Banner on hero image width B 1000w x 150dSpeakers

We're proud to have these distinguished keynote speakers confirmed for the conference. 
We will be adding to this list as confirmations grow


Tā Mark Solomon 
(Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kurī)

Mark Solomon resizedTā Mark was Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu from 1998 to December 2016.  He was knighted in 2013 in recognition of his outstanding services to Māori.  Tā Mark is a committed advocate for the sanctity of whānau and takes a strong stance against whānau violence.  He is passionate about his people and is determined to facilitate both iwi and wider Māori success by unlocking the potential of the Māori economy for the good of all.

Professor Paul Spoonley
Spoonley for diversity resizedProfessor Paul Spoonley will be speaking on Demographic Transformation in Aotearoa: Implications for Family/Whānau.  Paul is a Massey University Professor and is one of New Zealand's most distinguished academics, a sociologist and public commentator on population trends, cultural understanding and ethnicity.  

Gráinne Moss 

Grainne MossChief Executive, Oranga Tamariki.  Gráinne will provide her reflections on the first two years of Oranga Tamariki, and the opportunities presented by the 1 July 2019 legislation.   Gráinne will talk about the need for all of us to be striving for better outcomes for tamariki Māori and their whānau.  She'll also share her thoughts on two of the conference workshop topics - Early Intervention and the Workforce Working Group.  


Josiah Tualamali'i

Josiah resizedA Samoan New Zealander helping young people to speak up on the decisions that shape their lives and advising government on how to connect with them.  Josiah was a founder of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Council (PYLAT) which he chaired for five years.  He was chosen as the youth voice for the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, and is a Director on the board of Le Va which promotes health for Pacific peoples.

Gill Genet

Photo GillGG150x140A year ago, we had just begun our journey of embracing whanaungatanga; building connections and relationships to achieve the shared vision, moemoeā of whānau hauora and  community wellbeing. At last year’s conference, we listened to you. You told us what the actions for the Whānau, Community and Social Services Workforce Plan should be to help achieve the moemoeā. You also identified the taonga - ‘Kaimanaaki’ to represent the mana of social service support workers across Aotearoa. 12 months later the plan is up and running with whanaungatanga and kotahitanga key to its implementation.  We’ve also been busy exploring how we can contribute to shifting the future away from response and crisis by embracing early intervention and prevention and connecting with whānau, with communities, and with he tangata earlier and where they are.  Nā reira, me mihi ka tika – on behalf of Careerforce te toi pūkenga, we thank you all, Mā te mahi tahi, ka ora ai tātou, By working together, all of Aotearoa will thrive.

Ray O'Brien

Ray OBrienresizedRay O'Brien will facilitate Change Jam - a marketplace session about leading change.  Change is here.  How are we all going to be part of it?  An e-book of great ideas will be produced.  Ray is a Facilitator on the Bachelor of Leadership for Change at Otago Polytechnic.  This is a unique degree that supports learners to determine the change they want to make, and then create personalised learning to develop the capabilities they will need to make that change.  As part of his facilitator role Ray delivers Change Jams around Aotearoa to crowd source solutions to some of the wicked problems we face today.  Ray has worked with leaders of change in many sectors including education, conservation, social enterprise and military training. 


 Kim Penetito and Joseph Waru

Kim and Joseph web resized

Kim and Joe are experienced Social Work and Community Development practitioners who now work their training and facilitation business Haua Partnerships, as ‘interpreters’ in the void of uncertainty that still exists between Māori and Non-Māori. Brave Conversations is the approach they have developed from the lived-experience, to encourage a dialogue that is grounded in an acceptance of difference. The Brave Conversation invites inquiry and an exchange of viewpoints that leads to more understanding, tolerance and awareness of each other’s cultural perspective and builds an appreciation of what may be required to work together respectfully and consequently, productively.  Our website is