Keynote Speakers

Acushla Dee Sciascia

Ngāruahine Rangi, Ngāti Ruanui, Te Āti Awa.

©   Rawhitiroa Photography (

© Rawhitiroa Photography (

Dr Acushla Sciascia is a kaupapa Māori and iwi researcher with over a decade of experience working in mostly the social sciences.

Recently, Dr Sciascia has been brought into the sciences and mātauranga Māori spaces to lead out and champion mātauranga Māori through research, expert panels, presentations and project leadership.

Dr Sciascia is currently the co-leader for the Mātauranga Māori programme of the National Science Challenge Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (phase 2) and will be involved in the future research project of Taranaki Mounga and its changing volcanic landscape. She is based at Massey University.

Sarb Johal


Dr Sarb Johal is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years’ experience in research, training, clinical practice, and policy development.

He has worked in mental health, pandemic disease preparedness, youth development, suicide prevention and emergency management – including assisting with the response and recovery to the Canterbury Earthquakes, as Associate Professor in Disaster Mental Health at Massey University

Dr Johal is currently a stay-at-home dad to three daughters while creating videos and podcasts around psychology-related content. His most recent completed project is a collaboration with James Nokise and the RNZ production team for a mental health podcast called Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower.

Panel Speakers

Details will be uploaded as soon as speakers are confirmed


Please note that all workshops are concurrent so it is not possible to attend more than one.
To register, simply choose one workshop at the time of buying your conference ticket via Eventbrite.
All workshops are included in the conference ticket price.

Video 101

learn to shoot, edit and publish video on your mobile

Producing short videos with your smartphone has never been easier!

Baz Caitcheion of Bazzacam will show you to how to develop a video concept and give you tips on the best ways to shoot, edit and distribute your video content.

In this four-hour workshop limited to 20 participants, you’ll learn the basics of creating your own video from your phone, including editing in iMovie (Apple device required, although skills are transferable to Android).

Preparatory details will be sent out to registrants 2 weeks before the conference.

** Please note that this workshop starts one extra hour earlier than the other workshops - at 12:45. It will run at the same time as the Lightning Talks as well as the other workshops. It finishes at the same time as the other workshops, at 16:45. **

This workshop has been made possible with sponsorship from the Science Media Centre - ngā mihi nui.

Synergy in science communication: research and practice


Join Emma Hudson-Doyle from The Joint Centre for Disaster Research, Kate Boersen from East Coast LAB and Alice-Lake Hammond from AF8 in unravelling how research and practice can work better together, using natural hazards as a case study.

This dynamic three-hour workshop will delve into how we can improve the relationship between science communication researchers and practitioners across all science fields to meet the needs of all - including our audiences.

The break out activities in this workshop will explore why this is often a challenge, the barriers to achieving this, strategies we could use to be successful, as well as how we can evaluate and measure our successes.

Communities as changemakers


Working with particular communities is becoming more commonplace for both the scientific research we do and the science communication activities we initiate. ‘Working with’ is very different from ‘communicating to’ and requires different skill sets.

The Participatory Science Platform (PSP) has enabled more than 120 diverse community science projects that have inspired substantial positive change in their communities and beyond. The PSP team, led by National Coordinator Victoria Metcalf, has looked closely at what constitutes best practice community engagement.

In this hands-on and practical three-hour workshop you’ll learn effective methods for science engagement, why community engagement is important, and how real change can be achieved via this approach.