Dr Anne-Marie Brady
Dr Anne-Marie Brady’s research interests are diverse and complex, but they all share a common theme – an abiding interest in the Chinese Communist Party’s hold on power.
‘China is becoming the dominant power in our part of the world; it is also New Zealand’s second largest trading partner. My research and teaching is aimed at helping New Zealand to better understand the implications of this shift in our geopolitical environment by producing policy-relevant, independent research and fostering New Zealand’s own pool of China specialists,’ she explains.
Dr Brady has published groundbreaking research in the field, covering China’s modern propaganda system, its system for managing foreigners in China, its relationships with Antarctica and the Pacific, as well as major revisionist histories of the Long March and of New Zealand’s national icon, Rewi Alley.
Her approach to teaching is simple. ‘I aim to inspire my students with a lifelong passion for learning and excellence,’ she says. ‘I want to help them develop the analytical skills which will enable them to make a contribution to society in their chosen field.’
Away from teaching and research, Dr Brady enjoys her life in Christchurch. ‘I love to garden, cook, look after my five chickens and go for walks in the bush with my young family. This year we all went skiing for the first time. Christchurch is a fantastic place to live.’
Although her family are old Cantabrians – originally Irish settlers who moved to Christchurch in 1847 – Dr Brady herself grew up in Auckland. She studied and worked overseas for eight years before returning to New Zealand. ‘I always wanted to come back here and be useful in my own country, so it made sense to come to UC. There are many things I enjoy about the University: the beautiful campus and view of the mountains from my office window, the excellent library facilities, helpful library staff and other support people, and the opportunity to live nearby.’
Dr Brady advises anyone considering a future in her specialist field that they should look at a rounded approach to their studies in order to maximise their career opportunities. ‘New Zealand urgently needs to develop its own pool of China specialists. Having language skills is not enough, and learning about Chinese politics or marketing or law without investing in the language skills is also not enough.
‘At present there are many job opportunities for graduates who have both good Chinese language skills and knowledge of politics, management and other subjects, and there will be even more in future as China continues to grow. New Zealand students need to seize the opportunities which our ever-increasing relations with China will offer by taking appropriate courses for the current job environment.’