A great learning experience, an eye-opener and thoroughly enjoyable were some of the comments from participants who attended a health promotion course in Auckland recently. The Manukau Institute of Technology Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion was held in two four-day blocks from April 17 to 20 and May 15 to 18. The part-time short course introduces students to the principles, concepts and practice of health promotion and relates theory to their own experiences, knowledge and skills. Participants agreed that what they learned at the course was invaluable in their day-to-day work and they all gained a deeper understanding and an appreciation of what health promotion was all about. Limiva Fonmanu a health worker with Mobile Chronic Disease Management, K’aute Pasifika Health Unit said she thoroughly enjoyed the whole two blocks of learning. “The teaching by Trevor is so amazing and he has a unique approach to helping us understand things, especially with his vast knowledge around Te Tiriti o Waitangi in relation to health promotion.  I have done some courses whereby te Tiriti has been included and explained but not to this depth and many things were clarified. “In my line of work as a community health worker I do a lot of health education but through this course, I noted that it is mainly individual-based,” said Limiva.  “After learning about the Ottawa Charter to the extent we did made me look back at how I am doing things with my community and what things I can do to better my service for them in terms of health promotion. “This is a course that I will surely recommend for fellow colleagues to do especially with the amount of information there is to gain.” Tomairangi Chaffey-Aupouri a student at Waikato University said she was able to gain a deeper understanding of how health promotion worked in relation to te Tiriti. “I learned heaps at the course, it was awesome,” she said. Avalu Tausala of the Akihuho Trust said learning about the Ottawa Charter and the determinants of health were important for her because she was studying to be a social worker and was writing a report on diabetes. “Some people questioned the connection between diabetes and social work but doing this course helped me to gain a deeper understanding that it is all related.” Participants wrapped up the course with team presentations that showcased not only what they had learned and understood but how creatively they were able to get their message across to their audience. They divided into two groups and had 25 minutes to present their selected topics which were alcoholism and rheumatic fever. Working as groups with allotted time limits enhanced their ability to collaborate as a team, think creatively and out-of-the-box and manage their time effectively they all agreed. The team presentation was a great chance to be able to work closely with other people she didn’t know, said Tomairangi. “Coming from Gisborne we all know each other,” she laughed. “Developing personal skills was a good part of the group discussion as well as effective time management.” “Everyone’s Mauri Ora was uplifted after the presentations,” said Avalu. Cleopatra Matthews of the Women’s Health Trust said the presentations were good for team bonding and there were no butting of heads. “Everyone had a voice.” The course covers the meaning of health promotion, determinants of health, the application of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to health promotion, the Ottawa Charter, an overview of key health promotion strategies and skills, values and ethics and learning and study skills. In the photo: ENTHUSIASTIC: Front from left, Trevor Simpson, tutor, Mita Tupaea, Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi (Whanau o Tamaki Makaurau), Letari Tepana, Te Ahurei a Rangatahi Trust, Te One Matthews, Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi (Whanau o Tamaki Makaurau), Emma Frost, Health Promotion Forum’s Activities Coordinator and Office Manager and Leonora Houma, Solomon Islands of Waikato. Back, Cleopatra Matthews, Women’s Health Trust, Jessica Gosche, Waikato District Health Board, Tomairangi Chaffey-Aupouri, Waikato University, Avalu Tausala, Akihuho Trust, Lilly Rawiri, Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi and Limiva Fonmanu, Mobile Chronic Disease Management, K’aute Pasifika Health Unit.