2019 ARPA Conference Program


ARPA 2019

FRIDAY 6 September

9am: Optional Tram Tour of Christchurch Central, cost $25 pp, meet at 8.30am in Novotel Lobby.

11am: Registration opens

Networking (coffee and tea)

11.45: Welcome and Lunch

Meet together for a welcome and blessing led by representatives from local iwi, Ngāi Tahu, representatives from Te Raranga—a church leaders group formed in response to the Canterbury quakes, and ARPA leaders.

Followed by lunch together.


Responding to Change: Crafting a Vision for ARPA’s Future

Technology is rapidly changing the way we communicate, with our churches and communities facing new challenges. With a number of changes to the ARPA Executive in the coming year this is your chance to discuss, dream and envision our future together. This interactive session will be facilitated by President Peter Bentley and NZ Vice-President Sophia Sinclair.

3pm: Afternoon tea


‘When a City Falls’

Gerard Smyth is an experienced independent documentary filmmaker with a reputation for telling stories missed by the mainstream media. He will be sharing about the process of creating his award-winning film ‘When A City Falls’ about the Canterbury earthquakes.


War Cry—‘For Such a Time as This’ edition in the wake of the Christchurch Terrorist Attack

When the March 15 Christchurch Terrorist Attack happened, War Cry was just days away from being printed. Hear how the War Cry team responded in the immediate aftermath of the shootings and produced a hope-filled edition to their readers while navigating the various public narratives and responses—both from within the church and the wider community.

Evening: dinner out in interest groups or chapters

SATURDAY 7 September

8.30am: Devotion

9.00am: AGM

10.30am: Morning Tea


How the Student Volunteer Army mobilised a generation of young people to respond

Social entrepreneur Sam Johnson is most well-known for starting the student movement, known as the Student Volunteer Army, following the Christchurch earthquakes.

Sam worked internationally in the resilience and volunteering sectors and continues in the community sector as Executive Director of The SVA Foundation.

Through the foundation, Sam and his team continue to grow a civic engagement and volunteering culture. Their flagship projects SVA Schools, SVA Service Award and UC SVA reach over 65,000 primary, secondary and tertiary students across New Zealand.

12.30-1.30pm: Lunch


Magnitude 7.1 and 6.3: The People of Christchurch, Canterbury and Beyond Tell Their Stories

Early on the morning of 4th September 2010, a series of seismic events began to unfold in Christchurch, New Zealand. They would eventually take 182 lives and directly affect hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.

In Magnitude 7.1 and 6.3 the stories of pre-schoolers, teenagers, families, and retirees tell of the impact of the ongoing earthquakes and aftershocks, the emotional and physical toll they exacted, and their hope for a new Christchurch.

Join award-winning writer Debbie Roome as she unpacks how she went about collecting and compiling these stories in her two books (one a book of photography).

3pm: Afternoon Tea


Do you know my story?

How faith-based media can reduce racist responses to refugees and migrants

The March 15 mosque attacks in Christchurch have shocked Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia and brought the evil of extremist racism into the spotlight in a new way. While the news of anti-migrant hatred was no surprise to many who already experience racism in our countries, others were shocked to find it here. As church media personnel we all have our part to play in nurturing a Christian response to this tragedy.

So how can faith-based media in Australia and New Zealand help counter xenophobia and racism towards refugees and migrants?

How can we help Christian communities to break down stereotypes, crack open our conscious or unconscious "us vs. them" approaches, and build solidarity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians and New Zealanders and our more recent newcomers?

Julanne Clarke-Morris argues that faith-based media have a unique role in building understanding towards migrants and creatively undermining racist assumptions. She suggests ways that faith-based media staff can actively support positive relationships between local people of faith and our newly-arrived migrant communities.

6pm: Drinks (cash bar available).


Annual ARPA Awards Dinner

Join us for a fabulous night of fun, food, awards and insight as we hear from Rosie Fyfe, the National Director of NZCMS.

A Hope-Filled Response to Crisis

Prior to working as National Director, Rosie Fyfe served overseas in Egypt as a mission partner. Six months after Rosie arrived in Egypt, the Arab Spring began and she lived through two revolutions, increased sectarian violence, and more frequent attacks on churches. Through her role fundraising for ministries of the Anglican Diocese, she was involved in establishing projects aimed at building peace and mutual understanding. Rosie will speak about what we can learn from the Church in the Middle East about hope-filled responses to crises.

Please note this program may be subject to change before the event.