Keynote speakers

Programme and presentations

Plenary panellists and presentations

Start planning now to attend the 2015 PONZ national conference, which will be held at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill from 19 to 21 November. If you are a fan of Fleetwood Mac you may have a chance to book to go to their concert in Dunedin on 18 November and then carry on down to Invercargill for what will be the psychosocial conference event of the year.

The committee is pleased to be offering a plenary session to kick off the conference, bringing together a range of speakers from the most current psycho-social-spiritual initiatives across New Zealand. This session, facilitated by Associate Professor David Perez, will provide both conference delegates and panel representatives a timely opportunity to receive a thorough overview of the current national projects in the field. During the session delegates and panel members will also be able to discuss how these initiatives will attend to 'the art of collaboration' in order to provide the best outcomes for consumers.

Delivery of psychosocial services for oncology patients throughout their journey involves a diverse range of organisations, which requires collaboration if we are to truly place the patient at the centre of what we do. Hear from and question key industry influences including Natalie James, national nurse lead for the Cancer Nurse Coordinator initiative; a consumer representative; an MoH representative; an NGO representative; Steph Turner, Director Maori Health and Disability for Mid Central DHB; Clare Greensmith, national clinical lead role for the MoH cancer psychological and social support workforce initiative; and Di Riley, manager of the Southern Cancer Network.

Keynote speaker Dr Bruce Rumbold is director of the Palliative Care Unit at La Trobe University. His responsibilities include coordinating spiritual care and health promoting palliative care streams in the postgraduate program of the Department of Public Health. The Unit works collaboratively with services and other academic programs in a number of community capacity building projects on end of life care.

Dr Rumbold will be presenting on 'the spirit of collaboration'. An encounter with the health system, particularly if it’s around the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, is for many people an event that shatters security and disrupts meaning – creates spiritual need, in other words. What is less clear is how the health system should respond. To what extent should healthcare practitioners be responsible for the effect of news they deliver? If spirituality involves the whole of life, are there limits to a healthcare contribution?

One response to questions like these is to connect patients with spiritual care providers through referral within or beyond the clinic. Another is to add spiritual care to the ever-expanding list of services to be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team. Bruce will outline a collaborative approach that draws upon aspects of both responses, taking into account the assets patients bring to their illness and the assets of the various networks in which they participate, including healthcare networks. He will argue that taking spiritual care seriously will require healthcare services to think differently about the way they engage the community and structure their services.

Don’t miss Bruce’s pre-conference masterclass - spiritual care is usually listed as an integral aspect of supportive care; but still there is little consensus about how spiritual care should be provided in supportive care practice. This workshop will explore a four-phase model for sharing the responsibility for spiritual care across a multidisciplinary team and more broadly through partnerships within local communities.

Participants in the workshop will be invited to consider ways in which this flexible and inclusive approach might inform their current organisational practices. Strategies appropriate to the four phases of spiritual care will be considered, including unobtrusive approaches to care, ways of attending to and conversing about spiritual concerns, criteria for referral to expert care, and partners that could be involved in developing a comprehensive and inclusive spiritual care framework.

Our second keynote speaker is Dr Lois Surgenor, Associate Professor in Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch. As a Clinical Psychologist, she also works in multiple medical settings including over a decade in haematology (Canterbury District Health Board). Lois conducts research in the diverse areas of life-shortening illnesses, brain injury and eating/weight disorders. She is on the Editorial Board of two international journals and regularly serves on professional and government practice guideline groups in New Zealand and Australia.

Lois is presenting on “The promise and perils of positive psychology in cancer.”  This presentation considers how ‘positive psychology’ has evolved and been applied in the field of cancer care, ranging from the popular self-help literature to health practitioner-led interventions. The assumptions underlying positive psychology are then critiqued. Several hypotheses are set out as to why positive psychology holds such appeal. The presentation ends with an appeal for healthy scepticism alongside encouraging a demand for evidenced-based psychological interventions when caring for people with cancer.

Jan Eggleton from “Hardcases” is our third keynote. Jan coaches and trains leaders, emerging leaders and employees to achieve their best for the organisation. The foundation of this work is learning to embrace a diverse workforce, building trust and relationship amongst colleagues, raising awareness about the personal impact of diversity, developing rapport and cohesion, minimising the possibility of workplace bullying, harassment and conflict. Jan has a highly interactive delivery style and will engage the entire audience.

Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Monika Clarke-Grill - Integrative Model Overview
  • Warrick Sue - Canteen CanNect
  • Andy Leggat - Cancer Society Auckland –moving forward after cancer
  • Maria Stapleton - Cancer care coordination- it takes a team
  • Kathryn Taylor - Consultant Clinical Psychologist
  • Sue Wragg - Supportive Care Framework Project.
  • Bruno Aldaz Barba - ‘It gets into your head as well as your body’: Patients’ Experiences During Cancer Treatment in New Zealand
  • Katie Maher and Ian de Terte - Resilience as a result of social support in people with haematological malignancies
  • Clare Greensmith - What’s the impact? Sexuality and intimacy concerns for the person with cancer and their partner
  • Sarah McCambridge and Anna Griffiths - Stress and Cancer: The role of causal beliefs