All posts by rar101

We need your help to get UC staff 20% off memberships at CCC Pools/Fitness Centres!

  • Do you have a current membership to CCC pools/fitness centres?
  • Do they know you are UC staff?

Once we have 10 UC staff signed up, we all get 20% off our memberships! All you need to do is email Lou Murray (CCC Rec & Sport Membership Administrator) with your CCC membership number so they can flag you as UC staff. There are already 8 of us, so we just need 2 more people to get the discount. If you are considering becoming a member…read on!

With a multi-membership you can use the pools (including the Swimsmart adult lessons), the fitness centres and the group fitness classes at any of the four CCC Recreation & Sport Centres (Jellie Park, Graham Condon, Pioneer and Taiora QEII). You also receive a free personal programme, which includes a tailored plan to meet your goals, and a free follow-up appointment every 12 weeks.

I am also a member of UC RecCentre and LOVE IT, but find it’s great having a CCC membership as well, because I can use their spas/sauna rooms, pools, and saves money when I want to take the kids swimming during the school holidays. It’s a good option in the weekends because I have a CCC centre close to home. They have flexible payment options too.

Lou has already offered to provide staff some free passes, so you can try before you buy. They are exhibiting at The Fitness Expo on Saturday 6 October at Horncastle Arena where they will have giveaways.

Click here for info about membership options and prices.



Light a candle this Sunday for suicide prevention

Take a minute, change a life.

10 September  marks the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day. The day was first recognised in 2003, as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by the World Health Organization.

Join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. You can show your support by lighting a candle near a window at 8pm in support of World Suicide Prevention Day, suicide prevention and awareness, survivors of suicide and for the memory of loved lost ones.

Candle by window

Other examples of activities which can support World Suicide Prevention Day include:

As members of communities, it is our responsibility to look out for those who may be struggling, check in with them, and encourage them to tell their story in their own way and at their own pace. Offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgemental way can make all the difference. Life is precious and sometimes precarious. Taking a minute to reach out to someone – a complete stranger or close family member or friend – can change the course of their life.

There are various well-established resources that are designed to equip people to communicate effectively with those who might be vulnerable to suicide. Mental Health First Aid, for example, is premised on the idea that many people know what to do if they encounter someone who has had a physical health emergency, like a heart attack (dial an ambulance, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation), but feel out of their depth if they are faced with someone experiencing a mental or emotional crisis.

Mental Health First Aid teaches a range of skills, including how to provide initial support to someone in these circumstances. There are numerous other examples too; relevant resources can be found on the websites of the International Association for Suicide Prevention ( and the World Health Organization (

How to unlearn homophobia

Have you ever heard someone say ‘that’s so gay’ and had that icky feeling in your gut? This happened to me on the bus recently and I found myself confronted by an ethical and moral dilemma. When do you give nothing, and when do you speak up?

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A person in the UC community also noted to me the irony of the saying being used in a conversation during a te reo class – a context on campus which actively encourages inclusiveness. People think that’s not really bad ‘on the scale of things’ but passive homophobia can be just as damaging as an aggressive homophobic verbal attack because it inhibits the rights of people to feel free and confident to be who they are, where they are. This person had no idea who they might be sitting beside and how it might affect them.

Friday 17 August was the day of silence. The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools. The goal of the Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Often times it is the casual homophobia that causes the most damage, like the saying ‘that’s so gay.’

I encourage you to download and print the posters to put up on your noticeboards. Download posters here>

You can also check out the LGBTQIA+ info page.

Please tell students and staff about the new safe space on campus for rainbow communities – Locke Room 109a. The space was granted to QCanterbury by the College of Arts, and named the ‘Robin Duff Room’ in honour of a former UC student leader who poured his heart and soul into advocating for LGBTQIA+ people on our campus and beyond during the years surrounding the Homosexual Law Reform of 1986.

What are Rainbow Communities?

Today 30 staff and students from UC, Ara and Lincoln attended a workshop with Anne Nicholson from Q-topia on ‘making a difference for LGBTIQ+ students on campus’.

Anne asked us to watch these short videos in preparation for the workshop, and they were so useful and informative I wanted to share them with you. They explain about rainbow communities, in particular the differences between sex, gender and sexuality.

If you want to learn more about how you can support rainbow communities on campus, check out these resources and ideas:

“People are not genitals”

People are not genitals. I know that’s hard to believe because we’ve all met pricks in our lives.” – Jim Costich, iNTeRSExION

Did you know 1 in 2,000 individuals are born intersex? Intersex isn’t uncommon, it’s just unheard of! I learned that and much more from attending the DiversityFest screening of iNTeRSExION.

  • The term intersex is used to describe a variety of conditions where someone is born with ambiguous genitalia.
  • The word intersex has come into preferred usage (instead of hermaphrodite).
  • Intersex is not the same as transgender.
  • Top fashion model Hanne Gaby Odiele has revealed that she is intersex
  • Being born intersex is as common as being born a redhead!

Despite being relatively common, and not generally life-threatening, doctors encourage parents of intersex children to undergo surgery to make their genitals conform to the binary male or female. This has devastating consequences for the children physically, emotionally and psychologically. These surgeries continue around the world despite being condemned by the United Nations. The result is people traumatised by shame and secrecy, unable to have close relationships for fear of rejection and stigma.

The documentary tells the story of these individuals in order to educate about intersex conditions, and to persuade the medical profession to change its practice and allow individuals born with these conditions to wait until they are old enough to make their own decisions regarding genital surgery.

The film was followed by a discussion with three panelists:

  • Georgie Andrews – Intersex advocate for the South Island
  • Anne Nicholson – education coordinator at Qtopia
  • Karen Saunders – Lecturer in the College of Arts

I encourage you to learn more about intersex conditions and how 1 in 2,000 people do not conform to binary gender.

There is still another week of activities for DiversityFest – check out what is coming up.