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Parenting is probably one of the hardest and yet most rewarding jobs on the planet. Each child is different and none seems to come with an instruction manual!

Luckily there are things that families, parents and kids have in common and ways we can parent to build great families and great kids. Our speakers are experts in finding those things that help us understand our kids, our relationships and give us ideas on how to be the best parents we can.

We have a fabulous line up of speakers, seminars and workshops for 2017. Follow us on Facebook for a heads up on what's on or download our Official Programme brochure or our Events Calendar.

Parenting Week Official Programme 2017 (PDF Download)

Parenting Week Calendar of Events (PDF Download) 

Tickets available now through Dash Tickets

Speakers for Parenting Week 2017

Pio Terei photoPio Terei

Entertainer Pio Terei shares his heart, his stories and a huge amount of practical parenting knowledge in a series of new 90 minute shows. Pio is one of the best loved entertainers in the country and these new shows combine songs, stories, videos and great parenting ideas. As a Co-Creator of the widely popular Building Awesome Whanau, Pio focuses on positive solutions and shares vital messages about happy, healthy family life in a way that really ‘clicks’ with the audience. 


Diane LevyDiane Levy

Diane Levy is a household name in New Zealand, known as the person you turn to when you’re having trouble managing children or the childish people in your life. She is a Counsellor, Family Therapist, Speaker and Author of Of course I love you…NOW GO TO YOUR ROOM, They look so lovely when they’re asleep and Time Out for Tots, Teens and Everyone in Between. In 2005 she was the Therapist/Presenter of the television programme Demons to Darlings.

She is a mother of three and grandparent of three – anything Diane recommends to others has been tested ‘in the field’. She is known for her practical, informative and humorous approach to the problems that beset parents, educators, and families – whether at work or at home.

Diane believes it is important we support our children’s feelings and put boundaries on their inappropriate behaviour so that we raise children who are pleasant to be with. She sees Parenting as a 20-year commitment to raising a young adult who is ethical, self-disciplined, emotionally independent and has all the necessary skills to survive in an increasingly complex world.

Nathan WallisNathan Wallis

Nathan has been a lecturer at Canterbury University, a neuroscience presenter for Brainwave, and a Child Protection trainer. He is currently Director of Training for the Brainwave Trust, is founder of X-Factor Education and serves on many Boards, including Brainwave, Cholmondeley Children’s Home, The Champion Centre and Big Brothers and Sisters.

He is a father and foster parent, with professional background in child counselling, teaching and social service management. He has built a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker on the topic of brain development.

Jenny Hale smallJenny Hale

Jenny is a Parenting Place senior Family Coach and she is passionate about parenting and knows how to encourage and equip parents with skills and ideas that make parenting easier and more enjoyable. She has been a parent for more than 30 years and is now a grandmother.Jenny’s background is in teaching and working with families. She has been with The Parenting Place for over 10 years and during that period has been instrumental in developing Toolbox parenting groups and training facilitators throughout New Zealand to deliver these successful courses in their communities. In her dealings with parents, Jenny has seen the need for a mentor who can offer practical strategies to help families work out solutions to everyday parenting challenges.

Jenny has a weekly slot on Good Morning and is a regular writer for The Parenting Place’s Parenting magazine. Her talks are relaxed, entertaining, informative and positive. She is committed to helping parents achieve results that are workable and sustainable within their families.

Jax HamiltonJax Hamilton

If you’re looking for easy, delicious and fun recipes, then Jax is the mate you want in your pantry.

With 2 best selling cookbooks under her belt; the face of Countdown’s successful Feed 4 for $15 everyday meals campaign and her own regular inspiring website with hints and tips www.jaxhamilton.co.nz, Jax is all about great, seasonal ingredients and reinventing incredible meals from your own stocked pantry, to inspire you and your family, without jumping in the car and picking up one off / one use expensive items.

As a mother and businesswoman, Jax loves to present quick and simple meals that will inspire you to think out of the box; satisfy your family and friends, but mostly to empower you to feel good about creating gorgeous dishes, filling exciting lunch boxes, tricking fussy teenagers by providing food with personality from your own garden, pantry and kitchen.

She started cooking for her family of 8 from the age of 7 years old and hailing from East London, with Jamaican heritage, Jax is able to pull on a wealth of culinary skills and knowledge, which she blends with kiwi ingredients, jamaican personality and English banter.

Prepare yourself for giggles and nibbles.”

James BeckJames Beck

Attitude manager, James Beck, joined Attitude in 2007 in Christchurch with over two years’ experience working alongside young people. James’ interest in and engagement with youth culture (he an active member of three bands) is key to his ability to relate to a young audience. James’ quirky sense of humour and passion for the messages conveyed commands the attention of his audience. He is strongly motivated to help youth realise their full potential, and sincerely inspires them to do so. James has delivered presentations to over 200,000 young people nationwide, helping them make better choices around drugs and alcohol, sex, depression, youth suicide, technology, social media and getting on with their family.

James’ rural upbringing influenced his humour, and has given James a unique Kiwi presenting style that appeals to a wide spectrum of audiences. And when James isn’t working, he is spending time with his wife Rebekah and their two daughters. Having a young family has added another dimension to James’ presentations with the ever-changing role of being a dad shaping his experiences, and giving him a hands-on understanding of the amazing job of parenting.

Sue Bagshaw

Dr Sue Bagshaw has 4 adult children and 6 mokopuna, she  works as a primary care doctor specialising in adolescent/youth health at a one stop community youth health centre for 10-25 year olds, which she helped to set up, now under a new trust called Korowai Youth Well-being Trust.  She is a senior lecturer in adolescent health in the department of Paediatrics at the Christchurch School of Medicine, and she is Director of the Collaborative Trust (a research and training centre for youth health and development).

Michael Hempseed

Michael Hempseed is a highly sought after professional speaker. Michael gained an honours degree in psychology from the University of Canterbury in 2008. He has delivered more than 80 inspiring and informative seminars over the last two years, on such diverse topics as overcoming failure, mental illness and the teenage brain. Funny, full of enthusiasm and taking a genuine interest in people are all qualities that make Michael a captivating speaker. Michael loves to travel, having visited over 34 countries, including Cambodia, Morocco, China, India, Brazil and many others. In addition to this he hosts a radio show called Lighthouse of Hope.

Graham & Jenny PurkisJenny & Graham Purkis

Jenny Purkis has a passion for healing and strengthening relationships. She has been a Life Coach and Counsellor for the past 10 years. She and husband, Graham are Gallup StrengthsFinder Coaches of individuals, couples and teams.

Jenny counsels a range of issues and specialises in marriage, preparation for marriage and step-family counselling.

Lucy HoneDr Lucy Hone

Having studied on Martin Seligman’s Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) programme at the University of Pennsylvania (the international home of wellbeing science), Lucy has recently completed her PhD through AUT University’s Human Potential Centre where her work focused on ways to effectively apply the findings of wellbeing research to promote mass market wellbeing in real world contexts. 

“My academic research is focused on investigating the component parts of wellbeing and resilience, specifically how we can measure and promote wellbeing at both the individual and organizational level. But, as a former journalist, my real passion lies in communication, as I continually strive to find effective methods of disseminating the academic research in ways that truly help people get the most from their lives.”

Based in Christchurch, she worked closely with several key organisations in the post-quake environment to promote resilience and effective psychological recovery (e.g., SARS, Department of Conservation, Department of Education, Fletcher EQR, The Heart Foundation).

Lucy is currently helping a number of New Zealand schools develop wellbeing and resilience strategies, and enjoys her job as a presenter for the Mental Health Education Resource Centre - last year touring a large number of Christchurch schools to promote wellbeing and resilience among school staff.

She is a member of the NZAPP Executive Committee, a Global Representative of the International Positive Education Network (IPEN), an associate of the Mental Health Foundation’s Working Well team, and has research publications in the Journal of Positive Psychology, Social Indicators Research, and the International Journal of Wellbeing. As a mother of three, married to a (stressed) Christchurch builder, Lucy knows what it’s like to juggle work, family, community, social and wellbeing commitments.

Karen RileyKaryn Riley

As a women’s well-being specialist, parent educator, author, businesswoman and mother of two, Karyn has experienced many of the issues women commonly face and learned practical ways to overcome these. Her involvement with women’s groups such as the HER Business Network, Professionelle and Selwyn Women in Business has reinforced her expertise.

Karyn has been involved in the personal development and well-being professions since 1995, empowering and inspiring parents since 2000. Passionate about people and their personal and professional development, Karyn says: "I love working with mums and business women. It is extremely rewarding watching them grow in confidence and gaining self-belief to achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations."

Karyn Riley is author of the book How to Keep the YOU in Mum, the recipient of a Local Heroes Medal in the New Zealander of the Year Awards 2012, a business finalist in the NEXT Woman of the Year Awards 2010, a finalist in the Zonta Women in Business Awards 2008 and is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology at Canterbury University.

Karyn believes in living by example, balancing a rewarding career with family life and community volunteering. Karyn has voluntarily established several successful community initiatives since becoming a parent, including fitness classes and a business group with 80 members. She was a Plunket volunteer for 3 ½ years, holding the position of president for 3 years.

The All right? Team - Dean, Anne and Anna

Dean Sutherland All rightDean Sutherland First and foremost, Dean is dad to 3 teenagers – who talk sometimes. He is also a Speech-language therapist and a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury. He is passionate about helping children and adults understand and develop the art of communication. In these workshops Dean will share his top tips for communicating and connecting with your children and teenagers.


anne giblingAnne Gibling Anne is a mum to 2 adult children and Gran to her 2 grandchildren; she has a degree in Social Work and has been working in the Social Worker field for 15 years and for the last 10 years at the Christchurch Methodist Mission.  During this time she has been working with parents in their homes and facilitating parenting workshops based on the Triple “P” positive parenting programme. Anne is passionate about parents having a kete of strategies that they can call on when things get tuff.  


Anna Mowat AlrightAnna Mowat Anna has been focussed on parenting since she became one 12 years ago and  also began working with SKIP (Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents).  She has an English and Psychology degree, 2 more children - that’s three girls aged 12, 8 and 2 and works as the Family Advisor for the Canterbury All Right? wellbeing marketing campaign and Ministry of Education facilitating Incredible Years parenting groups.  Anna is passionate about parent-child relationships and the fundamentals of ‘play’. 


 Dr Amy Scott

Dr Amy Scott is a Speech-Language Therapist and researcher in early literacy development. She works part time at the University of Canterbury, as a Project Manager and Post Doctoral Research Fellow on A Better Start - National Science Challenge. When not at 'work', Amy is mother to a very busy and talkative toddler!

Andrea Dahl – Brainwave Trust

Andrea has been a police officer for 17 years and has experience in many areas including family violence, iwi liaison, front line duties, staff training and delivering community presentations.
She currently supervises police staff teaching in schools and works with youth offenders and their families. Andrea is a mother, grandmother, and a keen sportswoman with a passion for waka ama and crossfit. 

START Start Healing - Stop Abuse

Maggy Tai Rakena - Manager Maggy’s early work background & training was in early childhood education in the areas of daycare, crèche & kohanga reo for over 20 years. She has completed a Certificate in Social Work, a Certificate of Proficiency in NGO Leadership & other Management papers at Canterbury University, a Certificate in Community Psychiatric Care through the University of Otago, & a Graduate Diploma in Not For Profit Management through Unitec.

Maggy has been the Manager at START since 1994 and it is her role to oversee the effective day to day operations of the agency. Maggy is the immediate past chair of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, is on the Tauiwi Caucus of TOAH NNEST, was the chair of her local community centre and served on two school’s Board of Trustees from 1989 until 2004.

Catherine Gallagher - Clinical Practice Manager Catherine is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked extensively with adults and in the child and family area in both the public and private sectors.

Catherine’s role at START is primarily to support staff in their work with clients, and to work alongside the team to ensure that the children, adults and families we see, receive interventions that are effective, safe, and respectful. Catherine also completes the majority of ACC assessments that are required by our clients. Alongside other staff, she is also involved in providing community education around issues relating to sexual violence, and building and consolidating key relationships both locally and nationally. This includes representation on the Sensitive Claims Advisory Group for ACC.

Jo Bader - Social Worker Jo has worked for 14 years in the area of social work, working alongside young people, young parents and families, as well as coordinating and facilitating groupwork. Jo has undertaken training in Interactive Drawing Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Family Partnership, Child Advocacy, and Non-Government leadership. Jo’s values are those of social justice, a desire to protect and equip and to support others to grow in knowledge, understanding and skills for life.

Dyspraxia Support and Socially Speaking

Alison Schroeder is a New Zealand registered Speech & Language Therapist and Primary School Teacher who founded Socially Speaking in 2003.  She has over 26 years’ experience as a speech & language therapist and also teaching students with special needs (New Zealand, UK and Hong Kong).  Alison’s comprehensive experience includes screening, evaluating and working with individuals with a wide range of social and communication challenges. She runs Social Clubs alongside her staff of speech & language therapists and occupational therapists.  She also regularly consults with other professionals and schools working with children with social, sensory and communication challenges.

Jacqui Scott is the CEO of the Dyspraxia Support Group since 2012.  She has extensive knowledge in the area of dyspraxia which is combined with her day job in the pharmaceutical industry.  She is also a parent of a child who has dyspraxia.

Greta Spearing is an experienced Field Worker for the Dyspraxia Support Group.  Her background and experience is in Teaching with a particular interest in individual differences.

Helen and Mikaela - The Nutrition Room

Helen Potter and Mikaela Battaerd, from The Nutrition Room, are two qualified Associate Registered Nutritionists, who are passionate about providing practical, relevant and evidence based nutritional messages.  They will be talking about how to support your child’s food journey, how to prevent or tackle fussy eaters, with tips and strategies, and what to keep in mind along the way.  Supporting your child’s food journey is important at any age, but Helen will be focusing on the Starting Solids/Toddler/Pre-School years. Mikaela will also be presenting information on how to read food labels, to give Parents and Caregivers a greater understanding of what to look out for when choosing food for their family.  There will also be a time for questions at the end.

Corinne RooneyCorinne Rooney – Baby Calm and Toddler Calm

Corinne is passionate about supporting parents of babies and young children with evidence-based information and techniques to support more-harmonious family relationships, right from the very start. She has a science research background and became a mother 9 years ago. Corinne works with parents in their homes and facilitating workshops as a BabyCalm Consultant, ToddlerCalm Consultant, and Baby Carrier Consultant (The Sling Lady) - supporting thousands of parents from pregnancy to the preschool years. She also trains carrying consultants at Slingababy NZ.

Julie Williams – Kingdom Resources

Julie has 14 years’ experience in Financial Mentoring AKA Budget Advice. She has lived on a benefit and started working and increasing her hours to be independent of W&I while raising a teenager so she knows the highs and lows of juggling things on a tight income and making tough decisions to make the budget work!  She has dealt with a wide variety of clients and has recently taken over the role of tutoring at Kingdom Resources.

Philippa Murphy BabyCues Profile PicPhillippa Murphy – BabyCues

Philippa Murphy is a postnatal educator and clinician. She teaches parents how to foster digestive health and developmental sleep for newborns and infants by understanding how the child’s digestive biology functions, while nurturing their full array of cues. Through her BabyCues clinic she offers worldwide consultations to parents, a self-help parenting book and workshops.


Laura Hall 2Laura Hall - Plunket

Laura Hall is passionate about empowering parents to find success in the little things. Over the past 8 years, Laura has delivered parenting education throughout the community and within the Canterbury Prisons. She has tailored her presentations to be accessible and relatable so parents leave the session feeling like they are doing a better job than they felt when they arrived. Parents are encouraged to think deeper about what's really behind their child's behavior and how we can parent them in a respectful way. Laura has experience working with family's with many challenges including children with special needs. Plunket Thinking about parenting series equips Parents with a new set if tools and is based on S.K.I.P principles.





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