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Celebrating Achievement

Celebrating Achievement

Three outstanding New Zealanders will be celebrated at Victoria University’s May graduation ceremonies this week (17, 18, 19 May).

Constitutional law expert Peter Hogg, anthropologist Michael D. Jackson and Treaty claim pioneer Sir Tipene O’Regan will be honoured with honorary doctorates at the ceremonies along with hundreds of other graduands.

During the ceremonies, 16 PhDs will be conferred. Topics include the interbreeding between two Chatham Islands parakeet species, the condition of aphasia, and the strategic importance of humour in the workplace.

The traditional street parade of staff and graduands will depart from the Government Buildings Historic Reserve on Wednesday and Thursday at noon, parading along Lambton Quay and Willis and Mercer Streets to finish in Civic Square, where they will be welcomed by Deputy Mayor Alick Shaw.

If the parade is cancelled, notification will be given on NewstalkZB from 11am on the morning of the parade.

Ceremony Details:

Wednesday 17 May: Michael Fowler Centre
Noon graduation parade
Ceremony 1: 1.30pm Faculty of Commerce & Administration
Honorary doctorate: Sir Tipene O’Regan
Ceremony 2: 6.30pm Faculties of Commerce & Administration and Law
Honorary doctorate: Peter W. Hogg QC

Thursday 18 May: Michael Fowler Centre
Noon graduation parade
Ceremony 3: 1.30pm Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Ceremony 4: 6.30pm Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Honorary doctorate: Michael D. Jackson

Friday 19 May: Michael Fowler Centre
Ceremony 5: 1.30pm Faculty of Education
Ceremony 6: 6.30pm Faculties of Architecture & Design and Science

Graduation Stories

Psychology degree helps recovery
Leo McIntyre is about to graduate with a BA(Hon.) in Psychology. In 1992, he was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after working with extremely explicit police video material in the NZ Police National Video Unit. Having previously experienced depression, in 1997 he decided to begin studying for a degree in psychology with a view to becoming a clinical psychologist. He has found the “inclusive and non-discriminatory environment” of Victoria University a crucial part of his recovery process, and is now employed as the chairperson of mood disorder support organisation Balance NZ Bipolar and Depression Network and its Wellington branch. Contact Leo on 021-265-4629.

Hip to be a Graduate
Thirty-five-year-old mother of four Larisa Mckenna decided to train as a teacher after her youngest child started school. For three years, she juggled full-time study with marriage, motherhood and osteo-arthritis. A congenital hip disorder was to blame for the arthritis, causing great pain in the simplest of movements. Larisa has just had hip replacement surgery and intends to complete the requirements to become a teacher in July. Her husband Phill says that their children “are enormously proud of their mother and her achievements, and we know she…will make a great difference in the lives of any young people fortunate enough to know her.” Contact Phill on 025 555 5753.

New Graduate for a New Course
Ngahaka Puketapu-Deys is one of 11 other students to be graduating with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, a course held at the Waiwhetu Primary School in Lower Hutt. Ngahaka began the Whâriki Papatipu course with her mother Jean Puketapu, founder and driving force behind the Te Kôhanga Reo movement, who was awarded her Diploma earlier. Sadly, one of the course graduates passed away a few weeks before receiving her Diploma. A second class of students, now in their second year, has been established and there are 22 students who all work within Te Kôhanga Reo. Contact Ngahaka on 027-496-4228.

Father of six finally leaves school
Rob Ferris, describing himself as “a consummate daydreamer”, left his Catholic college aged 15. Working in construction jobs as a labourer, he eventually became a journeyman carpenter, builder and draftsman. He married at 20 and is now the father of six children. Aged 40, Rob enrolled at Victoria University in the Bachelor of Architecture degree. In 2006, he graduates as a B.Arch. Contact Rob on 04 902 1182.

50 years of separation
Dr Roger Morton Ridley-Smith (74) will graduate with a BA(Hons) in French on May 17, having completed his BA from Canterbury University College more than 50 years ago. He also holds a medical degree from Otago University College (1959) and worked as a general practitioner in Wellington for many years. His Honours research included a translation of the diary of a French farmer who lived close to the front during World War I. Dr Ridley-Smith bought the diary at a jumble sale while holidaying in France 10 years ago and has since met the grandson of the farmer, who still lives in the tiny town of Vavincourt. Contact: Dr Ridley-Smith on 04 479 1919

Peter Gallagher
Peter Gallagher is graduating with his PhD and explored an alternative view to current conventional thinking about the relationship between theory and practice in the education of nursing professionals. Student nurses described how they experienced and managed situations when the theory and practice of nursing misaligned and clashed with core personal principles about nursing care. The conflict influenced the worth each student placed on the relevance of theory in practice. In order to maximise nursing learning in practical contexts, educators must ensure the personal experience of students is highly respected and integrated into a programme of study. Contact Peter on (06) 952 7001 ext. 70012.

Patricia McLean
By mapping Maurice Gee's fiction for adult audiences, Patricia McLean’s PhD thesis uncovered a new masculine ethic in his works that included the possibility of love. It examined how the foundational myths of Pâkehâ culture – such as egalitarianism, male camaraderie and the ‘Just City’ – are reinterpreted, even replaced, by a set of values that include forgiveness, self-acceptance and a restorative and redemptive love. In addition to offering a new perspective on Maurice Gee’s work, Patricia McLean’s research contributes to critical accounts of gender and post-colonialism in twentieth-century New Zealand literary culture. Contact Patricia on (04) 383 9841.

Lauren Cloutman
Lauren Cloutman's PhD thesis explored the condition of aphasia – the inability to produce or understand language as a result of stroke-related brain damage. Aphasia sufferers commonly have difficulty finding particular words, such as the names of objects. Semantic context or meaning relationships were used to learn more about the mental processes involved in word retrieval and how these can fail in aphasia. This information provided insights into both impaired and normal language production, which may be used to develop better treatment interventions for overcoming these language difficulties in the future. Contact Lauren on (04) 977 7763 or 021 263 1421.

Alison Sutherland
Alison Sutherland’s PhD thesis explored the perception of schooling among young serious offenders, adding their voice to the literature on young people who commit crime. Drawing on more than 20 years’ teaching experience, her passion for education was the antithesis of the shared dislike of school by those in the youth prison system. She found while schools did not necessarily cause a young person to commit crime, the cumulative effect of negative school experiences could propel a vulnerable young person toward persistent criminal offending. A unique opportunity emerges for schools to interrupt the pathway to prison through early identification and timely intervention. Contact Alison on (06) 378 6686 or 021 201 5007.


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