Professor Bruce Stevens, a clinical and forensic psychologist and leading commentator on spiritual care and positive ageing in health and aged care environments, will speak at this year’s Ageing and Spirituality conference hosted by The Selwyn Foundation’s Selwyn Institute for Ageing and Spirituality on
1 September 2017.

Delegates at this unique and inspirational conference will enjoy a one-day programme of thought-provoking presentations on the theme of ‘Spiritual Leadership in Aged Care’ by an exciting line-up of acclaimed speakers from both New Zealand and Australia.

Professor Stevens is Director of the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, where he holds the Wicking Chair of Ageing and Practical Theology, and he also has a private practice in clinical and forensic psychology. He will give two addresses at the conference – ‘Life tasks: Towards a positive model for ageing’ and ‘The self-compassionate chaplain: Escaping the self-esteem trap’ – in which he will draw on his previous experiences as an ordained minister in the Anglican Church.

This annual conference, with its focus on ageing and spirituality, is unique in New Zealand and looks at spirituality in the broadest sense of the term. It will be of interest to chaplains and pastoral caregivers, members of faith organisations, health and aged care workers, academics and all those involved in caring for older people.

Hilda Johnson-Bogaerts, General Manager of The Selwyn Institute for Ageing and Spirituality, says that the conference goes beyond religion and looks at other aspects of spirituality that are meaningful to the older person, with a focus on improving the quality of our interactions with others.

“Spirituality forms part of a journey of wellbeing and is an essential part of ageing well,” she says.

This holistic view of spirituality is evident in the conference programme, with topics including pastoral care, self-care and mindfulness training and art therapy in an aged care setting.

Among the speakers are Dr Richard Egan of the Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, and Dr Wendy Wrapson, Senior Research Fellow within the National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research at Auckland University of Technology.

In addition, Archbishop Emeritus Sir David Moxon KNZM, former Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, will discuss the spiritual icons Pope Francis and the late Maōri Queen Te Arikinui Te Ātairangikaahu, and will look at opportunities for healthy and life-giving spirituality in the third age.

The conference will take place in the Selwyn Village Theatre (43 Target Street, Point Chevalier, Auckland) from 8.30am to 4.30pm, on 1 September 2017. Seats are limited, with an earlybird rate of $150 available until 7 July 2017 ($175 full price).

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