The “Fathering the Future” forum in Christchurch will go ahead as planned on March 28, and there will be another event later in the year.
The first forum will focus on the issues surrounding fathering in New Zealand and develop recommendations and a message to be spread at the other forum, probably on Fathers Day in September.
The rescheduling of events came after it was realised that the timeframe was too short to stage a major event in March. Especially after former Children’s Commissioner and the main initiator of the project Laurie O’Reilly died in January, the steering group was left without a vision for a while.
There will now be a range of workshops and a few keynote speaker.
On advice of the Trust, fatherhood researcher Paul Callister has been included as a keynote speaker and former Playcentre supervisor and at-home dad Brian McNamara as facilitator for a workshop on fathers in childcare and schools.
The September event will mainly serve to attract media attention and corporate sponsorship and will involve international speakers yet to be advised.
A new Trust (the “Fathers Who Care: Partners in Parenting Charitable Trust”) will be launched and the line-up of Trustees reflect the high profile the organisers want to give the subject.
Prospective Trustees include Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce Chairman Peter Townsend, Labour MP David Caygill, Christchurch Star Managing Director Mike Fletcher as well as City Councillor and Mayoral Candidate Garry Moore, although the Trust understands the list of Trustees is not finalised yet.
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