Two PNZ members to address World Physiotherapy Congress 2023

Two Physiotherapy New Zealand members will be among the main presenters at the profession’s largest and most important international gathering, the World Physiotherapy Congress 2023, to be held next year in Dubai, 2-4 June.

Both physiotherapists are profiled below.

They will be contributing to a focused symposium featuring international presenters from across different World Physiotherapy regions. Focused symposia are core congress sessions where cutting edge relevant topics will be explored from an international and diverse perspective.

Jackie Whittaker, chair of World Physiotherapy’s congress programme committee (CPC), said: “We were incredibly pleased with the breadth and quality of the many proposals we received. The focused symposia to be presented in Dubai combine truly global perspectives with content that we believe represents professional challenges that physiotherapists around the world are facing today. The topics cover a range of timely issues, such as pain management, services for refugees and migrants, health economics, and the role of technology, and are relevant to clinicians, managers, educators and researchers.

“Focused symposia are a great opportunity to hear from presenters who are experts in their area and gain a unique global understanding and insight into a particular field.

“The CPC is excited to announce the first confirmed programming for the World Physiotherapy Congress 2023 and is looking forward to developing it further with relevant and innovative content.”

Each focused symposium is organised by an expert in the field, who leads an international group of presenters working together and engaging with the audience to draw out the relevance, challenges, applicability and take-home messages.

Further details about the focused symposia for the World Physiotherapy Congress 2023 can be found on the congress website.

Focused symposium session - Indigenous Leadership: Reimagining health education for and with Indigenous communities

Oka Sanerivi (Chair/Presenter)
Lilo Oka Sanerivi is a Samoan/Tongan Physiotherapist based in Aotearoa New Zealand. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Otago before embarking on a decade of working in various clinical, management and academic roles. During this time, Oka developed a special interest in Paediatric and Respiratory Physiotherapy and a growing passion for his Samoan cultural language, customs and practices. This naturally led to him leading the reestablishment of the Pasifika Physiotherapists Association (Inc), being appointed as the first Pacific Physiotherapist to be appointed as a Head of Department in the Public Sector, and being one of the first Pacific Physiotherapists to be appointed to Te Poari Tiaki Tinana o Aotearoa, the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand. Oka’s Masters study which was started in 2020, was subsequently upgraded to a PhD project in 2022 with being awarded the prestigious Pacific Clinical Research Training Fellowship by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. His project explores how Samoan cultural knowledges can enhance the theory and practice of Physiotherapy when working with Pacific families. On completion of this project, Oka will be the first Pacific Physiotherapist to graduate with a PhD from a University in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Katrina Pōtiki Bryant (Presenter)
Katrina Pōtiki Bryant is a Māori academic of Ngai Tahu descent who has been a practicing physiotherapist for 30 years and teaching at University of Otago School of Physiotherapy into the undergraduate programme for 14 years. Currently she is also employed by her rūnaka (Māori tribal authority) to conduct research to develop and deliver a strength and Balance Falls Prevention programme for elderly Māori. She has a specific interest in embracing indigenous perspectives and practices into physiotherapy in a manner. Currently she teaches in all levels of the undergraduate physiotherapy degree and supports a number of collaborative kaupapa Māori research projects across the University of Otago and internationally with other indigenous based research. More recently she has been teaching tikanga Māori approaches in physiotherapy and is aiming to normalise these practices threaded throughout the curriculum.

Page updated July 2022