New Zealand’s 12th Diversity Forum focused on the future

New Zealand’s 12th Diversity Forum focused on the future

August 30, 2016

A former child soldier and refugee, who is now an internationally renowned human rights lawyer, headlines this year’s 12th Diversity Forum at Te Papa in Wellington.  

Sydney lawyer Deng Adut will share his incredible life story and encourage New Zealanders to recognise we all have our own unique story to tell.  

“Racial intolerance is on the rise at home and closer to home. It’s time for Kiwis to talk openly and respectfully about racism and what kind of country we want our kids growing up in,” says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. 

The focus of this year’s forum is on the future, Te Anga Whakamua, and the morning session includes Palmerston North Boy’s High School head boy Te Ariki Te Puni delivering his winning Race Unity speech.

The forum will also launch a new way for Kiwis to share their stories of racial intolerance, as well as their hopes for the future. 

“Being a New Zealander should mean getting a fair go and giving others a fair go. Racism has no place in our country’s future,” says Dame Susan. “Diversity is a national asset we should celebrate and cultivate.”

“We have a line-up of people doing amazing things.”

Forum MC is activist, musician and writer, Lizzie Marvelly. Other speakers include: 

  • Changemakers Refugee Forum chief executive, Tayyaba Khan 
  • Multicultural New Zealand’s Executive Director and Chief Executive of the Multi Ethnic Football Tournament, Tayo Agunlejika
  • Te Papa’s Director of Ngā Manu Atarau, Dr Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal
  • My Kitchen Rules TV stars, entrepreneurs, former refugees Dai Phonevilay and Dal Philavong
  • Multicultural Council of Wellington president, Raveen Annamalai
  • NZ Police Commissioner, Mike Bush
  • New Zealand Chinese Association, Youth and Sports chair, Mark Ngan Kee 
  • Te Papa Director of Exhibition Renewal, Karen Mason
  • Burundian Kiwi, media student and documentary filmmaker, Adorate Mizero
  • African Fashion Festival of New Zealand creator, Pinaman Owusu-Banahene
  • TechTank creator and coding champion, Pearl Robin
  • NZ Police Iwi Liaison Officer, Tracey Thompson
  • Director of Victoria University’s Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research, Professor Colleen Ward
  • Chair of Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union and Maori Project Manager for Rugby World Cup 2011, Paora Ammunson.
  • New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (School of Psychology, Auckland University) leader, Dr Chris Sibley
  • Upper Hutt Multicultural Council representative, Pohswan Narayanan

The forum could not take place without our sponsors: NZ Police, NZ National Commission for UNESCO, Te Papa Tongarewa and Victoria University’s Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research.


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