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13th June 2019

Meet the students from the University of Otago who will be attending the 2019 Matariki Global Citizenship Forum in Durham! 

Maddi Mitchell

Age: 21

Area of Study: Public Health

Fun Fact: Hedgehogs love running on hamster wheels so much that they usually won’t even get off to give birth.

What are some key issues you are passionate about at Otago: My heart particularly beats for promoting good mental health, in particular issues around identity and belonging; creating better relationships and genuine connection between different student groups; and I am also a sucker for challenging the infinite battle around our impressive, yet slightly destructive, drinking culture.

What are you most looking forward to about the forum: I am looking forward to experiencing a new level of empowerment and creativeness as well as working out how we can all show accountability and congruency to our ideas after the forum. 

Aliyah Ali

Age: 23 

Area of Study: Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies minor in Sociology 

Fun Fact: I have eaten a scorpio before 

What are some key issues that you are passionate about at Otago: I believe the University of Otago has a unique student community that should be preserved by maintaining the wellbeing of our students. I am passionate about sustaining our student culture in a healthy way by building community relationships and advocating for the student voice. 

What are you most looking forward to about the forum: I am a curious mind, therefore I am looking forward the most to hearing about what are some programs other students are carrying out at their university. I want to hear how they have addressed the student voice in their universities and how they work together as a collective to fulfil these aspirations. 

Casey Brown

Age: 20

Area of study: Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Sociology, DipGrad in Politics

Fun fact: If I could move anywhere in the world tomorrow- I’d move to Copenhagen

What are some key issues that you are passionate about at Otago: I am hugely passionate with regards to decreasing sexual violence on campus. I work for Te Whare Tāwharau, our on campus sexual violence support and prevention centre, as an educator. I teach sexuality education with a focus on empowerment- in areas of bystander intervention, fostering positive community cultures surrounding sex, sexuality, and consent, and sexual violence resistance. Outside of the uni, I teach self defence with Wāhine Toa.

Across all of this, my key focus is to shape narratives and discourses around sex and sexuality in a positive way, through a focus on providing people with opportunities and services by which they may make choices and decisions that empower not only they themselves, but also cultivates a stronger community. My goal is to make a positive contribution, and create a space, to alter the wider student culture, and thus experience, surrounding sex and sexuality, into one that is more positive.

What are you most looking forward to about the forum: I am really excited to find out what other universities across the world, and across the Matariki network, are doing to combat issues of sexual violence on campus. Specifically, what kind of programmes and initiatives are working well for them to increase empowerment and engagement with discussions around the culture of sex at our institutions. I am also keen to pick up some new ideas about how we can best engage with everyone on campus, to reshape our culture into one that is more positive and inclusive of everybody, and promotes student wellbeing to the best of its ability.