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Earlier this year, new Field Officer Ronald Tuano delivered MATES in Construction New Zealand’s first Tagalog General Awareness Training.

The construction industry has a strong Filipino presence. Delivering mental health and suicide prevention training in Tagalog helps build strength of support and understanding in the Filipino community.

Ronald said he found the crew more engaged in the conversation.

‘We don’t often hear much from our Filipino workforce during our English-spoken General Awareness Training.

‘While it was only our first Tagalog attempt, the training was more effective in getting the message across.’

For Ronald, delivering General Awareness Training in Tagalog is a rewarding way to give back to the Filipino community.

‘As a Filipino Kiwi, the opportunity to speak my native language and deliver the message of suicide prevention to my people is something I am truly proud of.’

James Whitworth, Project Manager on Bracewell’s Ponsonby site, was proud to have MATES on site.

‘Having the training delivered in Tagalog shows that we are serious about cultural diversity and the well-being of all cultures on our sites.

‘I believe it shows that we care about our Filipino brothers.’

Whitworth said delivering in Tagalog removes a barrier to understanding.

‘Together with MATES, we hope to create an environment that makes our Filipino workforce feel comfortable and confident to raise issues common to their community.

‘We believe this is a positive approach to mental health within our industry.’


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