The 9th All Together Better Health (ATBHIX) conference was hosted at AUT in early September this year. It is the first time that New Zealand has hosted this international interprofessional conference which had over 350 delegates from 25 countries in attendance.
New Zealand provided a unique backdrop for the conference with its overarching theme ‘Transforming the Landscape of Healthcare – Ohomairangi te Hauora Manaaki’. There was a strong focus on Hauora Maori, with the sub themes which explored and shared learning from Māori, Pacific and indigenous peoples from around the world; interprofessional practice and education; interprofessional leadership; the role of patients/clients within interprofessional healthcare teams; and the social, political, economic and cultural influences on interprofessional working. Key people helped to achieve this vision including Professor Denise Wilson, Associate Dean Māori Advancement and Co-Director of Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research at AUT; Minnie Baragwanath, CEO and Founder of Be. Accessible; William Pike an inspiration kiwi and founder of the William Pike Challenge Award youth development scheme; Toa Waaka, Rautaki Hononga Māori – Māori Strategic Framework Project Manager from the University of Otago Wellington, along with a number of international interprofessional leaders.
A real sense of community was achieved throughout the 4 day conference which provided delegates with opportunities to come together to korero and share interprofessional practice, education and research innovation. There were also opportunities to discuss the future strategic direction of New Zealand interprofessional education and practice, through meetings with and about the National Centre for Interprofessional education and collaborative practice (NCIPECP); the Australasian Interprofessional practice and Education Network (AIPPEN); and the ATBH World Coordinating Committee (WCC).
Some of the conference highlights included the powhiri in which the AUT kapa haka group performed; the conference dinner in which delegates were treated to entertainment from Marcus Winter AKA ‘The Sandman’ who presented a number of stories through the media of sand; the Interprofessional Healthcare Team Challenge, where students came together into interprofessional teams to creatively share their team plan of care for client/patient to a live audience. A twist in this challenge was that the client/patient they were tasked with helping, was in the audience and assisted the judges in identifying the ‘best’ interprofessional team; William Pikes story of survival after losing a leg in a volcanic eruption was just another of the many highlights.