Actions for Change

The following outlines ways we are continuing to build Atawhai and

improved responsiveness to family violence within the primary care sector.

Advocacy: A vision of options otherwise unseen

Committed and continuous advocacy is often under-valued as a knowledge translation activity yet is an effective means of knowledge brokerage across settings, disciplines, cultures, and communities.1 While we can all hold the same vision for addressing family violence, different services are underpinned by different practice orientations values and ways of working. People that can connect across different spaces are open to alternative ways of thinking and behaving and can act as brokers of knowledge to provide a ‘vision of options otherwise unseen’.2 Advocates of Atawhai are supporting meaningful translation between community, research, practice and policy, a critical element for continuous emergent knowledge and practice.1

Peer advocacy


The Atawhai Network encourages members to grow in advocacy and engage with their peers locally, regionally, and nationally about responding to family violence as a key determinant of ill-health. The network provides a collective safe learning space for knowledge and experience to be shared amongst those with the shared vision. The network is protected by the Atawhai Tikanga and underpinned by the Atawhai Common Language and values. This supports the formation of trusted relationships across different settings and has potential to be responsive to different community needs across different regions.

Policy advocacy


Atawhai is significantly advantaged by the support of the academic research team to craft and deliver research-informed advocacy messaging for decision-makers at policy and practice system levels. Combining ‘local truths’ with research evidence strengthens the translation of knowledge and capability for advocacy within policy making spaces.1 The Atawhai research team is working with participants and the National Advisory Group to connect with policy-makers and existing health care initiatives to develop synergies between new and existing health system structures.

Kōrerorero me ako: Opportunities for social learning

Time and space to reflect and critique personal worldviews, knowledge and practice through sharing and learning from others was of immediate benefit to Atawhai participants. As Salter and Kothari 3 acknowledge “ongoing reflective practice is an important cognitive process associated with the integration of research evidence” However, opportunities, for clinical practitioners especially, to engage in learning are rare within the health system, and yet are critical to practice improvement. Through deliberate discussion (kōrerorero) and learning moments (ako), Atawhai is continuously translating knowledge in real-time.

Regular informal network opportunities


Atawhai is establishing regular informal networking hui that brings different health and social care professionals together over kai (food) to continue to share and learn from one another around responding to family violence. The informality of these events is important in generating relationships and a trusted space for learning. For example, rather than providing a list of referral options, people are invited to attend an informal event to meet the people they are referring to, get to know them, the way they practice, the services they provide and exchange contact information.

Regular formal dissemination opportunities


Atawhai is sharing developed content through formal dissemination opportunities such as the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioner’s (RNZCGP) Conference for General Practice (Christchurch; July 2022). Regular future formal dissemination opportunities will be identified to support the spread of Atawhai across health and social organisations within the Bay of Plenty. The Atawhai website supports dissemination of developed resources and network opportunities.

Additionally, the Atawhai research team is sharing the methodology and findings through international and national conferences as well as peer-reviewed publications. Atawhai is generating research impact across multiple policy and practice spaces, including for example, meeting with the Minister of Family and Sexual Violence Prevention, the Honourable Marama Davidson during Atawhai Workshop Six on 16 June 2022.


  1. Kothari A, Armstrong R. Community-based knowledge translation: unexplored opportunities. Implementation Science 2011;6(1):59. doi: 10.1186/1748-5908-6-59
  2. Burt Ronald S. Structural Holes and Good Ideas. American Journal of Sociology 2004;110(2):349-99. doi: 10.1086/421787
  3. Salter KL, Kothari A. Knowledge ‘Translation’ as social learning: negotiating the uptake of research-based knowledge in practice. BMC Med Educ 2016;16(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0585-5