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The Education Unit

The Education Unit provides education sessions around sexuality and safer sex topics to various community organisations. Workshops are carried out with a variety of community groups which include health professionals, alcohol and drug programmes, mental health programmes and tertiary service providers and their students.

The education unit also provides health promotion focused support at community events. The key aim of attending events is to promote condom use and access, normalise regular sexual health check-ups and raise awareness of STIs and the services offered by ASHS. If you know of an event that you think would be good for us to attend, please contact us.

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Community Testing

The Education Unit offer community testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea (in conjunction with the clinical support) at community events targeting our priority populations. Community testing can be delivered in conjunction with an education session or as a standalone event and increases access and normalises the importance of regular sexual health check-ups. We currently deliver community testing at a range of venues and events including tertiary education providers, trade training programmes, Big Gay Out and Look Up. If you would like to find out more about community testing and what it involves, please contact us.


Peer Sexuality Support Programme (PSSP)

The Peer Sexuality Support Programme (PSSP) is a school based programme which is delivered in secondary schools throughout the Auckland region and is about helping students to be able to make informed decisions about their own sexual health.

PSSP aims to formalise already existing networks through training students to work in a support and referral role with their peers. The training involves a five day experiential, residential hui in which students explore their own attitudes and values in relation to sexuality and sexual health as well as those of others. They do this through workshop presentations on a range of topics where the students are provided with accurate information and access to resources which they can then use to assist others in their communities when they return to school. 

The delivery of PSSP in school communities is youth lead and run. Therefore, the youth leaders within schools work alongside school staff and ASHS staff to identify and design health promotions or initiatives to meet their specific school community needs.


Our education team

Max Whitehurst - Ed Unit Team Coordinator (he/they)

Max has been with the Education Unit since December 2019, and previously worked at the University of Auckland teaching classes on Sociology and Criminology while completing his Masters in Sociology. Through teaching and doing community advocacy work, Max has come to appreciate the reciprocal nature of sharing knowledge and the capacity that young people have to make change. This is something that Max appreciates about PSSP, as it empowers young people to respond to the problems they see in their own communities. Having both been through and worked within gender affirming healthcare services, Max is driven to more closely align the services with the needs of those accessing them.


Max Stowers (he/him)

Max has a small family of his own consisting of his son and partner. Max joined the Education Unit in February 2019. Max has a passion for furthering the lives of young people and encouraging them to reach their unique potential. He feels privileged to be working within high schools alongside young people and staff to promote positive sexual health. Max has strong testimony toward the benefit of PSSP, having come through the programme himself when he was younger. Since joining the team, Max has grown a passion for community education and testing.


Bex McFadgen (she/her)

Bex has been working in health promotion since 2009. She previously worked at Women’s Health Action facilitating the Body Image Leaders in Schools Program, and before that she worked at Rape Prevention Education facilitating the BodySafe & Sex’N’Respect programs. Her focus is on unpacking privilege, positive body image, positive sexuality discourse, intersectional feminism, critical media literacy and dismantling rape culture. She is also the mum of three awesome children.


Anatola Finau (she/her)

Mālo e lelei my name is Anatola Nauamoa Finau. I have recently joined the Education Unit in September 2021 and was previously working at Family Planning. I studied and worked as a social worker before transitioning into sexual health education. My transition from working with trauma to education was inspired by the mahi I was doing in the community and the need for preventing the social issues that were affecting the lives of the rangatahi I was working with. I am passionate about creating safe spaces for our rangatahi, their whānau and their wider village to learn, share, listen and to provide a more mana-enhancing experience to their sexual health and well-being. I am of Tongan and Māori whakapapa and see such value in our indigenous knowledge and how it can be shared and nurtured among the rangatahi we work with. I am excited to work alongside rangatahi and their village to share knowledge, to nourish that knowledge and to make that knowledge accessible to the communities they come from.

Samora Kake (she/her)

Samora is our newest Polynesian edition to the Education Unit, who started November 2021. Samora has been working in the West Auckland Community Mental Health space with young people over the last few years. Samora joins the Ed Unit knowing full well that she has been called to this kaupapa to support the wider Auckland region and its diverse populations. With strong ties to the wider Rainbow Network and social services in Auckland, Samora believes in the growing Education and Awareness for Sexual Health and Trans Health outcomes. Communications and Visual Advocacy is what Samora has recently gained passion for and will aim to support some modern approaches and resources on the team’s behalf to help with the wider delivery and more specifically, to support our youth.