Sunday, 6 May 2007

About the speakers

This post is being updated as speaker biographies are sent to us.

Sekhar Bandyopadhyay is Professor of Asian History and Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington. He is also an Associate of the Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research.

His most recent published book chapter is 'Reinventing Indian Identity in Multicultural New Zealand'; and current research projects are 'Meanings of Freedom: Politics of Transition in West Bengal (India), 1947-52' and 'Indian Migration and NZ-India Relations'.

In 2005-06 he was the Chair of the 'Asia Knowledge Working Group' - a joint project of the Asia-New Zealand Foundation and the Ministry of Education, preparing long-term policy recommendations for a Ministerial task force on Asia to promote understanding of Asia and the Asians in New Zealand.

Avril Bell is a senior lecturer in Sociology at Massey University in PalmerstonNorth. Her primary research interest is in Pakeha identity politics, particularly indeveloping an understanding of the ongoing impact of colonialism in structuring thedynamics of Pakeha identities and relations with Maori.

Danny Butt is a consultant in new media, culture, and development, and partner at Suma Media Consulting. In 2005 he coordinated the organisational group for Cultural Futures, a symposium at Hoani Waititi Marae that brought indigenous media artists from Aotearoa, Australia and Canada into dialogue with artists from the Asian region.

Will Christie has a Masters in Film, TV and Media Studies and is a sole parent, recently moved to Wellington.

Emet Degirmenci is an Turkish-Australian migrant wom*n. She is brain child of Innermost Project in Wellington and co-founder of the group. She is still at the learning stage of many things in Western world as well as in Eastern world. Her passion is to live in vibrant diverse community. She carries that where ever she lives.

Mengzhu Fu is a grassroots activist, anthropology student and Chinese migrant living in Tamaki-Makaurau. She is involved in various social and environmental activist groups to work towards building a society free of oppression.

Athena Gavriel, a New Zealand born Greek and Cypriot, has roles including mother, poet, caregiver, advocate and mental health nurse. Interests and issues inspired her PhD research at Victoria University, Wellington, which sought worldviews and experiences of Hellenes’ in Aotearoa, and examined the interrelationship of culture, identity and mental wellbeing.

Hannah Ho Wai ling is a New Zealand-born Chinese. Her extended family has lived in Malaysia for a few generations, her ancestors hail from Guangdong. She cooks for money and is involved in grassroots activitism around decolonisation, anti-racism, queer stuff, feminism and environmental stuff.

Suzanne Menzies-Culling who was born and bred in Dunedin, is a Pakeha woman of Irish, Scots, Antiguan and English ancestry. She is a member of the NFIP movement, and runs decolonisation workshops for Tauiwi. She was a founding member of Te Whanau a Matariki and a founding member of Freedom Roadworks.

Nigel Murphy is a Pakeha whose special interest area is Chinese New Zealand history. He is the author of The Poll Tax in New Zealand: A Research Paper, and co-author of Aliens at My Table: Asians as New Zealanders See Them. His recent research interest is racism and the formation of national identity.

Jacob Otter was born in Tamaki-makau-rau under the shadow of Puketapapa. He is the eldest of three and has lived in Te Whanganui-a-tara for a few years now and really likes it. He recently finished an MA and when he wrote this bio was still nervously waiting for the results.

Mervin Singham is Director, Office of Ethnic Affairs. He has previously been Chief Mediator for the Human Rights Commission, Complaints Manager for the Office of the Race Relations Conciliator, a mediator with the Ministry of Housing and a manager for Mobil Oil. He holds a Master of Laws (First Class) from the University of Auckland.
Multiculturalism in New Zealand – the need for a new paradigm (PDF) (Aotearoa Ethnic Network Journal (Volume 1, Issue 1. June 2006))

Teresia Teaiwa is of Banaban/I-Kiribati and African American descent, born in Hawai'i and raised in Fiji. She has taught Pacific Studies at Victoria University of Wellington since 2000.

Wong Liu Shueng is passionate about issues of identity, race andcommunication. Want to know more? Goggle.


Monique King said...

Ki ora, ni men hao, namaste, salaam, talofa lava, ni sa bula, assalaam aleikum, malo e lelei, annyong haseyo

The Office of Ethnic Affairs and the Ministry of Social Development are running community meetings around New Zealand on the topic of
'Connecting Diverse Communities'.

A meeting to hear your views will be held in Wellington on Saturday 29 September, 10.15am - 12.30pm, at the Loaves and Fishes Hall.
Lunch will be provided after the meeting. All are welcome.

People who would like to attend, need to RSVP to Winifred Mahowa,, phn 04 494 5787.

Information about the 'Connecting Diverse Communities' programme can be found at:–-Background-Information?OpenDocument

Look under News and Events on the Office of Ethnic Affairs websites for further information on the consulation.

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