UC building to be renamed after victims’ advocate

07 March 2022

#IWD #BreakTheBias A University of Canterbury graduate and staff member who was a life-long advocate for victims and people with disabilities will be honoured when a building on the Ilam Campus is renamed after her.

  • Ann Ballin building
Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender Equality

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 - Gender Equality

The School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing Staff Block (AR08) will be named the Ann Ballin building after Dame Reubina Ann Ballin. The building is being refurbished and will reopen next year when an official naming event will be held.

Acting Executive Dean of Science Professor Janet Carter says the new name is historically significant and will have long-lasting meaning for the University of Canterbury community.

 “Dame Ann Ballin, who died in 2003, was a life-long advocate for people with disabilities – she herself was in a wheelchair – and for victims’ rights. She was also a UC graduate of Psychology and a student counsellor at UC from 1974 to 1986.”

In 2002 she was awarded New Zealand’s highest civilian honour – membership of the Order of New Zealand.

“In recognition of her career and the impact she had on our students and staff over many decades, we think it’s very appropriate that the University of Canterbury Psychology Staff Block building is renamed the Ann Ballin building.” 

The University Council approved the name change last month and it will officially take effect when the refurbishment of the building is completed and it reopens.

Dame Ann was born in Hamilton and educated at St Hilda’s Collegiate School in Dunedin and Waikato Diocesan School in Hamilton. In her mid-teens, a neurological condition affected her spinal column, confining her to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

She attended Auckland University College and the University of Canterbury, graduating with a BA in 1961 and MA in 1964. A qualified psychologist, she worked as a student counsellor at the University of Canterbury from 1974 to 1986 and served as president of the New Zealand Psychological Service from 1979 to 1980.

She chaired the Victims’ Task Force from 1988 to 1993 and pioneered changes in the criminal justice system to improve justice for victims of crime. She also contributed expertise to other groups, including the Hillary Commission on Recreation and Sport and the Royal Commission on Social Policy.

She received an honorary doctorate Doctor of Letters (LittD) degree from the University of Canterbury in 2001.

Media contact:

  • Email: media@canterbury.ac.nz Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168
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