Canterbury

The Canterbury Branch covers Canterbury and Westland Districts.

Canterbury Branch Committee

ChairJan Wikaira and Paula Brooksby
SecretaryJoel Schuurman
TreasurerDarren Saunders
Council DelegateSarah Masters and Jan Wikaira
Chem. Ed. Group RepresentativeTo be advised
Branch EditorDarren Saunders
Committee Member(s)Nic Bason
Joanna Houlihan
Rajika Munasinghe
Student Representative(s)Nicola Soriano
Amir Zakaria
Fuschia Moran
Jude Kalan

Canterbury Branch Chair’s Report 2020

2020 started with a February 4th meeting of an enthusiastic committee with a number of ideas for
different events and changes for the year. As we now know, few of these were able to come to fruition.
We sponsored the IUPAC Women’s breakfast at 0800 on February 12th and the twenty seven attendees
included a number of high school teachers. Our guest speaker Associate Professor Catherine Bishop
discussed her career progression and experience in different countries and cultures. As in the previous
year, the timing of our meeting meant that we were unable to check in with any other events around the
world as none were being held. There was discussion that perhaps in 2021 we should hold an afternoon
cocktail hour instead of breakfast.

On February 26th we had our usual welcome BBQ which was held at the Ilam Homestead. This event was
not as well attended, especially by staff, as we had hoped. It has also become quite costly as UCC now have
to charge for events as a result of the university now charging them rent for the use of the building. We
subsequently discussed doing something different in 2021.

Our first branch meeting scheduled for March 18th was cancelled when our speaker, Prof Ed Constable, was
suddenly able to get a flight home to Switzerland and so avoid being locked down in New Zealand. His talk
titled, “A Complete Abridged History of Chemistry” was subsequently made available on-line.

The start of Lockdown on March 26th and subsequent movement through the various levels curtailed our
activities for the next three months.

June 26th Sarah organised and NZIC sponsored a pizza event to get the graduate students back together
again and talking to each other after lockdown.

July 9 th our extremely popular mid-winter late afternoon social event was very well attended.
Unfortunately, our August 20 th branch event was postponed until October 7 th on account of lock down
levels changing again. We had a large turnout to “Food Forensics: Taints to Tails. Mice to Mould” given by
Darren Saunders, from ESR. This CSI of food contaminants caused few shudders in the audience and was
both edifying and entertaining.

December 9th Our branch meeting combined the NZIC President’s talk, titled “Resilience and Opportunity in
Career Pathways”, with the Canterbury branch AGM. Sarah’s talk, was very well received and gave a lot of
food for thought particularly with those embarking on their future careers.

December 14th the branch sponsored the Postgraduate showcase. This included morning tea for 80 and
travel and accommodation for the speaker, Dan Preston from Otago. Dan’s talk was, “Self-assembly:
thinking about metal ions as communication nodes between ligand sites, for the transfer of structural
information and the generation of complexity”

I wish you all a very happy festive season and a much more tranquil year in 2021.

Jan Wikaira

Canterbury Branch Chair’s Report 2019

  • It was a year of mixed attendance for NZIC Canterbury Branch events, with some being extremely popular and successful (e.g. Dr Tom Bennett’s talk; the World Meteorological Day talk in combination with NZIP), but several events lacked the anticipated attendance levels.
  • Jan plans to circulate a feedback quiz in the New Year to determine what kinds of events members actually want to go. Some key considerations are:
    • Do people want talks to take place during the normal department seminar time?
    • How many events do people want each year?

Dr Jan Wikaira, 2 December 2019