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‘Once Were Warriors’ cast to hold forum

Media release - 6 May 2004

‘Once Were Warriors’ cast to hold open air family violence prevention forum

The final in a series of four free public forums organised jointly between Child, Youth and Family, the cast of the musical ‘Once Were Warriors’ and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community groups will take place in Wellington’s Civic Square next week (13 May), hoping to attract a similar crowd to the hundreds of spectators who witnessed the last forum in Aotea Square, Auckland in April.

Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson will speak at the Wellington event.

The aim of the forums has been to allow those who would not otherwise be able to see the musical to meet members of the cast and see excerpts from the show and to draw attention to family violence prevention initiatives and support services.

Shannon Pakura, Child, Youth and Family Acting General Manager Social Work Operations, said: “Family violence cannot be tolerated. A forum such as this brings the issue out from where it is usually perpetrated – behind closed doors. These forums highlight that there are services in local communities to support those who are at the receiving end of this abusive behaviour. Hopefully they will realise that they are not alone and act to use these supports.” Aside from Child, Youth and Family, representatives from UNICEF, Save the Children, Plunket, the National Network of Stopping Violence, Barnardos, Relationships Services, Age Concern, Women’s Refuge and Child Abuse Prevention Services will also be at the event giving out information about their work.

During the forum, artistic director Jim Moriarty, will speak about his inspiration to bring ‘Once Were Warriors’ to the stage and discuss family violence and the importance of addressing this societal issue for the wellbeing of future generations of children and young people.

Jim Moriarty has been instrumental in holding a number of theatre therapy programmes in Child, Youth and Family residences. At least one member of the musical’s cast was a participant of these residence theatre groups.

-more-

Members of the cast, including lead female character Tina Cross and Maria Rose MacDonald, who plays her daughter Grace, will perform songs from the show. Cast members will also share their own experiences of abuse and how they have worked to overcome them. The character of Beth, played by Tina Cross, manages to break the cycle of inter-generational violence in her family by the end of the musical.

The forum takes place between 12:30 pm and 2 pm.

ENDS

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