All posts by sas164

Tongan Language Week – Be loud and be proud – mate ma’a Tonga!

Mālō e lelei!    

Tongan Language Week / Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga runs from 4 to 10 September. The theme for this year is ‘Fakakoloa ‘a Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e Loto’i Tonga’ (Enriching Aotearoa with the Tongan Spirit).

Today, UC Law student Lavinia Vaka’uta writes about how she drawn strength from her Tongan spirit at UC.

For a girl who grew up in a small island surrounded by family and friends most of her life, starting university was a gigantic step. I had always grown up having someone watch me from a close distance; in other words I had a 24/7 bodyguard AKA my brother (or uncle/cousins). In saying that, UC gave me something I had been looking forward to for some time, freedom and independence.

LavibiaTonganphoto1My journey as a Tongan student at UC has been tremendous. Truth be told, my first year studying did not turn out the way I expected. I failed half the papers I took during my first semester and I was horrified to tell my parents. But being the Tongan I was, I did not let that phase me and so I endured.

One thing I take from that first semester is that failure is the first step to success. Learning how to pick yourself up after you have fallen takes a lot of courage and will. Tongans are often known for being “ta’efieto” which basically means that we don’t like being second best. Although this word often takes a negative connotation, this word to me means that I should always strive to outdo myself. Being the best does not necessarily mean beating the best of them, but simply beating your personal best.

LaviniaTonganphoto2Looking back at my life in Tonga and the sacrifices my family made has encouraged me to make use of every opportunity I am presented with. So as I enter my final chapter at UC, I can happily say that it is the spirit of being Tongan and of coming from a small island in the Pacific that has made me study harder each year. I am proud to say that I am a taahine Tonga and it feels good studying in an environment that embraces and celebrates every culture.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Canterbury University for permitting me to embrace my culture and stand out in my own way. Not only has attending UC made me more grateful and proud of the heritage I come from, but it has made me truly embrace the truth about being different. Be loud and be proud – mate ma’a Tonga!

“Ko’e Otua moe Tonga ko hoku tofi’a”

Presenters Wanted – Clinical Education Symposium

Invitation & Call for Presenters

The Department of Communication Disorders Clinical Education Team invite you to attend or present at our interactive day to share current practices, current research and clinical knowledge in the field of Clinical Education.

The Clinical Education Symposium would suit anyone who is involved or interested in clinical education – both supervising and teaching students  and wants to share their experiences with others.

This year we are excited to announce our keynote speaker Cheryl Messick PhD, our visiting Erskine from the University of Pittsburgh. Learn more about Cheryl’s clinical education interests here:

Date: Friday 14 October. Free

Time: 9am-4pm

Location: University of Canterbury.

On the day

The Clinical Education Symposium will take place at the University of Canterbury. Exact location will be confirmed. Morning tea will be provided.

Topics include; questioning techniques, feedback, setting expectations and creating learning goals, building successful relationships with students, inter-professional learning and collaboration, special interest group meeting, current research.

How to Present

Email your abstract of 100 words outlining your background and work role, title and topic stream, intended learning outcomes and preferred discussion time (30mins or 1 hour). Due 16 September 2016.

You will be notified about the success of your submission by 20 September 2016.

How to Attend

Email to register with your name & work role. Registrations close Friday 30 September 2016. Late registrations will be considered on request.


Email for more information.

UC academics celebrate the written word

Creating a haven for authors and book-lovers, the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival returns for 2016 with speakers from New Zealand and the world. The University of Canterbury have their stake in the ground with a range of events featuring UC academics.

Being the largest literary event in the South Island, with 80 events and over 100 speakers, here are a list of events this weekend featuring UC academics:

A theme of ‘Planet and People’ will be embraced this year to inspire, inform and entertain you, bringing the community together through their love of words in all their forms.

The biennial festival will be held 24 – 28 August 2016

Festival website