Dr Heather Came

Dr Heather Came is a seventh generation Pākehā New Zealander. She has worked for 25 years in health promotion/public health/Māori health and has a long involvement in social justice activism. Heather is a founding member of STIR: Stop Institutional Racism, a fellow of the Health Promotion Forum, member of Tāmaki Tiriti Workers and a Senior Lecturer with Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research at Auckland University of Technology. Her research focuses on critical policy analysis, te Tiriti o Waitangi and institutional racism in health sector.

Dr Hinemoa Elder

Ko Pārengarenga te moana

Ko Tawhitirahi te maunga

Ko Awapoka te awa

Ko Te Aupouri, ko Ngāti Kurī, ko Te Rarawa, ko Ngāpuhi nui tonu oku iwi

Ko Murray rāua ko Yates ōku whanau

Ko Hinemoa taku ingoa

Dr Hinemoa Elder is a Fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and has been a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist for more than 10 years.

Dr Elder is the Māori Strategic Leader for the Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) for the Ageing Brain.

In addition to her initial medical qualifications, Dr Elder has a PhD (Massey University, 2012) and is former HRC Eru Pomare Post-Doctoral Fellow (2014-18) in which she developed a novel recovery approach grounded in Te Ao Māori (Māori world view), for Māori with traumatic brain injury, their whānau (extended families) and professionals which is now being used in community rehabilitation services.  She continues to work clinically as a neuropsychiatrist and youth forensic psychiatrist writing reports for the courts. She is an expert in the areas of psychological trauma and cultural psychiatry. She also currently works at the Child and Family Unit at Starship Hospital.

Dr Elder has served on several Ministry of Health reference groups.  She is a deputy psychiatrist member of the NZ Mental Health Review Tribunal and a Specialist Assessor under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003.  She is a member of the International Science Advisory Board to the National Science Challenge ‘E tipu e rea, a better start’.

Click here for a copy of Dr Elders keynote abstract:  Te kuaka marangaranga, Kotahi manu I tau ki te tahuna, tau atu, tau ra.
Practical approaches to working with Māori whanau (extended families) in Aotearoa NZ.


Dr Chontel Gibson

Chontel is a Kamilaroi woman with cultural connections to the Collarenebri area, in far north western NSW.  In 2000, Chontel was the first known Aboriginal woman awarded with an occupational therapy degree from The University of Sydney. Since then, Chontel has worked as an occupational therapist, policy officer and academic. During that time, Chontel held numerous leadership roles, including Board Director of Occupational Therapy Australia and the inaugural Deputy Chairperson for Indigenous Allied Health Australia. Chontel co-developed and continues to co-chair the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Occupational Therapy Network. This network provides strategic advice, which has resulted in key changes, like the inclusion of culturally safe standards in the occupational therapy profession’s competency standards and the accreditation standards for universities. Chontel is building on her PHD, working with Aboriginal people to explore ageing, health, wellbeing and disability.

Click here for copy of Dr Gibsons keynote abstract:  When the river runs dry: Leadership, decolonising practices and healing in occupational therapy


Marilyn Pattison

Dip. C.O.T. (UK), B. App. Sc. (OT), MBA
Occupational Therapist

Marilyn Pattison is the Managing Director of MPOT/Access Fitness, a leading provider of health services in South Australia, the founder and Director of Rehabilitation at Access Fitness and the President of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT).

Marilyn, as well as her occupational therapy qualification also has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) which has enabled her to deliver high quality health services within a commercial environment.

Internationally, Marilyn is recognised as an expert in Workplace Health, Rehabilitation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship and is regularly invited as a guest speaker internationally as well as having contributed to a range of publication.

Marilyn has been recognised by the occupational therapy profession in Australia and internationally. She has been awarded the OT Australia National Award for her contribution to her professional association as well as the Sylvia Docker Lectureship for her contribution to the profession. Internationally Marilyn has been made an Honorary Member of the Swedish Occupational Therapy Association and an Honorary Fellow of WFOT, the highest international honour an occupational therapist can receive.

Marilyn continues to be a strong advocate for mainstreaming of disability and the rights of people with disabilities and she believes passionately in occupational therapy and the unique contribution it can make in how all people with and without disabilities live their lives. 

 Click here for Marilyn's keynote abstract: Leading From Every Direction

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