Growing Pacific SolutionsTuesday 20 March 2012, 4:27PM
Multiple agencies will meet in Auckland in early April for the
first ever conference aimed specifically at addressing mental
health, addiction and disability issues within New Zealand's
GPS 2012 - Growing Pacific Solutions for our families will be held
on April 3 and 4 at Waipuna Hotel in Auckland. It has been
organised by Le Va, Pasifika within Te Pou - the national centre
for mental health, addiction and disability workforce
An international line-up of speakers has been confirmed and
includes keynote speakers Associate Professor Dr Joseph Betancourt
(Harvard Medical School) and Associate Professor Toeolesulusulu
Damon Salesa (University of Auckland).
Dr Betancourt directs the Disparities Solutions Centre which works
with healthcare organisations to improve quality of care, address
racial and ethnic disparities, and achieve equity. He is the
Director of Mutilcultural Education for Massachusetts General
Hospital and is an expert in cross-cultural care and
Associate Professor Salesa was New Zealand's first Pacific Island
Rhodes Scholar and has authored a number of works on the history of
the Pacific and more. He has recently been appointed Associate
Professor of Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland.
Local guest speakers include founding member of the Pasifika
Medical Association, Dr Mary English, New Zealand's youngest ever
orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jeremy Stanley and chief executive of Family
Life Education Pasefika William Pua.
Minister for Disability Issues and Maori Party co-leader Tariana
Turia will address the conference on Tuesday April 3 (at 10.30am).
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Minister of Education Hekia
Parata will also attend and will be first speaker on the second day
National manager for Le Va, Dr Monique Faleafa said while each
sector has unique needs, there were also common issues across the
sectors. To date there have been scarce opportunities for those
sectors to focus on an integrated approach and collective
solutions, she said.
"We want a fono that will validate Pacific solutions for Pacific
Dr Faleafa's message is echoed by fellow members of the conference
steering committee. Disability sector representative Saveatama
Amerika Wilson said the conference would be the first time
representatives from different sectors gathered under one roof.
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