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Education programme on NZ child abuse launch

O’Connor09RELEASE
News release: Tuesday November 24, 2009

Research on World acclaimed education programme on NZ child abuse to be launched on Thursday.

Research on one of the world’s most successful education programmes countering violence against children will be launched on Thursday . Introduced in 2004, ‘Everyday Theatre’ is a unique, highly successful programme that has worked with over 30,000 students, primarily in decile one schools throughout NZ. It provides a safe forum through the use of theatre for young people to talk about family violence and child abuse. In West Auckland it has been giving school children a voice on this issue since 2006.

“The research has been undertaken by leading academics from around the world and provides a picture of outstanding success over a number of years “states Dr. Peter O’Connor, Director of Applied Theatre Consultants who has co devised and run the programme. “ When people wonder if education programmes about violence work then this research starts to answer the question.”

Community groups across New Zealand including South Auckland, Tauranga, Taranaki the East Coast, Lower Hutt, Nelson, and the West Coast of the South Island are seeking ‘Everyday Theatre’ for their children and are hoping that the Ministry of Social Development will continue funding beyond June 2010 when the programme is currently scheduled to end. Dr O'Connor says he is working closely with CYF officials to explore ongoing funding with government and/or communities come July 2010 to bring it to these communities.

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Independent research suggests this programme has a profoundly positive impact on children and should be seen as an international model for working with young people on sensitive issues. ‘Everyday Theatre’ has been showcased in England, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Across Australia.

Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, Dr. Peter O’Connor, and Briar O’Connor, co-directors of Applied Theatre Consultants are launching new research on the programme on Thursday November 26 at an event hosted by the Mayor of Waitakere Bob Harvey and the Mayoral Task Force on Violence.

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