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Manaakitanga in leadership, relationships in adoption, and students’ experience of adventure education were just some of the discussions taking place at the Curiosity Research Symposium held last Friday at Mokoia campus.
The Research Office has been running this event every two years, alternating with the University of Waikato’s sister event, ‘Inquire Inspire’. Staff, students and members of the public were treated to a day-long celebration of the research underway across Toi Ohomai.
The university’s Chair in Coastal Science Professor Chris Battershill was keynote speaker for the event, and inspired the audience with the work he has done in Northern Australia and the Bay of Plenty.
His presentation, Education and enterprise in remote and regional Aoteoroa and Australia – borne from tragedy, described the work being done in marine organism biodiscovery, which is the discovery of natural compounds that could potentially be used in medicines and the cosmetic industry. He discussed how this work was transforming impoverished and marginalised communities in Palm Island, Torres Strait and Arnhem Land.
He then outlined the way in which the Rena oil spill disaster had created a myriad of opportunities for student research development, with multiple Masters and PhD studies being generated. Chris said the Tertiary Education Partnership between Toi Ohomai, the University of Waikato, and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, is enormously exciting, and yet to reach its full potential.
Chris wasn’t the day’s only highlight. It was great to hear from so many of our talented staff, reporting on research outcomes, research for higher qualifications, and research for external organisations. Presentations included:
• International snapshots: What we learnt from attending conferences in Japan – Cath Fraser and Heather Vail
• How is the older person discursively constructed in undergraduate nurse education? – Pam Foster
• The ties that bind: Relationships in open adoption – Naomi Hesseling-Greene
• The significance of manaakitanga in leadership – Bart Vosse
• Influence on practice: Using Bourdieu's Theory of Practice as a research methodology – Debbie Coates
• Toitū te Kainga, Toitū te Ora, Toitū te Tangata – Healthy Homes, Healthy People. National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities – Sylvia Tapuke, Shirley Lyford, and Tepora Emery
• Nursing students use of information and communication technology: A quantitative study – Wendy Rowe and Julian Ketel
• An action research project to establish Dedication Education Units here in the Bay of Plenty – Deb Sims and Roseanne Sadd
• IOT and Automated Data Collection: Opportunities for Cross Department Collaboration – Andrew Chapman
• ‘Tama Tu, Tama Ora: To stand up is to live.' Investigating the student experience of the Adventure Education programmes at Toi Ohomai – Nick Chater.
It was a small audience, but an appreciative one. Thanks to all who came – participants, supporters and crew – for another enriching event, and all that food for thought!