USP Cook Islands Campus

Cook Islands Campus



February 2020 - An Evening with Dr. Sally Akevai Nicholas

Dr Sally Akevai (Ake) Nicholas is a lecturer in Linguistics at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. She is Ngāti Teakatauira from Mauke on her mother's side and Papaā Niu Tireni on her fatherís. Ake was born in Taranaki, New Zealand but her family moved back to Rarotonga when she was very young and so her formative years were spent here. She started her schooling at Ngatangiia Primary school and completed her primary and secondary schooling in Taranaki. She attended the University of Auckland from where she has a BA in Māori Studies and Linguistics, an MA in Māori Studies, and a PhD in Māori Studies and Linguistics.

Ake is currently a lecturer in linguistics at Te Kūngenga ki Pūrehuroa (Massey university) in Auckland as well as a taking care of the Diploma in Cook Islands Maori here at USP. Her research focusses on the description, documentation, and revitalisation of Cook Islands Māori. She also works on matters of linguistic justice, and language revitalisation more broadly. Ake has a particular interest in how young people can be encouraged to learn and use their ancestral languages.

November 2019 - An Evening with Dr. Richard Cooper

Family is important to Richard Ė he has nine siblings and now has nine grandchildren. His parents are Tekurainatau Manu and George Cooper, and his maternal grandparents, now deceased, are Puauai Nooroa and Ngatuakana Manu.

Richard has a Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Auckland. At the time he was one of only five people in the world to graduate with a Doctor of Fine Arts.

Richard was the Head of Department for the renowned Buck Nin School of Fine Arts, Te Wananga O Aotearoa for five years. He has exhibited and worked in sculpture symposiums in France, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Japan, Hawaii, Australia and the USA. His family background provides the foundation and inspiration for his works. These thematically centre on the importance of family.

Richard has also been commissioned to create several high-profile art works and sculptures around New Zealand. One of his most famous is the Manukau Millennial Sculpture, for which he received the National Creative Place Award. Richard is also an expert in logistics and is experienced in all aspects of design, manufacture and installation of large-scale art works in high human traffic areas.

Much of Richardís work also reflects his belief in healthy lifestyles. His current role with the Papakura Marae Health Clinic, and past employment by the Counties Manukau District Health Board, reflect his passion to educate people with diabetes.


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