Red Zone Resident receives award from Russian President

Press Release – Russian Cultural Centre Trust

Anna Filippochkina, a resident of Christchurch’s earthquake devastated Red Zone, has been awarded the prestigious Pushkin Medal at a special ceremony in Russia.
Russian Cultural Centre Trust
Centre of Slavonic Culture & Education

For immediate release

Christchurch Red Zone Resident receives award from Russian President

Mayor recognises Anna Filippochkina’s achievement 30 November

Anna Filippochkina, a resident of Christchurch’s earthquake devastated Red Zone, has been awarded the prestigious Pushkin Medal at a special ceremony in Russia.

The Russian government awards the medal to just 10 people a year. The award is for achievements in the fields of culture, education and health sciences, as well as contributions to the study and preservation of the Russian language and culture.

Mrs Filippochkina received this award from the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev on 4 November in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.

“I never expected that my modest contribution to preserve the Russian language and culture in New Zealand would be so greatly appreciated,” Mrs Filippochkina said.

“The 4th of November wasn’t just a special day for me. It is also National Unity Day in Russia, which brings together millions of people to celebrate.”

In recognition of her achievement, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker will meet with Mrs Filippochkina at the Christchurch City Council Civic Building on Wednesday 30 November, 2pm.

Mrs Filippochkina said that her success was made possible through the efforts of many people of different nationalities who at various times had worked at the Russian Cultural Centre.

“It would have been impossible without the continued support of Christchurch City Council, Lottery Trusts, COGS, Creative Communities and the many other organisations and individuals who have helped our Centre to grow.

“It helps us all, for whom this country has become a second home, to live a full life in New Zealand, at the same time having the opportunity to save and share our values and culture with others.”

Anna Filippochkina

Mrs Filippochkina is the founder and coordinator of the Russian Cultural Centre Trust which provides educational and social programmes for Russian and Slavonic peoples in Christchurch.

Since her arrival in Christchurch in 1998, Russian born and long time Kiev (Ukraine) resident, Mrs Filippochkina has organised a Saturday Russian language school for the children of migrants, and has added dance, drama and other activities to enable young people to celebrate their cultural heritage. Other programmes include English classes for adult learners, health and social programmes for older migrants, and a variety of musical and other cultural events for the wider public.

In 2000, her efforts to provide support to the community were formalised with the establishment of the Russian Cultural Centre Trust of Christchurch. In 2009 she received a Christchurch City Council Civic Award for outstanding service to the migrant community.
Mrs Filippochkina represented New Zealand at the Conferences of Russian Compatriots from Asian-Pacific Countries in New Delhi (September 2010), and Canberra (June 2011). As a member of the Community Languages Association of New Zealand (CLANZ), she was this country’s representative at the International Community Languages and ESOL (CLESOL) Conference in Dunedin in October 2010.
This year she represented New Zealand at the World Thematic Conference of Compatriots on the Status of Russian Language in Foreign Countries, held in Moscow (17-18 October). She has also initiated a registration process for a nationwide New Zealand Council of Russian Associations.
Following last year’s September 4 earthquake, she immediately set up programmes of support for Russian residents, many of whom were traumatised by the event.
This year, in spite of dealing with devastation to her home and unable to enter the Trust’s offices in Christchurch Community House, deemed unsafe after February and recently demolished, she has continued to provide support and educational programmes to the community.

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