Women's Refuge Conference Whānau of tomorrow Building Safer Futures

Friday and Saturday 26–27 October 2012

Venue: The Winery Riverlands, Blenheim

Our 2012 International Conference, ‘Whānau of tomorrow, building safer futures’ was a huge success. It was held on October 26-27th with nearly 230 people in attendance. They came all the way to Blenheim to hear the latest information on domestic violence and child abuse and to think of ways to work together to create safer futures for families in Aotearoa. We would like to thank all our speakers, be you international or national, keynote, or workshop and especially our young people who put on a fantastic thought provoking and moving finale for our conference. A huge thanks also to our sponsors, and to Cheryl who organised this conference from scratch and turned it into a wonderful experience.
If you attended and want to make any comments, please visit our Women’s Refuge Facebook page where you will see a Good Morning Show video link for an interview with Marai Larasi, Professor Michael P. Johnson and Anton Blank. More pictures will also be loaded there.

Please visit this page in November when we will be have more photos, and as many of the presentations as we can, or links to appropriate websites.

Download the Conference Programme (PDF)
Download the Invite and Speakers information (PDF)


Speeches and Presenations from the Conference

Presentation by Michael P Johnson (PDF)
Presentation by Bob Pease (PDF)
Speech by Peter Boshier, Principal Family Court Judge

Information on some of our distinguished Speakers

Professor Michael P Johnson

Michael P. Johnson (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and African and African American Studies at Penn State, where he taught sociology and women’s studies for over thirty years and was designated an Alumni Teaching Fellow, Penn State’s highest teaching award. He is an internationally recognized expert on domestic violence, invited to speak
at conferences and universities throughout the United States and around the world.

His current research focuses on the implications of differentiating among types of violence in intimate relationships, and he consults regularly with community organizations and government agencies regarding domestic violence policy. He is widely published in scholarly journals, and his work on domestic violence is summarized in A Typology of Intimate Partner Violence: Intimate Terrorism, Violent Resistance, and Situational Couple Violence (Northeastern University Press, 2008). Recent papers are available at his web site at

Marai Larasi, MBE

Marai is the Executive Director of Imkaan, a UK-based national organisation dedicated to challenging violence against Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee women and girls. She has worked in the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) field for nearly two decades, at both operational and strategic levels, and has developed and led cutting edge services and programmes which address gender-based violence within marginalised groups.

Marai’s activism, public policy work and overall practice are underpinned by a strong commitment to equality and social justice. She is described as a ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘inspirational’ public and has addressed numerous and varied audiences in the UK and internationally, covering a range of themes including VAWG, women’s homelessness, and equality.

Marai is the co-chair of EVAW (the End Violence Against Women Coalition) and the co-chair of Women’s Aid, England. She also contributes to a number of working groups at regional, national and international level.

Professor Bob Pease

Bob Pease is Chair of Social Work at Deakin University in Geelong. His main research interests are: men’s violence against women, global perspectives on men and masculinities, interrogating privilege and profeminist approaches to working with men in the human services.

His most recent books are Critical Social Work Practice: Theories and Practices for a Socially Just World (co-editor, Allen and Unwin 2009); Migrant Men: Critical Studies of Masculinities and the Migration Experience co-editor, Routledge 2009), Undoing Privilege: Unearned Advantage in a Divide World (Zed 2010) and Men and Masculinities Around the World: Transforming Men’s Practices (co-editor, Palgrave 2011). He was also a co-founding member of Men Against Sexual Assault (MASA) in Melbourne and has been involved in campaigns against men’s violence against women for many years.

Professor Julia Tolmie

Julia Tolmie is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland. Prior to taking up her position in Auckland in 1999, she was an academic at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney for ten years.

Julia has published extensively on a range of issues that affect women in the legal system: including defending battered women who have been charged with homicide because of killing their violent partners and women's experiences of negotiating child care and contact through the family court against a background of domestic violence. Julia is currently the Chair of the New Zealand Family Violence Death Review Committee.


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