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The recent National Prevention and Minimising Gambling Harm (PMGH) training forum this past April, was a good opportunity to meet many more of the PMGH workforce from around the country.

Photo: Pacific cultural day 2019

Photo: Māori cultural day 2019

The three-day forum kicked off with the first day of cultural experiences and activities that focused on public health and gambling harm. These sessions were well received by all participants with many excited for the next cultural session at the next training forum.

Māori session
"The korero from the home people. The TAKE which was important but really inspiring. The HOPE that resided in both korero. The linking of kaupapa to strategic planning with action. The passion of the kaupapa inclusiveness of others".

Māori session
"Te katoa! The matauranga, whakapapa, aroha, mauri, wairua, manaaki, the passion that both leaders of Ngati Whatua and Ihumatao shared with us. What an honour and privilege it was to experience this and connect it all with the Gambling / Health kaupapa".

Pacific session
"Both the academic presentation and then hands-on practices. A very high calibre of speakers Josian, Dr Ite and Dr Dan".

Pacific session
"Yes, implementing more cultural practices when working with our people, especially with our youth to connect them to their culture".

Asian session
"The knowledge of public health - 3 ways of public health work - The sharing in the group".

Asian session
"Group discussion about Asian Family Service Public Health work related to the theory".

Open session
"Challenging my thinking - encouraged me to do more to address institutionalised racism in the health system".

Open session
"This was one of the best 'cultural competence' training I have attended would highly recommend".

Photo: Hon. Minister Jenny Salesa 2019

We had the pleasure of the Honourable Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa who opened day two of the National Training Forum to welcome, commend and inspire the prevention and minimising gambling harm sector and in particular, a special mention and welcome to our two newest Waikato providers Te Kohao Health and K'aute Pasifika.

Some of the highlights over day two and three of the forum include key information and guidance from the Ministry of Health about public health reporting, with a good overview of reporting data. This information demonstrated what impact services are doing in helping communities to understand gambling harm and support for gambling addiction.

We gained new perspectives and knowledge of how peer support could be an opportunity in the gambling harm support space. This workshop created out of the box thinking in terms of how we could see peer support integrated into gambling harm support. More importantly, we had peer support workers share their invaluable experience in how peer support worked for them and how they are now helping others with addiction.

Photo: Dr. Aaron Drummond 2019

The ‘gaming loot boxes and gambling’ presentation from Dr Aaron Drummond from Massey University was widely applauded by everyone who attended. This presentation certainly provided a good overview of online gaming and how it translates to gambling through loot boxes. Many of the workforce felt that the online gaming environment is an area where more workforce development is needed in preparation for this new gambling addiction.

Photo: Buckwheat entertainment 2019

Throughout the forum, many of the participants expressed how they enjoyed the whakawhanaungatanga with their workforce peers. I noticed in between presentations at break times that people were engaged with each other; talking, having meetings, some were enjoying the music and others laughing. This reconnection or meeting new members of the workforce flowed into the forum dinner which was themed 'Colour Me Kaftan'. It was wonderful to see a good number of people attend the dinner in a range of colourful kaftans and we had a special surprise of the fabulous host and entertainer Buckwheat for the evening. Buckwheat captivated the audience with her fascinating and colourful performance which was infused with comedy that had the room in fits of laughter. This was a great reprieve from the three-day toil of training.

Over the forum, we believe we succeeded in providing the PMGH workforce with more knowledge to continue the good work delivered in gambling harm support. We also fed our souls in connecting with our peers which reinforced the point that we gather strength from each other to keep doing more to help those experience gambling harm.

All presentations and photos are on He Taumata, click here for Forum 2019

Photos of the 2019 National Forums can be found here.


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