Thu 19 Oct 2017

Feeling the love

The next speaker in the WITT public seminar series will be the person who established it.

Lily George, (pictured) Research and Innovation Manager at WITT, will discuss suicide prevention, and specifically the place of aroha in research on Maori youth suicide prevention.

The fourth lecture in the monthly public research seminar series, Ngā Ara Rangahau, will be at Te Piere on the WITT campus in New Plymouth next Wednesday, October 25, starting at 5.30.

Dr George’s contribution to the fight against youth suicide was recently highlighted in a feature by journalist Lloyd Ashton and published in the Anglican Taonga magazine.

It can be read here

Three years ago as part of her role at Massey University Dr George began working with Ngātiwai Education to build their research capacity and capability.

That led to two research projects on Māori youth suicide prevention and youth development – He ara toiora and Kokiritia te ora. The projects arose as a way to address a cluster of suicides in 2012 and took a positive focus on developing Ngātiwai-based strategies that responded to the specific needs and aspirations of their youth - taitamariki.

In her presentation next week Dr George will engage with a central finding in He ara toiora – the place of aroha as an integral factor for positive transformation.

She says reconnecting taitamariki to the land, marae, kaumātua and kuia in an atmosphere of aroha and manaaki promotes their vitality and enhances their sense of belonging as descendants of Ngātiwai

Involving them in the research projects helped build a sense of self-worth, strengthened connections between generations, encouraged the energy of positive growth, and provided them with a sense of ownership and a voice on important development processes which affected them, she said.

Findings from both projects are now being used to build a third project – Kokiritia te aroha – development of a toolbox of resources for community development as a strategy for suicide prevention.

 If you wish to attend, “You just gotta love them! The place of aroha in research on Maori youth suicide prevention” email or call 027 563 7875.