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Indigeneity and global horizons: grounded identities, universality, and the search for place

Sir Mason Durie

Attachment to land is central to indigenous identity. Using Maori (from New Zealand) experience as a point of reference, the impacts of urbanization, globalization and dislocation will be discussed within a framework of evolving tribal distinctiveness, individual ambitions, and diminishing access to traditional resources. Implications for future generations living in a global community and will be canvassed and the place of technology in maintaining links with home and territory will be explored. A conclusion will be that psychotherapy with indigenous people should take into account the possibility of an identity that is grounded in a distant, but often little understood sense of place.

24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
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Mason Durie
Mason Durie
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Sir Mason Durie

Sir Mason Durie is from New Zealand and is a member of the Rangitane and Ngati Kauwhata (Maori) tribes. He graduated in medicine in 1963 and completed a psychiatric residency at McGill University in 1970. He was subsequently appointed Director of Psychiatry at the Palmerston North Hospital and was made a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry in 1979.

He was an inaugural member of the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation and pioneered community mental health programmes in New Zealand, with a particular focus on indigenous communities. From 1986-1988 he was Commissioner on the Royal Commission on Social Policy and was appointed Professor of Maori Studies at Massey University in 1988. Professor Durie has served on a number of health committees and has been Chair of the National Health Committee as well as a Commissioner for the New Zealand Families Commission. In 2009-10 he headed a Parliamentary taskforce, ‘Whanau Ora,’ that investigated options for an integrated approach to family-based health and social services.

He has published many articles on indigenous health, the relevance of culture to counseling and psychotherapy, and the links between good health and wider societal attitudes. He has played a significant national role in Maori health workforce development and the recognition of cultural competence and cultural safety.

Professor Durie is currently Professor of Maori Research and Development, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Maori & Pasifika) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey University. In 2010 He was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health and to Maori health.

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