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On Leadership and Advocacy

Event Information

  • When: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
  • Time: 8.00 - 9.00am
  • Where: Big Rangitoto Room, Lab Plus
  • Presenter: Dr Russell Wills, Children's Commissioner

Russell started his five year term as Children's Commissioner on 1 July 2011 and he combines the role with his work as a paediatrician at Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB). After training at the University of Otago Medical School, Russell studied paediatrics overseas and gained a Master of Public Health degree in Brisbane. He then returned to New Zealand and worked as national paediatrician for Plunket, a senior lecturer at the Wellington School of Medicine and community paediatrician at Wellington Hospital before moving to Hawke's Bay in 2001.

Russell's clinical interests are in general paediatrics, child protection and children with severe behaviour disturbance. He sees many children with autism, ADHD, foetal alcohol effects, and the behavioural and developmental effects of abuse and neglect.
At the HBDHB he led the Family Violence Intervention Programme, Before-School Check Programme and Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee. He has also been involved in the Ministry of Education Positive Behaviour for Learning Programme implementation, Incredible Years strategic group and the Youth to Men governance group in Hawke's Bay. Russell has held leadership roles in community paediatrics with the Paediatric Society of New Zealand and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and has contributed to national guidelines and projects on autism, family violence, child abuse and medical aspects of children in Child, Youth and Family care.

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