Media Advisory October 4


Two Waikato University geographers have had their work acknowledged by the New Zealand Geographical Society. Professor Robyn Longhurst has been awarded the society's most prestigious award, the Distinguished Geography Gold Medal for outstanding and sustained contribution and service to geography, and her colleague, Associate Professor Lynda Johnston has been awarded a Distinguished Service Award for her significant contribution to New Zealand geography and its community over the past five years. Professor Longhurst and Dr Johnston research and write about people and place and the importance and influence of gender in people's lives. Much of their work has been a collaboration - their latest book is called Place, Space and Sex: geographies of sexualities published by Rowman and Littlefield. The Geographical Society's Executive Manager June Logie says it's great to see them rewarded for many years of strategic and important work. "They are significant feminist New Zealand geographers who've made enormous contributions in their area of research." Professor Longhurst says she was drawn to human geography by a previous Society medal winner Ann McGee who taught at Waikato. "When I was a student, Ann really opened my eyes to radical geographies, she even taught anarchist geography, and it became important to me to do research that brought about positive social change."


The University of Waikato has agreed to be the accrediting academic institution of the New Zealand Music Examinations Board (NZMEB) which was established in 2006 to provide syllabuses and examinations. The agreement between the university and the NZMEB aims to ensure that the systems, processes and activities of the examination board align with the needs of New Zealand music students and their teachers. Under the deal, the university will oversee the syllabus development, examinations and moderation, providing academic integrity to ensure that the NZMEB achieve and maintain appropriate levels and standards of music education. Exams are held throughout New Zealand and the board says the number of exams is increasing as the demand for a syllabus that encompasses New Zealand music grows. Examiners are specialists in their chosen instruments from the private, secondary and tertiary music education sector.


Bay of Plenty people looking to map their study pathways for 2011 can talk to University of Waikato advisers at an Information Day on October 15. Between 10am and 4pm students can talk to staff about their study options for next year. The university offers a range of programmes in Tauranga in partnership with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. Appointments to see the University of Waikato advisers can be made by phone, 07 577 5300, or by email on Bay of Plenty Polytechnic staff will also be available to talk to about diploma options or study that can see students staircase to University of Waikato degrees. The information evening will be held at the Windermere campus, the Atrium, room 419A.


Waikato University is hosting a range of events during October as part of its annual Postgraduate Research Month. On Thursday October 7 the university is hosting a quiz night ideal for self-proclaimed 'know-it-alls.' Teams of up to six people will go through eight general knowledge question rounds for the opportunity to win great prizes. The quiz night begins at 7pm at the Station Café on Hillcrest Road. This event is followed by a doctoral information evening on Monday October 11 which is aimed at people considering postgraduate study. The information evening, which begins at 5.30pm and is held in the MSB foyer in the Waikato Management School, is an opportunity for potential doctoral candidates to find out what is involved in postgraduate study at Waikato University. Other events during the month include the Thesis in 3 competition which sees doctoral students outline their theses in just three minutes and carries a $5000 prize to go towards their research. For more information on these events visit


The University of Waikato Blues Awards take place on Friday October 8. The Blues Awards are prestigious awards that celebrate the commitment and achievements of students in either sport or the creative and performing arts. Among the 40 awards to be given out will be the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Māori Person of the Year and Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year. The Wallace Corporation University of Waikato Blues Awards are held at the WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts on Friday October 8.


Waikato University's annual Margaret Avery Memorial Lecture takes place next week. This year's speaker is Waikato University's Associate Professor Catharine Coleborne, who will present her lecture titled Gender in the Archive. In this lecture Dr Coleborne will explore several ideas about the relationship between gender and the archival turn. She will argue that categories of historical analysis such as gender, class, and ethnicity need further clarification in relation to archives and research practices, as well as their usefulness to understanding the sources they contain. The Margaret Avery Memorial Lecture begins at 5.30pm on Thursday October 14 at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, room S.1.02. Margaret Avery was the head of the university's History Department for four years and was the first woman to be appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor. In 1993 she was awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of Waikato University for her notable service and leadership in advancing the academic aims of the university.


A University of Waikato Centre for Continuing Education arts session looks into sculpture next week. In this session of Demystifying the Arts, Dr Carole Shepheard speaks with Waikato University's art collection curator Karl Chitham about the many aspects of sculpture. Dr Shepheard is a highly regarded national sculptor and multi-media artist. Demystifying the Arts is a series of interactive and live discussions which aims to put the audience in touch with experts of the arts. Discussions occur in an informal, friendly and engaging atmosphere. This session takes place at 7pm on Thursday October 14 at the Waikato Museum and costs $5. For more information visit


Writers needing a burst of creativity will benefit from a one-day brainstorming workshop next month with screenwriter and playwright Kathryn Burnett. Offered by the University of Waikato's Centre for Continuing Education in Tauranga, the Brainstorm workshop aims to stimulate creativity through a series of writing and brainstorming exercises to help participants move from a blank page to a basic plan for their new project. Burnett, who also ran a popular two-day screen writing course for the university in August, is a screenwriter, playwright, script editor and development consultant who has worked primarily in film and television for the past 15 years. Question and answer opportunities will be available to participants throughout the course, which is scheduled for Saturday November 6, 9am - 5pm at 144 Durham St, Tauranga. The cost is $95. For more information visit


Waikato University's Faculty of Education celebrates 50 years of teacher education next month. Beginning in Melville as the Hamilton Teachers' College in 1960, the Faculty of Education is now the university's largest faculty with 2400 students enrolled in teacher education programmes. Current Dean Professor Alister Jones says since opening its doors 50 years ago the Faculty of Education has developed an excellent reputation in both research and teaching. Waikato University's Faculty of Education is currently ranked number one in New Zealand for education according to the government's research rankings. To mark its 50th anniversary the Faculty of Education is inviting current and former staff, alumni and friends to a range of events and activities held throughout November. The highlight event is the 50th reunion which takes place on Saturday November 13 at the university's Academy of Performing Arts. For information visit

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