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Très bien - award recognises contribution to French language and culture

Tuesday 27 July 2021 5:16pm

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Dr Leurquin receiving the French Order of Merit in 2017.

Languages and Cultures French Programme Teaching Fellow Dr Christiane Leurquin has become the first Pacific person to receive the Fédération des Alliances Françaises de Nouvelle-Zélande’s John Dunmore Medal.

The Fédération says that through research and teaching, Dr Leurquin has made a distinguished contribution to knowledge of French language and culture in the Pacific, especially New Caledonia.

“Her teaching and research interests reflect her deep sense of identity and loyalty to her Kanak and French heritage.”

The Fédération also praised Dr Leurquin’s significant contribution outside of academia in extending awareness of French language and culture. Since 2007 she has been the Honorary French Consul for Otago and Southland, has served as President of the Alliance Française Dunedin (1998–2001) and President of the Fédération des Alliances Françaises de Nouvelle-Zélande (2000–2005).

Dr Leurquin says she felt both privileged and “very humble” when she learned she’d received the award.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Dunmore 20 years ago, and I have always admired his research on the region. I also have a lot of respect for colleagues who were awarded this prestigious award and feel privileged to be the second awardee from the University of Otago, after Dr Roger Collins, and the first Pacific Islander.”

About: the John Dunmore Medal is awarded annually in recognition of a major contribution to knowledge and understanding of the part played by the French people or the French language in the development of historical, intellectual, scientific, economic or other aspects of world culture, preference being given, although not exclusively, to the Pacific region.