SYHPANZ is pleased to be combining with The University of Otago, Christchurch’s annual George Abbott Symposium to offer a national youth health conference on 5-6 July 2024 in Ōtautahi Christchurch, supported by Research for the Children Aotearoa Collaborative.


We look forward to coming together ā-tinana for two days of keynote speakers, panel discussions, and interactive workshop sessions from experts in the field. These will challenge us to enhance our knowledge and update our skills to continue to influence youth health’s future.

Registrations are open and confirmed speakers and presentations include Dr Susan Sawyer, Chair of Adolescent Health in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and Director of the Centre for Adolescent Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Dr Claire Achmad, Chief Children’s Commissioner. Updates from the Youth 19 Rangatahi Smart Survey and High Alert – New Zealand’s Early Warning System for Drugs. As well as interactive workshops from organisations including Talking Trouble who address the speech, language and communication needs of children, youth and adults involved with justice, care and protection, mental health and behaviour services.

Below is the provisional programme:

TimeFriday 5 July
8.45amMihi Whakatau/ Welcome
Dr Nick Fancourt and Chief Children’s Commissioner, Dr Claire Achmad
10amKai/ kupa ti
10.30amMental Wellbeing Update
Prof Susan Sawyer
Dr Sarah Whitcombe-Dobbs
Dr Kaaren Mathias
Dr Hannah Osborn
MiddayKai/ Tina
1pmVaping Panel Discussion
Dr Jude Ball
Dr Ben Wamamili
Lousie McDermott
2.30pmGambling, gaming, loot boxes: What’s the harm?
2.45pmAotearoa’s harm reduction approach to drugs
High Alert and  NZ Drug Foundation
3.15pmKai/ kupa ti
3.45pmResearch for Children Aotearoa
Prof Tony Walls
Tahlia Su’a
Dr Susie Smith
4.15pmNeurodiversity and Sleep
Prof Laurie McLay
4.45 – 5pmDay one round up
6pmConference Dinner
TimeSaturday 6 July
8.45amWelcome and Presentation from Inspiring Young Person
Charlotte Livingstone – living with chronic illness
9amKeynote Chronic Illness
Prof Susan Sawyer
10amKai/ kupa ti
10.30amResearch Presentations  
Hope Study, Youth 19
11.30Sexual Wellbeing 
Burnett Foundation
Dr Tracy Clelland
MiddayKai/ Tina
1pmTe Ūkaipō – How can values change practice in school-based health services
Health NZ Te Whatu Ora, Society of Youth Health Professionals (SYHPANZ) and Malatest
1.45Talking Trouble
Sally Kedge and Jazz Robson
2.30Untangling Eating Disorders  
Baiju Thomas
3pmWorkforce Inspiration
Mel Meates
3.15pmYouth Hub
Dame Sue Bagshaw
3.45pm to 4pmClosing

We hope to see you there.