Looking after our greatest assets

As the National Pacific Practitioners Fono commenced, participants heard from the General Manager of the Wellington Rape Crises Centre, Kyla Rayner, who has worked in the survivor space across family and sexual violence for many years.

Ms Rayner reminded all attendees that they were considered to be ‘’our greatest asset’’ and ‘’biggest treasure’’ in the work taking place and their wellbeing was important.

She said the aim of the two-day event was to have people leave the South Auckland venue fulfilled and ready to continue the valuable work they were doing for our people and the community.

But, she added, that it would be remiss of the organisers not to accept that some of the issues that would be brought up ‘’might get heavy’’, and with that in mind a safe space was available for participants throughout the Fono.

The intention was to have a space where people could take a breather from what was happening at the conference.

“Maybe just go outside, we encourage you to get some air, have a hug,’’ Ms Rayner said.

‘’And there is a room, a special space should you want to be somewhere to gather yourself. You can come and find any of us with the purple lanyard and we will help you so you can come back and be a part of this Fono’’.

She said the two days would be a true partnership between our sectors, our community and Government

But she reiterated that what was going on at the Fono was not the usual 9 – 5 work, which was why they had made the space available.

‘’Outside of that room there are some beautiful spaces, with some beautiful seats, and we encourage you to think about yourself and care about yourself and take the time you need,’’ she said.

‘’It’s emotional just to be in this room together. Please reach out (if you need to), we know that support matters’’.

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