Confirmed speakers

Alzheimers NZ Conference 2020


The Conference will be opened by Hon Jenny Salesa, Associate Minister of Health, subject to the election.


Confirmed speakers:


Matthew Croucher
Matthew is at the forefront of the New Zealand dementia community. Matthew is a Psychiatrist of Old Age, his main research interest is in service development, outcomes measurement, and antipsychotic medicines. Matthew chairs the New Zealand Dementia Cooperative, has been a key driver for a National Dementia Plan, advocates strongly for post diagnostic support, and generally seizes every opportunity to speak out about dementia and better medical and caring support for those affected by it. Matthew’s contribution to the conference is yet to be finalised but you can guarantee it will be inspiring, challenging and memorable.


Makarena Dudley
Makarena’s recent research identifies that whānau are crucial for the care of a kaumātua with mate wareware (dementia), along with promoting healthy wairua for all. She identified that Whānau urgently need information to assist with their knowledge building and empowerment to meet the needs of a member affected by mate wareware and that this information needs to have Māori knowledge embedded in it. This has lead to the development of the MANA tool and app which Makarena will share and discuss at conference.


Dennis Frost

Dennis was diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia at the age of 59. Since that time he has been a strong advocate for dementia friendly communities, most notably the Australian Dementia Kiama pilot project  which commenced in 2014 - a collaborative project between Alzheimers Australia, University of Wollongong, Kiama Municipal Council and the Kiama community. Internationally this project has been centre stage in the “dementia friendly communities” movement and is the only dementia friendly project to be recognised by the  WHO. One of the main outcomes is that the community became an enabler for people with dementia to continue to be part of that community. Dennis will be sharing his experiences on the Dementia Kiama journey and will convince us of the benefits of having more dementia friendly communities in NZ.


Josie Maclennan
Josie is a Post Diagnostic Support link worker with Alzheimer Scotland, with over 12 years experience in working with older adults, the last 5 of these as a link worker. Early in Josie's career she was a carer for older people in supported accommodation, this led to an interest into early intervention for those living with dementia. Josie is based in Glasgow, Scotland and work in partnership with an NHS older person’s community mental health team providing support to adults over the age of 65 who have received a diagnosis of dementia. Josie works closely with the person and their families to provide them with the information, resources and plans they need to live as well and independently for as long as possible.


Dr Al Power
Al is a geriatrician and the Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation at the Schlegel—U. Waterloo Research Institute for Aging in Ontario, Canada. He is also clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester, New York, and an international educator on transformational models of care for older adults.  Al has written a number of books and is currently co-authoring another book.  Al has been very involved with Eden Alternative programmes, and has worked with dementia-friendly and well-being initiatives, all within a human rights focus. He will challenge many of our current approaches to supporting people living with dementia including the BPSD framework and the segregation of people with dementia into secure, dementia units. Alongside the challenges he will share alternatives that have been demonstrated to have positive impact on the lives of people with dementia. Al is also a songwriter and musician – we hope to also encourage him to share his music with us. Read more.


More speakers to be announced shortly!