GMIT hosts conference on 'Diversity: Promoting Equality' (13 Nov)

Monday, November 09, 2015 Press Office
Press Release

Diversity means different things to different people.  Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIIT) extends an open invitation to a conference titled “Understanding diversity: Promoting equality” which takes place in the Mayo campus on Friday next, 13 November, from 9.15am to 12.30 pm.  


The conference speakers are John Gilmore, previously a President of Youth Work Ireland and recently Vice-President of the European Confederation of Youth Clubs. Mr Gilmore will be speaking about gender and inclusiveness. Mr Gilmore is currently a Doctoral Researcher and Associate Lecturer at Canterbury Christchurch University, UK. He is on leave from the HSE where he worked as the ICU Clinical Facilitator at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. 


The second speaker is Berni Smyth who holds the post of Co-ordinator of a School Completion Project in the West of Ireland, servicing an area with a high Traveller population. In her previous practice posts, she established SPARK, a support project for adolescent, refugee and asylum seeking young people in Galway City on behalf of HSE West and Youth Work Ireland Galway. She is also a Director of the Irish Refugee Council and an Irish Advisor to the Durable Solutions for Separated Children Project Europe. 

Ms Smyth facilitates work practice placements for students on the GMIT Bachelor of Arts (Level 7) in Applied Social Care programme. In doing so she enables the linking of theory to practice. Her topic will be on the theme of ethnicity. 


The third speaker is Martina Osikoya who is expected to graduate from GMIT this year with a Bachelor of Arts (Level 8) in Applied Social Care.  She is currently pursuing a Masters in Health Promotion. In 2000, Martina and her family arrived in Ireland seeking asylum. She will be sharing her experiences of her arrival in Ireland, her return to education and hopes for the future. 

Justin Kerr, Head of the Nursing and Social Care Department, GMIT, says: “The expectation is for an interesting conference.  The focus on diversity and the inclusion of people is not only particularly relevant to the caring professions, but also for Irish Society as whole.  The conference will provide a space for dialogue and an exchange of ideas between practitioners, students, academics and members of the public.”


For further information on the GMIT Mayo Social Care programme, please visit:…