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    Cultural sensitivity in New Zealand

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    Event description

    This FREE workshop will aim to unravel the deeper meanings behind individualistic and collectivist cultural paradigms and how these influence our thought processes, communication styles, and interpersonal relationships. Using examples of Ivan's work in mental health, we will question whether the discourse around mental health and wellbeing is predominantly a Western construct or has universal applicability. Another area of focus will be the experiences of 1.5-generation Asian youth who find themselves in a cultural limbo, straddling multiple identities.

    By the end of this workshop, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the 'why' and 'how' of cultural navigation. The objective is to equip attendees with the skills and awareness needed to:

    • Forge meaningful connections with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds
    • Enhance your knowledge of various cultural viewpoints to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts
    • Foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance
    • Be cognisant of your own cultural biases and preconceptions
    • Remain open to learning from other cultures
    • Show respect for cultural dissimilarities
    • Be attentive to non-verbal cues like body language and facial expressions
    • Exercise patience and understanding in cross-cultural interactions.

    Also, the workshop will feature an introduction to the Integrated Tree Model. Asian Family Services has developed this unique model specifically tailored for people working with individuals from migrant backgrounds.

    As we conclude the session, participants will be provided additional resources for further inquiry and study. It’s important to remember that comprehending the complexities of culture is an ongoing process rather than a final destination. Mastery in this area is less about reaching a conclusive understanding and more about continually adapting and growing in our knowledge and sensitivity to others’ cultural norms and values.

    The workshop will include a light lunch (vegetarian). Donations towards the cost of the lunch will be welcome on the day. The session will conclude with a facilitated discussion on learnings and perspectives.

    About Ivan

    Ivan Yeo serves as the Deputy Director at Asian Family Services, a role he has held since 2018. Originally from Singapore and raised in Malaysia, Ivan moved to New Zealand in 2001 to pursue his education. After earning a degree in Social Science in 2004, he entered the mental health sector, focusing on health promotion. Over the past 20 years, Ivan has been involved in various projects that reflect his expertise and commitment to the field. These include launching a Chinese Like Minds, Like Mine media initiative at the Mental Health Foundation, contributing to Suicide Prevention and Postvention efforts in collaboration with Auckland Te Whatu Ora, and laying the groundwork for the inaugural Asian Health Week. He has also worked on culturally and linguistically diverse programmes in health at Waitemata Te Whatu Ora and emergency management preparedness in Auckland.

    Ivan’s keen interest in understanding cultural nuances stems from his own experiences as a migrant navigating a predominantly Western society. His upbringing in a collective culture occasionally led to conflicts and misunderstandings as he adapted to a new social context. Through his ongoing learning and passion for the field, Ivan hopes to share valuable insights that can illuminate the complex interplay between culture and mental health, particularly for those who, like him, are navigating the challenges of living between two worlds.

    This workshop

    It's another of our Better Conversations - Restorative Thinking talks. We are grateful to the Justice-Compassion Trust for its support.


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