Keynote Speaker - Lucy Hone
Dr Lucy Hone is a research associate at AUT’s Human Potential Centre and a co-founder of The 100 Percent Project. A published author and academic researcher, she has, since 2011, helped promote wellbeing and resilience among a wide variety of organisations across New Zealand and internationally.
Having studied on the world leading Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) programme at the University of Pennsylvania (the international home of wellbeing science and resilience psychology), Lucy was trained by the thought-leaders in the field – Marty Seligman, Chris Peterson, Barb Fredrickson, Karen Reivich and Angela Duckworth among others – before going on to complete her PhD in public health and wellbeing science at AUT.
On Queen’s Birthday weekend in 2014, the tragic death of her 12 year old daughter, Abi, along with Lucy and Abi’s friends Ella and Sally Summerfield in a terrible road accident on the back roads of Rakaia, forced Lucy to turn her academic training and professional practice to support her own resilience to a very personal trauma. The blog she wrote in the aftermath of Abi’s death, One Wild and Precious Life, attracted so many readers that she later turned her writing in to NZ best selling non-fiction novel, What Abi Taught Us, Strategies for Resilient Grieving (Allen & Unwin, 2016). Since then Lucy has been in much demand as a keynote speaker, fusing her academic knowledge and personal grief experience with refreshing honesty and a light touch making her presentations both engaging and memorable. “Most of all I want my messages to be practical. Sadly we are all touched by adversity at some stage of our life, it’s become my mission to help people prepare for that, by telling them it’s okay to feel all emotions and equipping them with simple practical strategies that will help see them through any dark days,” says Dr Hone.
“When her beloved daughter Abi was killed in a car accident, academic Lucy Hone faced an ocean of pain the only way she knew – by delving into research about grief psychology. What she found gave her hope as well as tools for getting through the darkest days of grief.” Emily Simpson, editor, Sunday magazine.
“Lucy Hone is such an inspiration, how she deals with her grief is just incredible. What a strong woman.” Toni Street
“Amazed and humbled by Lucy Hone – what a gift she is giving in sharing her grief.” Miriama Kamo, TVNZ Sunday.
Lucy’s professional work now focuses on the effective application of mass-market wellbeing in real world contexts. Based in Christchurch, she worked closely with several key organisations in the post-quake environment to promote resilience and effective psychological recovery (e.g., SARS, Department of Conservation, Department of Education, Fletcher EQR, The Heart Foundation). Currently helping a number of New Zealand schools (primary and secondary, state and independent) embed wellbeing and resilience strategies in the whole school community she has hands on experience and enjoys sharing her practical insights. A member of the NZAPP Executive Committee, Lucy is New Zealand’s only representative of the International Positive Education Network (IPEN) and has published her research in the Journal of Positive Psychology, Social Indicators Research, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the International Journal of Wellbeing and NZ Journal of Human Resources Management
“Understanding the academic research is one thing, but working out how to use the theory and findings to greatest effect and having a sustained impact on the health of children and adults is quite another,” she says. “My work is all about enabling people to feel good and function well. Faced with unprecedented rates of youth mental illness, and soaring levels of stress, self-harm and suicide, it is vital we equip New Zealanders of all ages with the strategies to be the best they can be, and an understanding of the thinking and behavioural habits that threaten their healthy functioning. Armed with a growing body of knowledge regarding what constitutes resilience and creates flourishing lives, it makes total sense to use our schools and workplaces to disseminate these tools. That way we really are promoting universal wellbeing, doing so in a supportive environment set up for learning and growth, using best-practice training to ensure the messages get across.”
As a mother of teenagers and wife to a busy Christchurch builder, Lucy knows what it’s like to juggle work, family, community, social and wellbeing commitments. Her work is very enhanced by her self-deprecating approach, use of simple easy to understand strategies, and made more memorable due to her humour and frank tales of real-life experience.