Tag Archives: diversity

Te Waka Pākākano – new name for Office of the AVC Māori, Pacific & Equity

We are pleased to announce the name of the Māori, Pacific and Equity portfolio, led by Dr Darryn Russell.  Formerly known as the Office of the AVC Māori it now includes a focus on Māori, peoples of the Pacific and equity, diversity and inclusiveness.

The new names for the unit, and for the AVC position are:

Te Waka Pākākano | Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity

Te Amokapua Pākākano | Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity

The narrative of the names is important.  Te Waka Pākākano is a seed carrying vessel; this reference is taken from a Ngāi Tahu ngeri, a chant for launching a waka or canoe, Terea te Waka, that tells of the voyage of the waka Uruao from its ancestral homelands to Te Waipounamu.  It refers to the dispersal of peoples through the Pacific, and by extension to all those who have come to make their home here in Te Waipounamu.

It also references the whakataukī: “E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangi-ātea”; I will never disappear, a seed dispersed from Rangi-ātea, which honours the diverse origins of the members of the UC community, and our resilience to thrive.

The title for the role of AVC Māori, Pacific and Equity, Te Amokapua Pākākano, is based on the name of the unit.  At UC the term ‘amokapua’ is given to those leaders with the title Assistant Vice-Chancellor.

Big community reaction to Eleanor Hurton’s story

Communications received a number of emails this week from young people with disabilities who were inspired by the story of Eleanor Hurton, reported in The Star newspaper recently.

Communications put Star reporter Jess Gibson in touch with Eleanor because she’d won two Blues awards and seemed an ideal fit for the newspaper’s new ‘Young & Successful’ column.

Eleanor is an amazing disability advocate as well as a Master’s of Sociology student who has an auditory processing disability herself.

The young people who emailed us had disabilities themselves or were looking for more information for siblings with disabilities. Many of them had been told they wouldn’t succeed at university – even those at the top of their class! – due to their disabilities. They had never seen a positive representation of someone ‘like them’ and were so excited and inspired that is was quite humbling. Many of our email writers are now applying to UC!

Communications replied to the emails and shared our equity and disability webpage links for further information. Eleanor is already part of the UCMe campaign launching at the start of 2020, so that also is very inspiring for young people with disabilities.

Takeaways from this experience:
One news story can make a huge difference to someone’s life.
Young people with disabilities don’t often see successful examples of people like them.
There may be some misinformation out there about who can succeed at university.

Meet UC’s new Rainbow Coordinator

Ari Nicholson joined UC a few weeks back as Rainbow Coordinator in the Student Success team.

We had a chat with Ari to find out about what the new role involves, Diversity Fest (which is coming up in September), and all about Ari’s background. Watch here>

Drop in to Ari’s office and say hello. Ari is in the office at the following times:
Monday, 9am – 5pm
Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am – 2.30pm
Location – Level 1, Forestry building