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Boots Riley @ the Music, Media and Politics symposium

Boots Riley, prominent American hip hop artist, spoke to an overflowing crowd in the Richardson Building's Moot Court last night.

As the keynote speaker at the Department of Media, Film and Communication’s 'Music, Media and Politics' symposium, Riley addressed the crowd on the topic of 'Hip Hop and the Class Struggle' - speaking on the history of radicalism in the United States since the 1960s, the Occupy movement, and workers' rights.

With Moot Court at its capacity of 100 people, a live stream was set up in several other rooms in the Richardson Building, for everyone else to see and hear the lecture.

Symposium organiser Dr Rosemary Overell estimates that 250-300 people attended the event. "We had no idea what to expect, but it was wonderful that so many people came out to see Boots speak."

"What was really fantastic though, was at the end he wanted to make sure he got to speak with the people who were in the overflow rooms. So he talked for another hour in the foyer of Richardson."

As part of his visit to Dunedin, Boots Riley is performing an acoustic show at Chicks Hotel tonight.

Please join us on Facebook afterwards to let us know how you enjoyed it!

Plagues and Pestilence quiz night

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology are holding a quiz night!

As part of the International Day of Immunology, the Department is holding this free event at Alhambra Union Rugby Football Clubrooms on 29 April.

Refreshments, catering, and prizes... and no scientific knowledge necessary. (In fact, by the end of the night, you will have learned some new facts about the body's immune system!)

Get a team together and reserve a table... bookings essential!

Click here for more details on the event... and please join us on Facebook to let us know how you enjoyed the evening!

Dunedin's most popular postie

If you were a scarfie in North Dunedin at any time in the last 30 years, you will very well remember the friendly, bicycle-riding postie Kerry Wheeler!

Kerry just reached his 30th anniversary as a postie, and New Zealand Post put on the celebrations. Residents of North Dunedin also joined in, lining the streets with balloons on 16 April - 30 years to the day since Kerry's first ever North Dunedin postie run.

TV3 also ran a story, celebrating Kerry's career thus far. Kerry, we salute you, and we will continue to enjoy seeing you deliver the mail!

Click here to watch the TV3 news story, and here to see the Otago Daily Times' feature (with photos!) on our favourite postman!

If you have memories of Kerry from your scarfie days, please share them - visit our Facebook or send us an email!

ANZAC Day service

ANZAC Day is coming up, and once again there will be a joint service organised by the University of Otago and the OUSA.

On 25 April, the service will be held on the lawn in front of the Clock Tower, from 1.30-2.30pm.

There will be a range of speakers, readings, and the Anzac Day address will be by Colonel Roger McElwain. After a procession, University and student representatives will lay wreaths on the Leith Bridge.There will be light refreshments afterwards at University College.

Please do come along to the service.

Boots Riley tonight!

The Otago campus is alive with the sound of Boots Riley... the Boots Riley posters that you may have seen around Dunedin are promoting tonight's open lecture by this prominent American rapper.

It's all about Boots around campus at the moment because he's delivering the keynote address at the Department of Media, Film and Communication's 'Music, Media and Politics' symposium, at 5.30pm in Moot Court.

The symposium features presentations from staff and postgraduates of Media, Film and Communication, Music, and Theatre Studies. Don't miss this event!

For those of you who aren't in Dunedin, or just can't make it, Olivier from Radio 1 will be live streaming the Boots lecture at the following web address (click the link to get to the live stream):

Please tune in! And don't forget to join us Facebook afterwards.


Introducing... Otago's Taonga Pūoro group

Otago’s Taonga Pūoro Group is a group of 15 or so staff and students who play and make traditional Māori musical instruments.  On Thursday lunchtimes, they gather on campus (in St David Street), and you are likely to hear them if you are wandering by!

Taonga pūoro means ‘singing treasures’, and in any week, the group may be playing music, learning a new technique, gathering materials, or making their own instruments.

Says Dr Jennifer Cattermole from the Department of Music, the instruments are “usually made from natural materials (e.g. wood, bone, shell), and there are several different kinds. Traditionally, they were used for a range of purposes, including entertainment, hunting, healing and communicating with the gods.”

Dr Cattermole formed the group in July last year.

“I've been fascinated by taonga pūoro ever since I attended a class given by Richard Nunns when I was an undergrad here at Otago (many years ago now). I loved the sounds and loved learning about the traditional uses and meanings of these taonga.

“I've been researching and teaching on aspects of Māori music since being employed by the Music Department, and asked my Department to purchase some taonga pūoro for use in teaching and community outreach.”

Brian Flintoff and Clem Mellish of company Jade and Bone made some instruments.

 “Once the instruments arrived, I set up the group with the aim of getting more people playing and making these incredible instruments.”

Members of the group don’t need to have had musical experience.

Dr Cattermole says that in the future, the group will be going on more fieldtrips to collect materials, collaborating with performance staff at Te Tumu, and there are plans for community outreach with local iwi and hapu, community workshops and public concerts.

“The group is really enthusiastic and friendly. Friends and whanau are also welcome – it’s not just for Uni staff and students.”

If you are interested in the Taonga Pūoro group, contact

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and the photo of Jennifer Cattermole with the Taonga Pūoro group.


Rare Delights III: Online exhibition

If you couldn't make it to the Special Collections 'Rare Delights III' exhibition at Central Library, it's now gone online.Travel, architecture, the moderns, the French, gardening, pulp fiction, and science fiction... it's all here.

Click here to see the digital exhibition of these recent additions to Special Collections!



Hot pick podcast: Lullabies or Lady Gaga? How blood pressure variability affects your brain

If you've ever wanted to learn a little about blood pressure or what's involved in minimising brain injury after a stroke, then you will find this podcast interesting!

Yu-Chieh Tzeng gave this fascinating talk at Otago's OZONE presentations last year, for early career researchers, at the St David Lecture Theatre.

Click here to view the podcast! And don't forget to join us on Facebook afterwards to let us know how you enjoyed it.


Make It New! New exhibition at Special Collections


An exhibition titled: Make It New! Modernism & the Medieval Presence began on Friday 21 March 2014 in the de Beer Gallery at Special Collections, 1st floor, Central University Library. Special Collections warmly welcomes alumni to come along.

The American poet Ezra Pound used the phrase ‘Make it New’, and this phrase became associated with the modernism movement and its ideas of renewal and rearrangement.

The exhibition at Special Collections features the work of modernist writers including James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and D.H. Lawrence. The medieval themes found in modernism are on display in works from authors such as Thomas Aquinas, and the precursors of modernism in the exhibition include authors such as Robert Browning.

There are several items of note on display for the public to come in and view.  

The exhibition has come about due to the Department of English’s Professor Chris Ackerley's research on modernism and the idea of the ‘unattended moment’, for which he received a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund grant.  Another product of Professor Ackerley’s research will be the April 2014 University of Otago conference, “‘Unattended Moments’: The Medieval Presence in the Modernist Aesthetic”.

The exhibition is on now at the de Beer Gallery in the University Library, until 23 May 2014. Come along anytime Monday to Friday, from 8.30 to 5.00.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook to let us know how you enjoyed it!

Our tour of the Music Department recording studio

Last week, our team here at the Development and Alumni Relations Office were treated to a tour of the Music Department’s Albany Street recording studio.

Stephen Stedman, Music Department technician, showed us around the building at the bottom of Albany Street, which was originally owned by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (the NZBC).

The building was completed for the NZBC in 1968 with a classic BBC design, made originally for recording full orchestras. Later, the studio housed radio stations 4ZB and later, Classic Hits Dunedin – you may remember breakfast show hosts such as Hillary Muir, and her husband Hamish Clark broadcasting from this very building.

The Music Department now uses the space at Albany Street for recording, rehearsals, and for the department’s postgraduate students.

Stephen showed us around the recording spaces, demonstrated some of the instruments, and showed us the mind-boggling array of controls on the state of the art, Solid State Logic console that’s used for mixing the recordings. We also had a look at ProTools, the computer software widely used in the recording industry today.  

The combination of new and vintage technology was very impressive, and made some of us wish we were studying music!

Jude from our office took some photos, as well as a video of Stephen demonstrating the vibraphone - have a look at this, as well as lots more photos, on our Facebook page.

It was fantastic to see part of what happens in the Music Department, and to learn about the technology used in their programmes. We had a great time!

At the mixing desk: Louise from the Development and Alumni Relations Office.

Are you an alumni of the Music Department? Share your memories... Visit our Facebook page, or email us at


Boots Riley open lecture

For any of you interested in music, media and politics, the Department of Media, Film and Communication, Radio 1, and the Tertiary Education Union are holding a symposium on this very topic on 16 April.

The special guest will be prominent American rapper Boots Riley, who is well known for his music, activism, and teaching. His open lecture is at 5.30pm in Moot Court, and alumni are warmly welcomed... please do come along and enjoy the event.

Don't forget to let us know on Facebook how you enjoyed it!

Really digging the Leith right now...

Kaitlin from our office took this photo of the latest phase of the work being done on the Leith!

Watch this space for more updates... and see our Facebook page for a video of the digger at work!

St Patrick's Day Inaugural Lecture

St Patrick's Day is coming up - and to celebrate this, the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies is holding their Inaugural St Patrick's Day lecture.

Emeritus Professor Andrew Carpenter from University College Dublin will be here at Otago to give his lecture "Fighting for Readers: Swift's Dublin publishers in the 1750s".

All are welcome to this free event, so come along to Burns 4 at 5.30 on Monday 17 March!

The Dunedin Flat Names Project

The Dunedin Flat Names Project was profiled by Otago historian Ali Clarke on her 'Otago 150 years' blog this week, and we love the research that Sarah Gallagher has put into the project and its websites!

Sarah, who works on campus as an academic liaison librarian, undertook the project as part of her own studies - and it grew from there.

Photos of named flats such as 'Pink Flat', 'Brucie's Beenjamin' Butchery', and 'The CSI on Hyde' can be seen on the Dunedin Flat Names website and Flickr, and Sarah also runs both a Facebook and a Twitter account for the project @DnFlatNames.

She is also currently turning her research into a book for publication. The project was recently featured in the Dunedin Star as well.

Here's a link to Sarah's own blog, where she profiles 'flat of the month', 660 Castle Street.

On our Facebook, we'll be featuring 'Named Dunedin flat' items, sharing Sarah's flat of the month and asking you to vote on your favourite flats!

Did you live in one of the 'named flats'? Do you have a favourite flat? Join us on our Facebook and share your memories...


Image © Sarah Gallagher. Click here to view the original image.

New Visitors' Centre open

Been to the new Visitors’ Centre yet?

Since January, over 2700 people have been through the Centre, which is located at the St David Street entrance of the University. Tourists, students, parents, alumni, and the general public are all welcomed!

The Centre, apart from offering memorabilia and merchandise, also features interactive displays and uploadable campus tours for smartphone, as well as offering pre-arranged campus tours for prospective students and their parents.

So far, about two-thirds of visitors have been tourists, and a quarter have been students. Feedback so far has been positive, and Director of Student Services (and Project Convenor) David Richardson notes that the Centre is “a very positive addition for the University and for the wider community.”

An official opening is planned for later this month – look out for this and please do come along to the event!

Until then (and afterwards!), the centre is open every day, from 9am to 4.30pm. Pop in and have a look!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and the photos.

And the walls came tumbling down...

A 25 metre section of the Leith retaining wall came down this week. And the work continues...

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for the news item and photo.

Hot pick podcast: Exploring Youth Justice: Progress and Possibilities.

This is a really interesting panel discussion chaired by Professor Murray Rae (Head of the Department of Theology and Religion), and featuring Judge Andrew Becroft (Principal Youth Court Judge), Professor Mark Henaghan (Dean of the Faculty of Law), Professor Chris Marshall (Victoria University) and Dr Shayne Walker (Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work).

Click here to watch! And don't forget to join us on Facebook.

University of Otago named as major Highlanders sponsor

The University of Otago has become one of the major sponsors of the Highlanders, in a move primarily aimed at capitalising on the rugby franchise’s significant marketing exposure by the national and international media...

Click here to read more

Introducing… Special Collections

Special Collections is an (almost) hidden gem in Central Library. Tucked away around the corner on the first floor, across from the Reserve Desk, the Collections is home to a treasure trove of books and manuscripts from early European printing to collections up to the 21st century.

Print, paper, illustrations, and extensive collections such as the De Beer Collection, the Charles Brasch Collection, and collections of popular genres such as pulp fiction and science fiction (most notably the Fastier Collection) are all there for browsing. 

Regular exhibitions such as the recent Rare Delights III: Recent Additions to Special Collections, Reaching Out: Celebrating 100 years of Otago Physiotherapy Graduates, and Celebrating Pharmacy, are open to students, staff, alumni and the general public.

If you never visited Special Collections as a student, then on your next trip to Central Library to use your alumni library card, why not come to the Collections while you’re there? The Collections are open Monday to Friday, from 8.30am-5.00pm. 

And if you’re not in Dunedin, you can still ‘visit’ the library’s Digital Collections. Exhibitions eventually go online, so you can view images and learn more about what’s been on display. From now onwards, we’ll be highlighting our current favourite Digital Collection of the month and posting them for you to browse from where ever you are.

Learn more about Special Collections here - and scroll down the page for a ‘virtual tour’ of the collections from special collections librarian Dr Donald Kerr.

Our first Digital Collection of the month is one of a number of ‘space’-themed items we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks - ‘Ray Guns & Rocket Ships: The Fred Fastier Science Fiction Collection’.

Click here to view the e-exhibition!

And don't forget to join us on Facebook and share your thoughts!

Hot pick podcast: John Broughton, A bro-fessor in the whare...

Professor John Broughton's Inaugural Professorial Lecture is our hot pick for this week. Professor Broughton is the Director of the Ngai Tahu Maori Health Research Unit.

Click here to watch the podcast! Don't forget to join us on Facebook afterwards.

Turning over a new Leith...

A facelift for the Leith… over the coming months, the Leith is being revamped. The flood protection scheme is being undertaken by Downer Construction, the Otago Regional Council’s contractor. Once the scheme is complete, there will be new terraces grassed and planted, with foothpaths following the edge of the river, just above river level.

The west (right) bank of the river will be excavated, with trees removed and relocated, works to the riverbed, and the St David footbridge will also be altered.

University Project Manager Christian German says, “Once finished, the new terraces on the west bank will be grassed and planted out; there will be wide steps down from the terraces and a footpath along the edge of the river. I know it is difficult to imagine now, but it will still be the nice place to sit and relax that it was before."

The work should be complete by June, and it promises to be a fantastic spot to come and visit!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and the photo.

Congratulations Deborah Lambie!

Otago alumna and fifth year medical student Deborah Lambie has won the title of Miss Speech at World Miss University 2014 in Seoul, Korea.

As part of the competition, Deborah gave three speeches. One of the speeches was on health and the environment, and promoting lifestyle habits such as walking, and growing your own food. At the peace forum, her speech related her grandfather's perspective on war - as a WWII veteran, she said, he believed that war was not the answer.

Deborah is an honours graduate in Medical Science, and last year she completed her Masters in Entrepeneurship. This year will be her fifth year of medical study.

Congratulations Deborah!

Read the full story from the Otago Daily Times here, and please join us on Facebook to post your congratulatory messages to Deborah.



Love at Otago

Did you meet your partner at Otago? It's two weeks until Valentine's Day, and we want to hear your story... Post your 'Otago Valentine' stories or message them to us on our Facebook, or email us at - and include your photos too!




Hot pick podcast: Get off the Grass - Shaun Hendy

In this podcast, Professor Shaun Hendy discusses the book he wrote with Sir Paul Callaghan, on developing a more innovative economy and how science plays a role in this. An interesting talk!

Click here to watch the podcast, and then visit us on Facebook afterwards!

Climb (and revise) every mountain...

New research here at Otago by Otago National School of Surveying researcher Dr Pascal Sirguey and Master's student Sebastian Vivero is taking 30 metres off the official height of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

New Zealand’s highest mountain is currently listed as 3,754 metres above sea level. However an Otago-led expedition in November last year (with support from GNS Science and New Zealand Aerial Mapping Ltd) used high accuracy GPS to show that the peak is actually 3,724m high.

Dr Sirguey, the project leader, and Vivero had performed new aerial photography-based calculations, and the GPS readings confirmed what they had found. Sirguey says that the old height was taken in 1991 after a massive rock-ice collapse, and that since then, the ice gap has been through a reshaping process.

“By carefully studying photos taken after the collapse,” he says, “it appears that there was still a relatively thick ice cap, which was most likely out of balance with the new shape of the summit ridge. As a result the ice cap has been subject to erosion over the past 20 years. While the effects of climate change may spring to mind as an explanation, it is probably a case of a simple change in the geomorphology of the mountain.”

Aoraki/Mt Cook is still the highest mountain in New Zealand, with Rarakiroa/Mount Tasman being the second highest at 3497m.

The four-person Otago expedition that obtained the GPS data was led by Dr Nicolas Cullen from the Department of Geography.

"...we suspected that Aoraki was tens of metres lower than the official height, so it is very satisfying to have our estimates validated by GPS."

Jim Anderson of Survey Waitaki, a recent graduate from the National School of Surveying, and Dr Cullen took the GPS measurements, and they were guided up and down the mountain by Geoff Wayatt and Brian Weedon of Mountain Recreation Limited.

“It was very exciting to see that the team’s GPS data closely matched our photogrammetric calculations from a 2008 aerial survey. From early on in this work we suspected that Aoraki was tens of metres lower than the official height, so it is very satisfying to have our estimates validated by GPS.”

The team made contact with Ngāi Tahu prior to beginning their work. Mandy Home of Arowhenua, Ngāi Tahu, says, “Aoraki is culturally significant to Ngāi Tahu and we as a people refer to Aoraki as our ancestor. The fact that Pascal and his team made contact with Ngāi Tahu prior to commencement of the re-survey project is commendable. The team’s subsequent development of a specific methodology to avoid standing on the summit of Aoraki was also greatly appreciated,” says Home.

To further acknowledge the role of Ngāi Tahu as the kaitiaki of Aoraki, the results were presented to the iwi before they were presented anywhere else.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) was among several organisations that provided financial and scientific support for the project, and the new data will be used in both LINZ online data and in the next printing of hard copy topographic maps. 

Other sponsors and supporters of the project include Southern Approach Ltd, the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand (FMC), and the New Zealand Institute of Surveying (NZIS).

Video clip of the climb:

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and the photo.

Calling alumni and friends of Allen Hall

A message from Lisa Warrington for alumni and friends of Allen Hall:

I hope you all know about the Allen Hall 100th year celebration on 12 - 14 September this year. In case you don't, have a look at the Facebook page set up for it.

I really hope you can come! But even if you can't, I would love you to contribute to the book we are making to go with the event.

I'm asking for anecdotes about your time in Allen Hall, if you have any you want to share, AND I'm also asking if you would be willing to write a short (250 words-ish) biography, so we can look at all the things that former Allen Hallers have been up to in their lives since Allen Hall days.

It would be WONDERFUL if you wanted to contribute. Please send stuff to me at - Sooner rather than later - like now! - so you don't put it off and forget. Please do it!   And don’t forget to send in your photos!  The more the merrier!!!

Also, please could you spread the word both about the event itself, and about my request for anecdotes and bios, to anyone and everyone you know who has an association with Allen Hall. That can include people who have performed here, not just people who went through any of the Drama/Theatre Studies papers. And/or can you send me names and email contacts for anyone you are still in touch with?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Six60 Forever...

Otago alumni band Six60 have released a new video! The song, 'Forever', features on the soundtrack to Vaterfreuden, a new German movie directed by Matthias Schweighöfer. The film looks extremely entertaining to say the least!

Here's a link to the video - sit back, watch and listen, and then join us on Facebook to let us know how you enjoyed it!


Hot pick podcast: Lisa McNeil, Y-Worry? Generation Y's attitudes to debt and money

This week’s hot pick podcast is from Dr Lisa McNeil of Marketing. Part of the Winter Lecture series a few years ago, this lecture is still an extremely relevant and interesting insight into the spending behaviour of Generation Y. Tune in to find out more!

Click here to watch the podcast, and remember to join us on Facebook afterwards!


Queenstown open lecture - Professor Cecilia Bitz

Calling Queenstown area alumni... there's an open lecture at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort on Monday evening. It's free to attend!

The Future of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice - Professor Cecilia Bitz
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington Seattle, Washington, USA

Monday 20 January 2014
Conference Room 1
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront Corner of Frankton Road and Adelaide Street

Professor Cecilia Bitz is an internationally renowned sea ice and climate modelling researcher. She is visiting the University of Otago on a Fulbright US Scholar Award. In this talk she will describe the record sea ice coverage in the last decade for the Arctic and Antarctic. The Arctic has experienced record losses, especially in summer, while the Antarctic has had expanding sea ice. How is this possible in an era of global climate change, and what can we expect in the future? She will address these and other important questions about the sea ice cover on our planet.

The lecture is sponsored by the University of Otago's Polar Environments Research Theme, so if you have an interest in this area then come along on Monday.

Here's a bit more about the Research Theme:

Don't forget to join us on Facebook afterwards and let us know how it was!

Hot pick podcast: Helen Lenskyj, Sex, Drugs and Olympic Gold

This week’s hot pick podcast is a really engaging talk from Dr Helen Lenskyj, 2013’s William Evans Fellow in the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science. Dr Lenskyj discusses the expectations around femininity for women Olympic athletes, as well as other issues around sexuality and gender.

Click here to watch the lecture, and remember to join us on Facebook afterwards!



Hot pick podcast: Beyond University of Otago - one graduate's story

Happy New Year everyone - we’re back from the break! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

Our first hot pick podcast for 2014 is from Otago alumna Dr AnnMarie Oien. AnnMarie, a Physics graduate, tells her story of life in the US after graduation.

Click here to watch AnnMarie's entertaining talk - and remember to join us on Facebook afterwards!



Hot pick podcast: In conversation with Ian Rankin

This week’s hot pick podcast is a conversation with prolific Scottish crime author, Ian Rankin. He visited Otago earlier this year to discuss his work with Professor Liam McGilvanney from the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, and take questions from the audience. His Inspector Rebus novels have been adapted for TV as the Rebus detective series.

Get yourself a coffee, and click here to enjoy the podcast.

Don't forget to join us on Facebook afterwards!


Culture Jamming

Ever wished you could keep learning about popular culture and politics? You don’t have to be at lectures if you want to keep up with what’s out there – apart from our hot pick podcasts (which are from all the disciplines), there’s also a fantastic show now on Radio One that goes by the name of Culture Jamming.

Hosted by media studies lecturer Dr Rosemary Overell, the show combines an eclectic mix of music with informed commentary from an Otago expert in popular music and politics.

Rosemary, who began teaching in the Department of Media, Film and Communication just this year, completed her PhD at Melbourne University, on the topic of Japanese grindcore.

“Although my thesis was about extreme metal,” she says, “I’ve always had an interest in all types of popular music and their sociocultural significance. Culture Jamming gives me a chance to rehearse ideas in a casual, but still critically engaged, format.

"It’s also an interactive programme - we have guests most weeks, ranging from musicians to academics in the field of music cultural studies. We also have a very active twitter feed (@cultjamming) and Facebook page."

Alumni interested in music and politics are invited to listen, interact, and engage in this growing academic field (while you’re also being entertained).

Playlists for the show are on the show’s social media, and if you’ve missed the live broadcasts so far, don’t worry! You can catch up on the show via the Radio One website.

Culture Jamming is on Radio One 91fm on Sundays from 12-2pm.

Photo by Duncan Box (Rosemary Overell in the Radio One studio with acclaimed Melbourne noise artist Christopher L. G. Hill).

Don't forget to let us know how you enjoyed the show!

Memories of Radio One from your own student days? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or send us an email at - we'd love to hear from you!

Otago and Ngai Tahu re-sign their MOU


This week, Ngai Tahu and Otago re-signed their Memorandum of Understanding.  The event demonstrated a decade’s worth of embedding Ngai Tahu goals and aspirations into the University, leading to much higher numbers of Maori graduates.

There was a blessing and a ceremony at the Clocktower on Tuesday, attended by Ngai Tahu representatives.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said that the MOU is a “living and breathing” document, and she noted that there are now 678 research programmes involving Maori, and that there is a strong commitment at Otago to pastoral support of Maori students.

At the event, several achievements at Otago were noted, including the science wananga outreach programme, research into the mutton bird harvest, the Ngāi Tahu research consultation committee, the research commitment to Ngāi Tahu and Māori over three health science campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington, and the rising numbers of Māori students on health professional programmes, as well as the Hocken Library’s work in preserving Māori Taonga or treasures.

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story, and photo of Sir Mark Solomon and Chancellor John Ward signing the Memorandum of Understanding.

December graduation events and live streams

This years’ December graduations are being celebrated in the Octagon. These after-graduation events, organised by us here at the Development and Alumni Relations Office and the DCC, along with lower Octagon café owners and Dunedin NZ, replace the marquee after-celebration of previous years.

The Saturday 7 December graduation was celebrated in the Octagon with drinks and nibbles and local bands playing, and it will all happen again on 14 December, with the event going from 1pm-6.30pm.

This December’s graduations will, once again, also be live streamed. Visit the links below for more information – the live streams will be available on those pages also.

11 December graduation

14 December graduation (1pm) (4pm)


Hot pick podcast: Graeme Downes, Untimely Meditations – A Songwriter’s Occupation

In this lecture, Dr Graeme Downes of the Music Department – and of Dunedin band the Verlaines – talks about songwriting, his new album, and the music industry. Click here to watch!

And if you were in Dunedin during the Verlaines’ heyday, you’ll remember Graeme for this at the very least:

Share your memories of the Dunedin music scene when you were a student – memorable gigs, photos, anything! Share them with us on our Facebook, or email us at


A new type of textbook...

Remember your old textbooks? Still have them? And how about those queues at the beginning of the year when you went in to the UBS with your textbook lists!

Those days are of the distant past, and textbooks are catching up with technology. Academics, librarians and postgrads from New Zealand and Australia have been working on a new type of text...

The recent Media TextHack weekend in the Department of Media, Film and Communication focused on putting together media and communication studies course materials into an open source online text – all within 48 hours.  

The weekend was led by the Department’s Dr Erika Pearson, University of Otago Copyright Officer Richard White, librarian Simon Hart, and PhD student Bernard Madill (also of Media, Film and Communication).

It’s an ongoing project that can be added to and edited along the way, and a really big bonus is that it’ll be a free resource for students. No more shelling out for those heavy old books, and you’d never have to worry about whether or not you’ve got the right edition, or scratching your head over whether or not your page numbers match the new edition!  

Best of all, you can’t lose it, leave it behind, or lend it to the wrong person (who inevitably never gives it back to you)…

The textbook will be available to undergraduate students of media and communication studies in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Looks like the future is arriving!


Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.

We’d love to hear your memories of your old textbooks… (Alison C here at Alumni remembers having a massive backpack full of texts at the beginning of one year and everyone being really impressed at her strength and fitness at carrying them all home… as well as the time her favourite Classical tragedy textbook was never returned to her!) 

Share your stories with us on our Facebook!


Visitors welcome...

If you’ve been past the St David Lecture Theatres recently, you will have noticed that the new Visitors’ Centre is shaping up!

David Richardson, the Project Convenor, reports that it’s going smoothly.

“The main construction phase of the project is well advanced and we are rapidly heading to the shop fit out stage,” he says.

“The project has involved a lot of design work on not just the building but also concepts on how the Centre will run, the experience it will offer visitors along with a new range of memorabilia.”

When the Centre is completed, there’ll be easy access from the one-way, and once you get in there, you’ll find displays, interactive screens, and general information. It’s expected that the Centre will be complete early in the New Year, so that it’ll be open for the start of the academic year.

It goes without saying that alumni are always welcome, so keep an eye out and pop in to visit!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story. Artists' impression of the Visitors' Centre courtesy of McCoy and Wixon Architects.

Hot pick podcast: Professor Chua Beng Huat, Managing Multiculturalism: Immigration, Population Policy and Citizenship in Singapore

This week’s hot pick is visiting scholar Chua Beng Huat’s presentation on multiculturalism and immigration in contemporary Singapore. As part of the Asian Migrations Research Theme, Professor Chua’s presentation was hosted by the Department of Media, Film and Communication earlier this year. The talk is introduced by Head of Department Dr Vijay Devadas.

Make yourself a cuppa and click here to watch the presentation! And don't forget to join us on Facebook afterwards to share your thoughts.

Sir Louis Edward Barnett commemorative plaque

Sir Louis Edward Barnett, CMG (1885-1946) is a prestigious alumni of the University of Otago Medical School. He was Professor of Surgery at Otago, and the first surgeon in the country to wear rubber gloves and a gauze mask in the operating theatre. His research into hydatids was groundbreaking, contributing to the disease being eradicated. He also founded the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and was internationally known - retiring at age 60, in 1925.

Last Friday, there was an unveiling ceremony for the new replacement New Zealand Historic Places Trust plaque at his former home in Hampden.

40 people attended the event, as well as 20 pupils from Hampden School. Barnett family members came from all over New Zealand for the unveiling.

The plaque was remade by Procote Industries in Dunedin, with the correct colour blue being imported for the enamel.

Sir Louis’ grandson Richard (Dick) Barnett spoke at the ceremony, recalling personal memories, and Professor Andre van Rij - Head of the Department of Surgical Sciences at the Dunedin School of Medicine - spoke about his importance in the medical field.

The original plaque was put in by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 1977, and is one of many other plaques put up around Otago and Southland between 1970 and 1982. It has faded in the years since, which led to the need for a replacement.

An article in the Otago Daily Times in 1977, about the Silver Jubilee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, referred to a case that Sir Louis had written about in the New Zealand Medical Journal (which he edited): 

"A young farmer aged 33 years, was thrown from a horse and injured his head. Over the next 16 months he became steadily more ill and lost the power in his left arm and leg.

On March 17 1896, Barnett decided he must open the head to try to save the patient's life. Cautiously he exposed the brain through a skull which was considerably thinned but found the brain beneath of normal appearance. However, probing the brain with a needle produced clear fluid and he was able to coax out of its bed in the brain, with a gentle stream of fluid, an hydatid cyst the size of a 'mandarin orange'.

The patient made an excellent recovery and was discharged from hospital six weeks later, restored to perfect physical and mental health.

This was the second case of hydatid of the brain removed in the Dunedin Hospital and in New Zealand by a method which has since become widely adopted by neurosurgeons."

The plaque unveiling ceremony was followed by an afternoon tea in the garden, put on by the house’s current owners Joe and Margaret Johnston.

You can read the ODT coverage of the ceremony here.

The Oamaru Mail also ran a story

Thanks to Julian Kuzma, and to Hazel Heal of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

New Te Rangi Hiroa college - a special visit to Urenui marae

Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck) was a distinguished alumni of Otago’s medical school, being the first Maori medical graduate from a New Zealand university. In 1904 he received his MB ChB, and in 1910 he graduated with his MD. His thesis topic was ‘Medicine among the Maoris, in ancient and modern times’.

In October, it was announced that Otago’s newest residential college would be named after him, and two weeks ago, representatives from the University, Ngāi Tahu, Te Rangi Hiroa’s whanau, and his tribe, Ngāti Mutunga, met at Urenui Pā.

Ngati Mutunga hold ‘Te Rangi Hiroa’ day every year in his honour. He’s remembered as a great son of Taranaki and a leader and doctor. He used his medical training to provide Maori with important care in the first part of the twentieth century when they were faced with serious health problems such as tuberculosis, scabies and lethal water-borne diseases.

University staff and members of Ngai Tahu were welcomed by the whanau and iwi of Te Rangi Hiroa. One of the kaumatua, Dr Tony Ruakere, is also an Otago alumni, graduating with his medical degree in 1970, and later his Diploma of General Practice.

Dr Ruakere spoke about Otago’s commitment to Maori education and the high number of graduates. In his time as a student, he says, only a handful of Maori attended medical school. Of his time at Otago, he says, “… I can name any house number in Dunedin, addresses in Castle Street, and Cumberland Street - these places were just part of the University life of young people. And we studied very, very hard.”

Tuari Potiki, the Director of Maori Development, led the visit, along with Ngai Tahu leaders including Edward Ellison. Tuari says that the visit to Urenui Pā was important as a way to recognise that the relationship with Te Rangi Hiroa’s family and Ngāti Mutunga was more than about the naming of the college.

“This needs to be something deeper and more lasting – a relationship that is ongoing into the future,” he says.

During the visit, the idea of a permanent display at the college profiling Te Rangi Hiroa was discussed, as well as how the University and iwi will build on their relationship in the future.

Ngai Tahu runanga chair Donna Matahaere-Atariki (who is also on the University Council) also spoke, as well as Ashely Day, who is the newly appointed warden for Te Rangi Hiroa College.

The new college will open in February next year!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and the photos.


Hot pick podcast: Jacob Edmond, Poetry and Piracy: Copyright and Poetic Licence

This week’s hot pick podcast is a fascinating talk from Associate Professor Jacob Edmond, on the topic of poetry, piracy and copyright.

From the Department of English and Linguistics, Assoc. Prof. Edmond’s discussion was the 2012 Carl Smith Medal lecture – as an early career researcher, he was presented this award for his outstanding scholarly achievement.

Get yourself a coffee (or tea), and click here to enjoy the lecture!




Award for the old Gardies

If you ever spent time at the Gardies pub, you wouldn’t even recognise it now. It’s so unrecognisable, it just won an award – in its new guise as the Marsh Study Centre – from the New Zealand Institute of Architects, at the 2013 Southern Architecture Awards.

The new study centre, which was designed by Mason and Wales Architects Ltd, won the education category. The NZIA said that the University’s redevelopment of the old Gardies recognises the importance of the ‘social’. 

The building includes a café on the ground floor, indoor and outdoor tables, chairs and comfortable couches, with the sitting area facing the Botanic Gardens. There’s also a gas fire in the centre of the ground floor room. The upstairs area is for study, with comfy study booths in an open area, and other smaller interconnected rooms and spaces.

Congrats to the Marsh Study Centre!

Here’s some old coverage we found on RadioLive from when the Gardies closed down


Memories of the Gardies? Share them with us on Facebook!


Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and the photo of the Marsh Study Centre.


70 Years of 'Irreverence': Arana College Anniversary Celebrations

Arana College is celebrating its 70th Anniversary on 23 and 24 November. Along with a dinner for 144 people, there will be a service at Knox Church, a tour of Arana College (and of Dunedin), official photographs, and a tree planting in Arana’s grounds. 

Arana College Warden Jamie Gilbertson says, “It will be a chance to celebrate the old stories and some intimate details of the history of the Hall. We have residents from the 1940s and ‘50s coming, some of them were at the centre of the old tales we’ll be telling.”

Arana Hall was founded in 1943 by Presbyterian Reverent HW Turner and the Stuart Hall Council, to meet the growing demand for accommodation.

“It was run on a shoestring,” says Mr Gilbertson. “’Arana’, the Sir James Allen homestead, was the mother ship. The Nissen huts with pinex walls were built around it, a scattered collection of houses accommodated more students, and they came to the house for meals.

“The first students were very robust young men with a wicked sense of humour and a large appetite for playing pranks and jokes on the long-suffering staff – they were irreverent to the Reverends.

“I am glad I wasn’t a warden then, they would have given us a real run for our money. Some had had wartime experience; they’d been overseas fighting. They weren’t going listen to the Reverend when he said they weren’t allowed to drink beer.”

Nowadays, Arana Hall is known as Arana College and it has a roll of 400. Since 1978, female students have been accommodated at Arana, and they are now 60% of the college residents.

Mr Gilbertson notes that even since the old days of irreverent pranks, “This college is still laughing – it’s the echoes of laughter from those original rascals. We are still scallywags. We have a history of high academic achievement and tremendous fun.”

The Hall’s first Factor Eric Low certainly had to put up with a lot! In 1947 Arana’s magazine The Urchin wrote about it: “Eric lived in what is now the common room, and to that hideout he retreated whenever the situation appeared to be out of control. In fact, upon one occasion it was only the timely arrival of the Matron returning late in the evening which enabled the Factor to emerge for his nightly ablutions without being terrorised by those terrible boys.

“And there was the occasion when a rope was tied between his door handle and the present dining-room door handle – a room occupied by Tubby Dignan. This rope had just the required degree of slack in it. At a given signal that much used warden baiter, the sewing machine, was pushed violently up and down the front hall. Eric’s door opened and out popped Eric’s head and shoulders to determine (cautiously, mind you!) the cause of the disturbance.

“This was Tubby’s cue. He opened his door vigorously (and how!), the rope tightened, and Eric was firmly held between his door and the jamb – while Tubby solicitously asks the nature of his plight, the solution of which was a perplexing problem and took a considerable time to solve…”

While there may not be any pranks at the 70th anniversary celebrations, it’s always possible that some of the pranksters might be in attendance!

Photo: Arana Hall residents in 1946, some of them World War II veterans.

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and photo.


Disaster! A symposium

If you’re an alumni of Media, Film and Communication, or if you’re just interested in some public lectures on environmental justice, everyday disasters, or the War on Terror, then you should come along to these public lectures in the Department next week.

All are welcome to this event, which is being put on by the Postcolonial Studies Research Network - so come on back in to the Richardson building on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to hear some engaging speakers.

Remember to join us on Facebook afterwards too!


"Thank you very much for your kind donations..."

Been to the Hocken recently? Interested in some local history? Maybe you even studied it yourself! Whatever your interest, there are some really fascinating items in the Hocken collections, and last week, Hocken staff and 65 invited guests celebrated recent donations with a donor recognition event.

Donations over the last year have included: a series of glass-plate negatives of a 20th century Otago family, a series of letters written in German, two original Burton Brothers prints showing the PWD locomotive ‘Rob Roy’ on the viaduct at Deep Stream c.1890, photographs of houses and buildings in the Dunedin suburb of Mornington, taken and donated by Dr Ray Hargreaves, and a collection of bottle labels from Dunedin and wider Otago beer and cordial manufacturers donated by Frank Leckie (which complements the collection of Wests NZ Ltd soft drink bottle labels).

The group of recent donors were given a tour of the gallery exhibition by Curator of Pictorial Collections Natalie Poland.

University Librarian Howard Amos welcomed everyone at the evening event, and Hocken Librarian Sharon Dell spoke as well about the importance, value and usefulness of the donations.

“Donations are vital to the Hocken, with its plethora of collections that cover more than one hundred and fifty years of New Zealand history. Every year well over a hundred people donate books, magazines, newspapers, pictures, photographs, maps, music, ephemera, archives and personal papers to the Hocken. They are individuals, families and organisations who value research and history and want to make these items available for present and future generations of researchers,” says Sharon.

“The Hocken collections would be unable to maintain their relevance to the communities that they serve without this kind of support. While the operational budget and acquisition of books are covered by the University of Otago, the purchase of unpublished material, which includes art, photographs and archives, is reliant on Trust funds established by past benefactors,” she says.

Sharon adds that historical donations that the Hocken has received have provided the inspiration for the current exhibition, Place Makers: artists & iconic landscapes.

Alumni are always welcome to come and have a look around – so come and see what there is! And don’t forget to let us know what you enjoyed the most (join us on Facebook)!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and the photos.


100 Years of Physiotherapy Alumni!

The School of Physiotherapy’s 100-year celebration is about to wrap up. This year the School has celebrated their centenary with alumni events, presentations, a book launch, and a Centennial Conference.

They’ve also had an exhibition on display – Reaching Out: Celebrating 100 years of Otago Physiotherapy Graduates 1913-1013 – at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections. It goes until mid-December, so if you haven’t been to see it yet, come along soon and learn more about what Physiotherapy alumni have done in their field!

“The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to profile our graduates, to tell their stories in way that wasn’t possible in our centenary book or our other centenary activities and to physically engage with important archival material on display,” says Senior Lecturer Dr Gill Johnson, who is also the exhibition curator.

“The exhibition strongly mirrors the evolution of the School into a leading research institution of international repute by highlighting the early emphasis on massage, electrotherapy and childbirth education in the early part of the curriculum through to the current day suite of qualifications offered by the School of Physiotherapy.”

The exhibition goes until 13 December. (If you can’t make it, it'll also be available online – keep an eye out!)

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and photos.

Dr Gill Johnson with colleagues and postgraduates at the Reaching Out exhibition.

If you're an alumni of the School of Physiotherapy, we'd love to hear your memories. Email us or join us on Facebook to share your stories!


Hot pick podcast: Second Impressions: A Sequel to ‘Pride and Prejudice’

We’ve picked this week’s podcast for you, and this time it’s another one from the Department of English and Linguistics - an open lecture by Sandy Lerner, founder of the Chawton House Library.

Under the name of Ava Farmer, Sandy wrote a sequel to Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ – click here to tune in and listen to her talk about (and read from) her work!  The lecture is introduced by Professor Emerita Jocelyn Harris - who, if you studied English, you will remember very well!



Residential College Chef of the Year 2013

It’s a bit like MasterChef, but with an Otago twist… Last night, nine teams of chefs competed in the 2013 Residential College Chef of the Year cook-off!

Wade Kennard and Owen Newbould from Abbey College were the winning team, coming away with not just bragging rights but also the coveted Residential Chef of the Year trophy.

The competition was in the ISB Link, with a panel judging the teams on technique, skill, first impression, presentation, and how well the chefs used their ‘mystery ingredients’. The teams presented two courses to the judging panel, who were Tony Hepinstall (Otago Polytechnic), Helen Mason (Two Chefs Restaurant) and Shane Gibson (Southern Hospitality).

College Catering Manager Gary McNeill says the yearly competition celebrates our unsung catering heroes, highlighting what they can achieve. “They’re all keen to be the college that takes home the trophy”.

Alongside the main event, spectators took part in a cupcake decorating contest, as well as wine tasting and matching. A delicious time all round!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and photos.


Remember dinner time in your residential college? Join us on Facebook and share your memories…


30 years for General Practice and Rural Health

Nearly 100 alumni, students, staff and local general practitioners commemorated 30 years of Otago’s General Practice and Rural Health Department last Friday at the University Staff Club.

The Head of Department, Associate Professor Chrys Jaye, says the event was a huge success.

“It was wonderful to see so many people reconnecting, reminiscing and networking with our speakers and each other.”

Mark Brunton from the Office of Maori Development delivered a mihi to start the celebrations off, which continued with a series of speakers including the former and present Heads of Department and Dr Graham Mortimer, who is the former Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine.

Sue Farry presented this year’s Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Scholarships, worth a total of $30,000, to Rebecca Craw and David Neynens. These scholarships are awarded to encourage undergraduate and rural health professional research and professional development.

The Department was established in 1983 (it was at first called the Department of General Practice), and it was one of the first such departments in the world. It was the first one to ever be established in New Zealand.

Professor Susan Dovey, who teaches in the department, says that “The creation of the Department reflected an emerging view of the importance of generalist and primary care medicine in New Zealand, and internationally. This view has only got stronger over the last 30 years.”

Associate Professor Jaye says that the Department has developed a strong rural focus, “delivering 25 per cent of the undergraduate curriculum, setting up a Postgraduate Diploma in rural provincial hospital practice and a Postgraduate Certificate in clinician performed ultrasound, in addition to a rural immersion programme for fifth year medical students.”

Over 100 graduates from the Department have gone on to occupy key positions within The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, and other professional bodies in New Zealand.

Assoc. Prof. Jaye says that in the future for the Department are stronger interdisciplinary relationships with other health professions, and the development of a stronger research profile.

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story and photo.

Were you one of the alumni that attended the commemoration? If you’re a graduate of this Department – from any of the 30 years! - we’d love to hear from you… what are some of your best memories?  Join us on Facebook and share your stories!

O-Taiko drumming group ‘drums up’ funds

Hanami celebration outside the Clocktower

Remember the O-Taiko drumming group? They showed how passionate they are in the recent Hanami celebrations, and it turns out they’re also passionate about helping those in need.

The O-Taiko group has taken part in fundraising efforts for various causes in the past couple of years, starting with performances to raise money for earthquake and tsunami victims in Christchurch and Japan – raising $1166 for the Red Cross last year to help with Christchurch earthquake relief. This year, the group’s fundraising will help with tsunami relief efforts in Japan.  

The group’s fundraising efforts this year will culminate in a concert here at Otago on Saturday 16 November. There will also be workshops between performances, where you can learn how to play taiko!  

"Drumming is a very important part of Japanese culture, and not only are the drums used in musical training and performance, but they also act as a window into the fascinating world of Japanese culture," says Professor Henry Johnson, of the Department of Music.

The drums used by O-Taiko are also used in courses in the Department of Music, where students learn not only about taiko drumming but also Japanese culture.

This Saturday’s concert and workshop are from 1.00-3.00pm at Mary Hopewell Theatre (University of Otago). Entrance is by donation – come along!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.


Children of War film screening

Children of War is a film based on research being done in the Department of History and Art History about mixed-race children born to Pacific women and US servicemen during World War II. The project, led by Professor Judy Bennett, is called Mothers' Darlings, and you’re invited to come along to this film that springs from the project!

The screening is in the St David Lecture theatre on Thursday 21 November, from 1.30-3.30pm.


Hope to see you there! And don't forget to join us on Facebook afterwards!

Hot Pick Podcast: In conversation with Jim Flynn

This week’s podcast is from the Department of Political Studies. Emeritus Professor Jim Flynn talks about his early life and academic career, which began at the University of Chicago when he received a scholarship to study Politics and Philosophy. Professor Flynn has been at the University of Otago since 1967, when he came here to take up the position of Foundation Chair in Political Studies. Here he is in conversation with Associate Professor Charles Pigden.

Click here to watch the podcast, and remember to join us on Facebook afterwards!


"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille..."

Calling all media graduates!

Are you working in the media right now? Whether you're in the movies, television, radio, music, or print media - we’d love to hear about it. Catch up with us on Facebook and let us know what you're doing!

Or, if you know someone we could profile on our website, send us an email at We'll be waiting to hear from you!


Award for Otago filmmaker!

Otago’s Professor Lloyd Spencer Davis has been awarded the 2013 Ronald B. Tobias Award for Achievement in Science and Natural History Filmmaking Education.

Professor Davis, an internationally recognised scientist, author and filmmaker, received the award late last month at a ceremony at Montana State University (MSU).

Professor Davis says he was extremely honoured to have his contributions to science and natural history filmmaking education recognised.

“I was chuffed at the news. Together with NHNZ we set up the first tertiary course in the world on natural history filmmaking. There are now at least six other such courses around the globe. It is nice to think that we were at the forefront and started something that has flourished so well.”

Professor Davis helped to establish Otago’s Science Communication Programme in 2008. He is the director of the Centre for Science Communication, and Stuart Professor of Science Communication.

His academic honours include a Fulbright Fellowship, an Anzac Fellowship and a Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award.

He has produced films since 1985, including documentaries such as Eating Like a Gannet, Under Galapagos, and the multiple award-winning Meet the Real Penguins. Professor Davis' award-winning books include Looking for Darwin and Plight of the Penguin, which was New Zealand Post’s New Zealand Children’s Book of the Year.

Here’s a clip we found of him introducing one of his books, Looking for Darwin

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.


Calling others like Professor Davis! If you (or anyone else you know from Otago!) are now working in the media, let us know… We’d love to hear about what you’re doing. Email us at or, drop us a line on Facebook!

Story, Emotion and Science

The 2013 Psycolloguy is coming up, and you’re invited to the keynote address by Dr Paul Trotman – Story, Emotion and Science. Dr Trotman is a doctor, writer and filmmaker whose company, PRNfilms, makes medical documentaries for TVNZ and TV3. He also makes teaching and communication films for health and science professionals.

His public lecture on Thursday 21 November is all about emotions and how to “use the dark arts of commercial television” to communicate scientific research through stories, reaching people’s emotions. Brain chemicals like dopamine start firing off and facts and figures transform into something a lot more interesting!  

Mark this free event in your diary and come along to learn more about the link between psychology, science and the media – it’s on 21 November at 11:00am, in the Mark Parker Seminar Room at University College (315 Leith Street, Dunedin).

Click here for more info!



What's up, Bonedoc?

Now instead of asking ‘who’s for a game of Operation?’, you can try your hand at surgery on your iPhone! Otago’s Dr Phil Blyth, a senior lecturer in eLearning in medicine and a practising emergency medicine doctor, has developed Bonedoc – an app that lets you step into a virtual operating theatre and repair a hip fracture.

On the app you can realign bones, place a plate and fit screws. You check your work and get immediate feedback via x-ray. At the end of the operation, you receive a score for your surgical skills! The app has been hooked up to the Apple Game Centre, so you can compete for the highest score with friends or even other doctors.

Dr Blyth says the inspiration for Bonedoc started when he was working as an orthopaedic registrar, when he would have to learn how to do an operation by first watching and then being guided through the process.

"A big part of it is seeing all the steps and practising those steps over and over," he says.

Dr Graham Strong from Otago Innovation says the mobile app space is a great way to deliver niche specialised information to a wider audience.

"Phil is unique. Not only is he a fantastic medical professional but he has taught himself to code effectively. Combining that medical expertise with that computer coding expertise has produced this mobile application which is targeted at real world situations. The things you do on the app are things that would happen in a real surgery."

"The power of the Game Centre is not to be underestimated - particularly where the gaming component of the app has a monetary value. So you earn virtual dollars for doing your surgery. As more and more people come on board that competitive nature will kick in and we will get a lot more players coming back to it."

An Android version of Bonedoc is due for release in 2014. Other operations are also being developed.

The app is available from or the Apple AppStore. So who’s up for a game? …

Don't forget to join us on Facebook and let us know how you scored!


Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.

Stroma @ Marama Hall!

Stroma is New Zealand’s largest chamber ensemble, and you can see them play music by local composers at Marama Hall this Monday 11 November, 7.30pm.

The programme includes:

SAMUEL HOLLOWAY: Hard Science (world premiere)

SAMUEL HOLLOWAY: New work (world premiere)

MICHAEL NORRIS: Timedance (excerpts)

MICHAEL NORRIS: Tre Canzoni Imperfette


GEORGE CRUMB: Eleven Echoes of Autumn

Tickets are $20 (or $10 for students). Come along for an evening of culture! (Don’t forget to join us on Facebook afterwards and let us know how you enjoyed it).

Learn more about Stroma and listen to some of their music at the Stroma website!


Panel Discussion on Scottish Independence

Come along to a public discussion presented by the Centre for Scottish Studies: Panel Discussion on Scottish Independence. A panel of experts will explore the upcoming Scottish referendum, the pros and cons of Scottish independence, and what the implications are for New Zealand. It promises to be an interesting event!

Come along on 26 November at 5.30pm – click on the poster for more info!



Hot Pick Podcast: An Evening with Doug Johnstone

Hot Pick Podcast: This week’s podcast is from the Department of English and Linguistics – An Evening with Doug Johnstone. This Scottish author reads from his novel ‘Gone Again’, answers audience questions, and even sings some songs. Johnstone’s previous novel has been lauded by such well-known authors as Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh.

‘Tune in’ now by clicking here, and be part of the audience... and then join us on Facebook afterwards and let us know how you enjoyed it!

Book launch: ‘Peace, Power & Politics: How New Zealand Became Nuclear Free’

The launch of Maire Leadbeater’s new book, ‘Peace, Power & Politics: How New Zealand Became Nuclear Free’ is coming up! Otago University Press & The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies are holding this exciting book launch on 14 November, 5.30-7.30pm in the University Union. RSVP is essential, so email by Friday 1 November, and come along!

Exploring Youth Justice: Progress and Possibilities

Exploring Youth Justice: Progress and Possibilities
Tuesday 5th November, 5.15 - 6.30pm

On the panel will be:

  • Judge Andrew Becroft, (Principal Youth Court Judge)
  • Professor Mark Henaghan, (Dean of the Faculty of Law)
  • Professor Chris Marshall, (Victoria University, Wellington)
  • Dr Shayne Walker, (Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work)

One often hears laments about the loss of moral standards and the high rates of criminal offending among youth. In fact, however, rates of youth offending in New Zealand have been declining in recent years. But there is work yet to be done. The panel will consider the progress made thus far, the things that could be done to improve things further, and also the larger question of the goals toward which our justice system should be directed: what does justice consist in and what does it mean for justice to be done?

The panel will be chaired by Professor Murray Rae, Head of Department of Theology and Religion.

To reserve your seat in the Studio, please contact Kirsten Eyre either by email on or phone (03) 471 6458. Do hurry as places are limited! Or you can watch live, online via this link.

Christmas giving started early: Operation Christmas Child

Spreading the Christmas cheer! Otago's Academic Services Division staff have been busy playing the part of Santa’s elves, filling shoeboxes with gifts to send to children in need overseas. This is all part of ‘Operation Christmas Child’.  

Over the last four weeks, 45 staff prepared over 20 boxes for donation. Each box was filled with gifts, for either a girl or a boy of a specific age range. Manager of the Admissions, Enrolment and University Information Centre Philippa Hoult came up with the idea, and others were keen to get on board, buying small gifts and putting them together for the boxes.

Susan Larsen of Admissions and Enrolment says that there were categories of gift suggestions: “something to love, something special, some things for school, something to play with and something for personal hygiene. So, for example, we have soft toys, marbles and balls, pens and pencils, facecloths, soap and toothbrushes, T-shirts and caps.”

The finished boxes were delivered last Tuesday to the local representatives of Samaritan’s Purse, the international relief organisation which coordinates Operation Christmas Child.

This is not the first year that Academic Services staff have pooled their efforts to spread some Christmas cheer - in other years, the group has provided supplies to the SPCA and to local food banks.

Here's a picture of three staff - Emma Stocker, Susan Larsen and Alethea Chittenden - with some of the finished boxes!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.


Hot Pick Podcast: Richard Porter, 'Stress, earthquakes and the brain'

Hot pick podcast time... This week’s hot pick is Professor Richard Porter’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture (Department of Psychological Medicine) - a fascinating look at stress and earthquakes, and how these events affect the brain!

Click here to watch the lecture, and remember to join us on Facebook afterwards!



Peer-reviewed rap?

The ScienceTeller Festival is nearly here, and whether it's whales, waste, beetles, or the science of beer, there's something for everyone. The student film premieres are going to be a must-see!

On the programme is something you will have never seen before – peer-reviewed hip-hop. World-renowned science rapper Baba Brinkman is here to present The Rap Guide to Evolution. Described as “provocative, hilarious, intelligent, and scientifically accurate”, Baba’s show combines Darwin’s theory of evolution with re-workings of popular rap songs. He’s taken the show to Edinburgh, and had a successful run Off Broadway.

On Saturday at 3.30pm in the Otago Museum’s Hutton Theatre, Baba will be running ‘The Rapper’s Guide to Rapping’ – a workshop on how to combine rap and science.

The Rap Guide to Evolution is on at the Regent Theatre this Friday 25 October, 1.45pm-2.45pm.

See the ScienceTeller website and programme for more info.

Remember to join us on Facebook afterwards and let us know how you enjoyed it!

Hot Pick Podcast: Michael Albert, ‘How to shuffle badly’

Here’s something to think about the next time you play cards... Professor Michael Albert’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘How to shuffle badly’ explains and demonstrates card shuffling. Prof. Albert shows the link between complex permutations and how good or bad shuffles affect the randomisation of a deck of cards! Click here to watch

And then, join us on Facebook for some after-shuffle discussion!

Evolution of the Body Snatchers

Still with our Science theme... mark Wednesday 23 October in your calendar, for Professor Robert Poulin’s 2013 Distinguished Research Medal Lecture: Evolution of the Body Snatchers.

Prof. Poulin, from the Department of Zoology, will discuss his research into the “bizarre yet sophisticated” adaptations that parasites have made in order to exploit their animal hosts, as well as the crucial role that parasites play in natural ecosystems.

“I hope that the talk will entertain the audience as well as convince them that parasites are more, much more, than creepy little creatures, but instead are incredibly fascinating and important components of the natural world,” Professor Poulin says.

As this year’s recipient, Prof. Poulin will be presented with the Distinguished Research Medal at the lecture. Come along to this event in Burns 1 on Wednesday 23 October, at 5.30pm.

Afterwards, don't forget to join us on Facebook and let us know how you enjoyed it.

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.


Student flats, food and gender stereotyping

Student flats, food, and gender stereotyping… Dr Shelagh Ferguson of the Department of Marketing investigated this topic, and found that the female flat in the study ate more vegetable-rich meals without much meat, while the all-male flat ate meat every night. Two flats were videoed preparing and eating food, and the researchers also looked at what food the participants ate in front of the opposite sex. The results found that there was in fact quite a bit of gender stereotyping involved in the flatties’ food choices.

The study showed that for the male flat, meat was the most important part of a meal, with everything else being a complement - while for the female flat, “taste and healthiness was everything”. The males indicated no interest in the nutritional value of their food choices, and their portion sizes were larger.

Female students, by contrast, said that they would change their food choice on a first date, eating less and more ‘daintily’ to appear more feminine - as well as choosing what they saw as more ‘feminine’ food, such as salad. The study also indicated that this was a self-perpetuated stereotype, with the males saying that a date’s food choice was “just not an issue”.

Click here to watch the flatties involved in this interesting study...

What was your flat shopping list like? Were there regular ‘must-haves’ on it? What foods did you treat yourself to in your scarfie days? Join us on Facebook and share your memories!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.




Hot Pick Podcast: Ted Ruffman, ‘Social Understanding: Development across the human lifespan and in dogs’

This week’s Hot Pick Podcast is still in our ‘Science theme’, and this time the science is Psychology…  This week we’ve picked Professor Ted Ruffman’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture, ‘Social Understanding: Development across the human lifespan and in dogs’. 

If you want to know more about theory of mind, emotional recognition, and whether dogs are really empathetic (this is especially interesting!), then tune in by clicking here!


ScienceTeller Festival programme is up!

Planning on attending the ScienceTeller Festival later this month? Good news! The festival programme, and the programme for two days of public film screenings, is now up on the ScienceTeller website.  (Click on the website's “2 Day Film Screening” link to see the film programme!)

And of course, don't forget to join us on Facebook afterwards to give us your after-film thoughts!


Cuban art exhibition: Humor from my Pen

Cuban political art is now on display in the Faculty of Law. Humor from my Pen is an exhibition of political cartoons by Cuban artist Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, featuring 30 satirical works on the topic of US/Cuban relations. The exhibition opened last week, with invited guests including Her Excellency the Cuban Ambassador to New Zealand María del Carmen Herrera Caseiro, as well as the Mayor of Dunedin, members of the local Hispanic community, University staff, and students.

Gerardo Hernández Nordelo’s artwork has been published in the Cuban media and is in galleries around the world. Nordelo is also one of The Cuban Five, a group of men arrested in Miami in 1998 under the accusation of conspiracy to commit espionage - his cariacatures reflect some of the politics surrounding  this experience.

The exhibition is co-hosted by the Faculty of Law, the Spanish Programme, and the Cuban Embassy in New Zealand – who opened the Cuba and New Zealand Friendship organisation in Dunedin just last week. The exhibition opening also celebrated the award of the Spanish Prize - won by Phoebe Harrop LLB/BA.

The exhibition is on the 10th floor of the Richardson Building. It’s open to the public Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 5.00pm, and runs until 24 October. Come along and have a look!

Thanks to the Otago Bulletin for this story.


Maya Open Lecture Series

If you’ve been going to the Maya Lecture Series, then don’t forget the final lecture by Professor Norman Hammond is tomorrow (9 October) at 5.30, in the Archway 1 lecture theatre. Prof. Hammond, Otago’s 2013 De Carle Distinguished Lecturer, is a world authority on the ancient Mayan civilisation.

This final lecture in the series is titled ‘Discovering the Maya: Reading the record’… come along and learn more about the archaeological discoveries being made about these ancient peoples.

Join us on Facebook afterwards and let us know how you enjoyed it!


Hot Pick Podcast: Dirk de Ridder, 'To dream is to cure phantoms'

Phantom pain, phantom sound (otherwise known as tinnitus), and dreaming! If you missed Dirk de Ridder’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture, you can catch up on it in this week’s podcast. Prof. de Ridder discusses his groundbreaking work in this remarkable area of neurosurgery and neuromodulation... covering dreams, philosophy, how the brain works as a 'prediction machine', and more. Click here to watch the lecture…

The ODT also covered Dirk’s lecture, and you can read the article here. After that, check out the Otago Magazine... Dirk is the cover story!

'Post-lecture', come and join us on Facebook... let us know what interested you the most about this fascinating talk.



Ritchie Memorial Lecture 2013

Interested in the topic of anaesthesia? This year’s annual Ritchie Memorial Lecture is by Assoc. Prof. Timothy Short, speaking on ‘A Brief History of Anaesthetic Depth’. Come along to the Barnett Lecture Theatre on Monday 14 October at 5pm!

The Ritchie Memorial Lecture is organised in memory of Assoc. Prof. John Ritchie (1909-1976), one of Otago’s leading clinicians and teachers, and former Director of the Department of Anaesthetics. 

Reaching Out: 100 years of Otago Physio graduates

Reaching Out: Celebrating 100 years of Otago Physiotherapy Graduates, 1913-2013 opens today! Come along to the de Beer Gallery on the first floor of Central Library and see this exhibition, highlighting the national and international contributions that Otago Physiotherapy graduates have made, helping to improve people’s lives. The exhibition runs until 13 December, Monday to Friday (and if you can’t make it down to the library, it will eventually go online, so keep an eye out for that!).

Join our Facebook event page for this celebratory showcase of Physiotherapy graduates past and present.    

ScienceTeller Festival is coming!

The ScienceTeller Festival is coming! From 25-27 October, the Centre for Science Communication is celebrating Storytelling and Science, dedicating an entire festival to documentary filmmaking, writing, and creative media. As alumni, come along to the screenings, events and workshops! On the programme are the world premieres of films by graduating Science Communications students. See the programme on the Centre for Science Communication’s website:

For a taste of what’s on the menu, check out the SciTell website to watch some short punchy talks… ‘dirty dancing’, asteroids, and the fallacy of rationality… filmed in front of a live audience!

We’ll link you to the full programme of the graduating student film premieres when it goes online. (And remember to visit us on Facebook to share your ScienceTeller thoughts!)


Reflections of a High Flying Kiwi

Dr Annmarie Oien is an alumna of Otago’s Department of Physics who now works at Lockhead Martin Space Systems in Colorado. She’s back here at Otago this Thursday 26 September, to talk about how her Otago PhD prepared her for her job in Colorado, and for the US laser research programme.

Come along to the Archway 4 lecture theatre at 12pm to hear her story – there’s even a “Top Gun moment”!


Hot Pick Podcast: Professor Jon Waters, Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Science is on the menu this week, and this week’s podcast is ‘Discovering Prehistoric New Zealand’ - Professor Jon Waters' Inaugural Professorial Lecture. In this lecture, Jon discusses genetics, DNA, extinction and recolonisation in New Zealand… including prehistoric sealions and penguins. You can also find out why we have Australian penguins in Otago (there’s a joke in there too)... ‘Tune in’ and be there now!

Click here for the podcast, and join us afterwards on our Facebook page!


Science smorgasbord

Next week is the first ever Genetics Week! Join in the genetics celebrations, and come along to hear public lectures by Otago's top researchers and international guests. Teacher workshops and a special ‘DNA Day’ at Otago Museum are also on the menu. The week promises to be fascinating!

See the Genetics Otago website for more details.




Hot Pick Podcast: His Holiness the Dalai Lama

This week’s hot pick podcast! His Holiness the Dalai Lama in conversation with Sir Lloyd Geering. Here at Otago, His Holiness talked about his childhood, training and education, Buddhism, science, secularism, and religion. This one is a must-see!

Click here to watch the podcast, and then join us on Facebook to share your thoughts!


Hanami celebrations

Just this Thursday, the Japanese Programme hosted their annual Hanami Cherry Blossom viewing party outside the Clocktower. To celebrate spring and the arrival of the blossoms, there were Taiko drumming performances from the “O-Taiko” drumming group, Karate Kata, sushi, and drinks. The dress code was silk or cotton Japanese dresses, Kimono, and Yukata.

Organised by Haruko Stuart, the celebrations were an opportunity for staff and students to experience a popular Japanese event, and for the wider community to learn about other cultures and languages – all through a fun get-together.

In Japan, Hanami is the custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, especially cherry blossoms - which are known as sakura. Springtime and the sakura that it brings represents new life and the beginnings of something positive – with spring being the start of a new semester, and a new fiscal year. And each year, viewers (especially those who are planning events), carefully watch the weather bureau’s blossom forecast.

Hanami celebrations have been running informally at Otago for many years, and this year was the second official event, organised through the Department of Languages and Cultures.

The blossoms outside the Clocktower are definitely a sight to see right now!


See our videos and photos of the Hanami celebration on our Facebook page.

Thanks to Haruko Stuart and the Otago Bulletin.


Hot Pick Podcast: The Honourable Michael Kirby

Faculty of Law: The Honourable Michael Kirby – Animal Welfare Law Reaches a Moment of Truth (237.86 MB)

In this week’s podcast, former Justice of the High Court of Australia Michael Kirby talks about animal welfare law. He discusses how he came to be more aware of animal welfare issues and the law – going beyond domestic animals to farm, circus and experimental animals, as well as the issue of corporatised slaughter. He also raises points on how lawyers can help to advance the interests of animals.

Click the title above to watch... and join us on Facebook for some 'after-lecture' discussion!


Honouring Dan Davin

Author Dan Davin, an Otago alumni, was honoured recently. A first-class Honours English graduate with an honorary Doctorate, Davin’s work often referenced Dunedin. The Southland Museum & Art Gallery has been running an exhibition to celebrate the writer’s 100th birthday, and the ODT’s Tony Eyre just last week pondered the possibility of honouring Davin with a plaque on the Octagon Writer’s Walk.

Check out the ODT article, complete with a photo of Dan Davin on the balcony of the Otago Staff Club. And read more about the birthday celebrations in the article from the Southland Times!

Have you read any of Dan Davin's work? Do you have memories of his time in Dunedin? Join us on our Facebook page and share your thoughts...

'54 degrees south' painting on display

Seen this magnificent painting yet? ‘54 degrees south’, by Peter Anderson, is at the main entrance of the University’s Central Library. It was donated by Sandie and Mike Legge in memory of their son Gordon - a former Otago student who died on Mt Tasman in 1996. Come on in to the library and view this incredible piece of art for yourself!

54 degrees south

Many thanks to the Otago Bulletin for the use of this item!

Hot Pick Podcast: In conversation with Mark Henaghan

We now bring you… our hot pick podcasts! ‘Tune in’ at your leisure, from where ever you are. You don’t have to be in Dunedin to keep learning!

This week’s hot pick is: In Conversation with Mark Henaghan (189.10 MB)

The Faculty of Law presents Professor Mark Henaghan (Dean of the Faculty of Law at Otago), in conversation with Professor Nicola Peart. Professor Henaghan speaks about his journey from University of Otago student to academic, to the Faculty of Law’s longest serving Dean. He discusses family law, judicial appointments, leadership and ‘The Human Genome Project’.

Click above to watch. Now, feel like some group discussion? … Join us on our Facebook page!

Otago Visitors’ Centre on the way

Otago is opening a Visitors’ Centre next year!

Designed to be a welcoming entrance to the University, the Centre will be a link ‘between town and gown’ – providing visitor information, campus tours for prospective students and their families, and for tourists. There’ll also be a gift shop, video and interactive displays, and direct, undercover access to the St David Café.

The centre will be located at the north-western side of the St David Lecture Theatre complex, and should be open for the start of the 2014 academic year.

Keep an eye out for more news on this… We hope you’ll come on in to visit!

Postgraduate Open Day 2013

The Link, August 20
10am to 4pm

Thinking of postgraduate study? Come along to Postgraduate Open Day!

Whether you want to further your career or follow your passion, Otago has some exciting postgraduate options for you.  At the Open Day, you can get your information directly from the department you’re interested in – chat to staff and current postgraduates, and find out more about what awaits you.

On top of that, you can listen to speakers from the University and beyond, who’ll be talking about the benefits of postgraduate study. In the Link, you can also visit booths representing over 70 areas of study, and see some student-designed posters showcasing the work that postgraduates are doing right now.

Talks from the Open Day will be available for download, so keep an eye on the Otago Alumni & Friends Facebook page for updates!

For more information on Otago's postgraduate studies, visit the postgraduate pages.

2013 University of Otago Winter Lecture Series

Come along to some fascinating free public lectures!  As part of the 2013 University of Otago Winter Lecture Series, speakers from Otago’s leading research centres are presenting on some cutting-edge topics that impact us all.

If you’re in Auckland or Wellington 14 August - 4 September, come and hear about the real-world benefits of research being done here at Otago!

On the programme…

  • Saviour Siblings & Criminal Genes: Law and Technology in the 21st Century. Associate Professor Colin Gavaghan,Director of Emerging Technologies, Faculty of Law
  • What’s our energy culture? Dr. Janet Stephenson, Director of the Centre for Sustainability
  • Teeth and the rest of you. Dr. Jonathan Broadbent, Senior Lecturer, Department of Oral Rehabilitation
  • Clearing the air – towards a smoke-free nation. Professors Janet Hoek, Department of Marketing, and Richard Edwards, Head of Department of Public Health.

Each lecture is followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet the presenter.

Click below for more details on these exciting lectures!

Wellington programme

Auckland programme

... And visit our Facebook page to let us know how you enjoyed the event! 


Red Nose Day

Look what’s on the clocktower! We’re celebrating Red Nose Day…  Curekids founded Otago’s Chair in Child Health Research in 2002, and their enthusiastic support helps with research into severe conditions that affect children. Every dollar raised on Red Nose Day helps!

New service for alumni!

Announcing a new service for alumni!

Starting at the beginning of August we'll be bringing you live streaming and podcasts of talks by outstanding academic staff and distinguished visitors.

Now you don't need to live in Dunedin to gain access to the best that Otago has to offer. Watch out for regular updates on special lectures, talks and discussions on a host of topics that highlight issues of utmost relevance to today's world.

Our first podcast will be…

With Dr Azouz Begag

From Shantytown Kid to Government Minister: Equal Opportunities in France and New Zealand

Friday 2 August, 1pm

Raised in a slum, Azouz Begag is France’s best known writer of Algerian immigrant origin. Former Minister for Equal Opportunities, Begag is also a sociologist, novelist, and screenplay writer.  He is coming to Dunedin to tell his inspiring story. 

This open lecture in English will be opened by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Harlene Hayne.

Read more

You can view the podcast here


12th Latin American Film Festival - Dunedin

Prezados compatriotas,


Temos o prazer de informar que a 12ª edição do Festival de Cinema Latino-americano teve início em Dunedin em 30 de julho e se estenderá até 29 de agosto. O filme brasileiro “Colegas”, de Marcelo Galvão, será exibido hoje ( 1 de agosto),  às 18h30, no “The Terrace Bar” (6, Octagon, Dunedin). Entrada gratuita.


Dear Friends of the Embassy,


We have the pleasure of informing you that the 12th Latin American Film Festival has started in Dunedin on the 30th  July and will be on until the 29th of August. The Brazilian film “Buddies”, by Marcelo Galvão, will be screened tonight (1 August), at 6.30 pm, at The Terrace Bar (6, The Octagon, Dunedin). Free admission.


Veja a programação completa na página Facebook:

Please see the full programme on our Facebook page:


Aproveitem! Enjoy!


Cultural Sector


Leith in the Rain

It's pouring in Dunedin and the Leith is climbing higher and higher!

UK / London Lecture by Prof. Anne Smith

We are delighted to bring to your attention a lecture to be delivered by Emeritus Professor Anne Smith of the University of Otago College of Education on the implications of the New Zealand government’s legislative reforms targeting child abuse – see abstract below. The lecture is to be delivered under the auspices of the New Zealand-United Kingdom Link Foundation and the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

This event is free to attend and open to the public, and will be of particular interest to people working in Children’s Rights or Children’s Welfare. However, numbers are restricted so we recommend that you register your intention to attend at the link below.

Chair: Emeritus Professor Jane Fortin, University of Sussex
Respondent: Peter Newell, Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)
RSVP: Click Here

Hosted by Kings College London
Wednesday 29th May
Arrive 17:30 for 18:00 Start
Followed by Reception
The Henriette Raphael Function Room at
The Guys Campus

For more information go to:
Contact: Liza Fletcher on with Special Requirements

We highly recommend this lecture from one of Otago’s most outstanding academics.

Kind regards,
Alison Finigan
Head, Alumni Relations


Abstract: Physical punishment is an assault on the rights and dignity of the child, a view supported by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, which has persistently recommended its abolition. Social science research also suggests that physical punishment has many long-term negative outcomes for children. New Zealand was the first English-speaking country to change its law in 2007 to remove the “reasonable force” excuse for parental use of physical punishment. The lecture will outline the role of research and other influences (such as NGOs) on these reforms in New Zealand and the government’s failure to inform the public, and ask what lessons might have been learned that are relevant to other Anglophone countries.

How should we remember war?

There are many different ways to remember war, and war remembrance practices change over time. This Public Forum wishes to honour veterans and their memories of war while considering collective war remembrance in New Zealand. What veterans remember and what the nation remembers changes through time.

This forum is brought to you by the National Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies is being held Wednesday 24 of April at 5.15pm to 6.30pm at Archway 2

You can't curry love, but you can love curry - the Science of Curry is back !

In conjunction with the team from Little India and the Plant and Food Research team at the University of Otago the Science of Curry is being held on Wednesday March 6 at 6:30 pm (for 7.00pm start)at Little India, Moray Place.

The cost of the meal is $45 per head, and includes starters, main, naan bread, and a complimentary Kingfisher beer on arrival. Bookings are essential so please message us, e-mail or phone 03 474 9256.

The Sextet sing Christmas carols (with a message from the Vice-Chancellor)

Christmas greetings from the Otago Development and Alumni Relations Office. We thought you might enjoy this clip. All the best for 2013 


Watch the December Graduations via live streaming

December graduation ceremonies are available via live streaming

Watch the 25 August Graduation Ceremony via live streaming

You can watch the August graduation ceremony live via the University of Otago website from 3pm on Saturday 25th August. This ceremony will be taking place in the Regent Theatre, Dunedin.

“Charting the Land on the Ocean: Pacific Exploration, 1520-1876” now available online

The exhibition “Charting the Land on the Ocean: Pacific Exploration, 1520-1876” is now on at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago, Dunedin. It features rare books and maps from the Hocken Collections, the Science Library, Special Collections, University of Otago, and the Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library.

This exhibition is now also availiable online: please use this link, and spread the word:

Because there is a wealth of material and limited cabinet space, we have created a supplementary list of images at the end of the online exhibition of those we could not show. They are just too good to exclude. Gradually these will be added to, forming a greater resource for all those interested in Pacific exploration.

The creation of online exhibitions involves much effort and co-operation. Thanks go to Merrin Brewster (library web developer), John Hughes (reprographics, library), Tina Broderick, and Romilly Smith, for assisting in this process. The Hocken Collections, the Science Library, the Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library), and the Otago Museum deserve special thanks for the loan of items.  

Dr Donald Kerr, F.L.S.
Special Collections Librarian
University of Otago
P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, New Zealand
Phone: (03) 479-8330

University of Otago Centre for the Book:

Federation of Graduate Women Winter Lecture

Please join us on Tuesday 21st August at the Otago Museum’s Hutton Theatre for the annual Federation of Graduate Women Winter Lecture.

Professor Harlene Hayne is providing this year’s presentation.

Entry is by gold coin donation which will be donated to Professor Hayne’s charity of choice, the Salvation Army.

Lecture Poster

Award winning author and English alumna Alice Petersen visiting Dunedin campus

Talking about Writing

The University of Otago Centre for the Book is pleased to invite you to join us for a conversation about writing with award winning author and English alumna Alice Petersen ( BA(Hons), MA (Otago); PhD (Queen’s)).  Alice will be discussing her new collection of short stories,  All  the Voices Cry (Emeryville, Ontario: Biblioasis, 2012; ISBN: 978-1-92684-552-4).

Where: Central Library Staff Room, level 1 of Central Library
When: Tuesday, 21 August at 4:00–5:00 pm

Otago University to Hold First ANZAC Remembrance Service on Campus

This Anzac Day the OUSA along with the Otago University will be holding a special ANZAC remembrance, the first of its kind on the campus.

“It is going to be very special and unlike any other around Otago in that it will focus on opening the service to the next generation of our young people” said Logan Edgar, OUSA President.

The 1.30pm service on April 25th is driven by the young student who believes that this is a generation that wants to remember those who fought for the future of their families and their country.

“This is about remembering and thanking those who stepped up, left their families and travelled across the globe to risk their lives for the sake of others” said Edgar. “It’s about sacrifice, remembrance and hope. That’s something we need to be thankful for, and it’s an honour to hold an ANZAC service on campus.”

The service, which has been added to the RSA’s official list of events for the day, will be held on the Memorial Walk for students who fought in the Great War. The path runs along the water of Leith in front of the university registry’s clock tower, with a plaque marking the entrance to the walk from the Leith Bridge in central campus.

“It’s such an iconic path. Students and staff walk it every day and it’s used in promotion around the world, yet only a few know the meaning it holds” says Edgar. “We want to highlight the path so when people walk it they can do so with meaning, especially remembering those ANZAC’s from our own University who fought and gave their lives.”

A piper will welcome attendees and Mr. Edgar will begin the service with Lisa Pohatu, Tumuaki, of Te Roopu Maori. University Chaplain Greg Hughson will read the opening prayer. During the service, there will be one minute’s silence, the last post and a gun salute. Vice Chancellor Harlene Hayne will share a reading, and the speaker will be Lt. Colonel Mike Hunter.

The ceremony will be concluded by the laying of the wreaths by University staff and OUSA representatives.

All students, staff and public are welcome to attend and partake in refreshments after the completion of the service.

Otago alumnus Professor Terence Dennis accompanies Kiri for Prince Philip

An rare opportunity recently saw Professor Terence Dennis accompany Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in a private recital hosted by Prince Philip. (Otago Daily Times, 29 March 2012) Read more...

Ray Guns & Rocket Ships. The Fred Fastier Science Fiction Collection on now in the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago Library

In early December 2010, Fred Fastier, inaugural Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Otago, donated a 1200 strong collection of Science Fiction titles to Special Collections, University of Otago. This collection forms the basis of the exhibition ‘Ray Guns & Rocket Ships. The Fred Fastier Science Fiction Collection’, which begins in the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago, on 23 March 2012.

During the 1920s Fred Fastier attended Arthur Street Primary, Dunedin, and it was there that he became interested in science fiction (SF). One of the first works he read was a magazine called Amazing Stories, which was edited by Hugo Gernsback, who, in his own stories, predicted RADAR and television. Two other novels remembered by Fastier included Erle Cox’s Out of the Silence, which involves the discovery of a gigantic, buried sphere, containing the accumulated knowledge of a past civilization; and Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World (1932). Collecting was begun in earnest when he was teaching in New York in the 1950s. This was when the McCarthy era was in full swing, dominated by anti-communism sentiment and the Cold War. As a professional scientist, Fastier preferred ‘hard-science’ SF rather than imaginative fantasy. What also captured his attention were the ideas and possible situations imagined by SF writers. As a consequence, Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Venus and Mars series did not rate, while writers such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke did. Fastier calls the latter ‘a good technologist’. Other authors favoured include H. G. Wells (his idea of tanks before WWI); Hal Clement (especially his A Mission of Gravity); John Wyndham (of Triffids fame); and Philip K. Dick, with his The Man in the High Tower. The collection also contains a large number of magazines such as Astounding Science (which he subscribed to), Galaxy, and Nebula, many of which feature classic short stories in the field.

The exhibition ‘Ray Guns & Rocket Ships. The Fred Fastier Science Fiction Collection’ begins in the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago, on 23 March 2012. It runs through to 15 June 2012. Hours: 8.30 to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday

Exhibitions are free and all are welcome

For further information, please contact Dr. Donald Kerr, Special Collections Librarian , University of Otago, Dunedin. or phone: (03) 479-8330

New Date for University of Otago, Christchurch 40th Celebrations Announced

The 40th Anniversary celebrations will now be held on 20-22 February 2013.  This is later than initially planned as the University's major building is still under repair after suffering earthquake damage.

As a prelude to the February 2013 celebrations the University will hold an Alumni Reception in Christchurch on Thursday 6th September 2012.  This event will start events rolling towards the 40th celebrations.

The celebrations will also be an acknowledgement of the impact of Canterbury earthquakes on staff and students, and recognising our bright future.

Read more about the 40th Anniversary celebrations...

Former Otago Vice-Chancellor & Otago Alumnus to Head Royal Society of New Zealand

Congratulations to Professor Sir David Skegg who has recently been appointed the next President of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Read more...

Opportunity for Alumni ... The Cranfield MBA NZ Alumni Scholarship

For details download the MBA NZ Alumni Scholarship brochure and visit

For further information please contact:
Pete Grogan
Head of Business Operations
AZUR Solar Systems Ltd

The Gentleman's Magazine: the 18th Century Answer to Google

Dear Colleagues & Friends of Special Collections,

In a break from teleporting sci-fi captions for my next exhibition (Ray Guns and Rocket Ships), I am pleased to announce that our current exhibition ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine: the 18th Century Answer to Google’ is now online.

Thanks must go to Merrin Brewster, our Web Developer in the Library, and John Hughes, Tina Broderick, and Amanda Hunter for working with the images.  

As a fan of the real thing, the exhibition is still on till 16 March and it is well worth visiting if you are in town.

And as usual, any comments on how we can improve our e-presence wd be appreciated.


Dr. Donald Kerr, F.L.S. 
Special Collections Librarian
University of Otago

New Development & Alumni Director

We welcome Philip Kearney as the new Director of Development in the Development & Alumni Relations Team at Otago. An Otago graduate himself Philip looks forward to meeting Otago alumni and sharing in the wide and varied stories and experiences that alumni have to share.

New Development & Alumni Director (p.3, Otago Bulletin, Issue 1, January 2012)

Contact Philip Kearney

Professor T. M. Devine, OBE (University Of Edinburgh) to Visit Dunedin

Professor Tom Devine is Scotland’s leading historian. In 2001 he was presented by HM the Queen with the Royal Gold Medal, Scotland’s supreme academic accolade, and appointed OBE in the New Year Honours List 2005 for services to Scottish history. He is the only UK historian elected to all three national academies within Britain and Ireland. He is not only renowned as a historian, but is regularly called upon to provide political and social commentary in the press and Scottish Parliament. His book The Scottish Nation briefly toppled Harry Potter from the bestseller list in Scotland! A recent reviewer in the Scotsman described Professor Devine as ‘the man who has done more than any to transform the way this country thinks about its past’, also noting, ‘I must say I have seldom heard any speaker being listened to with as rapt attention. In public, in private, his conversational style is the same: analytical, punchy, confident, forceful, persuasive.’

While in Dunedin Professor Devine will be giving the following talks and presentations:

The “Death” and Reinvention of Scotland

Saturday 19 November 2011, 4pm
Otago Settlers Museum

Entry by free ticket, advance bookings required
Email: or Tel: 4742728

The eighteenth century was an extraordinary period in the history of Scotland. This was the time of the dazzling intellectual achievements of the Scottish Enlightenment and the beginnings of the transformation of the country into the second industrial and urbanised nation on earth. Yet it was also a time of deep pessimism among several of Scotland’s intellectuals who feared for the ‘death’ of the ancient identity of the country within the Union state and the impact of anglicisation. Professor Devine’s lecture will explain why their concerns proved groundless and instead the ‘invention’ of Scottishness in tartanry, song, story, and myth proceeded apace.

The Lowland Clearances and the Scottish Exodus to New Zealand (followed by a book signing and wine/cheese reception with the Deputy British High Commissioner)

Monday 21 November 2011, 5.30pm
Dunedin City Library
Entry by free ticket, advance bookings required
Email: or Tel: 474 3690

Join Scotland's leading historian, Professor Tom Devine, OBE (University of Edinburgh), as he reveals the true scale of the 'Silent Clearances', and their significance for Scottish emigration to New Zealand in the nineteenth century. Personally signed copies of Professor Devine’s book will be available for purchase at the discounted rate of $45 (RRP $60).

Unveiling of the Sylvia Stewart Sculpture

Tuesday 22 November 2011, 2.30pm
Leith side of the Stadium, Dunedin

Join the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society for this special unveiling. A stone taken from the Leith to Edinburgh and sculpted there by Sylvia Stewart is now located at the Edinburgh waterfront. The reciprocal sculpture is made from Edinburgh rock and is being unveiled on the Leith side of the Stadium in Dunedin by Professor Tom Devine, OBE (University of Edinburgh). For the exact location follow the sound of the pipes.

The Puzzle of Scottish Sectarianism

Tuesday 22 November 2011, 6.30pm
St Paul’s Cathedral, the Octagon, free event

Of all the jurisdictions where Irish Catholics and Protestants have settled across the world, Scotland is unique in 2011 in having an anti-sectarian strategy and laws thought necessary by the Scottish Government. This talk by Professor Tom Devine, OBE (University of Edinburgh), explores why this is so.

Professor Devine’s visit to New Zealand is made possible by the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Otago, the Dunedin Burns Club, the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society, the Otago Scottish Heritage Council, and the University of Edinburgh. We are grateful for the support of the Dunedin Public Libraries, the Otago Settlers Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Dunedin City Council.

For further information please contact

Invitation to a reading by Miriam Frank

Distinguished University of Otago alumna and internationally respected anaesthetist will be reading from her critically acclaimed, internationally published memoir My Innocent Absence.

Wednesday 9 November, 6pm
Room G30 A & B, Ground Floor, Hunter Centre, Great King Street (opposite the School of Dentistry), Dunedin

The evening will be introduced by Professor David Skegg and refreshments will be provided.

Copies of the book will be avaliable for sale and signing courtesy of USB.

For more information on the book and copies of international reviews visit My Innocent Absence on Facebook

History of Commerce explored in new book

A book exploring the teaching of Commerce subjects over the last 138 years has just been released. Emeritus Professor Lyall McLean has recently launched A History of Economics and the Development of Commerce Degrees at the University of Otago 1871-2009.

It traces the development of the field from a single Political Economy paper in a BA through to the multi-department Division it is now. It also includes the names of the Division's 19,000 plus graduates, listed by departments, and 101 photographs including the Professors, Deans, heads of departments and the first PhD graduates of each Department.

The book is available from the University Bookshop. It is also available online via the recently developed Otago University Research Archive (OUR archive), which has been created to provide public access to the University of Otago quality research outputs.

Are you an expatriate researcher living in Europe?

New approaches to the concept of researcher mobility suggest that expatriate researchers can still provide a valuable contribution to the national research sector, regardless of any intention to return.

FRENZ* (Facilitating Research cooperation between Europe and New Zealand) has launched a short online survey of EU-based New Zealand researchers in order to:

  • gauge the metrics of existing EU-New Zealand research collaboration;
  • achieve a better understanding of both the number and motivations for researcher mobility;
  • identify opportunities to better utilize the presence of New Zealand researchers in Europe with regard to enhancing collaboration;
  • identify further opportunities for cooperation in areas of mutual interest

FRENZ is inviting all EU-based New Zealand researchers to participate in this survey. For more information, and a link to the survey, please visit the New Zealand Research Diaspora in Europe website.

*FRENZ is a joint initiative funded by the European Commission (EC) and the New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST), which works to enhance the engagement of the NZ research community with the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).

Claire Barton Farewells Dunedin

Singer Claire Barton (BA(Hons) 2002, MusB(Hons) 2006, MMus 2008) is leaving New Zealand at the end of August to begin study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in London and is holding a farwell concert on 20th August in the Dunedin Town Hall.

Claire was the winner of 2007 Otago Daily Times Aria Contest; she sang at her own graduation ceremony in May 2008 and was named by NBR New Zealand Opera as the 2008-2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist.

We wish Claire all the best with her future studies and exciting career.

For information about Claire's farwell concert to be held in Dunedin on the 20th August, 2011, please visit Dunedin's Regent Theatre website.

University Tour Online

A recent performance tour of campus 'All that can be expected of a woman' is now available to watch on unitube.

The tour, which was written and directed by the University’s Coordinator of International Relations Sandy McAndrew, took its audience around the old buildings of the original University campus, meeting significant women (and some men) on the way.

For those who missed the live tour a short documentary-style film is now available to view.

Have your say - DCC's Economic Development Strategy Review

The Dunedin City Council's Economic Development Unit is reviewing its economic development strategy. This collaboration is between Dunedin City Council, Ngai Tahu, Otago Chamber of Commerce, Otago Polytechnic, Otago Southland Employers Association and University of Otago.

University of Otago alumni are invited to participate by completing the Dunedin Economic Development Strategy online survey.

Winter Lecture Series: Illuminating new knowledge

Discover the Otago phenomenon for yourself and come along to free public lectures on a range of relevant and challenging issues that affect so many New Zealanders.

Each Lecture is followed by refreshments and an opprtunity to meet the presenter.

The Forsyth Barr Stadium University Supporters Club is Launched

A unique opportunity has arisen for Otago alumni and staff to benefit from the development of the Forsyth Barr Stadium University Supporters Club, which entitles members to an exclusive personalised brick to be laid in the University Supporters Club wall or walkway, as well as access to complimentary tickets to scheduled matches in the Stadium. To find out more visit To register you will need an entry code, please email and we will send you your code.

For more information about Dunedin Rugby opportunities for Otago Alumni during September please visit our Dunedin Rugby Fever webpage.

KEA Earthquake Dinner Appeal, Beijing

In response to the earthquake and the enormous challenges facing the people of Christchurch as they go about rebuilding their shattered lives and city, Kea Beijing, the New Zealand community and its many friends in China invite you to support a fundraising event that will directly benefit the families of victims and a community in real need.

Date:   Saturday, May 14
:   6.30pm
Where:Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel, 61 Dongsanhuan Middle Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Cost:   Individual tickets rmb 600, table of 10 rmb 6,000
RSVP: For more info and to register, click here.
There will also be a raffle and auction held on the night. Sponsored products or auction items will also be gratefully accepted!
For further information please contact KEA Bejing.

American Friends of Christchurch launched

A fundraising initiative targeted to Kiwi expats has recently been set up in the USA. The American Friends of Christchurch enables USA residents to give a tax deductible donation to assist the people of Christchuch. The University of Otago has agreed to help publicise this campaign. For further information contact Dr. Peter Watson

Professor Sir Paul Callaghan, New Zealander of the Year launches HEKE

Professor Sir Paul Callaghan has recently launched the HEKE (Heroic Educated Kiwi Expatriates) campaign  to raise $2 billion dollars from offshore to help New Zealand rebuild Christchurch. The University of Otago supports this initiative.

Sir Paul acknowledges that he was part of a luckier generation who didn't have to take out loans to study.  However he makes the case that anyone who can start to repay their student loan assists government revenue and the taxpayer contribution to the rebuilding of Christchurch.

Alumna Anna Leese performing in Dunedin

Otago's alumna Anna Leese will be performing in Dunedin on April 6 with the NZSO. For further information please visit the NZSO concert information.

London Film Screening of Donated to Science and Director's Q&A

Paul Trotman, Otago graduate and staff member, is in London for the showing of his film "Donated to Science".

This is part of the public education programme run by The Royal College of Surgeons of England and the screening will be held at The Hunterian Museum, Thursday 13th January 2011, 7:00pm.
It is a free event but booking essential by calling 02078696560.  More Information

Congratulations to those who have recently graduated

We extend a warm congratulations to all those who have recently graduated from the University of Otago and welcome them to Otago's alumni and friends community. A list of those who graduated in December 2010 is now on the Past Graduations section of the Alumni & Friends website.

Otago graduate Iona Mylek has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar

Congratulations to Iona Mylek (BA(Hons), 2009) who has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar. She will be heading to Oxford University, where she intends to study for a Masters in Global Governance and Diplomacy followed by a Doctor of Philosophy degree. See University of Otago News for the full story.

Upcoming Film Premiere - The Centre for Science Communication

The annual world premiere of The Centre for Science Communication student films is drawing closer.

Normally held at the Regent Theatre, which this year is being renovated, the event will be at the St. David lecture theatre complex. The films produced by the graduating class of 2010 will screen at 7pm on the 19th and 20th of November. The program will include a taster of our writing and popularising science students. Tickets are $5 and can now be purchased at the Centre for Science Communication. Door sales will be available on each night (if not sold out prior).

The Film Premiere flyer can be viewed here.

Commonwealth Gold for Otago Alumna

Congratulations to Alison Shanks (BSc, 2004; BCom(Hons), 2004) on her outstanding effort at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi powering home to win a gold medal for the 3000m women's individual pursuit cycling race.

For full coverage of the story visit

Register Now for the Home Science/CApSc Centenary Reunion and Conference




Bringing it Home: Remembering the Past + Feeding the Future
Centenary Reunion and Conference
Dunedin, 4th - 9th February, 2011


Registrations are now open for the Home Science/CApSc Centenary Reunion and Conference being held in Dunedin, February 2011.

For further information and programme details visit the Bringing it Home Reunion and Conference web pages.

The Otago Post - Issue 6

The latest issue of The Otago Post, a newsletter for those considering post-graduate study at Otago, is now out. Click here to view Issue 6.

Thinking of Postgraduate Study at Otago?

The latest issue of The Otago Post - an e-newsletter for those considering postgraduate study at Otago has just been released.

For further information on postgraduate study and to view the current and previous issues of The Otago Post visit

Register for a Postgraduate Information Evenings in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin at 

Eminent Alumnus Mr. Andrew Greensmith visits Dunedin for the International Science Festival

Melbourne based Otago alumni and world acclaimed plastic surgeon, Mr Andrew Greensmith, will be in Dunedin to give a keynote talk on the successful separation of conjoined twins, Krishna and Trishna, that he performed last year at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Andrew Greensmith graduated from the University of Otago in 1993 with a MB ChB.

You can hear Mr Andrew Greensmith give his keynote address – The Cutting Edge: achieving surgical marvels on Tuesday, July 6 at the St David Lecture Theatre, Corner St David Street and Cumberland Street. $10 per person.

Also as part of the International Science Festival the University of Otago invites you to come and explore the excitement of science at their expo Otago Feeds the Mind! on 9-10 July, 9am-5pm, at the St David Lecture Theatre Complex, University of Otago, Corner of St David Street and Cumberland Street.

For further details on the exciting list of events on during the New Zealand International Science Festival (Dunedin, July 6-11, 2010) visit

Commonwealth Graduates Convention 2011

The next Commonwealth Graduates Convention is being planned for March 5-9, 2011. This follows on from the very successful Millennium Convention held in 2001. The 2011 event is being organised and hosted by Hull University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The event aims to give all university graduates of Commonwealth countries the opportunity to network and forge alliances with fellow alumni. Graduates living in Malaysia and visitors from other Commonwealth countries will be warmly welcomed.

For further information visit the Commonwealth Graduates website

Pass It On New Zealand Has Now Launched


The PassItOn initiative is designed to give New Zealanders and friends of New Zealand, no matter where they are in the world, some extra incentives to start these conversations and a toolkit to help them tell a better story.

Rugby World Cup 2011 and a number of other high profile events in 2011 will create a unique opportunity for Kiwis everywhere to start a conversation about New Zealand. New Zealanders love to promote their country but all too often we talk about the same things – beautiful scenery, bungy jumping, sailing and the All Blacks.

Visit and do your bit to connect NZ businesses with the world! And win close to $300k in prizes.

Ministry of Education Recruitment Seminar for Alumni in Singapore, 24 April 2010

The Ministry of Education, Singapore is keen to invite Singaporean alumni from the University of Otago to explore a career in the education profession. We will be holding an exciting Recruitment Seminar in Singapore on 24 April 2010. This event is part of our outreach efforts to promote teaching in particular as a career for Singaporeans who have studied in prestigious overseas universities.

Calling all rugby fans – All Blacks v Wales, Saturday 19 June 2010


This is a very special year for Otago Rugby as we celebrate Carisbrook history with the final All Black Test Match.

The ORFU is offering Otago Alumni special access to their preferential booking system, and have extended the offer for a week beyond the standard deal. This means that OU alumni have until Friday 23 April to purchase their tickets before the open purchasing begins.

To take advantage of this special ticket offer, simply visit and locate the All Blacks v Wales ticket information page. From this page click the rugby family link and enter the password FAN. This will allow you to purchase preferential tickets for the last every All Blacks Test Match at Carisbrook.


Eminent Otago alumnus dies

Eminent Otago Alumnus Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Daud (BDS 1962) died in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday the 23rd of March after a courageous battle with liver cancer.

The Kuching-born Dr Sulaiman Daud came to the University of Otago in 1958, from Kuching, Sarawak under the Columbo Plan. He was among the first students to come to Otago from Malaysia and stayed at Carrington College in Tiro Moana House, graduating in 1962 with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery.

Dr Sulaiman Daud served as a dentist with the Sarawak government and the Brunei Medical Department in the 1960's.  In 1972 he started on a political career with the Malaysian Government including the positions of Minister of Education and Minister of Agriculture, retiring in 1999 after 27 years in government.  Until recently he was the Chancellor of the International Medical University, Malaysia.

Dr Sulaiman Daud has been honoured by his own country for the distinguished service he has given to education, health, economic development and international relationships. Included in his long list of honorary doctorates is an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of Otago awarded in 1993.

He was a longstanding friend and supporter of New Zealand and the University of Otago.  In 1994 he set up the University of Otago Dr Sulaiman Daud 125th Jubilee International Postgraduate Scholarship (a prestigious postgraduate scholarship awarded annually to a student from Malaysia for study at Masters or PhD level). He was a patron of Otago's Malay Alumni Association and gave the graduation address at the University of Otago Kuala Lumpur graduation ceremony in 1997 (the first to be held outside of Dunedin) where he stressed that education is not merely the acquisition of knowledge but also the mixing with people.

His wife died in 2005 and he is survived by his four children.

Welcome to the latest recipients of the Alumni Annual Appeal Scholarships



Last week we were delighted to welcome the latest recipients of the Alumni Annual Appeal Scholarships, who are beginning their studies at Otago in 2010. Ten scholarships were awarded for this year, all made possible through the generosity of donors to the Annual Appeal. It was great to meet all ten scholars and witness their excitement about studying at Otago and their plans for the future. You'll be able to read more about these outstanding young people in the next issue of the University of Otago Magazine, due out in June.

From Alison's Desk - Visitors to Alumni House

In Alumni Relations it's all about people and over the past couple of weeks we've been very pleased to see a lot of old friends dropping by Alumni House for a visit. International visitors included Tan Sri Leo Moggie and his wife Liz from Malaysia, Brian and Pat Merrilees from Toronto and fellow Torontonians Allan and Santa Portis. From across the Tasman came Trevor Moyle, long standing and much appreciated Chairperson of Otago's Melbourne Alumni chapter, and Graeme Barnes, another Melbourne resident and chapter supporter. All of these are long time friends and talking with them brought me a renewed sense of what it means to be part of the alumni community, which seems to consist of a deep affinity to a particular place and time that resonates across the years and miles with a strength that doesn't diminish as time goes by. It's an intangible but very powerful force that gives me so much satisfaction in the work I do.

News from the Head of Alumni Relations, Alison Finigan

Welcome to our new website and Your Otago Link, designed to help alumni keep in touch with the University and each other.  After a protracted gestation period this baby was officially launched in December last year, and has already attracted quite a bit of interest from alumni in NZ and abroad, going by the hit reports I get each week.  A core group of departments and individuals was involved in the development of the application and throughout the coming year we’re intending to roll it out across the University until we get the widest coverage possible, so that all who are interested can participate.

Benefits include linking with other Otago alumni for assistance and introductions; information on events and reunions; access to podcasts; participation in networks; RSS feeds; and links to other university services like the Careers Office. You can also apply for your own @otagoalumni email address.  Please let us know what you think - we need your feedback to help this fledgling find its wings! I’ll keep you posted on developments as they happen. Meanwhile, happy networking…

Otago alumnus helped separate twins

University of Otago medical graduate Dr Andrew Greensmith, now a Melbourne-based plastic surgeon and consultant at the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital, played a leading role as part of the surgical team that recently separated the conjoined Bangladeshi twins, Krishna and Trishna.  Read more about the challenges of the landmark operation, which was the culmination of two years of painstaking medical preparation.


Otago researcher (and alumnus) honoured for vital work on fertility

University of Otago physiologist Professor Allan Herbison has been awarded the Health Research Council’s Liley Medal for “outstanding” research which could lead to new treatments for infertility. Read more...


University of Otago in global top 500

Five of New Zealand s eight universities are listed in this years influential academic ranking of world universities. The ranking, which put Otago, Auckland, Massey, Canterbury and Victoria in the top 500, was considered an important factor in the global battle to attract international students.  Read more.


Otago's link in the rise of University College London

University College London, whose provost is distinguished University of Otago graduate Prof Malcolm Grant, has now leapfrogged Oxford University to become the world s fourth-top university in the latest Times Higher Education rankings.  To read more.


The Otago Post - An E-Newsletter About Postgraduate Study at Otago

Welcome to the third edition of The Otago Post and to the opportunity to learn more about postgraduate study at the University of Otago.
Did you know that Otago has over 1,150 students enrolled in PhD study, over 620 enrolled for a thesis Master's degree and another 2,000 students enrolled in other postgraduate courses? This is good for Otago but it's even better for you if you're contemplating postgraduate study, because it offers you the chance to be part of a large, vibrant and dynamic postgraduate community with many opportunities to learn from each other as well as from our highly qualified academic staff.  Read The Otago Post newsletter here.


Otago Research Attracts $18m in Grants

Research that could help reduce excessive weight gain by women during pregnancy is among University of Otago study projects boosted by more than $18 million in an "outstanding" Marsden Fund round. For the fifth year in a row, Otago University has gained more Marsden research funding than any other institution in New Zealand. Read the full article here.


New Alumni Benefit for Travellers in London and Music Scholars

For 100 years the Royal Over-Seas League has offered travellers a home-base in London and Edinburgh and membership is available to Alumni members for just $50 per annum. This enables full use of their Clubhouse facilities and 80 reciprocal clubs throughout the world. The London & Edinburgh Clubhouses offer superb accommodation in London’s West End and on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

The ROSL has a long association with the University of Otago in offering scholarships and support to post-graduate students in the music and art fields. They will be bringing the Barbirolli Quartet, an international prize-winning ensemble, to Marama Hall this November for a performance and master-class prior to the annual ROSL/Pettman International Chamber Music Scholarship.

See  or email


Dunedin College of Education graduates

The merger of the Dunedin College of Education and the University of Otago was completed in January 2007. Since then the Development & Alumni Relations Office has been working hard to incorporate alumni records received from the Dunedin College of Education. As we amalgamate records, College graduates will begin to receive University of Otago alumni communications such as the magazine and event invitations.

If you are not currently receiving communications from us, please complete the online form to update your details. Please encourage your fellow College graduates to do so as well.


Gaining a Foothold

Gaining a Foothold has been published by the Friends of the Hocken Collections Inc, in memory of the late David McDonald, Hocken Library Reference Librarian from 1974 until 2000, whose dedication, enthusiasm, knowledge, helpfulness and courtesy endeared him to all users of the Library.

The Friends of the Hocken Collections, established in 1991, promotes public awareness and support for the Hocken Collections – the largest cultural research archive in Southern New Zealand – and all the proceeds from the sale of this book will be used for enhancement of the Collections.

Alumni Directory

World Map

Where on Earth are you?
Stay in touch. Update your profile, then search the directory for old friends and new contacts.

Otago Merchandise

Otago memorabilia can be purchased at the Visitor's Centre

Scarfie Notes

Perpetual Scarfie

Attended lecture. Still uninformed, but on a higher level.

Choosing a flat up all those steps was a great idea until I had to shift my furniture.

Did you know the Richardson Building won an architectural award for modernism in 1983?

Double glazing installed in Dundas St flat. Students protest against gentrification.

Dunedin’s summer always occurs during exams.

Fish & chips contain all the important food groups: fat, salt, starch and crunchy bits.

I have located the missing tutorial notes. ALL IS WELL!

Icecream tastes so much better in Woodhaugh Garden.

It’s wonderful how Postgraduates reclaim the library between semesters.

Leith Street is the classy alternative to Castle Street.

My flat doesn’t have a fridge. Superfluous.

My lecturer thinks an hour of reading per night is reasonable. So do the other seven.

My new student ID card makes me look bright orange like Tom Jones. Apparently it’s not unusual.

North East Valley – it’s not just a place, it’s a lifestyle.

Stay warm with stripy thermal underwear. The stripes rub together to create heat friction.

Take a minute to read the graffiti on a library desk.

The Archway lecture theatre spins around and throws you out in the wrong direction!

World-leading Science faculty but still no cure for the Fresher Flu!