After 10,000+ quakes, how do we help our tamariki?

How do we improve learning and behaviour of school children after a natural disaster?

After 10,000+ quakes, how do we help our tamariki? On the eve of the eighth anniversary of the deadly 2011 Canterbury earthquake, a panel of mental health and education experts will discuss ways to help quake-affected children, who’ve been shaken by thousands of aftershocks and the chaos of living in the aftermath.

Drawing on her 12 years of research into Christchurch children’s mental health, University of Canterbury Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty, from the College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora, will describe how children respond to traumatic events and why some children develop chronic stress, and how this affects them. Dr Liberty will outline three steps for helping stressed children. With evidence collected from more than 1000 children, she will explain why the strategies are effective, and point the way toward enhanced community resilience.

Learning and behaviour expert Maureen Allan, who coordinates school requests for support for children, will describe the increased demand and nature of problems facing schools in post-earthquake Christchurch. Primary school principal John Bangma will describe how principals led school change to introduce the strategies for helping children, teachers and parents. Britta Liberty, an educator whose manualised programmes are being piloted in schools, will describe positive psychology programmes that teachers and parents can use to help children cope with future stressors.


• Principal Investigator Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty, School of Health Sciences, UC College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora
• Maureen Allan, Cluster Manager, Te Paeroa Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB)
• John Bangma, Principal | Tumuaki of Mairehau Primary School, Lead Principal of Te Paeroa RTLB Cluster and former President of the Canterbury Primary Principals’ Association
• Britta Liberty, educator,,

UC Connect Tauhere public lecture: Quake kids – After 10,000+ quakes, how do we help our tamariki? Expert panel discussion on education led by Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty, UC College of Education, Health and Human Development, 7pm – 8pm, Thursday 21 February, 2019 in C Block Lecture theatre, University of Canterbury’s Ilam campus, Christchurch.

Attendance is free and the event is put together by the University of Canterbury:

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