Media Advisory April 28

ISIS and us - Free public lectures

Waikato University law and war specialist Professor Alexander Gillespie says by sending troops to Iraq New Zealand's got itself stuck in the middle of a very complex ISIS problem. Professor Gillespie will give two public lectures next month, one in Tauranga, the other in Hamilton, to outline the complexity of the ISIS situation and the reasons for and against New Zealand being involved. The professor says trying to combat ISIS is like playing whack-a-mole; you shut them down in one place and they pop up somewhere else. He warns we could end up fighting all over the world and thinks this is an issue that can only be solved by the United Nations. Professor Gillespie's lectures take place at Tauranga Boys' College on Thursday 7 May and the University of Waikato's Academy of Performing Arts on Thursday 14 May. Both lectures start at 6pm.

Leading New Zealand authors visit Hamilton

Authors Atholl Anderson and Aroha Harris will be visiting Hamilton later this month to talk about new perspectives on Māori history, drawing on their work for the book Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Shortlisted for the Royal Society of New Zealand's Science Book Prize, and described by Sir Tipene O'Regan as "one of the most significant books on the Māori world ever written", this book presents a sweeping narrative from ancient origins in South China to the present day. The authors' free public talk will take place on Thursday 30 April at 5.30pm in S.G.02 (S Block) at the University of Waikato.

Deaf and hearing theatre working together on stage

A short piece of bilingual theatre, with Deaf and hearing actors using New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and spoken English, is being created and developed in Hamilton. Directed by University of Waikato's Dr Laura Haughey in collaboration with the Equal Voices Arts company, At the End of My Hands will be performed at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Friday 1 May and Saturday 2 May at 7.30pm. Deaf actors have been recruited through workshops held over the past few months, and the company has come together bringing experiences from the Deaf community in the Waikato region. The performance shares the history of NZSL alongside experiences and stories from the Deaf actors about Deaf culture.

World leading conservation biologist visits Tauranga Café Scientifique

World leading molecular biologist and conservationist Dr Stephen O'Brien will talk at this month's Tauranga Café Scientifique as part of the Allan Wilson International public lecture series. Dr O'Brien is Chief Scientific Officer at St Petersburg State University, Russia, and author of science adventure stories Tears of the Cheetah and other Tales from the Genetic Frontier. Dr O'Brien uses the tools of molecular biology to help protect endangered species and understand devastating diseases such as cancer and AIDS. His talk entitled Wildlife genetics – uncommon glimpseswill show what life histories are revealed in the genomic footprints of tigers, cheetahs and the Florida panther. Café Scientifique is on Wednesday 29 April. Seats have to be reserved at Doors are open from 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Entry is by gold coin donation.

Nominations open for 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Nominations for the 2015 University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Awards are now open. The Distinguished Alumni Awards celebrate and honour graduates of the university who have made outstanding contributions in their careers or communities. Nominations are encouraged from university staff, students and alumni and members of the community. Graduates of the university holding a degree or diploma are eligible for nomination. All nominations are confidential and take into account excellence in the professional, cultural, creative and voluntary sectors. Past awardees include adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald, economist Dr Arthur Grimes, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and former Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung. For more information, visit

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