A life well lived paves way to encourage Pasifika women in communication

Source: Pacific Media Centre

Analysis published with permission of PMC

Geraldine Lopdell’s family was looking for a fitting way to celebrate a “life well lived” when they decided to set up one of AUT’s newest awards.

During life, Geraldine had been an excellent teacher and artist, a supportive and generous friend and a captivating storyteller with an adventurous spirit.

Her early years were spent in Tonga and Samoa where her family travelled for her father’s work, and she had a firm belief that more women’s stories and views – particularly those of Pasifika women – needed to be told and heard.

The Geraldine Lopdell Award for Diversity in Communication will encourage Pasifika women to tell their stories. The first prize will be given in April 2019, nearly one year after Geraldine’s passing. It will be set at $1,200, and is anticipated to be offered annually for an initial term of ten years.

Deciding a memorial award to support something she cared about would be a fitting way to celebrate her life, Geraldine’s partner Colin and her two daughters Alex and Anne had approached their family friend, AUT’s Professor David Robie and have since been working with the AUT Foundation to establish the award.

Professor Robie, who heads up AUT’s Pacific Media Centre – Te Amokura, suggested a prize be established alongside the existing Storyboard Award for Diversity Reporting. It was decided the Pacific Media Centre, with its focus on telling ignored and ‘untold’ stories, and amplifying Pasifika women’s voices, was a natural fit for an award to celebrate this special woman’s legacy.

The family believe that Geraldine would have been honoured to have this award established in her name as she would have wanted to value the contributions and perspectives of Pasifika women.

Future generations
As Colin says: “The award is about recognising the life of an extraordinary and wonderful woman by encouraging an extraordinary and wonderful woman at the start of her career. She would have liked her legacy to support the next generation.

“It’s not just about making a financial difference to the recipient, although clearly we hope that it will help. It is about saying to them that we acknowledge your hard work, we recognise your achievements, you are doing brilliantly, keep going!”

Setting an award up is fairly straightforward, Alex says: “and you can direct it in a way to match up with the social changes that you want to encourage and see. It’s something that can benefit future generations and depending how you set it up, it can go on in perpetuity.’

Alex and Colin say they would love to see more awards of this type, “because you don’t have to have a huge amount of money to do something small and positive. We’d love to see other people think in this space and unleash that potential.”

Stand by for news of the first recipient of the Geraldine Lopdell Memorial Award for Excellence in Communication – and undoubtedly, a few great stories from the recipient.
 
The Geraldine Lopdell Award for Diversity in Communication – criteria and background

More information

MIL OSI

MIL OSI

MIL-OSI Reportage: PMC director reports on historic New Caledonia referendum 30 years on

Source: Pacific Media Centre

Analysis published with permission of PMC

By Craig Major of AUT Communications

Professor David Robie, Director of the Pacific Media Centre in the School of Communication Studies, has been part of the contingent of more than 100 journalists and media academics reporting on and analysing the historic New Caledonian independence referendum in early November. Only 2 out of the 100 were from New Zealand.

David was interviewed by Tokyo TV and other media and had several of his archival photos used in media such as SBS World News because of his specialist knowledge of the 1980s insurrection known locally as “les evenements” that led to the referendum 30 years later.

New Caledonians voted 56% against independence from France while the strong yes vote of 44% (the indigenous Kanaks are in a minority) has opened the door for delicate negotiations and two further referendums in 2020 and 2022.

Professor Robie authored a book in 1989, Blood On Their Banner: Nationalist Struggles in the South Pacific, published by Zed Books in London, which is widely cited today about the period, and a sequel in 2014 Don’t Spoil My beautiful face: Media, Mayhem & Human Rights in the Pacific.

He has also written several articles on the referendum and the events leading up to on Asia Pacific Report.

The Pacific Media Centre has had a busy month with coverage of the Fiji general election on November 14 in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific Journalism programme and also coverage of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in collaboration with EMTV News.

Postgraduate student Sri Krishnamurthi flew to Fiji to report on the election in partnership with USP’s Wansolwara student newspaper as a continuation of his International Journalism Project.

Read David’s articles on the Asia Pacific Report website

MIL OSI

MIL OSI Analysis