Two of the many highlights from my time at Cawthron Institute were the successes of a couple of young women scientists in the prestigious UNESCO-L’Oreal “Young Women in Science” programme.
Encouraged by her mentor, Dr Lesley Rhodes, Dr Alison Haywood was the first of these in 2001. Much to everyone’s surprise and delight, she was one of only 10 women worldwide to be awarded the $US 10,000 international fellowship (and the first ever from the southern hemisphere!) Alison was a research scientist in the Biosecurity Group, where she completed a Ph.D. programme from Auckland University in molecular systematics (supervised by Prof Pat Bergquist). Her project was to rapidly identify, using molecular probes, toxic algae which can cause serious food poisoning.
Our household has gradually come back to normal after a period of high stress: my wife was on the local organising committee for a national annual conference, for the NZ Association of Psychotherapists. My role was that of support person and unofficial photographer.
One of the highlights was a guest speaker by the name of Michael Leunig. He has been described as Australia’s best loved cartoonist and social commentator, a modern day renaissance man and one of Australia’s 200 “living treasures”. By pushing my camera through the throng of his fans, I managed to capture some nice moments. One of the conference delegates (a jeweller as well) had prepared a beautiful little brooch featuring a couple of his characters. Michael appeared touched by its presentation.
More images here, along with coverage of the official powhiri (welcome ceremony):
March 21 is observed around the world as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It recalls killing of 69 black protestors at Sharpeville in South Africa in 1960. Here in Nelson our observance took the form of a celebration of our multicultural community, “Race Unity Day“.
The children were having a great time:
But not just the children. If you read on you’ll find a selection of images from the day:
An isolated, beautiful spot on the West Coast, Karamea has its own special microclimate. It’s located on the western edge of the Kahurangi National Park, near the beginning (or end) of the Heaphy Track (one of the great walks of New Zealand). A short walk up the nearby Oparara river takes you to a large limestone arch. The river is brown due to a high concentration of natural organic compounds in the water (tannins etc). Here are some pictures.
First a bush robin that came to see what I was up to:
A complete change from the noise and thunder of the recent powerboat weekend at Lake Rotoiti, the Antique and Classic Boat Show attracted a different demographic altogether. Nelson turned on a beautiful day, bringing out the best of a beautiful setting. Centre stage had been taken over by the aristocracy, the “Royal Kerr Bay Motor Boat Club” (but there was loads of room for the commoners).
For the past four years in Christchurch I have missed this annual event, when the upper reaches of a popular city street are taken over by racers. The residents are happy to be shut in for a day while the street is closed off. This year 79 trolleys and 90 drivers took part, the fastest reaching speeds of almost 70 km/hr. Serious stuff!