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Women's Studies Association (NZ)/Pae Akoranga Wāhine

Rosemary Seymour Awards

Recipients 2006-2017

2017 Awards

Māori women only award recipient Cinnamon Lindsay, enrolled in a Masters in Research in Dept of Psychology at University of Auckland.

Thesis title: Balancing Aspirations: Experiences of Māori Parents.

In her thesis, Cinnamon aims to:

  • explore institutional barriers that influence Māori parents' study experiences at a tertiary level;
  • study factors that facilitate flourishing and success among Māori student-parents, and
  • highlight and affirm the strength, resilience, diversity and power of mātauranga Māori.

Cinnamon intends to research the unique challenges for a Māori parent within tertiary settings.


Open to all women award recipient Madeline Henry, enrolled in a Masters of Philosophy at AUT University in Psychology.

Thesis title: "You can look but you can't touch": Women's experiences of webcam sex work in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Madeline states: 'Sex work, a highly polarising topic within academia and society, has traditionally taken place in person or on the phone.

The recent development of webcam technology has led to 'camming', wherein 'camgirls' perform sex acts for online audiences who pay them.

Camming is currently undertheorized, due in large part to the newness of the practice itself. This thesis will explore women's experiences of camming and examine the extent to which this practice adheres to (or challenges) contemporary academic/feminist discourse in relation to sex work.'


2016 Awards

Māori women only award recipient Kelly Tikao, enrolled in a PhD, Department of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury.

Thesis title: 'Raro Timu Raro Take...Conception, Creation and Customs...Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe and Kāi Tahu Birthing Traditions'.

Kelly stated that reseraching traditional Māori birth knowledge would 'have a positive impact on the life course, cultural identity and well-being of Kāi Tahu whānui'.

The award was used to go towards the cost of transcribing interviews.


Open to all women award recipient Wellington Arpilleras Collective, submitted by Sara Kindon. The project supported collaborative writing and archiving by the Arpilleras Collective, eg of arpilleras, articles and website pieces.

Arpilleras are hand-sewn tapestries made by women from clothing scraps, to speak out visually, conveying processes of memory and the search for justice.

They were first made in the 1970s by female relatives of victims tortured, disappeared or killed under the Pinochet dictatorship of Chile. Since then, they have been produced by women's groups in different parts of the world protesting against social and environmental injustice.

The Wellington Collective, formed in response to an exhibition of arpilleras in 2013, includes women from Chile, Mexico, and Colombia.

The collective explored memories and political identities relating to the exhibition, and generated new arpilleras which examined the meanings of migration, home and identity in New Zealand.


2015 Awards

The two recipients of the awards for 2015/16 were Rebecca Ream (for the Open to All Women Award) and Anika Tiplady (for the Māori Women Award).

In her third year of her PhD in Geography at Victoria University, Wellington, Rebecca intended to research the links between nationhood and gender within ideas of a gendered New Zealand 'Arcadia', or an agricultural paradise. Using feminist qualitative research, she interviewed and studied ten Pakeha women involved in farming in the Wairarapa. Rebecca contended that the agricultural industry is one of the few areas in Aotearoa/New Zealand where women remain marginalised.

Anika is of Ngāi Tahu descent and is in her fifth year of Medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch. She is based in the Department of Population Health. Her topic was Māori lesbian or bisexual women's care needs, and their experiences of starting a family. Anika claimed that social and structural barriers still exist in Aotearoa/New Zealand for same-sex couples who wish to start a family, despite recent legislative change.

2014 Awards

The Open to All Women Award recipient for 2014/15 is Hannah August from Wellington. The award will assist Hannah with her independent research project Singular Spinsters: New Zealand Women and the 'Man Drought'. Hannah has completed a PhD at Oxford University and was a Researcher in Residence at the Stout Research Centre in 2014.
She intended to analyse literature that “discusses the statistics relating to the current imbalance in sex ratios in New Zealand, often referred to colloquially as the 'man drought'”.
Hannah suggests that much of this writing “lacks a feminist lens”, in that it embellishes, downgrades or fantasises about “heterosexual women's experiences of partnership formation or single life”.

The Māori Women Award went to Chloe Cull, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi te Ruahikihiki, for her Victoria University Master of Arts project Māori women's art and art history: 1970 - 1990.
Chloe is using the award to conduct further research at the Auckland City Art Gallery. Her thesis proposes “the use of Mana Wāhine theory in the study of Māori women's art.” She plans to discuss the work of Māori women artists of the 1970s to 80s, including Merata Mita, Shona Rapira Davies, Robyn Kahukiwa and Emily Karaka.

2013 Awards

The Rosemary Seymour Award for Māori women went to the Auckland group Architecture+Women·NZ, whose application was submitted by Lynda Simmons. The award will be used to contribute towards the funding of Architecture graduates Elisapeta Heta and Raukura Turei, who will collect stories and photographs of whare nui, particularly their interiors, as part of the group's ongoing archival/audio-visual work He Whare Tangata: Inside the Womb. (See

The Open to All Award went to the Dunedin-based Lesbian sports group Purple Passions, whose application was submitted by Louise Pearman. Purple Passions, described by another judge as being an 'historically interesting women's organisation' that started in the 1980. The group aims to record, transcribe and ultimately publish Lesbian/Bisexual and Queer oral histories from Dunedin.

2012 Awards

The two winners for 2012, were Melissa Janson (Open to All Women award) to write two journal articles about the Femsex group and Georgia Knowles (Māori women award) to present preliminary findings of research on anti-rape media at a Gender and Identities colloquium at the University of Otago.

2011 Awards

Diane Gordon-Burns, a PhD student at Canterbury University. Diane is examining a range of histories about significant Tainui women who have played a role in the dealings of Tainui and other iwi.

Alayne Hall, a PhD Candidate in the School of Health Care Practice, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT University. Alayne is investigating how mother - child attachments are influenced, when male partner violence occurs against Māori women.

Priyanca Radhakrishnan, who is studying for her Master of Development Studies at the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University. Priyanca's study looks at issues around forced and underage marriage, both internationally and in New Zealand, from a gender and development perspective.

2010 Awards

Tess Chalmers (of Te Arawa descent) was completing a fourth year thesis entitled Stress and Quality of Life in Pregnant Māori Women for a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours), and has started studies in Clinical Psychology at the University of Waikato.

Lynzi Armstrong is completing a PhD in the School of Social and Cultural studies at Victoria University. Her thesis title is Managing the Risk of Violence in Decriminalised Street-Based Sex Work: A Feminist (Sex Workers' Rights) Perspective.

2009 Awards

The winner of the Māori Women's Award is Elizabeth Anne Allen. Elizabeth is completing a Masters thesis in which she is investigating 'the connections between race, gender, and class that shaped British imperialism and facilitated the construction of 'the Māori prostitute''.

The general award winner is Anna Elizabeth Cushen who is undertaking a Masters of Arts in English researching the writing of Janet Frame.

2008 Awards

The winner of the Māori Women's Award is Dianne Gordon-Burns. Dianne is completing a Masters thesis in which she is examining whakapapa and her topic clearly met the criteria.

The general award goes to Isobel Munro, who is conducting research into older women's strategies for survival in retirement, specifically how they manage resources, and is part way through a PhD. One of the judges commented that her topic is 'significant at this time when we are witnessing an increase (especially for Māori) of women who have never had to manage their resources (because their husbands did it) because they are now mostly outliving their husbands'.

2007 Awards

The General Award went to Sinith Sittirak. Her thesis title is 'The Politics of Knowledge in the Thai Women's Movement: Developing a Postcolonial Critique and Reclaiming Women's Knowledge through the Reading of Grassroots Archives'.

No Māori award was made in 2007.

2006 Awards

Diana Eivers won the Māori award with a study aimed at encouraging Māori women to seek and win election to local government authorities.

Isabel Haarhaus won the general award. She has just completed a doctoral thesis on the novels of Janet Frame and is completing an article on some methodological aspects of her work for an edited volume on Frame.

The four runners up awards were made to Kelly Campbell, Bronwyn Lloyd, Nicola Robertson and Melanie Turner. Kelly works in the community with single mothers and her project involves writing up interviews on the realities of their lives. Bronwyn is undertaking doctoral research analysing Rita Angus's Goddess Paintings. Nicola is part of an oral history project to record stories of the Methven community who served at home and abroad during World War Two, and the award will enable her to record more women's stories. Melanie is completing a Masters thesis on barrier to women's entry into skilled trade occupations.