We learnt so much from the amazing individuals and organisations we were privileged to work with in 2018, both here in NZ and overseas. Three personal highlights were:
1) Joining Alayne McKee on her Winston Churchill Fellowship trip to see how speech, language and communication needs are being addressed overseas in care and protection and justice settings, and to train as Talking Mats Accredited Trainers. Look out for Alayne’s report that summarises the amazing experiences and learning that resulted. Our map and blog shows where we went and we’ve both enjoyed delivering Talking Mats training back in NZ.
2) The Oranga Tamariki Talking Trouble Youth Justice Projects Showcase in August was an exciting celebration of the incredibly creative work that has resulted from the collaboration of our team and Social Work and Family Group Conference Coordinator colleagues from Oranga Tamariki, and in some cases other stakeholders too.
This work is transforming the communication involved in care and protection and justice processes so that children, young people and their families can have their say and fully understand what is happening. We’ve now completed 11 full projects and a few smaller ones at various sites around NZ, and have more coming in 2019.
At the Showcase, we launched our Youth Voices report and resources, including a fantastic animation created for us by the NZ Animation College. This project captured the insights and advice from young people about how communication could be improved in justice contexts. Take a look on the link below, read the report, and use the Youth Justice cards to challenge yourself and your team about how you could improve the communication in your context.
3) It was an honour to present to our own NZ Youth Court Judges, and then later in the year to the the heads of the Children’s and Youth Courts from Australia, NZ and the Pacific, and to hear how interested they were in the developments to improve communication that have been occurring in the past few years in NZ.
In between delivering speech-language therapy, running projects and carrying out Communication Assistant roles in Courts (High, District, Youth, Rangatahi, Pasifika, Crossover Courts) and FGCs, a large number of presentations and workshops were delivered to a wide range of audiences by our amazing speech-language therapists:
- Involve Conference
- Police Youth Engagement Officers
- Permanent Caregiver Support Service
- Oranga Tamariki National Office
- Youth Justice and Care and Protection Residences
- Bail Support Officers
- Family Group Conference Coordinators
- NZSTA Symposium
- Speech Pathology Australia Conference
- New Zealand Law Society
- Starship Paediatric Update
- Public Defence Service
- Australian and NZ Society of Criminology Conference (Melbourne)
- Gateway teams.