The Governor-General of Australia, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, is visiting The University of Auckland for a Pacific Island academics and community leaders forum next Monday 27 February (2.30-4.30pm).
She will be on the first full day of a five-day state visit to New Zealand and this will be her fourth engagement.
Ms Bryce will be met on the malae (forecourt) in Wynyard Street and escorted to the University’s Fale Pasifika to the beating of a large lali drum. After a welcome address by University Chancellor Roger France, she will meet Auckland Pacific leaders from education, health, trade, religious, social services, creative arts and other sectors informally over afternoon tea.
She will spend the final 45 minutes of her visit being briefed by four academic staff at the University’s Centre for Pacific Studies on major issues facing the Pacific region.
“We have arranged the forum at the Governor-General’s request to acquaint her with some of the challenges that confront Pacific peoples,” says the Director of the Centre for Pacific Studies, Walter Fraser.
New Zealand’s Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, will accompany his Australian counterpart for the first half hour of her time at the University.
• The Fale Pasifika, a symbol of identity for Pacific Island students and staff, is the second largest such structure in the world. The Fale is used for ceremonies, dialogue, teaching and learning about the Pacific Islands. The adjoining Centre for Pacific Studies complex includes academic offices, classrooms and a multi-media laboratory.
Some 3151 Pacific students were enrolled at The University of Auckland in 2011. This represented 40 percent of Pacific students undertaking degree studies in New Zealand.