Media Advisory February 14

New students at the University of Waikato will be officially welcomed onto the Hamilton campus next week. First-year students and their families will be welcomed on at the university’s Te Kohinga Mārama Marae at Gate 4 and given briefings about what to expect of life and study on campus. The pōwhiri will be held from 11am on Wednesday February 23. Waikato University still has places available to study in Semester A, which begins on Monday February 28. For information visit


Associate Professor John Williams from the University of Waikato Centre for Science and Technology Education Research has been awarded the Academy of Fellows award. This is the highest recognition that the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) can bestow upon any person. To qualify, the individual must have gained prominence in and brought honour to the profession of technology and engineering education, and be an outstanding educator who has worked to further research and practice for technology and engineering education. Only one other time has this award been given to a person outside of the United States. As part of the award, Associate Professor John Williams is granted membership in the Academy of Fellows of the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. The award is based on leadership roles in ITEEA and other professional organization(s), presentations and professional development activities at local to international level, and recognition by peers.


Cellist Edward King and cricket all rounder Steven Rae are the latest recipients of Sir Edmund Hillary medals given annually by the University of Waikato to Hillary scholars who’ve excelled in the classroom and in their chosen field of art or sport. Edward King from Auckland has just completed his Bachelor of Music (Hons) and has also been awarded a Universities New Zealand-Te Pokai Tara Patricia Pratt Scholarship to study for his masters overseas. Last year King won first prize at the New Zealand National Concerto Competition, toured the UK as part of the Leonari Trio after they won the Pettman/Royal Overseas International Scholarship for a New Zealand Chamber Ensemble, and he and Waikato’s 15-year-old Santiago Canon Valencia were the only two Australasian-schooled cellists to be selected for the international Beijing cello competition. Cricketer Steven Rae hails from the Bay of Plenty and currently captains the Bay of Plenty Development side. He’s going to study for his masters part time after completing Bachelors of Management (Hons) and Science last year. He’s currently working for Hamilton accounting firm Vazey Child and his masters research will look at reporting/disclosure of sustainability issues within large scale mining companies. Rae plays his club cricket for Te Puke, and is pushing for a permanent place in Northern Districts A.


A two-day memorial symposium in honour of the late Emeritus Professor James Ritchie takes place next week. Emeritus Professor Ritchie and his wife Emeritus Professor Jane Ritchie pioneered bicultural studies in psychology in New Zealand, and made a lifelong contribution to research in topics including fulfilment of the Treaty of Waitangi, culture, Māori/indigenous psychology, cultural and ethnic understanding, non-violence, and the role of families and whānau. The symposium has two major activities planned: a day of keynote addresses, discussion and remembering; and a day of writing resulting in a book manuscript for publication. The lectures are open to the public, and will each be followed by a panel discussion and a contribution from a local respondent, who will highlight and ‘localise’ the major themes or issues raised. The Emeritus Professor James Ritchie Memorial Symposium lecture day will be held from 10am to 8pm on February 23 at the University of Waikato Academy of Performing Arts.


Waikato University staff, students and alumni feature heavily in the latest production of Australian Michael Gow’s play Away, which is being performed on four nights at the Hamilton Gardens Festival. Away is about three families forced together when a storm disrupts their summer holiday. The group is forced to confront many and varied issues in their lives as one of the teenagers faces his mortality and parents face the loss of a child. The play’s director is Senior Theatre Studies Lecturer Gaye Poole and two other staffers Mike Bell and Mike Murphy-Scanlon are in the cast. There are Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars in cast and crew and amongst the alumni taking part are husband and wife Nick and Adrienne Clothier. “It’s a play with many layers,” says Mike Murphy-Scanlon. “It’s an interesting study on how families cope when huge issues are going on in their lives.” Away is set in the late 1960s - a turbulent time in Australia’s history, but Gaye Poole says New Zealanders will easily relate to it. “The Vietnam War was on, Prime Minister Harald Holt went missing, Aboriginal Australians got the vote for the first time and all over the Western world gender issues were being raised, so the play tackles some pretty big themes, yet it has a charm and lightness about it. It’s a poignant piece.” Away runs February 28 – March 3.


Joe Collins’ grandmothers financed his first semester at Australian National University in Canberra, but this year the Waikato graduate has secured a NZ Universities-Te Pokai Tara administered Freyberg Scholarship to complete his Masters in International Relations. Collins will study justification of violence - the concepts of just war and the legitimate use of force. “I’ve still got to refine my thesis topic, but I plan to cover subject areas such as the responsibility to protect, humanitarian intervention, the use of force to protect aid workers and the moral purposes of the State.” Joe Collins says it’s expected that scholarship recipients return to New Zealand and work in areas of defence, such as the government service, tertiary education or journalism or perhaps the diplomatic service. Collins heads back to Canberra this month.


Recent issues around ecosystem management such as mangrove removal, protection or consumption of marine organisms in marine reserves, sustainable development of New Chums beach in the Coromandel, and foreshore ownership, indicate the depth of passion that New Zealanders hold for our coastal areas. Hamilton’s first Café Scientifique of 2011 will look at these issues and more, as part of New Zealand’s ‘Sea Week’ celebrations. The forum provides opportunities for people to discuss with experts the management of our precious coastline. Café Scientifique takes place at Café Français, 711 Victoria Street, Hamilton, at 7.30pm on Tuesday February 22. It is supported by the university’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.


Two Hamilton school leavers have been awarded scholarships to study law at Waikato. Rochelle Monk and Leah Caddigan were part of Sacred Heart’s mooting team that won last year’s inter-school mooting competition – an event organised by University of Waikato’s Te Piringa-Faculty of Law involving more than 40 secondary schools in the North Island. Part of the winning team’s prize was a $3000 scholarship for any team member who chose to study law at Waikato. Monk and Caddigan say the mooting experience helped them to decide to follow a career in law and with Waikato also offering school leaver scholarships to first year students, both students will have their fees covered for the year.


Two of New Zealand’s top artists feature in Pushers – the first 2011 exhibition now showing at Waikato University’s Calder & Lawson Gallery. They’re Judy Millar and Rohan Wealleans who have both represented New Zealand at international biennale, won numerous awards and residencies and command high prices for their work at home and overseas. Waikato University Art Collection Curator Karl Chitham says Millar and Wealleans are perfectly placed to engage with the theme of the exhibition as they push against traditional notions of what painting is and how it’s presented. Millar often paints on aluminium and uses various materials including acrylic, oil and wax – sometimes applying it with tools and sometimes just with her hands. Wealleans uses commercial grade paints, saturating his canvas in untold layers of paint which he cuts into and combines with found materials such as crystals and sharks jaws. Two lesser known artists also feature in Pushers. They’re Toni Mackinnon who uses digital processes and meticulously painted abstracts, and Matt Heays, fine arts graduate, graphic designer, filmmaker and installation artist. Six art exhibitions featuring established and up and coming artists and work from the university’s extensive collection are planned for this year. Pushers opened on February 12 and runs until March 27 at the Calder & Lawson Gallery at the Academy of Performing Arts.

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