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The Selwyn Institute

In the spirit of ageing well

2018 Ageing and Spirituality Conference

Selwyn Village theatre, 43 Target St, Point Chevalier, Auckland


7.30am Registration, tea and coffee   

Welcome and Karakia

Lucy Nguyen

(Chaplain, The Selwyn Foundation)



Opening Address 

Hilda Johnson-Bogaerts

(Director, The Selwyn Institute) 


Chicken or egg? 

Dr Gary Cheung

(Old age Psychiatrist and researcher, University of Auckland)


10.00am Morning tea  

Perspectives on belonging: Buddhism

Hanya Gallagher

(Senior Zen Priest, Auckland Zen Centre)



Perspectives on belonging: Agnostic

Dwight Whitney




Perspectives on belonging: Chaplain

Lucy Nguyen

(Chaplain, The Selwyn Foundation)



Perspectives on belonging: Muslim  

Mohamad Almodarresi


12.00pm Lunch  

Perspectives on belonging: Tangata Whenua

Geremy Hema,

(Kaiarahi/ Iwi Relationships Adviser,

The University of Auckland)



Perspectives on belonging: Pasifika

The Reverend Dr Frank Smith



Questions and summary: on belonging

Hilda Johnson-Bogaerts

(Director, The Selwyn Institute)              



The councils work relating to investing in Aucklanders

Teena Abbey

(Auckland Council)



The Art of belonging


2.30pm Afternoon tea  

The Household of Faith: Christian spirituality in the formation of community

The Right Reverend Ross Bay

(Bishop of Auckland, Diocese of Auckland)



Closing Address

Dr. Peter Huggard

(Deputy Chair, The Selwyn Foundation Board)                                                                       




Lucy Nguyen

(Chaplain, The Selwyn Foundation)


Selwyn Village Theatre

43 Target St, Point Chevalier, Auckland

Are we longing for belonging?

What does it mean to belong? or in contrast, what are the ramifications and issues around NOT belonging?

Expert in the subject Dr Brene Brown says belonging is at the heart, and soul, of what it means to be human.

"It is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquit it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance."

In light of world wide revelations that the opposite of belonging, namely LONELINESS, is reaching crisis point with catastrophic consequences The Selwyn Institute of Ageing and Spirituality believes we need to ask, and answer, some fundamental questions. 

How (and why) in the world are we losing the ability to belong?

What is this doing to our sense of being at peace with ourselves and our world?

Where do we encounter the ways and means to create, or anchor, authenticity and acceptance of ourselves to truly belong?

The irony is that the world has never been more connected. The arrival of information technology, and the subsequent creation of social media, have opened up exciting new possibilities for engagement and 'virtual' community creation. 

Yet the reality says something quite to the contrary indicating there is no replacement for authentic human engagement.

The 2018 Selwyn Institute of Ageing and Spirituality Annual Conference examine this increasingly complex and interesting conundrum about belonging.

Designed to set the agenda and search for ways whereby a significant difference can be made in helping people remain engaged and with a real sense of belonging. In a manner that is comfortable, sustainable and engaging. 

We are most grateful for the support of our 2018 sponsors and donors.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or donor for the 2018 Selwyn Institute Ageing and Spirituality Conference please contact us at selwyninstitute@selwynfoundation.org.nz