Welcome from the Conference Planning Committee

The 2019 conference is a joint event with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) and the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association (NZSTA). The joint conference aims to provide attendees with updates, recent research results and the knowledge to enable them to tackle the professional challenges ahead. The conference boasts a program of over 207 presentations.

Invitation from the Conference Planning Committee

This is the conference logo.
We look forward to welcoming you to Brisbane for our second joint conference between the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association and Speech Pathology Australia. Our conference theme is Engaging, Collaborating, Empowering.

The 2019 Conference Planning Committee (CPC) hope that this conference will engage you and prompt you to:

  • Connect and develop and strengthen relationships with others in our profession;
  • Learn from people working in similar, or complementary areas of practice, developing new knowledge that will help you move forward in your own practice, wherever that might be;
  • Reflect on your relationships with service users and families and how you work with them being regardful of their needs, experiences, and concerns;
  • Consider how you engage with, learn from, learn with, and collaborate with the Indigenous peoples of our two countries; and
  • Attend to your collaborations with other people in other disciplines or sectors.

We are delighted to be able to hear from five keynote and invited speakers: Professor Susan Rvachew, Professor Marion Brady, Professor David Copland, Professor Suzanne Purdy and Dr Tane Taylor. Our speakers will bring a diverse collection of plenary lectures, seminars and masterclasses.

Professor Susan Rvachew will introduce us to some ideas that relate to the current generation of paediatric clients and how they develop skills.  She will firstly provide information related to research with phonological planning disorders.  A phonological planning disorder will be discussed as a deficit in the process of retrieving phonological units and assembling a phonological plan that is revealed by inconsistent within word productions. Treatment procedures will be described for two types of planning deficit.

Susan will also discuss the growing popularity of ebooks for children.  The use of ebooks has the potential to disrupt or enhance the shared reading experience with uncertain outcomes for the development of children’s emergent literacy skills. Susan will review a ten-year program of research on children’s ebooks.   Parent behaviors and ebook features that support shared reading will be shared along with children’s learning of emergent literacy concepts from print books and ebooks in the context of an in-school volunteer shared reading program.

Professor Marian Brady is a speech and language therapist and Professor of Stroke Care and Rehabilitation at Glasgow Caledonian University. Marian’s research is known for tackling highly relevant clinical uncertainties. She is experienced at engaging and collaborating with clinicians and researchers across countries. Her keynote presentation on communication will challenge us to consider how we better engage stakeholders in understanding what we do in communication therapy. Marian’s keynote seminar will focus on oral healthcare after stroke, reviewing best practice and clinical guidelines, and empowering you with the knowledge and skills to enhance oral care in your clinical setting.

Professor David Copland in his Elizabeth Usher address will challenge us to reconsider how we assess and treat aphasia particularly considering evidence for long-term gains.  He will explore the need for accurate methods for determining the amount, type, and timing of aphasia therapy that should be provided. With increasing interest in applying various principles of neuroplasticity to aphasia treatment and developing treatments that directly modulate brain function, the pathway from neurobiological principles to practice is not straightforward.  He will consider emerging techniques that could directly use brain activity to guide treatment and will highlight how neurobiological approaches to rehabilitation may be considered with caution and optimism.

Professor Suzanne Purdy (Te Rarawa and Ngai Takoto) is the recipient of the Grace Gane Award, an award made every two years to an individual who has made a substantial contribution to speech-language therapy in New Zealand. Suzanne is the Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. Her lecture will introduce the whare tapa whā model, a Māori model of health and well-being. The whare tapa whā model has four components: taha wairua (spiritual health), taha hinengaro (mental health), taha tinana (physical health), and taha whānau (family health).  All four are needed to support health and well-being. Suzanne’s lecture will demonstrate how this model is being used in speech-language therapy research in Aotearoa/New Zealand. She will also demonstrate how successful research requires engagement and collaboration between universities and clinicians.

The joint conference program is comprised of a wide variety of high-quality presentations. The CPC were delighted to receive a large number of excellent submissions which enabled us to create such a varied program. The workshops, paper, presented e-posters (PePs) and poster presentations cover many areas of our diverse profession. Following on from the successful Adelaide model, we will display all posters throughout the conference, and will have dedicated times during lunch on Monday and Wednesday for authors to speak to their posters and discuss their work with delegates. Presented ePosters will be displayed during their oral presentation.  All posters will be available on the conference app.

We have two sessions we wish to highlight. On Monday Dr Tane Taylor (Tainui, Te Aroha and Takitimu) will facilitate a workshop exploring equity issues relevant to speech-language therapy/pathology practice. This workshop will provide an opportunity to critically reflect on how we work with Indigenous clients.  On Tuesday Geneva Hakaraia-Tino, NZSTA’s Giving Voice ambassador and an AAC user will facilitate a consumer panel which will challenge us to reflect on how well we are really doing at engaging, connecting with, and empowering our clients and their family/whānau.

The joint conference is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) which is a purpose-built convention centre and event venue in the heart of South Bank. South Bank is a cultural, social, educational and recreational precinct located in the suburb of South Brisbane. The Welcome Reception Sunday is being held at the nearby Brisbane City Hall, one of Queensland's most significant heritage and cultural icons and has social and historical importance for locals, in particular those whose families helped in its design and construction.

The joint conference program also provides many opportunities for informal connection over food and drink. As well as the morning and afternoon tea breaks, the lunch hour will allow you to develop and maintain new and existing connections. New Zealand delegates are invited to join the NZSTA Board for drinks on Monday night. The University Staff drinks on Tuesday night provides time for academics from around the world to meet and re-connect. Our conference will finish with a fabulous super-hero themed conference dinner, sponsored by Guild Insurance, where you ‘unleash your super power’ and relax at the end of a busy and fulfilling conference. 

The CPC is delighted to present the joint conference program to you and recommends you read it thoroughly before proceeding to the online registration process. This will enable you to view the sessions on offer prior to making your selections when you register. Workshop presenters have set attendance numbers and capacity of some sessions will be limited by room size. Remember that registering is the only way to secure your place. Also, the CPC encourages you to keep up to date with the latest news by monitoring the conference website.

The CPC gratefully acknowledges and thanks the sponsors and exhibitors who are an integral part to the success of the conference.

On behalf of Speech Pathology Australia and the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association, we look forward to welcoming you to Brisbane.

Felicity Bright and Alison Smith (Co-convenors), Clare McCann and Laurelie Wall (Co-Scientific Program Chairs), Rebecca Armstrong, Anne Huang, Renee Taylor, Pamela Richards (National Conference Manager) and Cori Williams (Senior Advisor, Evidence Based Practice and Research).

Go to the Conference Program for Sunday