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Public Health Association Conference gets underway this week

Public Health Association Conference gets underway this week

3 September 2012

Delegates and speakers from overseas and around the country are converging on Wellington today for the Public Health Association’s annual conference. This year the conference theme is Equity from the start – valuing our children. The venue for the conference is Pipitea Campus, Victoria University, Wellington.

Conference co-convenors Eileen Brown and Michelle Mako say this year’s theme was easily chosen.

“Reports have continued to show we are failing our children. It is to our shame that 270,000 children live in poverty in New Zealand, as are the multitude of reports that show us doing very poorly against OECD standards for child health, equity and wellbeing.”

They say the conference’s keynote speeches, the workshops and the plenary sessions will all provide a unique opportunity to reflect on actions that need to occur improve all children’s wellbeing and ensure they thrive and can realise their full potential.

The conference will commence today with a number of Gateway events focussed around the conference theme. A schedule of Gateway events is included below.

The conference proper will start on Tuesday 4 September and will feature a range of prominent local and overseas speakers. It will conclude at the close of day Wednesday 5 September.

International speakers include:

Hon Dr Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama: Minister of Health for Samoa
Sir Michael Marmot: Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health at the World Health Organization. Sir Michael will be presenting via a video specifically prepared for New Zealand
Cindy Blackstock: Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

Local speakers include:

Russell Wills: New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner
Cindy Kiro: Head of the School of Public Health at Massey University, and previously Children’s Commissioner
Peter Boshier: New Zealand Principal Family Court Judge
Hon Jo Goodhew: Associate Minister of Health
Anne Smith: Emeritus Professor from College of Education at Otago University
Alison Taylor: A consultant in the not for profit and philanthropic sectors with a passion for capacity building and effective grant-making
Veronica Tea-Monica Ng Lam: the inaugural leader and chairperson of Save the Children New Zealand’s Child & Youth Council (CYC), launched in November 2011.

There will also be a wide range of presentations by child and health experts on topics of current interest and importance.

The conference is the biggest event on the 2012 public health calendar.

The Gateway events schedule is as follows:

Monday 3 September

10-11.30am: Improving the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders
Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington

11am-3.30pm: Tobacco free Aotearoa – creating equity for our kids: Maori and Pacific views on getting to the tobacco endgame
Venue to be advised

12.30-3pm: Building Voices
Mayoral Chambers, Wellington Town Hall

1.30-4.30pm: Human rights: a framework and tool for valuing our children
Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington

More information about the Gateway events is available on the conference website.


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