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Experts To Meet On Adolescent Well-Being

Friday 21 June 2002

Involve 2002: Experts To Meet On Adolescent Well-Being

The Ministry of Youth Affairs is to co-host an adolescent well being conference, Involve 2002, with the New Zealand Association for Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) in Wellington on 2 to 4 July 2002.

The Involve 2002 conference will discuss youth development as a follow-up to the Government's Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa released earlier this year.

The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Anne Carter says consideration was given to the impact of the early election on the Involve 2002 conference but the decision was made that it was 'business as usual'.

Ms Carter says the conference's subject covers an agreed policy, the Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa. "The conference has a strong focus on making the principles of youth development real and achievable for all.

"It will provide delegates with new and relevant information about youth development, practical strategies for applying a youth development approach and, most importantly, the opportunity to network.

"We're also fortunate to have as co-hosts for this conference a non-governmental organisation such as NZAAHD, making this a real partnership with the community in promoting the concept of youth development and youth participation," she says.

The President of NZAAHD, Peter Watson, says the conference comes at an important time.

"We now have new insights into how to make a positive difference in the lives of our young people. We hope that everyone who attends will take away at least two practical strategies for applying the youth development approach in their work with young people," he said.

Keynote speakers at the three-day conference will include experts in youth development from New Zealand and overseas. Young people are also represented as delegates and as presenters at some of the more than 40 separate workshops in as an example of youth participation at work.

The Involve 2002 conference is being held at Victoria University of Wellington Student Union Complex from 2 to 4 July 2002.

The main conference will be preceded by a special pre-conference workshop for young delegates called *Involve Me Now! The one-day session on Monday 1 July will explore the concept of Youth Development and is designed to help the young people get the most out of the main conference.

For more information on Involve 2002, visit the conference website at www.involve2002.org.nz A list of keynote speakers at the conference accompanies this news release.

Speakers at Involve 2002

Karen PittmanKaren is a recognised leader in the youth development field in the United States. She began her career at the Urban Institute, conducting studies on social services for children and families. She is currently Vice-president at the International Youth Foundation (IYF) - an independent US-based organisation that works for the positive development of children and young people around the world. In 1999, Karen established the Forum for Youth Investment. As the name suggests, The Forum supports organisations that invest in young people by helping them grow physically, socially, emotionally, personally, ethically, civically, vocationally and intellectually.

Karen also sits on the boards of a number of youth-oriented organisations, including the American Youth Work Centre, the National Centre for Children and Poverty and the Educational Testing Service. She is also a member of the National Academy of Science's Forum on Adolescence and the California Tomorrow's Equity and Access in Afterschool Project Advisory Group.

Karen will address the Involve 2002 conference on Tuesday 2 July when she will speak about youth development in the global context. She will also co-present two workshops during the conference. One looks at what is needed to create supportive communities where young people are true stakeholders, and the other looks at the factors that make school, youth programme and other environments good places for young people to learn and grow.

Karen will be available for media interviews on Sunday June 31 and the morning of Monday July 1.

Peter Slattery

Peter is a therapist and educator based in Australia and has more than 25 years experience in working with young people and their families in Australia and overseas, including New Zealand and East Timor. He is the author of a book - Youth Works - which gives advice on practical and realistic ways of working with young people.

Peter will be addressing the conference at 3.30pm on Wednesday 3 July about how government and communities can work together for the positive development of young people.

He will also give workshops during the conference on conversing with young people, breaking down barriers between the generations, and getting rid of the stereotypes about violence that have attached to boys and young men.

Peter is available for media interviews prior to and during the conference.

Geraldine Hera Harvey

Geraldine is 24-years-old and of Ngati Whakaue, Te Arawa descent. She works for the YWCA in Rotorua and nationally and is also studying for a Masters of Sports and Leisure degree at Waikato University. For her thesis she has studied the attitudes to leisure of a group of young Maori in Rotorua.

Geraldine will be the opening speaker at Involve 2002 on Tuesday 2 July when she will speak about understanding youth development in the New Zealand context. She will also give a workshop on conducting research with young Maori.

Geraldine is available for interviews prior to and during the conference.

Vicki Buck

Vicki is a former Mayor of Christchurch, and during her time in the position, Christchurch City Council was at the forefront of initiatives to give children and young people a voice in the development of their city. She is currently the development manager for Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, a director of Jade Stadium, commercial director on the Board of Netball New Zealand, a member of the Government's Science and Innovation Advisory Council and a Trustee of the Young Inventionz Trust. Last year Vicki established the New Zealand de Bono Innovation Institute, which is about promoting innovation and creative thinking at all levels.

Vicki will be speaking about young people's involvement in their community and how it can be made to work for everyone.

Dr Sue Bagshaw

Sue is the president of the International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH) and a past president of the NZ Association for Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD). She is also the medical training co-ordinator for the southern region of the Family Planning Association, the senior medical officer at '198' - a youth health centre in Christchurch, and a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Otago. As well, Sue has worked on the Christchurch Methadone Programe, and served on numerous boards. She was honoured in the New Year Honours List 2002 with the Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to youth health. She will address the Involve 2002 conference on Thursday 4 July when her topic will be youth development working in the community. She will be joined by a group of young people from Christchurch who will talk about their experiences. She will also give a workshop on the connections between young people and health professionals.

Dr Peter Watson

Peter is a specialist paediatrician and youth health physician. He is the clinical head of the Centre for Youth Health (a service of South Auckland Health) - a local, regional and national youth health provider. He is also a senior lecturer in youth health, at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland and is the principal investigator for New Zealand's national youth health survey - a major study into the health of school-age young people in New Zealand. Peter is the national president of the NZ Association for Adolescent Health and Development, and is on the advisory boards of a range of youth health projects.

Peter will take part in the closing session of the conference when, with the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Anne Carter, he discusses future action for youth development.

Ends


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