. The competition has grown steadily since its inception in 2010 and this year had a 50% increase in the number of applications compared to 2018.

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UC Commercial Director Liz Hopkins is pleased to see the transformation of the competition and the work that has gone into showing innovation and commercialisation is possible in all areas of academia.

“This year, for the first time, we received applications from every College of the highest calibre. It’s made the task of selecting the award-winners extremely difficult and we’d like to commend all those who entered,” she said.

The Research and Innovation team have transformed the competition in recent years to encourage applications for ideas beyond highly commercial products to include those targeting social enterprise and community service offerings. This year a new prize category was introduced to celebrate ideas with a social or environmental angle.

Each prize winner received $20,000 funding to help with experimentation, proof-of concept, technology or service development.

Congratulations to all the participants and the prize winners:

WNT Venture prize: Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt, Engineering and Professor Greg O’Beirne, Science 
Project: Enhanced hearing technology inspired by Human Cochlea Amplifier

Astrolab prize: Dr Yilei Zhang, Engineering
Project: High-speed additive manufacturing technology

Jumpstart prize: Associate Professor Mark Staiger, Engineering
Project: Monolithic biodegradable plate system for bone fracture fixation

Jumpstart prize: Dr Toby Macrae, Science
Project: Developing a speech analysis app.

Social / environmental prize: Dr Aisling O’Sullivan, Professor Tom Cochrane, Dr Frances Charters, Engineering
Project: Nitrate treatment and waste shell valorisation from an innovative filter system.