Media Advisory April 11

VARSITY TEAM HELPS BRING WAIKATO WOMEN’S RUGBY BACK TO THE NPC

The University of Waikato Rugby Club is leading the way for women’s rugby in the region. After an influx of players joined the university women’s club last year, women’s rugby has grown in the region to the point where the Waikato Rugby Union has confirmed sponsorship for a women’s NPC team. The university club made a comeback in 2011, the initiative of former University of Waikato sport manager Crystal Kaua and her NZ Māori Sevens team mates and Black Ferns Victoria Grant and Teresa Te Tamaki. Waikato Rugby Union Chief Executive Graham Bowen says the union is delighted to be able to enter a team in the NPC competition after a six-year absence. “This is a result of the very hard work that a group of Waikato University women have put in to get us in a position to support a provincial team,” says Bowen. “Some time ago Waikato was one of the strongest provinces in women’s rugby and we’re pleased that it’s showing signs of rejuvenation.” Waikato joins Auckland, Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, Canterbury and Wellington in the NPC.

NIDEA TO HOLD INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON IMMIGRATION AND POPULATION DIVERSITY

The National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis at the University of Waikato will be holding an international workshop on the Economic Impacts of Immigration and Population Diversity at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato this week, April 11-13. More than 60 economists, social scientists and policymakers from across the globe will gather to consider recent research on the economics of diversity, specifically looking at migration trends and policies. Director of NIDEA, Professor Natalie Jackson, says a main feature of the workshop is that visiting academics learn about New Zealand and Australia’s immigration history. The workshop will be held under Chatham House rules.

AUSTRALIAN PIANIST PIERS LANE NAMED TO PLAY AT WAIKATO

This year’s Waikato University International Celebrity Showcase will feature London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane. He will play a solo concert at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts this week on Friday April 13. Lane has a flourishing international career which has taken him to more than 40 countries and seen him share the stage with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and write and present more than 100 programmes for BBC Radio 3. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in Queensland and been artistic director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music since 2007. Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts manager Jeremy Bell says Lane’s upcoming performance is testimony to the calibre of artists the International Celebrity Showcase concert continues to attract. In the past two years the International Celebrity Showcase concert has featured internationally-renowned pianists Nikolai Demidenko and Peter Jablonski.

HIGH COMMISSIONER LAUNCHES CANADIAN STUDIES UNIT AT WAIKATO

The Canadian High Commissioner Caroline Chrétien visited Waikato University last week to launch New Zealand’s first Canadian-New Zealand Studies Unit. The unit, based at Waikato University’s Law faculty, will foster research related to Canada in all disciplines, host visiting scholars, attract and support Canadian students to New Zealand and vice versa, and enhance cultural and intellectual links between the two countries. CNZSU director Dr Robert Joseph said having the first Canadian-NZ Studies Unit at Waikato University demonstrated the strength of the university’s international connections. “Establishing the CNZSU nicely complements two new research centres at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law that focus on energy and law, and Māori and indigenous governance, but it also will link with many other research centres and institutes at the University of Waikato.”

ENGINEERING GRADUATES POPULAR AT DAIRY AUTOMATION LTD

The University of Waikato’s science and engineering work placement programmes often result in students securing full-time work before they graduate. Such is the case for three current Dairy Automation Ltd (DAL) employees, who each found full-time jobs with the company following electronic engineering degrees and work placement programmes at the University of Waikato. The most recent employee, Mark Wilson, completed a work placement at Hamilton company DAL last year. He is now employed by DAL as a full-time production technician. Wilson’s work placement supervisor and current manager also followed a very similar study path into their roles at DAL. Dairy Automation Limited (DAL) is a 100% New Zealand owned company formed to provide effective automation solutions to New Zealand farmers. “It’s encouraging to see that the work placement programme at Waikato now has such a long history,  that former graduates of the programme have since moved into significant management roles and are employing the new generation of students for work experience,” says Dr Karsten Zegwaard, University of Waikato Work Placement Coordinator.

HILLARY SCHOLAR HOPING MUSIC WILL TAKE HIM AROUND THE WORLD

University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary scholar Dolan Cox is hoping classical music will help him see the world. Former Whakatane High School student Dolan, 18, was inspired to study for a Bachelor of Music in piano performance after seeing University of Waikato piano tutor Katherine Austin play. “To be honest I'd never even considered Waikato but when Katherine Austin brought a group of music students to Whakatane I was really blown away by their performances and began to think Waikato would be a great place to study,” says Dolan. “Classical music isn't so much about where you study as who you study under and I really felt like I could make huge progress with Katherine.” Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarships are the University of Waikato’s most prestigious scholarships and are awarded to students who are high academic achievers and are also achieving in the arts or sport. Dolan is one of 42 new Hillary scholars on Waikato University’s Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme.

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