Debbie Davie

Kata Bagyon-Parker

Head of College

  Ian Crabtree
Head of College

Ian is the Head of College for the College of Health and has been in post since September 2019. He was previously the Head of School for Te Kura Tapuhi - School of Nursing from November 2016. Ian is a UK trained nurse in both adult and children's nursing. He has spent the last 30 years predominantly working in the field of paediatrics within the NHS and his last two clinical posts were Head of Nursing at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and latterly Leeds Children's Hospital. Ian has worked as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer/Practitioner at a number of Higher Education Institutions - University of Central Lancashire, University of Salford and University of Manchester where he undertook his MSc in Clinical Nursing graduating in 2005. He latterly before moving to New Zealand contributed to Child Health Nursing at the University of Leeds whilst working at Leeds Children's Hospital. Since arriving in New Zealand in 2015 Ian facilitated a Leadership and Management Course for Qualified Thai Nurses here at Otago Polytechnic and before taking up his current position was Service Manager at SDHB within the Adult Surgery Directorate.

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Head of Department

  Penelope Kinney
Head, Occupational Therapy

Penelope is the Head, Occupational Therapy and a Principal lecturer at the School of Occupational Therapy and teaches in both the Bachelors and Postgraduate Programmes. Penelope areas of interest are developing reflective practice, mental health (specifically the forensic psychiatric area) and developing expertise in the walking interview method of data collection. Penelope has completed a qualitative research project for her Master's degree which explored the lived experiences of moving from a secure unit to an open ward within a forensic psychiatric service and has recently completed her PhD.

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  Alexa Andrew
Senior Lecturer

Alexa is a Senior Lecturer within the School of Occupational Therapy and has worked for Otago Polytechnic since 2000. She started by teaching Diversional Therapy and, in 2004, began teaching for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy programme. Alexa holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Care Sciences, a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy and a Level 5 Teaching Certificate. Her clinical practice and research expertise is focussed on older people in residential care.

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  Anna Collier
Senior Lecturer

Anna graduated from Otago Polytechnic School of Occupational Therapy in 2011 and has practiced in a wide range of mental health settings including community, inpatient and therapeutic communities.

Anna has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Health Science and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (Level 7).

Anna joined the school as a lecturer in 2020 and teaches across the year one and two groups in the degree course.

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  Claire Squires
Senior Lecturer

Claire graduated from Otago School of Occupational Therapy in 2001 and has practised in a broad range of areas including DHB community, paediatrics, ACC contracts, health and safety, injury management and prevention and medico-legal practice. She has completed post-graduate qualifications in health informatics, public health and occupational health and has completed her Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (Level 7). Claire joined the school as a lecturer in 2020 and is the coordinator for the Occupational therapy: Theory and Practice and Fieldwork 5 courses and the Dunedin Team Lead.

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  Darren Mills
Principal Lecturer

Darren graduated with a Bachelors of occupational therapy in the UK in 1998. Following a few years in in-pt mental health settings, Darren volunteered to develop mental health services in Sri Lanka through Volunteer Services Overseas. He then managed a number of projects overseeing disaster relief and humanitarian development in Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the Maldives. Darren and his family moved to Aotearoa in 2010 where he worked in community mental health and crisis assessment. He continues to work as a duly authorised officer for a mental health crisis team as well as lecture at the school of occupational therapy. He has completed a Masters on the recovery approach and is currently a PhD candidate looking at family/whānau involvement in the consultation process of compulsory assessment and treatment.

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  Ema Tokolahi
Principal Lecturer

Ema is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Occupational Therapy, College of Health. She teaches postgraduate courses in Research for Practice, Trauma Informed Practice, Negotiated Study and provides supervision for Masters students. Ema has taught on several undergraduate courses, including Professional Practice, Fieldwork 2, Building Cultural Competence, Fieldwork 5: Community development and Transition: Showcase.

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Health Science (MSc), Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert) in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Bachelor of Health Science: Honors (BScHons) in Occupational Therapy.

Membership and affiliations:
New Zealand Registered Occupational Therapist: 50-04637
Journal Reviewer: Journal of Occupational Science; British Journal of Occupational Therapy; New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy: OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health.
Junior editorial assistant: Journal of Occupational Science.

Research areas:
Interprofessional practice
Being responsive to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Whakaora ngangahau occupational therapy in practice
Child and adolescent wellbeing
Health promotion
Mental health
Fieldwork innovation

Research Profiles:
Research Gate Profile:

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Heidi Cathcart

  Helen Jeffery
Principal Lecturer

Helen graduated as an occupational therapist in 1982, and has worked in a variety of practice areas, primarily in the mental health settings. She explored New Zealand Occupational Therapists' use of adventure therapy in her masters research, and has developed an interest in nurturing the development in the field of adventure therapy in New Zealand. She is also interested in therapists' use of theory and evidence in practice, and in what influences therapists application of theory and evidence.
Helen teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the Occupational Therapy school.

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Helen McDermott
Senior Lecturer

  Jackie Herkt
Principal Lecturer

Jackie is a Principal Lecturer and Academic Leader in the School of Occupational Therapy. She oversees matters related to the curriculum and its development, supervises postgraduate students and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Jackie has a Master's degree in Health Science (Honours) from AUT, a Diploma in Occupational Therapy, and a National Diploma in Adult Education and Training. After working for many years as an occupational therapist working with children she then moved to working with adults and later into management and teaching roles. Jackie's research focuses around supervision and she has a keen interest in how we best educate and support students and those returning to practice into the occupational therapy profession.

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Joanne Taylor-Cross
Senior Lecturer

Keri McMullan
Senior Lecturer

  Laura Hogue

Laura graduated from Otago School of Occupational Therapy in 2005 and has practised in a wide range of physical health settings including
primary care falls prevention, A&E, acute medicine, community and inpatient rehabilitation. Laura has a special interest in older people, exercise and falls prevention. She has recently completed her Master of Applied Science through Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health (ISEH) at OP and currently completing her Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (Level 7). Laura joined the school as a lecturer in 2019 and will be teaching across all three year groups in the degree course.

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  Liane de Klerk

I come from a clinical background, working in vocational rehabilitation. I have a real passion for our profession as Occupational Therapists and am delighted to have the opportunity to share and contribute to the growing knowledge and understanding of our profession.
My interest area in research is currently looking at factors that influence Police Officers' return to work with the aim of improving service delivery and enhancing first responders' health and well-being.

Lindsey Coup
Senior Lecturer

  Lizzie Martin
Senior Lecturer

I am originally from Birmingham in the UK but have lived in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2006. My background is primary and then kindergarten teaching until retraining to become an occupational therapist. I have worked at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals within orthopedics, outpatients, and the community, before joining Otago Polytechnic in 2020. My research interests are occupational therapy in palliative care and the impact of having cancer on occupations.

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  Narinder Verma
Principal Lecturer

Narinder is a British-trained occupational therapist. She qualified as an Occupational Therapist in the UK in 1994 and has 17 years of clinical experience working mainly in mental health settings and over 11 years of educational experience in both NZ and the UK. Narinder began teaching in England at the University of Derby for five years on the BSc Hons in Occupational Therapy programme before coming to New Zealand and working at Otago Polytechnic on the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy programme. She is a Principal Lecturer within the School of Occupational Therapy leading the fieldwork component within the programme and has worked for Otago Polytechnic since 2015. Narinder holds a Master's degree in Professional Practice, and Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning. Narinder is currently engaged in her Doctorate of Professional Practice.

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  Rita Robinson
Principal Lecturer

Rita is a Principal Lecturer in the School of Occupational Therapy. She began working as a distance Postgraduate Programmes Lecturer for OP in 2008, and then in 2009, started teaching for the Bachelor programme at Hamilton Campus (WINTEC). Rita has a PhD, focusing on how toilet training discourses shaped practice over three points of history, 1950s, 1980s and current day within Aotearoa New Zealand. Her specific interests include children's occupational development and co-occupation, toilet training and qualitative Foucault inspired research.

Rita is developing a history of supervising post graduate students. Topics include, self regulation, self injurious behavior, pain interventions, reflective practice and pediatric and school based service delivery.

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  Sian Griffiths
Principal Lecturer

Sian is a Principal Lecturer, the Honours Coordinator for Occupational Therapy, and supervises Honours and Masters' students. She has an MSc in Rehab Engineering from Salford University and is currently studying towards her PhD. She has been a clinician and clinical manager before coming to teaching. Her research interests are in clinical reasoning for occupational therapists. She is passionate about the profession of occupational therapy and the development of a research profile for practising occupational therapists.

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  Simon Leadley
Senior Lecturer

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Tiffany Brooke
Lecturer / Fieldwork Associate

  Yvonne Thomas

Dr Yvonne Thomas is Professor and Research Coordinator for the School of Occupational Therapy. Yvonne is a registered Occupational Therapists with practice experience in mental health, social care and stroke rehabilitation. Yvonne has worked in education for 25 years, has a Masters of Education and completed her PhD in 2012. Her doctoral study focused on the wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness. She has developed and lead occupational therapy programmes at James Cook University, Australia, and University of Worcester, UK.
Her current teaching roles include post graduate courses and masters and PhD supervision. She is committed to delivering accessible student-centred education and increasing social and cultural diversity in health professions.
Yvonne's research interests include two broad themes: 1) innovative professional practice and practice education with a specific focus on new and emerging roles for health professionals, professional decision making, values-based and evidence-based practice and 2) Understanding and enhancing wellbeing through occupation, with a particular focus on marginalised or socially disadvantaged populations.

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Michelle McMaster