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Knowledge Exchange

Gerontology Nursing Conference 2019

A professional development conference for nurses, clinicians and health professionals in the field of gerontology, to be held on Friday, 4 October 2019, Auckland.

See below for the speaker line-up.

Dr Janine Wiles 

Associate Professor | The University of Auckland 

Janine is an Associate Professor in Population Health at the University of Auckland. She is a geographer and gerontologist, and her research encompasses three disciplinary areas: social/health geographies, critical social gerontologies, and community health; and links three themes: care, place, and ageing.

She has published numerous articles, book chapters, and reports on topics including ageing in place, older people’s resilience, homes and communities as sites or landscapes of care, and the contextualised experiences of family or ‘lay’ caregivers.

Maya Nova

Mindfulness trainer, coach and speaker | Mindbalance

Maya Nova is an executive coach and speaker with over a decade of experience working with leaders and organisations to help them improve their mental and emotional agility, resilience and wellbeing.

Some 25 years ago she started practising mindfulness and meditation, including being ordained as a Buddhist nun for 2 years. Since then, her passion has been to take mindfulness out of the purely Buddhist context, find what is of universal value and, without losing its profound essence, find creative and inclusive ways to integrate it into daily life and work, in order to develop self-awareness, agility, resilience and wellbeing. We live in times of unprecedented change - this can cause a lot of uncertainty and stress. Mindfulness develops clarity; it fosters resilience and enables us to shift from merely surviving towards being able to thrive, even under the challenging circumstances. Maya believes that people have tremendous reservoirs of inner resources and that mindfulness and self-awareness practices can help unlock them.

Some of Maya’s clients include: Nestle NZ, Tower, ANZ, Outward Bound NZ , Sovereign NZ, PwC, TVNZ, Lotto NZ and Auckland Council among many others.

Dr Kathy Peri

Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing | The University of Auckland.

Dr Kathy Peri is a registered nurse and holds a joint appointment as a senior lecturer at the School of Nursing, University of Auckland, and Director of Nursing, Totara Hospice, South Auckland. Her research interests are centred on improving health outcomes and quality of life and care for older people residing in aged residential care and community. She is involved in a number of research studies in this area including dementia, health robotics how older people are ageing in retirement villages. Kathy, with another colleague Dr Gary Cheung, has been instrumental in introducing and training facilitators in Cognitive Stimulation Therapy an evidenced-based intervention for people with mild to moderate dementia over the past few years. Kathy will be discussing non-pharmacological interventions for people with Dementia in this year’s conference.

Meenal Duggal 

Deputy Health & Disability Commissioner | Complaints Resolution

Meenal Duggal, the Deputy Commissioner Complaints Resolution, began her term in February 2016. Ms Duggal has extensive experience in health and disability law. She came to HDC after working for six years as a corporate solicitor at Waikato District Health Board, and prior to that she worked in the private sector in leading national and regional law firms.

Ms Duggal has published and presented on medico-legal topics and holds a Master of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Auckland.

Dr Michal Boyd

Nurse Practitioner RN, NP, ND | Waitemata District Health Board 

Dr Michal Boyd is a Gerontology Nurse Practitioner and Associate Professor with the School of Nursing and the Freemasons’ Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Auckland. She also practices clinically in residential aged care. She has been a provider, leader and researcher of healthcare innovations for older people since the early 1990s.  Dr Boyd developed the “Residential Aged Care Integration Programme” at Waitemata District Health Board. She led the evaluation for Waitemata DHB Cognitive Impairment Pathway and is currently involved in researching primary health care for older people with physical and cognitive frailty and end of life care in residential aged care facilities and is also clinical lead for the Aged Residential Care quality improvement programme with the Health Quality & Safety Commission.

Justine Lee

Educator | InterRAI Services

Justine Lee has been an interRAI Educator for almost ten years. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing and a Post Grad Diploma in Public Health, and is a Registered Comprehensive Nurse.

Justine has worked extensively with older people in the community, injury prevention and aged care settings. Her passion for working with interRAI is to educate nurses to use a comprehensive clinical assessment instrument and demonstrate the benefits of the interRAI dataset.

John Ashley

COO, Community | The Selwyn Foundation

As Chief Operating Officer, Community at The Selwyn Foundation, John’s focus is helping to develop and operationalise innovative community services and solutions that that help older people retain their independence at home and ‘age-in-place’ within their communities.

John has a BSc and post-graduate diploma in business, both from the University of Auckland, and across his career has held a variety of roles in NZ and Australia with software companies focused on customer relationship management and health IT solutions and services. 

He is a keen advocate for using virtual health technology and other tech-enabled interventions to bring about change in the way we support older people to live well in their homes.


Dr Elizabeth Niven

Dr Elizabeth Niven working life as a nurse included both clinical and teaching work. She also taught into other health disciplines, and has particular interests in end of life care, dementia and ethical aspects of living.

Elizabeth has been a trustee on the Selwyn Foundation Board for 11 years and enjoys meeting staff and residents, and being able to represent their interests at board level.

Elizabeth’s mother was a resident at Selwyn Village so she is able to share the experience of our family having a relative in rest home care.

Her current ‘business card’ description is ‘quilter and philosopher’ which is Elizabeth's statement to the world that although she is retired she is not invisible and is still deserving of recognition and respect.

Philippa Mandeno

Philippa completed her Master’s degree in Behaviour Psychology at the University of Auckland, in collaboration with Dawn Jun, and supervisors Javier Virues-Ortega and Borja del Pozo Cruz. Her passion lies in utilising the ideas of behaviourism to ensure improvement and progress in people’s lives, especially those with disabilities. Her thesis focused on a topic not generally touched upon by behavioural sciences: sedentary habits of aged individuals. As Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the most successful proven method for any behaviour change, she endeavoured to study how we could use these tools to change the sedentary behaviours of elderly people in residential care. The study gives us many pointers for how we could be approaching the issue from this new perspective.

Philippa is currently working as a behaviour therapist with children of all ages at the Centre for Learning, Integration and Managing Behaviour (CLIMB), and as a community support worker for adults in residential care through Spectrum Care. This involves everything from systematically teaching academic, social, and adaptive skills, to acting as a teacher aide, to supporting individuals through aspects of daily living and leisure.