I’ve just returned from Cromwell, Central Otago where the NZAOT Clinical Workshops were held over 10 – 13 October. The association offers these every second year, with their big biennial conference held the alternate year (check out the website for NZAOT (www.nzaot.com) for information about our the next conference in Palmerston North 4-7 September). The focus for the clinical workshops is on longer sessions, with the opportunity for presenters to create a presentation that enables participation by the workshop delegates. Cromwell is in the centre of Central Otago, which is an inland province located towards the bottom half of the South Island of New Zealand. Given that its not the easiest to get to the organisers were well pleased with the 110 workshop delegates who attended. The location was just beautiful with views of the snowcapped mountains around Cromwell, and the weather was mostly good Central Otago weather – sunny!

Quite a number of the School of Occupational Therapy staff from Otago Polytechnic made it to the workshops (it’s only a 2.5 hour drive from Dunedin).. so we felt well represented, and as always it was great to catch-up with a number of our graduands – finding out where they were working now, what they had done since we had last seen them, and seeing the positions and responsibilities they now have! Also it was great to catch up with our postgraduate students – those therapists working and studying at the same time to further their knowledge! We tried recruiting a few more to the programme while we were there.

Five of the staff presented workshops –

Linda and Kaye preparing for their workshop Linda Wilson and Kaye Cheetham were first up with a workshop titled: “Occupational Therapy in Primary Health: Exploring the possibilities”, along with

Linda Robertson and Luciana Blaga (one of our hons graduates) were Linda and Luciana at the start of the presentationalso on in the first session of the daywho offered a workshop titled: “Assessing Assessments”. (Linda has a blog so I’ve linked to that if you click on her name).

Later on in the first day, Rosemary Caulton offered a great workshop on “making it up as one goes along”. Rosemary is now retired, but was on our staff since the beginning of the programme in 1991, and still retains links with us.

The second day was a busy day for myself and Jackie Herkt. I offered a workshop along with Jane Anderson and Nathan Pettigrew (sorry – no photos – but bloglinks given!) titled: “Web 2.0 tools… do they have anything to offer occupational therapists?”. Jackie joined us for the first half to assist the delegates, and then rushed off to her session titled: “Looking at our selves – the use of self as a practice tool”. (Jackie’s blog has been linked to her name). Hopefully we’ll see Jackie and Linda upload their powerpoint slides on their blogs!

From the staff point of view it was a very successful time away, with us having the opportunity to share learning we had gained with our colleagues in practice. More on the workshop that Jane, Nathan and I gave in the next posting!