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Social Services Sector Conference in Whangarei


27 August 2015
For Immediate Release

Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) have chosen Whangarei as the location for their 2015 national conference 17th and 18th September. The conference “Maranga Mai! Standing Strong Together” will be held in Toll Stadium and will showcase best practice especially in Te Tai Tokerau.

In a climate of rapid change, practitioners, researchers, policy makers and managers often have to find spaces for dialogue in order to make sense of the complex social environment to be more effective. SSPA national conference is one such opportunity highly valued by people in the sector every year. Social work practitioner and conference organiser Liz Nelson is proud to have Whangarei chosen for the event. “It is an opportunity to show the innovative local responses to issues,” she said.

The Conference will be opened by Minister of Social Development Hon Anne Tolley. A distinguished yet grounded line-up of speakers, workshop facilitators and field experiences will inspire an expected turn-out of over 100 providers. Keynote speakers include Liz Beddoe, Associate Professor from School of Counselling Human Services and Social Work at University of Auckland; Sharon Shea, engaged in Maori economic and social development; and Paul Nixon, Chief Social Worker Child Youth and Family.

Workshops will be led by locals including The Raid Movement, Family Works Northern, Whangarei Library, and by visiting speakers such as Skylight, Waimate Collective, and South Auckland Poets Collective. “The conference exposes our social workers to new ideas and models and to discuss how they relate to their work”, says Carol Peters, coordinator of One Double Five Community House and Conference organiser.

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Participants also have the opportunity to take part in an interactive ‘Speed Dating’ question and answer session with a wide variety of groups such as Children’s Action Plan, Ngā Tangata Microfinance, Careerforce, Whānau Ora and Community Investment. The programme also offers a site visit to Whangarei Youth Space and a walking tour from the Town Basin to Te Matau Pohe.

The SSPA Te Tai Tokerau Conference Committee consist of representatives from One Double Five Community House (Liz Nelson and Carol Peters), Ngati Hine Health Trust (Tania Sitiene and Wendy Delamore), Anglican Care Centre (Joyce Beehre and Shirley Mellsop), Northland Listening Trust (Sam Cassidy) and Lifeline (Geoff Williams).

“Maranga Mai! Standing Strong Together” Dates & Venue:
17 – 18 September 2015, Day 1 9.00am – 4.30pm/ Day 2 9.00am – 3.00pm
Toll Stadium Whangarei

Registration: from $245 (member discount rate) to $355 exclusive of GST.
Online registration closes on 11 September.

The full programme and registration are available on the website


About Social Service Providers Aotearoa:
SSPA is a national umbrella body for about 200 New Zealand NGOs working with children, families and community. By establishing strong regional networks and by co-ordinating Best Practice Workshops and training opportunities, SSPA empowers member service providers to make a positive and significant difference in their communities through their work with children, young people and families.

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