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Research papers, The University of Auckland Library

Courage has remained an elusive concept to define despite having been in the English lexicon for hundreds of years. The Canterbury earthquake sequence that began in 2010 provided a unique context in which to undertake research that would contribute to further conceptualisation of courage. This qualitative study was undertaken in Christchurch, New Zealand, with adults over the age of 70 who experienced the Canterbury earthquakes and continued to live in the Canterbury region. The population group was chosen because it is an under researched group in post-disaster environments, and one that offers valuable insights because of members' length and breadth of life experiences, and likely reminiscent and reflective life stage. A constructivist grounded theory approach was utilised, with data collected through semi-structured focus groups and individual key informant interviews. The common adverse experience of the participants initially discussed was the earthquakes, which was followed by exploration of courage in their other lived experiences. Through an inductive process of data analysis, conceptual categories were identified, which when further analysed and integrated, contributed to a definition of courage. The definition was subsequently discussed with social work professionals who had remained working in the Canterbury region after experiencing the earthquakes. From the examples and the actions described within these, a process model was developed to support the application of courage. The model includes five steps: recognising an adverse situation, making a conscious decision to act, accessing sources of motivation, mastering emotion and taking action. Defining and utilising courage can help people to face adversity associated with everyday life and ultimately supports self-actualisation and self-development. Recommendations from the study include teaching about courage within social work education, utilising the process model within supervision, intentionally involving older adults in emergency management planning and developing specific social work tasks in hospital settings following a disaster.

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

The cartoon shows a row of gold statuettes of Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker smiling and holding a shovel; these are 'The Bob Awards - for supporting roles in Christchurch'. Context - on 22 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Christchurch, which has probably killed more than 200 people (at this point the number is still not known) and caused very severe damage. The courage, generosity and 'can do' attitude of the people has been wonderful and Bob Parker himself is showing himself a tireless and cheerful mayor in extraordinary circumstances. Colour and black and white versions of this cartoon are available Quantity: 2 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

A man with his arm around his wife and baby stands on a heap of rubble with a spade in his other hand. In the background are the Christchurch Cathedral and several other badly damaged buildings and a signpost reading 'Christchurch' lies on top of the rubble. Text reads 'Buildings may fall but the Kiwi spirit and compassion for our neighbours will never be crushed...' There are two versions of the cartoon, one in colour and one black and white. Refers to the Christchurch earthquake of 4th September 2010. Quantity: 2 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

An arm representing the 'Citizens & Volunteers of Christchurch' offers an Oscar Award for 'True Grit'. Context - Admiration at the way the people and the volunteers have managed after the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011. True Grit is a 2010 American Western film written and directed by the Coen brothers. It is the second adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name, which was previously adapted for film in 1969 starring John Wayne. Colour and black and white versions of this cartoon are available Quantity: 2 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

Debbie says brightly that Christchurch has 'demonstrated the classic Kiwi quality of stoicism and behaving decently towards each other!' Jaimee replies that it's the same stoicism that means we complain a lot about our problems but never really do anything and Debbie tells her that applies just to her. Refers to the Christchurch earthquake of 4th September. Quantity: 1 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

The letters 'CHCH' are built from broken masonry and stand amongst the chaos of broken buildings. It is the usual acronym for the city of Christchurch; here however it stands for 'catastrophe', 'havoc', 'care', 'help'. Context - on 22 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Christchurch, which has probably killed more than 200 people (at this point the number is still not known) and caused very severe damage. The courage, generosity and 'can do' attitude of the people of Christchurch has been wonderful but the whole country and is contributing to the effort to get Christchurch back on its feet as well as aid from overseas. Quantity: 1 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

The word 'CANTERBURY' is printed in large letters on the cartoon in the region's colours of red and black stripes. The 'CAN' part of the name is in larger print and is above the rest of the word. Context is 22 February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch. The cartoon refers to reports of courage, generosity and 'can do' attitude of the people. Colour and black and white versions of this cartoon are available Quantity: 2 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

Text reads 'Earthquake survivors' and amongst the rubble of a collapsed building is a man representing 'courage' who is trapped by a concrete slab and a woman with severed legs who is reaching out to help him and who represents 'compassion'. Context - The very severe Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011 in which probably more than 200 people died and an enormous amount of structural damage has been done. Quantity: 1 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

The cartoon shows New Zealand's flag but it has lost one of its four stars. Down in the lower right corner a group of rescue workers using cranes, a cherry picker and a long ladder have pulled the fourth star out of the rubble and are replacing it on the flag. Context - on 22 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Christchurch which killed 185 people and caused very severe damage. Colour and black and white versions of this cartoon are available Quantity: 2 digital cartoon(s).

Images, UC QuakeStudies

A digitally manipulated image of the word 'Lyttelton' made out of damaged bricks. The photographer comments, "This shows the courage and humour of the earthquake wrecked port of Lyttelton. There is lots of little things that make you smile that the locals and volunteers from around the area have created".

Audio, Radio New Zealand

In the hours after the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake, Chessie Henry's father Chris Henry, a Kaikoura-based doctor, crawled into makeshift tunnels in the collapsed CTV building to rescue the living and look for the dead. Six years later, Chessie interviewed Chris in an attempt to understand the trauma that lead her father to burnout. In her book just published, We Can Make A Life: A memoir of family, earthquakes and courage, Chessie Henry considers the psychological cost of heroism and unravels stories and memories from her family history.

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

Several volunteers work amongst the ruins of a building. A woman nearby weeps and the man comforting her comments 'and to think we believed sports stars were our national heroes'. Context - on 22 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Christchurch which has probably killed more than 200 people (at this point the number is still not known) and caused very severe damage. There has been enormous praise for the efforts of many ordinary people who have shown courage in the catastrophe. Quantity: 1 digital cartoon(s).

Images, Alexander Turnbull Library

A policeman and his dog stop outside a house wrecked in the Christchurch earthquake and phone for assistance saying 'Have found signs of low-life' because he can see 'Christchurch looting in progress'. Context - on 22 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Christchurch, which has probably killed more than 200 people (at this point the number is still not known) and caused very severe damage. The courage, generosity and 'can do' attitude of the people has been wonderful apart from the antisocial behaviour of a few looters and others taking advantage of the situation. Quantity: 1 digital cartoon(s).