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Occupational Therapy Australia 27th National Conference and Exhibition 2017


The Occupational Therapy Australia 27th National Conference and Exhibition Organising Committee is pleased to announce the following keynote speakers:

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Dr Gill Hicks

Gill Hicks was severely and permanently injured in the London bombings of July 7, 2005 - she was standing only metres away from the suicide bomber on the Kings Cross train and miraculously survived. Tragically though, Gill lost both her legs from below the knee. Her injuries were so severe that she was not expected to live. There are few people who can speak about a tragic event in such an engaging and uplifting way as Gill. Equally there are few people who have endured such unimaginable trauma and have been able to approach life with such positivity. She founded the not for profit organisation MAD for peace and advocates for the use of peace as a verb. Inspiring is a word often over used, but Gill Hicks' remarkable courage and determination to truly triumph over tragedy is nothing but inspirational and will be a great contribution in line with our conference themes.

Presenting on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 9.30am

With kind support from the Perth Convention Bureau

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Professor Pat Dudgeon

Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberly area in Western Australia. She is a Psychologist and Research Fellow at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia. Her area of research includes social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention. Amongst her many commitments, she is a Commissioner of the Australian National Mental Health Commission, on the executive board of the Australian Indigenous Psychologist’s Association, and co-chair of the Commonwealth Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group. She is currently the project leader of the National Empowerment Project: an Indigenous suicide prevention project working with eleven sites in Aboriginal communities across the country and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project. She has many publications in Indigenous mental health in particular, the Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice 2014. She is actively involved with the Aboriginal community and has a commitment to social justice for Indigenous people.

Presenting on Friday 21 July 2017 at 8.40am

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Professor Anita Bundy

Anita Bundy has a joint appointment as Department Head in Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University in the Unites States and Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Sydney. For about 25 years, she has conducted research into children’s play and is recognised as an expert internationally. For more than a decade, she has been conducting cluster trials in primary schools and programs for children with disabilities in Australia. In those trials she engages parents and teachers in workshops examining their perceptions of everyday risk-taking and helping them consider the benefits of everyday risk for promoting resilience. Anita has a particular interest in inclusion of children with disabilities and their families in school and other community environments.

Presenting on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 4.05pm

Susan Gilbert-Hunt
Sylvia Docker Lecture

Susan Gilbert-Hunt’s career in occupational therapy spans 40 years, having graduated from the Liverpool College of Occupational Therapy, UK in 1976. As a therapist Susan worked in a range of mental health settings before transitioning into academia at the University of South Australia (UniSA) from a role as student unit supervisor in 1989. Throughout her academic career she has maintained a strong interest in work integrated learning. In the early 90’s Susan developed a placement model to provide students an opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to work at the community or population level. This model, which is still a part of the UniSA curriculum, has been adapted and used by numerous programs in Australia and New Zealand. Moreover, her expertise was acknowledged nationally in 2008 when she received a National Teaching Excellence award. She has numerous publications on this work and presented at conferences internationally, most recently in Galway, Ireland.

Susan has also has significant experience of collaborating with industry partners in developing innovative learning opportunities which benefit all stakeholders. In 2011 she established a partnership between UniSA, interPART in South Australia and the Komar Pikar Foundation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which has enabled occupational therapy students to undertake placements that focus not only on providing services to children with disability but also develop the capacity of staff. Since 2011 Komar Pikar has been able to expand its services into rural communities and the occupational therapy students have been instrumental in supporting this. Susan has also collaborated with aged care industry partners in developing the website, Aged Care Awareness, aimed at improving student learning as well as service user’s experiences.

Susan actively contributes to the profession in many ways including serving as President of OT Australia SA, Board member of OT AUSTRALIA and the Occupational Therapists Registration Board of SA and is currently part of the Overseas Qualification Assessment Committee within the Occupational Therapy Council.

Presentation title: Partnership, inclusion and innovation in occupational therapy: essential or optional ingredients to flourish in a changing environment