The 2018 National  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide prevention conference and the 2018 World Indigenous Suicide  Prevention conference are seeking presentations based on the theme of  Cyber Bullying and Effective Intervention Strategies.

The urgent need for successful initiatives to reduce the high rates of Indigenous suicide and self-harm among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia is widely acknowledged by governments and Aboriginal communities prompting a conference to be held to present ideas and action, one of these around cyberbullying.

The World Indigenous suicide conference which runs directly after the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide prevention conference was where the Turamarama Declaration was endorsed in Rotorua, Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Since then, the Declaration has traveled the globe with the majority of people supporting the Turamarama Declaration as a step towards addressing Indigenous suicide.

The  Declaration ends with a pledge for Indigenous nations to work collectively in creating a world where the mauri (life-essence/spirit) can flourish to ensure indigenous peoples live well and happily into their old age.

The world conference encourages Indigenous nations worldwide to gather and validate cultural norms and realities, whilst looking at how we contribute to reducing suicide and solutions that work and promote the strength of Indigenous-led suicide prevention program.

Worldwide communities indigenous and foreign are also focusing on Cyberbullying and intervention strategies as social media and communication tools now following children and teens from School and into the home.

The concern that not even the home is safe from the nasty commentary from means that there is nowhere to escape too.

Indigenous communities have the distinct advantage with the worldview of the collective, a struggle for western societies that now tend to view the individual.

The individualistic focus, therefore, tends to be applied to a majority setting, creating either more issues or creating many loopholes of which many fall through.

Indigenous communities, however, view the collective as different strengths and abilities combined, that can be maximized to achieve more with less.

Add a sense of belonging and Indigenous communities naturally have a very stable platform for them to build on to reach youth and create suicide prevention strategies.

This community aspect can be a very supportive environment for youth to be exposed to and prevent the feeling of isolation often experienced by those feeling suicidal.

So how do communities take advantage of this in the digital world?

Well, that’s where you come in.

If you have an idea or thought you can submit it here. 

There are four presentation formats. While authors are able to select their preferred method of presentation, the final format is at the discretion of the Committee.

Sessions will be programmed concurrently, in a variety of presentation formats including:

  1. Short formal paper presentations (20 minutes maximum with10 minutequestion and answer time). These will be grouped with related topics in a chaired session, with 2-3 papers per 90-minute timeslot.

    Note that presenters of short papers may alternatively be selected to be presented as part of a facilitated discussion circle or panel session.

  2. Interactive sessions (up to 90 minutes). These sessions may include workshops, discussion circles, stories or case studies. They are more informal sessions and should include a participatory activity and interactive facilitation style. Presentations may be of varying lengths from 10 minutes (for example part of a panel) to 90 minutes. Shorter sessions may be grouped with related topics in a chaired session of 90 minutes. A short formal paper may be included but is not required.

Expressions of interest from facilitators, topics for discussion and yarning circles are also sought for those that are interested.

  1. Multimedia – We are interested in submissions of digital stories and short movies. A selection of these will be screened as part of the conference.
  2. Other – Any other cultural or craft presentations that may be practical or hands-on.

Applications close 20 July.

Charis McAwesome, co-founder and manager of hashtagme.co.nz – Charis has worked in digital for over 10yrs specialising in digital management, analytics, digital advertising, social media, digital pathways, and CRM services.

She’s also most likely to call bullshit and get Hashtag in the shit.

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