Keynote 1: Dr Heather Came and Grant Berger

Pursuing a political agenda: Being activist scholars

This keynote presentation takes the form of a fireside conversation about activism, academic life leadership and boutique social movements. Heather and Grant will share their journey to build and co-lead STIR: Stop Institutional racism. They will disclose what motivates them, what drives their work, the glue that holds their social justice armytogether. As always the answer is something like it takes a village, a vision, resourcefulness, resilience, stubbornness and stamina.

Expect the unexpected…

Dr Heather Came

Dr Heather Came is a seventh generation Pākehā New Zealander who grew up on Ngātiwai land. She has worked for nearly 25 years in health promotion, public health and/or Māori health and has a long involvement in social justice activism. Heather is a founding member and co-chair of STIR: Stop Institutional Racism, a fellow of the Health Promotion Forum, co-chair of the Auckland branch of the Public Health Association and an active member of Tāmaki Tiriti Workers. She currently embraces life as an activist scholar. She is a Senior Lecturer based in the Taupua Waiora Māori Health Research Centre within Auckland University of Technology.

Grant Berghan 

MBA (Distinction).  Grant is from Te Tai Tokerau with links to Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai and Te Rarawa Iwi. He is a Māori development consultant. He has extensive experience in the heath and labour market sectors. He has held leadership roles with Ngāti Kahu Social and Health Services Trust, Hauora.Com, Taranaki DHB, Te Hau Ora o te Tai Tokerau. He has worked in policy development, funding, advocacy, facilitation and evaluation, public health, auditing probation, social work and a freelance journalist. He enjoys healthy living, travel and endurance sports. He is the co-chair of STIR: Stop Institutional Racism.

Keynote 2: Current Status of Natural Medicine Research

The call for more research in the field of natural medicine is common, with the lack of research being cited as the greatest hindrance to the regulation of traditional and complementary medicine practitioners, according to WHO Traditional medicine strategy 2014 – 2023. It is important to clearly define natural medicine, as there is a juxtaposition between the holistic practice of natural medicine and using natural remedies. Natural medicine operates from a strong philosophical standpoint with a vitalistic view of the body and healing. It therefore needs to be evaluated in a way consistent with these philosophies and practices. Various researchers assert there is a need to think beyond the double-blind clinical trial in natural medicine in order to conduct research which better reflects clinical practice. However the current situation in New Zealand is not conducive to natural medicine practitioners taking charge of research in their field, as the profession is unregulated and for the majority of practitioners the notion of a research culture is foreign.

Keynote Speaker 2: Roybn Carruthers

Clinical Director - South Pacific College of Natural Medicine

Robyn Carruthers has been involved in natural health for more than 20 years, half of that time as an educator at the South Pacific College of Natural Medicine. During this period the demand for research in natural health has dramatically increased, with it commonly viewed as a strong tool to increase the status and recognition of the profession. Robyn firmly believes that one of the challenges of this upsurge in research, is the responsibility to maintain the traditional principles that distinguish  naturopathy from allopathy. Her research interests include exploring and defining these inherent paradigm differences and the expression of holistic practice. Her Masters thesis used hermeneutic phenomenology, a qualitative method, to explore practitioners' experience of being holistic in practice.

As Deputy Director, Clinical and Research at SPCNM, Robyn has been striving to establish and build a stronger research culture, inspiring others to develop a passion for research. She teaches research to year one students, introducing them to information retrieval and approaches to reading and understanding research. She is a firm believer in taking away the fear that newcomers often experience when tackling research for the first time. 

Her current research focus is in the exploration of clinical students' confidence and apprehensions as they begin their clinical practice and how this develops and changes as they get nearer to graduating.