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Vida was appointed to the staff of the Zoology Department, University of Canterbury in 1958 and remained there until her retirement in 1996. Vida’s own research resulted in the compilation of important, pioneering information on the biology and chemistry of South Island lakes.
Vida was an enthusiastic member of SIL, the International Limnological Society, and rarely missed its triennial conferences.
In addition to her consuming interest and involvement in teaching, research and administration at the University of Canterbury Vida was an active member of the United Tennis Club for many years. The well-known fisheries scientist, Bob McDowall died earlier this year after a short illness. Bob’s academic career started at Victoria University of Wellington (1958-62) and he studied for a PhD at Harvard University, USA (1965-68). He moved from Wellington to Christchurch in 1979 to run the expanding laboratory at Kyle Street (the present NIWA campus) and eventually had control of 60 freshwater science staff throughout NZ. Bob was an enormously productive scientist, publishing over 240 papers, 14 books and roughly 300 popular articles and reports.
Eligibility: Candidates should be eminent in some field of limnological research and have the ability to make a contribution to limnological research in New Zealand. Nominations: Candidates must be nominated by a financial member of the NZFSS who will submit on their behalf a letter outlining the aims and objectives of the trip, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a draft itinerary, a draft budget showing other sources of finance if any, and the names of two referees. Closing date: NZFSS conference organisers should contact the Secretary-Treasurer as early as possible to discuss funding availability and the applications process for the Guest Lecturer Award in a given year.
2014 – Jeremy ‘Jay’ Piggott: “Climate warming and agricultural stressors interact to determine stream periphyton community composition” by J. 2013 – Frank Burdon: “Habitat loss drives threshold response of benthic invertebrate communities to deposited sediment in agricultural streams” by F.
2010 - Hamish Grieg: “Reinforcing abiotic and biotic time constraints facilitate the broad distribution of a generalist with fixed traits” by H.
This award will be given to recognise the best student paper published in the freshwater sciences in the year preceding the conference by a New Zealand student or a student studying or working in New Zealand. This award will compliment the best oral and poster presentation awards given out annually at the NZFSS conference and highlight the importance of communicating science by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The student must be currently registered as a student or have graduated within the last two years. At the discretion of the committee, the award may not be given out every year if papers are judged to have not reached the required standard. The award will have a monetary value ($500) and will be supported by the NZFSS or a sponsor.
The award will be presented at the concluding social function of the conference with other prizes and a link to the paper on the appropriate journal’s website will be posted on the NZFSS website. The paper can be published in any peer-reviewed scientific journal and is not limited to New Zealand publications.
Listed below are some excellent educational resources for teachers and students to aid teaching and learning about freshwater lakes, rivers and streams. A Rotorua Lakes Resource is a comprehensive resource focused on the Rotorua lakes at the primary and secondary levels.
Stream Health Measurement Assessment Kit (SHMAK) is a unit of work designed for secondary students on how to measure water quality and biological features involved in streams. Living with the River - Te Awa is an integrated unit for primary to intermediate school level which gives activities which demonstrate the various physical, biological and chemical aspects of rivers as well as some Maths, English and Art activities. Northland Regional Council’s website features webpages giving background information on water quality of lakes, rivers and groundwater.
Nathan Watson (The University of Waikato): “Assessing next generation sequencing of rotifer communities to measure lake water quality”. Peter Jones (University of Otago): “Do life history strategies drive trout interactions in a species complex of non-migratory galaxiids”. The NZFSS Medal was awarded (in absentia) to Carolyn Burns, Emeritus Professor, University of Otago.
Manna Warburton (University of Otago): “Evidence of sexual segregation in an amphidromous native fish”. Ashley Webby (University of Waikato): “Comparative sensitivity to rotenone of fish and charophytes from the serpentine lakes”. Hamish Grieg (University of British Columbia, Canada): Reinforcing abiotic and biotic time constraints facilitate the broad distribution of a generalist with fixed traits.
Teresa Burrell (University of Canterbury): Regionally specific interactions between shading and nitrogen affect stream trophic. Nina Von Westernhagen (University of Waikato): Measurements and modelling of eutrophication processes in Lake Rotoiti, North Island, New Zealand.
Simon Howard (University of Canterbury): Flow-related distribution of threatened pencil galaxiids in the MacKenzie basin.
Courtney Kellock (University of Waikato): Lateral movement of fish in the lower Waikato River during flood.
Sarai Cosgrove (University of Otago): A paleolimnological analysis of anthropogenic impacts of Waituna Lagoon, Southland. Rebecca Eivers (University of Waikato): Attenuating sediment and nutrient losses from dairy farms – restoring shallow peat lakes. Jennifer Blair (University of Waikato): Smelt dynamics and trout production in Lake Rotoiti, Bay of Plenty. Katharina Doehring (University of Canterbury): How to cross a road - remediation of inanga (Galaxias maculatus) whitebait migration barriers by in-situ ramp installations.
Andy Hicks (University of Otago): Limited dispersal and species-specific patterns of non-diadromous recruitment highlight the importance of larval habitat requirements for amphidromous fish. Claire Taylor (University of Waikato): Reducing establishment rates of non-indigenous zooplankton in constructed waters. Tom Barber (Massey University): The effects of Roundup on freshwater invertebrate communities. Melany Ginders (University of Waikato): Role of hydraulic retention zones in large rivers and their significance in the lower Waikato River.
Jennifer Blair (University of Waikato): Bioenergetics modelling of rainbow trout and smelt predator-prey dynamics in Lake Rotoiti, Bay of Plenty. Raymond Tana (University of Waikato): The migration history and population dynamics of torrentfish (Cheimarrichthys fosteri, haast 1874), in two small Waikato streams on the North Island of New Zealand. Jane Richardson (Massey University): A quantification of channel platform change on the Lower Rangitikei River, New Zealand, 1949-2007: Response to management? Amber Sinton (University of Canterbury): Benthic communities of stock water races on the Canterbury Plains: How do they correspond to natural streams?
Helen Warburton (University of Canterbury): Effects of low stream flows on invertebrate communities. Francis Magbanua (University of Otago): Community responses of stream macroinvertebrates to conventional, integrated and organic farming practices in the South Island of NZ. Amy Whitehead (University of Canterbury): Assessing habitat suitability for species with fragmented distributions: How do we determine potential whio range?
Brenda Aldridge (University of Waikato): Restoring habitat of giant kokopu populations in urban streams, Hamilton City.
Rasmus Gabrielson (University of Otago): Are trace element signatures in trout eggs stable over time - wildlife monitoring using natural trace elements. Eligibility: Applicants shall be New Zealand based members of the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society. Applicants will need to state their aims and objectives, submit a draft itinerary, supporting letters from relevant institutions, overseas contacts, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a draft budget showing other sources of financial support obtained or being sought, and name two referees. Criteria: Applicants will be judged on the benefits that are likely to accrue to the candidate and limnological research in New Zealand as a result of the trip. Award: The Travel Award is a grant-in-aid to contribute towards to the costs of travel, accommodation and living expenses of the recipient up to a total of $2000. For her scientific knowledge, rigour and sustained contributions to freshwater sciences over many years. Carolyn has research interests focused on biological processes and population dynamics in lakes, plankton ecology and productivity, water quality and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems. Carolyn has played a major role in science and technology at many levels within New Zealand.
Carolyn Burns has only recently stepped back from her full-time role as Professor of Zoology at the University of Otago though she tells me that she is usually in the department seven days a week. For his sustained and distinguished contributions over 30 years to pollutant transport modeling, statistical analysis and design of water quality monitoring networks, and human health issues related to waterborne pathogens. For his outstanding contribution to the field of eco-hydraulics and his work in understanding the relationships between the distribution, abundance and response of fish populations to flow regime, hydrology, and physical habitat.
In addition, the Society can nominate outstanding members for the New Zealand Science and Technology Medals, awarded by the Royal Society of New Zealand each year.
Nominations for Medals are considered by the Awards Committee (currently comprising the President, Secretary-Treasurer, a SIL Trustee and two members elected at an AGM).
Honorary membership of the Society can be voted at a General Meeting of the Society, for those members who have performed significant service to the Society usually over a long period, on the recommendation of the Executive Committee as set out in the Society rules.
Member contributions for the newsletters are highly desired, and can be submitted to the Editor.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in freshwater sciences, management and education in New Zealand and internationally. The Society currently has over 350 members coming from a wide range of backgrounds, including research institutes, regional and district councils, government environmental and conservation organisations, universities and consultancies.
To become a member, please fill out the membership application form and post or email this form to the Society Secretary-Treasurer. The New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society (NZFSS) aims to establish effective liaison between all persons interested in any aspect of fresh and brackish water research in New Zealand, and to encourage and promote these interests. As part of the celebrations, there will be awards ceremonies taking place later in the year, showcasing achievements of outstanding individuals, tutors, employers and projects in England. The materials consist of Power Point slides with activities, information, handouts and links to resources online. For the first time in more than 50 years, the government has published a white paper on culture.
According to the charity’s 2015 impact research, 81 per cent of all students at the WEA are involved in more cultural activities, which include reading, following their participation in a WEA class - regardless of the subject. British politician and academic Lord David Blunkett delivered the keynote speech at the evening reception.
Events such as these serve to reiterate the value of adult education – it is something which we must strive to protect given its life-enhancing and life-changing effect.
Gender parity is the theme for this year and individuals and groups are being urged to take action in order to accelerate equality for all. As Christine Lagarde, chief executive of the IMF, said in the 2014 Dimbleby Lecture, women “face discrimination at birth, on the school bench, in the boardroom. Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, reminds us that far too few women run FTSE 100 companies and the pipeline of talent gets blocked by men who, more obviously, fit in. A survey carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2013 ranked England and Northern Ireland 14th for adult literacy and 16th for adult numeracy. According to the charity Go ON UK, nearly a quarter of the adult population lack basic digital skills, a phenomenon that affects women more than men, given time taken out because of childbirth. Which is why the WEA helps thousands of working people and those in the poorest communities to return to education, whatever their age or income. Leading an organisation was something that I thought was beyond my grasp when growing up in a small Welsh mining town in the 1960s. My accent wasn’t right and the first time I was invited out for dinner I turned up at midday. Working in such a male dominated industry in the 1970s was no picnic and, despite coal being in my blood, career opportunities were non-existent for women. The majority of our students are women and many of them use courses as a means to reskill or retrain. The importance of this was recently confirmed by the Centre for the Modern Family, a think-tank established by Scottish Widows.
Globalisation has the potential to open up opportunities and to encourage wider participation – and global organisations need seriously to address widening and deepening the talent pool if they want to continue to be successful.
Governments need to take tough action where human values of respect and dignity are compromised and we need to tackle head-on the biggest temptation of them all: to set our sights too low and quit the field when the battle is not yet won. Almost one in four UK workers are willing to take a pay cut in exchange for more flexible working hours as pressure builds on employers struggling to live up to employees’ expectations. Whilst the study of 2,000 adults and 500 businesses found that almost a third (32%) of employees with children felt their employer provided equal support for all, only 20% without children agreed, and a similar proportion (21%) of those without children claimed that parents received better support.
The findings showed employers’ responses reflected this perception, with more than half (51%) offering flexibility for mothers with young children. Whilst businesses appear to be taking steps towards meeting the needs of parents in the workplace, varying barriers still exist when it comes to extending those policies to support employees more widely. The study found that medium-sized businesses struggle the most – with almost a quarter (23%) saying they do what is legally required of them in terms of flexibility for families, but not any more than this for other employees.
Almost three quarters of medium-sized businesses (72%) would never consider offering full-time working from home, compared to half (51%) of micro and two-fifths (40%) of enterprise businesses. Half of medium businesses also said they would not consider offering part-time working from home, compared with 16% of enterprise and 22% of large businesses for the same reasons. Almost a fifth of businesses (17%) have called for clearer information around the business benefits of flexible working – rising to a quarter (24%) in large businesses. However, employees feel it is the employer’s responsibility to offer solutions, and many are keen to see changes in the workplace.
Join us for the WEA biennial conference, which will be held on 11th and 12th March 2016 in Sheffield. If your costs are being met by a WEA Region or Association Services, you can register online here. Ed Mayo is Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the national business association for co-operative and mutual enterprises.
Debate the future of Conference and the sutainability of the WEA - the latest agenda is available here. Current WEA Deputy President, Lynne Smith, is set to become President of the Association following an all member vote. Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive and General Secretary commented: "I am sure that members, staff, volunteers and supporters of the WEA will join with me in congratulating Lynne Smith on her election as President of the WEA. Wessex Archaeology and the Workers’ Educational Association have forged a new partnership to promote and deliver educational outreach with heritage at its heart. Wessex Archaeology Chief Executive Chris Brayne and Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of the WEA, will be signing a memorandum of understanding at the Omega Centre in Portsmouth today.
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas is attending to speak about the Mary Rose and WEA students will be there to help show that heritage themes can support the teaching of Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and literacy. Yesterday, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Sharp led a debate in the House of Lords on the role of adult education and lifelong learning in strengthening the UK economy. Speaking at the debate, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, noted the results of the WEA’s latest impact report which assessed the effect of our provision against our four curriculum themes. Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield, Lord Hunt of Chesterton, Lord Shipley and Baroness Garden of Frognal all referenced the charity and its role in ensuring that everyone has a chance to return to education. The WEA is pleased to see this issue raised in parliament, and through the work of the APPG, will continue to champion the importance of lifelong learning to individuals, communities and wider society. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has published its 2015 Employer Skills Survey which reports that, despite a surge in job openings, the number of positions left vacant because employers cannot find people with the skills or knowledge to fill them has risen by 130% since 2011.
In our experience, ESOL students are hardworking and diligent, committed to contributing to their communities and wider society. Election for the post of PresidentSince two nominations have been received for the post of President, a ballot among WEA members will now decide which candidate will be elected to the post.

If you were a registered member by 12 September 2015, you will be able to vote in the election.
Elections of WEA Association Officers are supervised by the Standing Orders Committee appointed at the previous Association Conference. In order to be able to vote, members are required to have joined the WEA in England and Scotland on or before 12 September 2015.
WEA London Region is looking for experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and creative adult educators for inclusion on our Tutor Panel.
You should ideally have experience of working with educationally or socio-economically disadvantaged adults across a range of community settings. The report demonstrates that adult learning has an enormous impact on individuals and communities. The Autumn edition of WEA News is now available, including stories on our Save Adult Education campaign, Conference 16, the new All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education and much more. Molly Morgan was a WEA volunteer who was tragically murdered on her way to a WEA course in 2009. As the WEA leads the campaign to save adult education across England, colleagues in WEA Scotland give their support and solidarity, whilst reflecting on some key differences in Scotland. An award winning adult education student and a fashion tutor from Tower Hamlets joined shadow minister and Newcastle MP, Chi Onwurah, to deliver a petition of over 10,000 names to 10 Downing Street as part of a campaign to save adult education. Adult education, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, represents only six per cent of the department’s spending devoted to education and training. With the government expecting that 13.5 million jobs will be created over the next 10 years but only 7 million young people coming into the workforce, there is a concern the loss of adult education services will mean that older workers will not be able to update their skills while employers will face a shortage of workers. On Thursday, 29 October 2015, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) published It’s the finance, stupid! This collection of essays explains the catastrophic fall in part-time student numbers, which is harming the economy and limiting people’s ability to transform their lives, and proposes a range of options for tackling the problem. A study, published in the Royal Society’s Open Science journal, looked at how a series of adult education classes grew closer over seven months. Dr Eiluned Pearce, from Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology led the research.
To test the theory, the researchers worked with charity the Workers' Educational Association (WEA), the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education. Those attending the classes were given surveys before and after individual sessions in the first month, just before the break and at the end of the seven month course.
We are sad to announce the recent death of Peter Quigley, who played an active role in the WEA for many years. I learned Peter Quigley had passed away on the evening of Tuesday 13th October in hospital following an operation, whilst I was attending a WEA Regional Heads Meeting in London. Peter had also represented WEA Scotland nationally on the WEA Council and more recently on the Standing Orders Committee. On the wider stage of life, Peter was a former English teacher, and Union Representative and this often meant that he was called on to represent members in disciplinary procedures. Knowing of my literary aspirations, Peter had chatted to me a couple of times about writing a book himself, though, ever cautious, he never revealed the plot.
A forthright individual, Peter always challenged what he did not agree, but with a good heart and there are few who would not say that he sought to improve the WEA and its place in the world.
WEA Scotland would wish to extend to Peter’s family and friends our sincere condolences.
Please consider for a few moments Peter Quigley’s contribution to our lives and the life and success of the WEA.
Labour MP Holly Lynch has voiced support for the WEA's Save Adult Education campaign after meeting with our students and tutors last week.
The Halifax MP, part of the 2015 intake, was invited to a screening of a campaign video produced by learners which captures the many reasons why adult education should be protected and supported. Commenting on the campaign, Holly said: "Adult education is essential in ensuring that people have the skills and the confidence to make the most of the opportunities available to them, either in employment or in life. New WEA tutor Tracey Kettridge is interviewed in this month’s Prima magazine in a feature on inspirational women.
In September, Tracey fulfilled another of her ambitions – to become a tutor with the WEA.
Organisations from the education, business and employment sectors have joined forces to shine a spotlight on the hundreds of thousands of students studying part-time around the UK. The two largest providers of part-time higher education: The Open University and Birkbeck, University of London.
Unionlearn – the learning and skills organisation of the TUC who last year who have helped over 220,000 people access training and development. Workers' Educational Association (WEA) – the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of adult education.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) – the national voice for lifelong learning. National Union of Students (NUS), which represents the voices on 7 million students including part-time and mature students. CBI, whose 190,000 members employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of the private sector-employed workforce.
With more than two million students currently settling into new university courses, a fifth of these will be studying part-time whilst juggling work and family responsibilities. These part-time students are largely 'invisible' – they may not identify themselves as being a student, and are often overlooked in media and government reports in favour of reporting on the participation of younger, full-time students. The Government is currently preparing its Spending Review for the next 5 years and will announce its plans on November 25. Less than 6 per cent of Government spending on education and training is devoted to adult further education and skills. Putting this in context, over the next 10 years there will be 13.5 million more jobs but only 7 million young people coming into the workforce.
Over the next few weeks we are hoping to reach thousands of students, members and supporters of the WEA as well as a vast range of partners and friends who share our concerns. I am deeply concerned that the cuts suggested for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will have a serious impact on the sustainability of adult education across England. As a supporter of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), I have experienced the impact adult education can make. Please add in a personal statement of what the WEA means to you whether as a student volunteer or tutor.
The group has been formed to raise the profile of adult education, and in particular, the vital role it plays in providing high-quality educational provision to the most disadvantaged members of society. The group will be established as an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) shortly after the launch.
The launch event will be at 11am on Friday 18 September at Westgate Community College in Newcastle. Created as part of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, the SDIs offer a vast range of adult education courses for over 130,000 students across Britain each year, providing educational opportunities for every community in the country. MembershipMembership will consist of a group of MPs and Lords from all sides of the house and the secretariat will be provided by the SDIs.
Working MethodsThe APPG will adopt a shared learning approach which will deliver three reports and one research paper led by the WEA research department over the course of the parliament, detailing key issues and recommendations for adult education and their impacts on society. The APPG will aim to launch in November 2015 with subsequent events in February and May and will hold these months moving forward as key target dates. Today marks the first day of the trip, which will see students discuss their views with parliamentarians, activists and union members. An exciting itinerary has been scheduled, with speakers from the European Economic and Social Committee and SOLIDAR (a European network of NGOs working to advance social justice on an international scale) discussing diverse topics from the future of the EU to workers’ rights. The WEA project, headed by Jol Miskin, WEA Regional Education Manager, was established earlier this year to help local people feel empowered to participate in and engage with European politics. A group of WEA workplace learners from Falkirk have taken part in the Scottish Book Trust’s annual writing competition. The authors’ learning journey began when they expressed an interest in building their confidence and communication skills in response to a WEA article in a local council publication. Arrangements were made for the class to run in Denny Community Centre, following approval from Falkirk Council. Her father was a surgeon and vice chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington and her grandfather was the 13th premier of New Zealand and later chief justice. She was then a Reader (Associate Professor) and had been Dean of Science and Deputy Chair of the university’s Academic Administration Committee. She was most interested in the nature of zooplankton communities, their changes over time, and their relationships to eutrophication, land use and hydro power developments. From left, John Stark, Richard Rowe, Lynley Pearce, John Hayes, Brian Timms, Vida, Malcolm Forster, Mike Winterbourn. She regularly gave talks on her New Zealand work and many of her research papers were published in the SIL proceedings. She also played badminton when younger and must have inherited her well developed “ball sense” from her mother who had been New Zealand amateur golf champion.
Bob was the father of freshwater fish research and fisheries in New Zealand, and was a life member of the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society.
His thesis on the taxonomy of whitebait and related genera was regarded as one of the best submitted at that time.
He worked at institutes in Australia, South Africa, South America, USA and the Falkland Islands, and received many accolades and awards throughout his distinguished career, including being made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and being awarded a James Cook Fellowship. Visitors will be expected to address the annual meeting of the NZFSS and to visit several New Zealand research institutions including universities. In determining the value of the award the Committee shall take into account the fact that overseas scientists are often better able to receive financial assistance than New Zealanders. If funding is available, all material (including letters of support from referees) must be submitted electronically to the Secretary-Treasurer. The paper must be on research completed while they were a student as part of their MSc or PhD. Many of the resources are linked to the Guidelines for Environmental Education in New Zealand Schools and encourage acting for the environment. It aims to encourage students to take actions that support a sustainable lakes environment. It includes information on taking chemical samples and physical measurements and conducting biological surveys. It includes local information on rivers, mapping and explanation of terminology to do with rivers. Preference will be given to candidates less than 35 years of age, or who graduated in the previous 10 year period.
Where appropriate, the successful candidate will also describe the work done during the trip at the next annual meeting of the Society. All material (including letters of support from referees) must be submitted electronically (as PDF or Word documents). The scientific paper that launched her standing as a scientist of international renown was “The relationship between body size of filter-feeding Cladocera and the maximum size of particle ingested”, published in Limnology and Oceanography in 1968, and currently with around 500 citations. She has been President of the Royal Society’s Academy, a member of the Board of the NIWA, and a member of the Governance Boards of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, and the New Zealand Antarctic Institute. Bob has maintained and promoted excellence in science over many years – from solution chemistry to catchment studies.
Graham’s focus has been on applying mathematical modeling methods to water-related issues to improve understanding of key environmental processes and provide technical support for development and implementation of public policy.
The newsletter is sent out electronically as a PDF file or as a hard copy by standard post.
Members are entitled to attend the annual Society conference and associated workshops on topical issues, and to receive an annual newsletter detailing recent work at research institutions, members’ addresses and interests, and recent publications. Of the students taking part, 22 per cent were from black or ethnic minority backgrounds and 41 per cent had a disability. In addition, the study found that 36 per cent of all students valued the arts, music or literature more than they had previously whilst 35 per cent had a greater understanding of other cultures. Tutors, students, members, volunteers and colleagues from across the country were in attendance, with vigorous discussion around sustainability (the theme of the 2016 conference) and the future of the charity. He has been instrumental in developing a wide range of renewable energy systems and is now leading on the ground-breaking Zero Carbon Britain research. Speaking from personal experience, Lord Blunkett told the audience of the challenges he faced when returning to education and of the ultimate gain. I was privileged to hear from a variety of wonderful speakers and educational practitioners and felt honoured to share the success stories of the WEA Awards recipients.
Women’s lives have been transformed by technology, changes in our economy and in social attitudes so that women expect to compete on equal terms. The adult education charity has been going for more than a century and it is as badly needed today as it was in 1903. This low level of adult skills inevitably impacts on the success of the economy as a whole. People like my grandfather, who left school at 11 but who enrolled on a WEA course and eventually won a trade union scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford, and another to Peterhouse at Cambridge.
When I read economics at Cambridge I was intimidated by the cutglass accents and the seemingly easy social confidence of my fellow students. It is a vicious cycle that affects many women, which is why we have to do more to support mothers in the workplace.
Last year, the WEA launched a campaign focusing on the importance of education and lifelong learning, to enable women to overcome the disadvantages they face in society. Its latest report, published last week, revealed that one in four UK workers would sacrifice pay for greater flexibility.
According to the World Economic Forum it is now ranked 18th out of 145 countries in terms of the gender gap, an improvement from the 26th place ranking it achieved last year. According to the report no country in the world has achieved gender equality but I think there are lessons we can learn from those at the top of the league table: Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. According to the World Economic Forum, it will take another 117 years until the pay gap between men and women is closed. We also need to recognise and reward good practice wherever we see it, learn from our own experience and the experience of other countries and cultures.
However, far fewer are supportive of fathers with young children (35%), older workers (26%) and other employees (34%) who may have additional responsibilities such as elderly or unwell relatives to care for, charity and volunteering responsibilities, or a desire to attend additional training or classes outside of work. Over half (52%) of medium-sized employers said this would be logistically too difficult to implement, whilst over a third (35%) worry it would impact negatively on the business. Almost a third of employers (31%) place the onus on employees – saying they would be encouraged to reconsider their decisions if employees would consider taking cuts in return for more flexible working hours. A quarter (24%) of employees think employers should offer flexible shift patterns, and almost a quarter (23%) would be willing to be paid less in return for working fewer hours if this were an option.
Our economy depends on a skilled and motivated workforce that functions productively – and our best hope of achieving this is through encouraging employers to adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce.
This year the theme of the conference is sustainability, with an event on the Friday of national significance with a great line up of speakers and workshops along with the Association Dinner.
He has a track record of innovation and impact in his work to bring together economic life and social justice. He chaired the Jubilee 2000 campaign and was part of the team that founded the Fairtrade Mark. Standing Orders Committee has therefore confirmed that Lindsay Pearson is duly elected to the post of Deputy President.
It encourages intellectual curiosity and lifelong opportunities to learn which we are passionate about in the WEA. Since 2010, we have witnessed a drastic reduction in the ESOL budget of almost 50 per cent.

By creating a more cohesive ESOL strategy, the Government could help thousands of people across the country unlock their potential and contribute to the economy. Standing Orders Committee therefore confirms that Lindsay Pearson is duly elected to the post of Deputy President. Before voting you should read the supporting statements from the cadidates and the role description for the post of President below. You will have either recieved an email from Electoral Reform Services or a ballot paper by post providing security details for the election. Further information about the regulations of governance of the WEA can be found in our Governing Document. Applicants should hold a First Degree or equivalent in their subject(s) or have significant, demonstrable professional knowledge and skills. Our work transforms outcomes for people in deprived communities; it reduces social exclusion, increases social mobility and enables families to break the cycle of deprivation. Without continuous opportunities to learn throughout our lives, the economic potential of many citizens will be lost and our productivity levels will continue to lag behind other competing countries. While this is welcome, we believe there needs to be more investment in adult learning alongside a rebalancing of our education and skills policies to reflect the fact that productivity improvements will be driven by those who are already in the labour market.
From now on, everyone is going to be thinking about how to continuously increase skills through life. During her life, she gave so much of her time to the charity and had volunteered with us for over 25 years before her death at the age of 81. The formation of a Scottish Parliament Cross Party Working Group on Adult Learning has backed this up - testament to the shared belief that adult learning benefits people and communities throughout Scotland. An effective vehicle for economic and social justice, a strong adult learning sector is key to the future of Scotland. Chief Executive of the WEA, Ruth Spellman and WEA Director of Education Joanna Cain, joined the group to highlight the importance of adult education to communities throughout England. This year alone, the Adult Skills Budget has already had cuts of 24 per cent and 3.9 per cent, and many students are concerned that further cuts will have a devastating impact on a service which provides skills, confidence and support to disadvantaged communities across the country. Adult education is important because it helps individuals and their families break cycles of deprivation and forge better lives themselves. Thousands of people have joined the WEA in saying this is a vital service for our economy and our society. There are other challenges too, such as the future of the research environment, how to assess the quality of teaching and dealing with the effects of marketisation. Part-time numbers have fallen more in England than other parts of the UK with lower (or no) fees, but it is not the sole cause. Now, research from the University of Oxford has shown that singing is a great ice-breaker and can get groups of people to bond together faster. The conclusion – singing groups bonded quicker than those taking part in other classes. At the end of the seven months, all the classes were reporting similar levels of closeness. Indeed he represented my Cousin, Bill Bald and successfully defended him in a case of wrongful dismissal.
It is for this and the many other unrealised potentials that we always regret the passing of a life, the achievements stand as testament, the intentions and possibilities as feasible conjecture.
Tracey is a former beautician who, five years ago, decided to change career and study counselling and hypnotherapy after years of being a shoulder to cry on for family, friends and clients. She will be empowering those with low self-esteem to recognise their worth and talents by teaching a confidence course with us. The sector is calling for greater recognition of the value of part-time education and is asking students, past and present, to share why they love part time study.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills, which funds the WEA and other adult learning institutions like ourselves in England, has been asked by the Chancellor to suggest cuts of 25% and 40%. Further cuts, on top of the 24 per cent and 3.9 per cent cuts to the Adult Skills Budget already announced this year, will have a devastating impact on a service that is life-changing for many people.
At the same time employer investment in skills and training has declined by 2.5bn since 2011. Our aim is to raise awareness, make the case for adult education and to give adult learners a voice. Individual letters or emails to your local MP and the Chancellor will make a difference and make sure that adults are not forgotten when cuts are being made. Please click here to download a template of what you might consider writing - the suggested text is also below. Further cuts, on top of the 24 per cent and 3.9 per cent cuts to the Adult Skills Budget already announced this year, will have a devastating impact on a service that is life-changing for many people and communities across the country.
The group will aim to start a wider debate about the future of adult education in this country. Learning can change people’s lives and improve not just their skills and job prospects but also their confidence and health.
APPGs have members from all the main political parties in Parliament and the Adult Education APPG will be supported by the WEA and other specialist adult education institutions. Our aim is to engage key stakeholders, organisations within the FE sector, parliamentarians and other major influencers in a debate about the future of adult education. It is proposed that the group agree a subject for investigation, followed by a call for evidence, with at least one oral evidence session held each year to engage students, parliamentarians and other stakeholders in the discussion. They will also have the opportunity to visit the key historic landmarks associated with European democracy. She played a significant role in establishing a new Masters course in Environmental Science at Canterbury and spent some years as a member of the South Canterbury Conservation Board.
She visited a vast number of South Island lakes, and had a happy knack of convincing people to take her to remote places.
Her most frequently cited paper is “Lakes in the mountain region of Canterbury, New Zealand” Verh. Some years after her retirement she developed debilitating Parkinson’s disease and died in Christchurch on 21 July 2012 aged 82. Although he had retired from the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA), he continued to work most days at NIWA’s Christchurch laboratory until shortly before his death in February. A turning point for Bob was in 1985 when he was invited to be a keynote speaker at the first international conference on diadromy, the movements of fish between fresh and saltwater environments (Boston, March 1986). He gained election to the New Zealand Conservation Authority for two years until ill-health forced his retirement last year.
Applications should be a single Word or pdf (preferred!) file, plus pdfs of letters of support. Topics covered include the water cycle, water uses, impact of land use and water use on water quality and stream health.
She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and has been Academy President of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
She has also chaired University of Otago review panels, including, for example, the Departments of Music and Theatre Studies, Philosophy, Anatomy, and Anthropology and Archaeology. At first this involved pollutant transport and transformation process in rivers, lakes and coasts, often concerning dissolved gasses (particularly dissolved oxygen) and, in later years, microbial pollutants. With others in NIWA, Ian has contributed greatly to our knowledge of habitat use by fish and benthic invertebrates, and has developed methods and computer programmes that allow this information to be used to assess the potential effects of flow changes. There are currently three posters available (shown below), detailing New Zealand native freshwater fauna and flora. The Society administers grants for conference travel and visits by overseas scientists through the SIL Trust Fund. Half of the students were on means-tested benefits and 28 per cent from disadvantaged postcodes.
If he had not secured his O-level qualifications by attending evening classes, he would not have been able to attend university and subsequently forge a career in national politics. Award-winning journalist Nadine Dereza hosted the event, which highlighted the fantastic work of the students, tutors and staff that make the WEA special. After my third was born I had to deal with redundancy and the serious illness of my husband. On Saturday, the formal business of the conference will take place with debates on some of the key issues affecting the WEA and adult education.
It was entitled Changing Lives and revealed the extent to which adult learning impacts on so many areas of an individual’s life.
In order to help people fully integrate into their communities and boost active citizenship, we believe more should be done to encourage and facilitate English language learning for those who need it. An effective ESOL programme has the potential to promote community cohesion, fair access to services, social mobility and can enable students to access the labour market. Applicants should also hold a Level 4 teaching qualification (minimum) or be willing to work towards this. Unless we have accessible and affordable education and skills provision economic growth will stall, our productivity levels will continue to be below the G7 average, and five million adults will continue to struggle without basic literacy and numeracy skills. Alongside the petition, hundreds of WEA students who have benefited from adult education have been writing to their MPs to protest against potential cuts in the Spending Review.
Singing is found in all human societies and can be performed to some extent by the vast majority of people. Each course, made up of two-hour sessions, was run over seven months with a two-week break in the middle. It was a difficult feat considering that she had four children (her youngest at the time was one years old) and it meant leaving behind the security of a profession which she was thriving in.
Please help us maintain this vital service for generations to come by highlighting the importance of adult education to the Chancellor and BIS over the coming months. Alongside students, speakers at these events might include other providers of adult education such as The Open University, non-SDI colleges, LEPs, employers, local authorities as well as ministers and opposition spokespeople.A report would then be developed in consultation with the group for launch at the annual AGM.
Vida was dux at Woodford House before going to Victoria University where she did her BSc and MSc in Zoology. She also undertook long-term studies on lakes Grasmere and Pearson in the Cass area of inland Canterbury, and in the 1960s and 70s wrote timely reviews and book chapters on freshwater biology in New Zealand.
He also worked on describing all New Zealand’s freshwater fish and published his first book in 1978. Another book followed but so did a period of productive research on the biogeography and dispersal of fish which continued until the present. He served as co-editor on a number of scientific journals and refereed many papers, including 50 in the last year alone. While he leaves a huge gap in fisheries science, his written legacy is enormous; he also influenced many younger scientists who will be grateful they knew this remarkable man. At a wider university level her experience has been used in roles as a member of the Cycle 4 panels (university quality assessment) for Victoria University and Lincoln University, and she has chaired the Cycle 4 panel for the audit of the University of Waikato.
Bob gained his BSc (Hons) in chemistry and his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Canterbury (NZ) before working as a postdoctoral research associate at Wright State University, Ohio, where studies included gas solubility in liquids and related thermodynamic properties. After encouragement from central government agencies, especially the National Water and Soil Conservation Organisation, he moved into monitoring network design with an emphasis on statistical aspects. With over 30 years of experience in engineering hydrology and environmental flow requirements, and a very practical focus, Ian has provided advice to a wide variety of clients on the biological implications of flow regime alteration and environmental flow requirements, including in-stream habitat, water temperature, flushing flows, seasonal flow variations, and flow fluctuations below hydro-peaking stations. That survey found that more than half of those aged under 60 gave improving communication skills as a specific skill developed on a WEA course.
Whilst we can’t guarantee tutors work, inclusion on our Tutor Panel ensures that you will be considered when suitable courses arise. Any solution is likely to rest upon innovative delivery methods and other ways of improving access as much as relying on tweaks to the entitlement for financial support.
In the limited New Zealand freshwater fish fauna, Bob realised he had the opportunity to explore biogeographical patterns and processes in a way that would have been more difficult with a larger fauna.
His widow, Ainslie, has provided an endowment fund that will bear Bob’s name, and will assist young freshwater scientists in furthering their careers.
Her expertise as an academic reviewer has been used in institutions in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands. He joined the water section of the Chemistry Division, DSIR, in 1975 and then moved to the Ministry of Works Water and Soil Science Centre in Hamilton, in 1980. In that regard he was a key player in setting up the on-going National Rivers Water Quality Network. This experience has been used to formulate methods for assessing flow regime requirements in rivers by many regional councils in New Zealand. She wrote two long papers on mites from her thesis and another on the rhabdocoel flatworm Mesostoma – all were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Other doctoral students she supervised were Jim Robb (midges), Derek Staples (bullies), Paddy Ryan (eels), John Hayes (trout), John Stark (lake-weed fauna), Laorsri Sanoamung (rotifers), Janet Wilmshurst (lake palaeobiology) and Barbara Schakau (midges in lake sediment cores).
These often featured vigorous tramps to lakes and streams, an oft remembered example being the epic 14 km Lake Blackwater expedition of 1979 in a howling norwester (see photo). He rapidly asserted himself as a staunch defender of oceanic dispersal as the dominant process for the distribution and colonisation of Southern Hemisphere freshwater fishes. As anyone reading this synopsis of Carolyn’s scientific career will appreciate, she has made an extraordinary contribution to science in New Zealand and it is appropriate that her achievements are acknowledged by the Society through award of its highest honour of achievement and service. The Centre (renamed the Hamilton Science Centre) became one of the principal components of NIWA. This kindled a strong interest in environmental statistical methods and, pleasingly, a proposal to continue this line of work was funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Brian Timms undertook a post-doctoral fellowship under her direction and used it to make extensive studies of the benthic invertebrate communities of South Island lakes. Bob’s early work focused on dissolved oxygen and reaeration in rivers, colour and optical properties of waters, pesticide threats to aquatic ecosystems, effects of macrophytes on water chemistry, and catchment science. Vida also supervised Masters and BSc (Honours) students on a wide variety of topics, including mammals, water birds, fish and various aspects of the ecology of lakes and ponds. She was a life member of the Freshwater Biological Association (UK) and was an honorary life member of our Society.
Since the mid-1990s his research has mainly concerned land-water interactions, with special emphasis on dairy farming and the development of mitigation methods. Using Statistical Methods for Water Quality Management: Issues, Problems and Solutions, Wiley, New York). In 1968 she and the late Ann Chapman founded the New Zealand Limnological Society (now the NZ Freshwater Sciences Society) as a forum where freshwater workers could meet at an annual conference and contribute to a newsletter. A major project was the Best Practice Catchments for Sustainable Dairying (2001-2011) that has been very influential in informing key groups about dairy impacts, possible mitigation measures and their likely effectiveness.
He has now moved into a third major area, applying risk analysis methodology to water-related human health issues, which has now become a major focus, including new work in the USA.
Recently, Bob has been studying gas transfer across the air-water interface again, but this time focusing on nitrous oxide emissions and the importance of denitrification in lowering nitrate concentrations. He enjoys both the mathematical approach to issues, and seeing their influence on the development of public policy. At NIWA, Bob is Programme Leader – Causes and Effects of Water Quality Degradation in the Freshwater & Estuaries National Science Centre. For example, his results have been used by the Ministries of Health and the Environment in the promulgation of new Drinking-water Standards and Microbiological Water Quality Guidelines for Marine and Freshwater Recreational Areas. His career has been characterised by a range of fundamental through to more applied activities in more recent times.
Graham is recognised internationally as a specialist in the philosophy and procedures of water quality management, and has been a tireless teacher and statistical advisor to generations of New Zealand water quality scientists.
He has co-supervised postgraduate students, has written around 100 peer-reviewed papers, most of which are first-authored, and has written around 90 technical reports.

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