Conference Keynote Speakers
In 2012 Jane’s two-year-old triplets were killed in a fire whilst living in Qatar in the Middle East. Since surviving this unthinkable tragedy she has completed a Bachelors of Counselling degree and since graduation has worked to support families after the death of a child or loved one.
Having prior roles with Interislander and Qatar Airways developing and delivering customer service, sales and personal development training means Jane has a unique ability to coach a wide range of professionals and volunteers in how to best support people at times of trauma and grief from both a personal and research informed perspective.
Based in Auckland, Jane works with individuals and organisations across New Zealand and internationally and is currently undertaking post graduate studies in Violence and Trauma at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
For more information on Jane please visit her website
Janel Atlas is a bereaved parent, author, and PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Delaware (United States).
Her book, They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), explores the topic of stillbirth by bringing together 21 essays by writers with firsthand experiences and also reports on current research about stillbirth and stillbirth prevention around the world.
Now in her last year of doctoral study, Janel studies how bereaved people within babyloss communities narrate their babies’ deaths through creative rhetorical and storytelling practices.
Originally from the United States, Janel now calls Christchurch home.
Award winning journalist Miriama Kamo is the host and correspondent for TVNZ’s flagship current affairs programme Sunday, and for Maori current affairs programme Marae.
Miriama is also a writer, she released her first children’s book The Stolen Stars of Matariki in 2018.
As an endometriosis sufferer Miriama is passionate about women’s health and issues related to fertility. A mother of two, she is the ambassador for Endometriosis NZ.
Formerly a Hawke’s Bay doctor, David was appointed Professor of Maori and Indigenous Research at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in early 2017. He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Maori and health in 2018. From Porangahau and Ngati Kere and Ngati Manuhiri descent,
David has spent his working life promoting Maori health. Celebrated for the work he has undertaken to prevent SUDI deaths, he worked with weavers and Maori midwives in developing the wahakura woven flax bassinet and “its little sister”, the plastic Pepi-Pod.
The subsequent Safe Sleep programme has been credited with saving the lives of many babies. The Ministry of Health announced in 2017 that the infant safe sleep programme would run the wahakura project nationwide.
David continues to advance his research interests at EIT, where he also teaches a postgraduate programme in Maori health.
About our theme.... Rebuilding your Life
Rebuilding your Life is about finding the new you, learning about the journey through grief and discovering the resilience to go on.
Being a city devastated by a major earthquake and having to rebuild we found the theme quite fitting for this area. As the city rebuilds, so do we rebuild our lives after our own 'earthquake'. How we do this, where we find support, and the journey of a city and ourselves were quite symbolic, especially in relation to grief. So we felt it quite fitting to follow this theme throughout our 2019 Conference.