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Incredible speaker line-up for workplace inclusion conference

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2024

Photo of conference speakers Tim Mehrtens, Tuihana Ohia and Dr Melani AnaeThere is an electrifying line-up of diversity, equity and inclusion practitioners, allies, champions and leaders on the programme at next month’s Whiria Ngā Kaha Workplace Inclusion Aotearoa 2024 conference.

Our speakers and panellists represent a tapestry of perspectives across topics that will be thought-provoking, relevant and practical and will inspire workplaces to forge a more inclusive culture.

In the Once a Panther, always a Panther: Institutional Racism in Aotearoa New Zealand session Lupematasila Misatauveve Dr Melani Anae will use the story of the Polynesian Panthers to uncover the roots and manifestations of institutional racism and its impact on indigenous populations, immigrant communities, and other minority groups. Dr Anae was an original member of Polynesian Panther Party and is now a member of the Polynesian Panther Party Legacy Trust. She has co-ordinated the Educate to Liberate Programme in schools since 2011 and is an Associate Professor in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland. Her transformational work has successfully developed strategies for improving outcomes for Pacific communities.

Mary Abbott, Organisational Development Team Leader Environment Canterbury, and Tuihana Ohia, Founder and Director of Woo Wellbeing, will lead the Embedding Te Whare Tapa Whā into organisational wellbeing frameworks session, unlocking the transformative potential of a holistic Māori health model.

Sharing the public sector perspective, Inland Revenue Commissioner and Chief Executive Peter Mersi and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand Chief Executive and Deputy Public Service Commissioner Gaye Searancke will deliver a session on Leading with authenticity.

Tim Mehrtens, Director of Workplace Wellbeing at My Everyday Wellbeing and Co-founder Rāngai | The Wellbeing Collective, has lived experience of the challenges associated with recovery from trauma and understands the opportunities for personal growth. He will bring his passion for helping others on their journey to wellbeing to the Wellbeing for DEI Changemakers session.

Leadership Coach Jess Stuart and Diversity Equity and Inclusion Consultant Joe Consedine will bring their experience and passion for this mahi to the Men As Allies pre-conference workshop, increasing understanding of the powerful impact of male allies and how organisations can harness that as part of their diversity and inclusion efforts.

This is just a snapshot of the more than 30 speakers who will be part of the three-day conference programme. 

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