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St Margarets student playing piano

This page lists events we have run in the past five years.

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2022 Events

8 March: International Women's Day (IWD)

Due to COVID‑19, Staff Women's Caucus did not hold a local event to celebrate IWD. Instead, members were encouraged to join the IWD Parliamentary breakfast livestream event hosted by The Zonta Club of Wellington and UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand.

The keynote speakers were:

  • Her Excellency, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro (GNZM, QSO), Governor-General of New Zealand
  • Hon Jan Tinetti, Minister of Internal Affairs, and Minister for Women
  • Sophie Handford, Kapiti Coast District Councillor, and climate change activist
  • Ranjna Patel (ONZM, QSM), Founder of Tamaki Health and Gandhi Nivas

6 July: From Palestine to otago

Beginning in Palestine, Rasha Abu Safieh Alfar shared her amazing journey that has led her to Dunedin and the University of Otago. It is a journey full of challenges, resilience and success. It was an inspiration to all who attended.

2021 Events

8 March: International Women's Day Breakfast

A joint celebration with Graduate Women Otago at Ombrellos Kitchen & Bar with guest speaker Professor Nicola Peart reflecting on "My Years at Otago".

10 April: Dunedin Arts Festival "The F-Word"

A group booking for the very excellent performance in which in which Tami Neilson explored the complicated relationship between country music and feminism throughout the nearly 70 years since the first #1 hit for a female country artist.

16 April: Professor Liz Slooten

A seminar marking Liz's retirment from the University and as SWC's co-president (academic). Liz reflected on her time at the University, plans for the future and challenges for sustainable NZ.

21 May: Otago Staff Equity Demographics Data (2015-2019)

Dr Trudie Walters (Staff Women's Caucus Co-President (Academic)) reviewed the first five years of University of Otago Staff Equity Demographics Data (2015-2019) to look at what the numbers tell us:

  • What has changed/stayed the same?
  • Which area(s) of the University are doing well?
  • Which area(s) can do better?

SWC will be doing some follow-up work in this area.

16 November: Young Women in Leadership (YWiL)

YWiL was established for Dunedin high schools by Associate Professor Karen Nairn (University of Otago College of Education) in 2017. The programme provides young women in year 12 with an opportunity to experience leadership and to work with others to bring about change in their school and community. Karen was joined by two of the young women who participated in the programme and one of the mentors. Contact Karen ( if you would like to be a mentor.

3 December: End of Year Breakfast at Joe's Garage

An informal get together to say Meri Kirihimete and farewell 2021 (what a year … again!). People also gave generously to the request for donations of toiletries for Women's Refuge – thank you!

2020 Events

Due to Covid-19 only three events were held in 2020.

6 March: International Women's Day Breakfast

This was a joint celebration with Graduate Women Otago at Ombrellos Kitchen & Bar.

24 August: Lunch, AGM and Working from Home

During lunch we held our AGM and then heard from Associate Professor Sara Walton and Dr Diane Ruwhiu the results of a study investigating New Zealanders' attitudes towards working from home. The research was a product of the Work Futures Otago Group (led by Associate Professor Sara Walton with Drs Paula O'Kane and Diane Ruwhiu, from the Otago Business School).

2 December: End of Year and farwell to Two Longstanding Members

An informal BYO lunch to farewell/celebrate the end of a very different year and also to mark the retirement of two long standing SWC members – Professors Emeritae Barbara Brookes (History) and Nicola Peart (Law).

2019 Events

8 March: International Women's Day Breakfast at the Good Earth Café

An informal breakfast at The Good Earth Café between 8-9am was well attended and a great opportunity to catch up.

1 August: "A Garden of Earthly Delights" Hocken Exhibition

Thanks to Hocken Curator Robyn Notman for hosting us for a "floor talk" on the exhibition.

28 August: AGM and Dinner

Our AGM and delicious buffet dinner was held at Arana College. Dinner was followed by an informative and entertaining conversation with Suze Jones (Deputy Clerk of the House of Representatives) led by Professor Janine Hayward, of the Department of Politics.

19 September: Suffrage Day Picnic

A BYO picnic on the lawn between Marama Hall and Geology to celebrate Suffrage Day.

23 September Annual Suffrage lecture

Dr Brigid Inder, OBE, presented this year's Suffrage Lecture titled “International Gender Justice: A Journey towards Equality”. This event is organised by the Federation of Graduate Women.

2018 Events

27 March: Brown Bag Lunch - "Women in NZ Politics: Is this the turning tide?" (Professor Janine Hayward)

It's 125 years since women got the vote in New Zealand. The Prime Minister is a (pregnant) woman and the deputy leader of the Opposition is also a woman. Is this an indication of substantial gains for women as elected representatives (and voters) in New Zealand Politics, or not? Professor Janine Hayward addressed this question by looking at some big picture trends and numbers relating to women in NZ politics.

8 March: International Women's Day Breakfast at the Good Earth Café

For the second year, an informal breakfast held at The Good Earth Café between 8-9am was well attended and a great opportunity to catch up.

3 May: Brown Bag Lunch - Lara Ariell (CFO, Inland Revenue)

Associate Professor Lynley Anderson and Dr Althea Gamble Blakey (Bioethics) gave a very interesting presentation on the University's “Creating a Positive Learning Environment” (CAPLE) project which works with clinical staff to improve teaching and learning, and the overall clinical workplace atmosphere to make a positive environment for learning for all.

15 August: AGM and Dinner

Our AGM and delicious buffet dinner was held at Arana College. We thanked and farewelled Elaine Webster, Rosemary McBryde and Gwynaeth McIntyre from the committee. Dinner was followed by a wonderful "fire side chat" with Jan Flood (Registrar and Secretary to the Council). Retiring from the University in September, Jan reflected on her University career with questions asked by Dr Elaine Webster.

19 September: Suffrage125 Celebration

Suffrage125 was celebrated on a perfect Spring day with the planting of a white camellia by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne, in the Marama Hall garden - followed by cake and fruit juice. Many attendees dressed in Victoriana for the occasion, wore Suffrage125 badges and/or the suffrage colours of purple and green.

16 October: Unpacking Gender Equity in the Otago Demographics Report

Dr Elaine Webster, Dr Trudie Walters and Equity Committee Chair Professor Christina Hulbe discussed what the report is telling us about gender equity at Otago.
You may be interested to read "Universities' pitiful response to gender inequality isn't good enough"(a guest article on "The Spinoff" website by Sandra Grey, Cat Pause and Sarah Proctor-Thomson).

5 December: Informal End of year Function

An informal end-of-year celebration was held after work on Wednesday 5 December at the Summer School & Continuing Education Office.

2017 Events

8 March: International Women's Day Breakfast and Staff Women's Caucus Badge Launch

An informal breakfast at The Good Earth Café was well attended and a great opportunity to catch up. It was the ideal day to launch our new Staff Women's Caucus badge, and we were delighted to present one of the first badges to Emeritus Professor Jocelyn Harris, our first President.

7 June: Panel Discussion on the 2015 HR Equity Report

What does this workplace profile show us about gender equity at Otago?
What does this look like for academic, general and professional women?

Over 60 people attended this panel session chaired by Dr Elaine Webster. The three panel members (Professor Christina Hulbe, Associate Professor Ceri Warnock, Maureen Miller and Jeanette Wikaira) gave their perspective on the findings of the 2015 Equity Report. This was followed by an excellent discussion and question session.

23 June: Guided Tour of the "Freefall" Exhibition (Hocken Library)

Robyn Notman (Head Curator of Pictorial Collections) guided us through the Freefall exhibition which featured works from all the collections at Hocken as well as significant works of art from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Special Collections at the University of Otago Library. As curator of the exhibition, Robyn provided expert insight to each of the works - their place in the exhibition and connection to other works. This made the tour a special treat.

30 August: Annual Dinner and AGM

Our annual dinner and AGM was held on on Wednesday 30th August at Arana College.

We were delighted to have Dr Rebecca Dudley (International Humanitarian Law Advisor at New Zealand Red Cross) as our after dinner speaker. Rebecca works with legal frameworks related to 'humanitarian emergencies' - conflicts and disasters. She has worked in transitional justice, human rights law and peace building in Northern Ireland and also for many years in human rights advocacy on gender based harms. She had two key messages for us:

  • Hope is a decision
  • Peace is a process (not an event).

19 September: Suffrage Day

  • Suffrage Lecture (Dunedin): "After the Second Wave: Marketplace Feminism and Contemporary Popular Cinema", presented by Professor Hilary Radner
  • Networking Breakfast (UOW): A delicious breakfast was enjoyed by a mix of professional and academic staff and several ideas gathered for future local events.

27 September: “That Bloody Woman” - the Story of New Zealand's Great Suffragette, Kate Sheppard

A wonderful night out at New Zealand's smash hit rock musical "That Bloody Woman" at the Fortune Theatre. NZ's favourite daughter, suffragist, activist and cyclist Kate Sheppard was transformed from the face on the $10 note into a feminist firebrand raising hell and rocking out.

5 December: End of year Celebration

Nibbles, drinks and a cryptic Christmas quiz at Cumberland College to finish off the year!

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