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Global indigenous suicide prevention, mental health & wellbeing research symposium

He huihuinga rangahau taha hauora hinengaro, taha oranga mō te ārai whakamomori ki ngā iwi taketake o te ao

Monday, Tuesday 26, 27 February 2018

The two-day symposium will examine what works for Indigenous suicide prevention and well-being research focusing on case studies in prevention research including how researchers know whether they are making a difference. Research findings on the role of reo/language development and cultural reconnection; advocacy; performing arts; art, whānau ora, tribal development, pathways to safe mental health care and other research will be briefly presented and followed with brief discussion and questions/comments.

View Keri Lawson Te-Aho telling the inspiration for the artwork representing this symposium: (57secs)

Topics covered  

  • What do we know about indigenous suicide?
  • What works to prevent indigenous suicide?
  • What are the risks for indigenous suicide?
  • What is unique about indigenous mental health and well-being?
  • How do we protect our families and communities from suicide?
  • Do we have the whole story of indigenous suicide?
  • Turning indigenous suicide around - inspiring stories of change through trauma
  • Culture in the clinic
  • Clinical practice in cultural settings
  • Community development and indigenous suicide prevention
  • Self-determination and indigenous suicide prevention
  • Talking about suicide safely through strengths based story-telling
  • Innovations in indigenous suicide prevention
  • Indigenous psychology
  • Towards a global agenda for indigenous suicide prevention

Style of course

This is a symposium style course which features:
- keynote speakers in world leading suicide prevention and mental health and well-being research teams and projects; this will be followed by commentary and discussion.
- research showcase sessions with researchers from Aotearoa, Australia, Pacific, Canada, United States.

This course has been designed by Māori and indigenous public health and suicide prevention and well-being research practitioners who have track records in indigenous suicide prevention and well-being research in their own communities and nations.

Who should attend?  

This symposium will be of interest to Indigenous researchers and students; practitioner/researchers, clinicians, Government and NGO sectors, youth workers, school teachers, social workers, community advocates and anyone with an interest in preventing indigenous suicide and elevating indigenous mental health and well-being. 

Draft timetable - Day 1

Time Session
8:30am Mihi Whakatau: Mana Whenua
9am Opening of the Symposium: Associate Professor Bridget Robson, Mrs Arawhetu Gray, Dr Kahu McClintock, Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho

Opening Keynote Address: Global Vision, Local Action – The Tūramarama Declaration 
Professor Sir Mason Durie 

Keynote: The Story of the Takitumu Waka
Hon. Queen Pā Ūpokotini Āriki, OBE
Māmā Rosie Blake

10:30am Morning tea
10.45am Keynotes: Colonising Discourses, Decolonising Imperatives

Kaumātua Moana Jackson - Honorary Doctor of Laws

The Lay of the Land in Māori Suicide Prevention and Research
Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho

11.15am Main Theatre: Māori Suicide Prevention and Well-being Research Showcase

Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho – Māori Suicide Prevention Research 1997-2007
Dr Kahu McClintock – Te Rā o te Waka Hourua/Māori suicide prevention research projects
Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Ngaropi Cameron; Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho –
Te Rā o te Waka Hourua/Māori Suicide Prevention Projects
Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki – Māori and Psychology Research Unit, University of Waikato
Dr Elizabeth Kerekere – Takatāpui Past and Present – doctoral research findings
Dr Lily George - Kokiritia te aroha: Building hope and resilience with Ngātiwai taitamariki and whānau.
Dr Terryann Clark, Ashlea Dee Williams - Being Māori & being proud, keeps me strong: Evidence from Youth2000 on cultural connectedness and youth mental health outcomes
Mr Keri Ōpai – Te Reo Hāpai – the Language of Enrichment

1:15pm Lunch break
2.00pm Keynote: Education for Hope-Building and Pasifika Suicide Prevention 

Associate Professor Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban QSO (tbc)

2.30pm Pacific Research Showcase

Dr Monique Faleafa and Dr Denise Kingi-'Ulu'ave - Evidence-based suicide prevention in Pasifika communities
Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath – Mana Enhancing Research Collaborations tbc
Hon Taimalie Tamasese
4.10pm Afternoon tea
4:30pm Keynote: Evidenced based Indigenous Measures of Well-being – Local and global indigenous wellbeing research measures

Professor Malcolm King, & Dr Alexandra King


Waiata/Musical Performance – Tīwhanawhana Trust (tbc) – Introduction by Dr Elizabeth Kerekere

Closing Karakia

5.30pm Evening Keynote: Improving mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: Sharing the Evidence of Effective Interventions
Professor Pat Dudgeon

Draft timetable - Day 2

Time Session
8:00am Karakia and Registration for day 2

Opening of day 2: Whaea Raiha Gray and Whaea Moe Milne, QSM

Summary of Day 1: Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho


Opening Keynote: Tōku Māpihi Maurea - Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga
Whaea Moe Milne - QSM  and Whaea Raiha Gray

Keynote Title: tbc
Associate Professor Margaret Moss

10:45am Morning tea

North American Research Showcase
Professor Malcolm King and Dr Alexandra King
Dr Joe Stone and Amber Logan
Associate Professor Margaret Moss


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Research Showcase
Professor Pat Dudgeon and researchers – Unpacking the evidence of effective interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and Well-being

1:30pm Lunch break

Keynote: title and presenter tbc


Takatāpui LGBTI+ Panel Research Priorities
Dr Elizabeth Kerekere
Professor Leonie Pihama
Dr Tawhanga Nōpera
Dr Huhana Hickey
Two further speakers to be confirmed

4.00pm Afternoon tea

Keynote: Māori ways of improving the well-being of Māori youth and children with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
Professor Hinemoa Elder

4.45pm Closing Keynote: Resiliency and Suicide Prevention - A training manual
Dr Joe Stone and Amber Logan
5.30pm Closing Karakia

Light Refreshments


 Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho - University of Otago, Wellington. See Keri's PhD here.

Keynote Speakers:

Read a summary about each of our amazing keynote speakers

  • Professor Sir Mason Durie
  • Hon. Queen Pā Ūpokotini Āriki, OBE
  • Kaumātua Whaea Raiha Gray
  • Whaea Moe Milne
  • Dr Moana Jackson
  • Associate Professor Margaret Moss
  • Professor Malcolm King & Dr Alexandra King
  • Associate Professor Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, QSO
  • Professor Pat Dudgeon
  • Professor Hinemoa Elder
  • Dr Joseph B. Stone
  • Amber Logan

Course cost and registration

$600 early bird price has been extended for this course. Please register as soon as possible as numbers are limited.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now