1 December 2011A book featuring 23 exceptional stories from former refugees now living in New Zealand was launched on Monday 28 November at the AUT Refugee Education Conference.
The book, 'Refugee Stories', is a compilation of stories related by the refugee writers themselves, at either the AUT Refugee Symposium (2010) or at the AUT Refugee Health and Wellbeing Conference in 2009.
The stories were compiled and edited by Maria Hayward, the manager of the AUT Centre for Refugee Education, who also ran the workshops to help individuals with the transcription of the stories.
"The stories are, in places, grueling, but they are, by no means, solely concerned with pain and suffering. "Each one conveys resilience, strength, compassion, endurance, hope and — for all of us — inspiration for overcoming adversity."
The launch, at AUT University's North Shore campus saw contributors from the book mix and mingle with those attending the conference.
There were cultural performances and readings from four of the refugees which had the crowd enthralled.
A copy of the book was presented to each contributor and those that helped make the process possible.
During the course of the two-day conference, on November 28 and 29, researchers from both AUT and other universities across presented papers and attended workshops.
Keynote speakers for the conference were Richard Towle, the UNHCR Regional Pacific Representative, Dr Melika Yassin Skeikh-Eldin the manager of the Settlement Delivery Support Service in Melbourne, Australia and Mitchell Pham, a Vietnamese refugee, who says he was "born in Vietnam but made in New Zealand".
Borland was one of the main interpreters working during the Christchurch earthquake at Civil Defence briefings and for the council. He has recently been awarded the New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter of the Year award.
His success so far this year follows on from studying at AUT, where the first ever translation course was taught in 1988.
The first Community Interpreter course in New Zealand was developed and taught by Dr Sabine Fenton at the then Auckland Institute of Technology.
This was the first step. By 1990 health care and legal interpreting courses were also running. The effect of having trained interpreters in Auckland caused ripples around New Zealand, so after requests these courses were also taught by AIT's lecturers in Hamilton, Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch.
As time has passed the course has been updated and improved and AUT now offers qualifications from foundation Certificates in both Interpreting and Translation, taught online so anyone in New Zealand can access them, to a professional level 6 Diploma in Interpreting and Translation, BAs and Graduate Diplomas in both disciplines, through to a PhD in Translation.
These qualifications are based on consistent assessment criteria with external professionals marking E-LOTE (Language Other than English) exams in both interpreting and translation.
Mr Walker competed in the tertiary category and will be representing New Zealand at the 10th Chinese Bridge Speech competition for Foreign College Students in China in July.
Mr Walker is currently a second year student in the BA (Chinese) program at AUT after "cross-crediting" into AUT's second year Chinese program after graduating from high school last year.
He also won the top prize last year in the secondary school category which resulted in him competing in China last year. His speech this year is about aspects of that trip.
The speech was in a foreign language, and it may seem a bit simple, but it earned big cheers and a lot of applause on Saturday with its beautiful use of the Chinese language and the thought-provoking theme.
The event was organised by the NZ Chinese Language Foundation and the Confucius Institute in Auckland.
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of AUT University, the Languages and Social Sciences School held an event on 13 October to celebrate its Alumni. The event was also an opportunity for current students to listen to the experiences and advice from those who had been in their shoes only a few years before.
The event began with a panel in which a cross-section of the school's Alumni spoke on the theme of "Graduates for the Changing World: Looking back, looking forward". The presentations, were informative and inspiring, both for students and staff.
One notable presentation was Skyped in from Shanghai by a graduate who has set up a New Zealand restaurant there.
The second half of the event was a vibrant mingle and networking event at AUT's PIKO Restaurant.
The success of this Alumni event inspired organisers to look into the possibility of staging further events of this nature on an ongoing basis.
Dr Paul Mountfort has been awarded the 2007 Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Paul is the first recipient of this award which recognises and rewards excellence in teaching.
He is Programme Co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Arts (English Studies) and co-teaches several papers including "Popular Genres", and Reading New Zealand, Literature, Culture and Text".
Paul's exploration of innovative and imaginative ways of integrating modern technologies into many aspects of his teaching was particularly commended.
Ineke Crezee has been awarded with the Hanny van Roekel prize for 2006. Ineke is seen here being presented the award by the by Dutch ambassador Ms Rasha ter Braack.
The prize is awarded annually by the New Zealand Netherlands Foundation Inc. for the best research paper on any aspect of the Dutch community in New Zealand, the link between the two countries, or the Netherlands from a New Zealand perspective.
Ineke's research paper I understand it well, but I cannot say it proper back! was a pilot study which focused on language use amongst older Dutch immigrants in New Zealand.
Language Line is a telephone interpreting service, provided by the Office of Ethnic Affairs, which aims to bring equity of access to Government services by providing professional telephone interpreters.
AUT has collaborated in the production of this DVD which will serve as a platform for those who teach, hire and work in the area of interpreting.
Lynette Pivac, lecturer in New Zealand Sign Language and Ineke Crezee, Course Co-ordinator Diploma in Translation and Interpreting both appear on the DVD.
Language Line has completed more than 70,000 successful telephone interpreting sessions.
New Zealand’s only Masters programme in the field of adult literacy and numeracy education began in February this year with a three day block course. The block course was taught in part by Dr Robin Goodfellow, a senior lecturer at Britain's Open University and member of its Applied Language and Literacies Research Unit.
Adult Literacy Educator grants have been provided by the Tertiary Education Commission to meet the costs of student fees. (Eligibility criteria apply).
The programme is online and designed to give literacy and numeracy educators the knowledge and skills to tackle the diverse challenges of teaching literacies in New Zealand today.
The School of Languages also launched a new Master of Professional Language Studies in Language Teaching at the beginning of 2007. The programme is aimed at teachers of English as an additional language or teachers of international languages.
The one year-programme focuses on professional practice and is suitable for teachers who want to further their knowledge of language teaching practice As an alternative to writing a thesis, teachers complete taught papers and an applied practice project.
The Governor General signed the NZSL Bill on 10 April 2006 at 2.45pm at Government House in Wellington.
In attendance to witness this final step in NZSL becoming an official language of NZ was: Hon. Ruth Dyson, David McKee, Rahcel McKee, Lynette Pivac, Shona McGhie, Kim Robinson, Victoria Manning, and representatives from the Office for Disability Issues and parliamentary staff.
Congratulations to our Chinese Language students who have been awarded HSK Scholarships (2006). Four students from the Chinese section have been awarded a HSK scholarship from the Chinese Government for their outstanding results in the 2005 HSK Exam. This is the sixth time in the past ten years that our students have won this scholarship. The scholarship pays for four weeks full time study in Beijing, including tuition fees / textbooks, accommodation, and 800 Yuan pocket money.
New Zealand Schools need to be more flexible in their approach to teaching Pasifika students t help them achieve greater academic success, says an AUT University social scientist.
Dr Camille Nakhid says the education system is partly to blame for Pasifika people staying at the bottom of New Zealand's economic framework. A recent Ministry of Social Development report revealed Pasifika people are among the nation's poorest. They have poor literacy levels, underachieve in education and have a higher rate of workplace accidents.
John Buttle, one of the Criminologists with the School of Social Science, completed a report for the New Zealand Police Rural Liaison (What is known about Policing Rural Crime: Reviewing the Contemporary Literature, 2006).
This report provided the police with an overview of the contemporary international literature regarding rural crime and the policing issues that are specific to rural areas.
The report highlighted the worldwide "Metrocentric" approach to research, which focuses Criminological enquiry almost exclusively in the city at the expense of a rural understanding of crime. For example, there has been no research conducted on farm crime in New Zealand.
We do not even know how much the theft of livestock and farm machinery is costing the country. To further this point farm crime is unique to the countryside and with policing policy being formulated in the city and from an urban perspective it is hardly surprising that policing priorities do not include those crimes that are important to the rural farmer.
It has been a particularly busy year for John Buttle who has also become involved with the current New Zealand Police (NZP) initiative to review the outdated Police Act 1958. This is part of ongoing police driven reforms aimed at building a modern NZP.
In an unprecedented display of democratic policing the NZP have gone to considerable lengths to consult with the public and other areas of society that have a stake in how New Zealand is policed.
This consultation has involved the commissioning of research into public attitudes regarding what type of police organisation the New Zealand public would find acceptable. Also the Police Act Review Team produced six papers that were to be debated by stakeholders in forums that took place throughout 2006.
These Forums tackled many issues such as principles, governance and accountability, employment arrangements, community engagement, powers and protections and relationships.
While the majority of these forums where held in Wellington, the police also wanted to hear the opinions of Auckland's stakeholders and there was a forum held at AUT by the School of Social Sciences and through the auspices of the Faculty of Applied Humanities.
Furthermore, the police have also opened a website for those members of the public who are interested in having a say on what the future of policing in New Zealand should look like.
For those interested, take a look at the Police Act website.
School postgraduate student Rose Joudi has been invited by conference organisers to fly to Sydney to present at a joint workshop on Muslim refugees (August 2006) where she will be reporting on her work on the Muslim NZ experience.
"It's like a tidy prison. I feel I am in a prison with a big garden that is far away."
Almost two years after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, many survivors are still struggling to rebuild their lives as aid slows to a trickle.
AUT doctoral student ALi Rasheed is from the tsunami-ravaged Maldives in the Indian Ocean and is researching the plight of tsunami survivors in his home country, and the "politics of aid" that governed how relief was allocated.
Political, religious, economical, and social factors combine to force people out of their countries and to resettle in different societies. The result is forced, reactive migration, in addition to proactive flows of migrants who choose to relocate essentially due to economical motives.
Unlike immigrants, the refugee's relocation is involuntary. Rather than having a 'choice' in relocating into a host society, refugees are 'forced' into the new environment.
This research aims to investigate experiences of resettlement, cultural adaptation, cultural resistance, and the intergenerational cultural transition of male and female Muslim Arab refugees in New Zealand.
The study is based on a qualitative semi-structured thematic analysis that involves face-to-face, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with thirty (15 male and 15 female) Arabic speaking Muslim refugees residing in two main urban cities in New Zealand, Auckland and Wellington.
The topics in this research will attempt to address refugee issues that have not been adequately dealt with or explored by current research in New Zealand.
The study will consist of three journeys:
In addition, the research aims to explore how Muslim refugees from both the older and younger generation deal with being resettled in a new society that differs considerably from their own culture.
Nicole Morrison, a BA Psychology Student in the School of Social Sciences at AUT University, has won a Technos International Travel Award.
Nicole will spend two weeks as a guest of Technos International College in Tokyo, along with students from six American colleges and from Pembroke College, Oxford University.
The two-week programme is designed to provide the students with an inter-cultural experience as they get to know their Japanese hosts and the American and British Students while visiting different places in Japan.
Nicole was among a group of students, supervised by Dr Robert Webb of the School of Social Sciences, who successfully carried out a research project commissioned by the New Zealand Police.
She has also devised a scale for antenatal prediction of depression with the help of Dr Rex Billington of the Division of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies.