Mataora: Encounters between Medicine and the Arts

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Presented by Katherine Boydell; Paora Joseph; Sue Wootton; Chris Reid; Rob Mokaraka; Gina Grimshaw; Chris Bowden; Cindy Townes; Chessie Henry; Eugene Ryder

Forums and symposia

12 Oct 2019 to 12 Oct 2019

Soundings Theatre at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Mataora is an exciting programme of arts, performance, reading, and reflection about the wonderful capacity of the mind, as well as its foibles.

To be held for the first time in October 2019 in Soundings Theatre at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Mataora brings the arts and sciences together to foster conversation about issues central to health and wellbeing. This programme aims to inspire and invigorate the public, as well as healthcare and policy audiences to ignite fresh thinking.

Not a conference, nor a play or a concert, rather an intermingling of creative performance and conversation with cutting-edge research, Mataora: Encounters between Medicine and the Arts will be an unforgettable experience for anyone interested in health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

$90 earlybird

Register now at to take advantage of the significantly reduced earlybird fees, and keep returning to the page to find out more about the programme and participants.

For more information contact: Emily Greenbank

Speaker Bios

Katherine Boydell is a professor of mental health at the Black Dog Institute in New South Wales, Australia. She is an internationally recognised leader in arts-based knowledge translation and the use of body mapping to develop resilience.

A youth worker turned psychologist, Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph is also a film maker whose docudrama Maui’s Hook deals with stories of families who have had a loved one take their own life. It focusses on changing attitudes and provoking action.

Sue Wootton is a creative writer and poet whose creative work focuses on the intersection between medicine and the humanities.

Chris Reid is a Northland General Practitioner whose work Portraits from a Doctor’s Surgery provides an evocative glimpse into the minds and lives of his patients (and perhaps, of himself!).

Rob Mokaraka, Actor and Playwright, whose one-man theatre project called Shot Bro – Confessions of a Depressed Bullet illuminates the problem of depression. Rob brings both his artistic work and his korēro to suicide prevention programmes across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Gina Grimshaw leads the Laboratory for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience at Victoria University of Wellington. She studies the relationship between cognition and emotion as well as the cognitive and neural processes we use to create novel ideas.

Chris Bowden works and researches in suicide pre- and postvention services with a particular interest in adolescent and post-adolescent men affected by suicide. He is a senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.

Cindy Townes is an internist at Capital Coast District Health Board with a PhD in bioethics.

Chessie Henry is a writer and author of We Can Make a Life: A Memoir of Family, Earthquakes & Courage. Her book won Best First Book of Nonfiction at the 2019 Ockham New Zealand book awards.

Eugene Ryder is a father, husband and grandfather, but also a member of Black Power with a degree in social work. He sees himself as a social change agent who works to slow down the process of those deemed “hard to reach” from entering the “pipeline to prison.”