South Island Tertiary Forum - Summary

The South Island Tertiary Forum was held recently on 16 November at the University of Canterbury, with about 50 people in attendance. The forum is a biannual event for staff and students working in tertiary institutions in the South Island and those from supporting organisations. Established in early 2010 by Community and Public Health, CDHB, its purpose is to network, collaborate and share good practice. 

For the first time, the event was organised collaboratively and held on campus. It was held over 4 hours, which is a shorter format than usual. This time was broken into two main sections. Firstly, a PechaKucha session with 10 short and punchy presentations, on a range of topics such as student and staff wellbeing; international student experience; Thursdays in Black; action to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages on campus; student association-run wellbeing events; building resilience in the curriculum; and South Island Tertiary Health and Wellbeing Survey findings.

Given that mental health and wellbeing are such key issues in higher education settings, a mental health seminar was incorporated into the forum. Speakers included Dr Chris Taua from the Mental Health Education Health and Resource Centre (MHERC) looking at mental health issues amongst young people; David Cairns, Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Pegasus Health speaking on suicide risk management on campus; and Anna Mowat from the All Right? campaign on mental health promotion ideas for campuses. A panel discussion followed the presentations.

Evaluations from the forum were very positive and suggestions will help shape the next forum to be held at Lincoln University in May 2017.

The PechaKucha presentations were recorded and can be viewed here.

Those interested in going on the mailing list for next year’s South Island Tertiary Forum can contact Anna Thorpe on