How to have workplace wellness | Thursday 24 June 10:30am

Francesca Brown

Francesca is a veterinarian who graduated from Massey University in the class of 1998. Since graduating and gaining experience in clinical practice she moved to education and then leadership in Allied Veterinary professional education, at both Otago Polytechnic, as the Head of the School of Veterinary Nursing and nationally as the Chair of the Educational Standards committee for Allied Veterinary Professionals. Over her career she has seen first-hand and through her network of colleagues in the industry (both vets and Allied veterinary professionals) the significant challenges faced to personnel. Back in 2015 on completing a Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice which she entered focussed wanted to fix the environmental issues in veterinary practice it became clear that until we can meet people’s needs in veterinary practice trying to engage individuals and the industry as a whole in environmentally sound practice is going to be an uphill battle. This led to her completing a Master of Professional Practice with a research focus on socially sustainable practice and asking the question – can we be socially sustainable in veterinary practice in New Zealand while still meeting the financial bottom line. The answer to this is yes. A synopsis of this research can be found here:

Profit and staff wellness – what do we need to do to have both? | Wednesday 23 June 4:00pm | Worldwide, the well-being of veterinarians is repeatedly reported as being lower than is acceptable and while the literature is currently limited, anecdotal evidence suggests it is the same for allied veterinary professionals. Yes, the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) requires staff wellbeing to be actively looked after. Based on the findings of her Master’s research which presented three New Zealand case studies showing veterinary practices that are successful in achieving high levels of staff wellness while still meeting their business financial goals. This presentation will focus on the common themes identified in these case studies, moving past the things that are road blocking change and planning to really implement them in your practice. Come with an open mind and be ready to have some of your current business as usual practices challenged.  

Gary Turnball

What does a champion team culture look like and how do you build it? | Thursday 24 June 1:30pm

Jason Lowe

How to implement leadership development | Thursday 24 June 11:30am

Kathryn Jackson

Kathryn Jackson began specializing in understanding resilience at work while working as a Peak Performance Coach to support the Christchurch City rebuild, after a series of devastating earthquakes from 2010. As a result, she was invited to publish a book which was named as a Finalist in the Business Book Awards (UK) and the Australian Career Book of the Year. Resilience at Work: Practical Tools for Career Success is now also a training and development programme called Let’s Talk Resilience at Work and during 2020, was adapted into a global app called Kite Support using the Kite learning platform. Kathryn holds first-class and master’s degrees specializing in understanding Motivation at Work. She trained with the Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring in 2005, became a Fellow with the CIPD (UK) in 2015 and was awarded Senior Practitioner Accreditation with the EMCC in 2017. She was the Lead Coaching Associate for the NZ Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience between 2018-2020. For more about Kathryn’s books and business please visit

Fully charged – how to stay strong in a world that won’t slow down | Wednesday 23 June 10:30am | The world we live in is filled with potential stressors – even more so thanks to the global pandemic. On top of this, the veterinarian profession in New Zealand is navigating unprecedented resource shortages, financial pressures, and the ever-present risk of compassion fatigue. This workshop will investigate how the science of wellbeing could influence whether we simply survive or thrive within these most challenging circumstances. We will explore strength, rather than mental distress and you will leave with information about research, ideas, and practical resources to help you and your team stay fully charged, in a world that won’t slow down.

Meg Irvine

Meg graduated from Massey in 1998 and is the lead Veterinarian (and Ex owner) at Stoke Veterinary Hospital in Nelson. Meg is a member of the Veterinary Advisory Committee for National Veterinary Care and Vet Partners who provide clinical oversight to all NVC and Vet Partners clinics across NZ and mentor new Graduates in the Vet Partners New Graduate Programme. Meg has always been passionate about the role good client relationships play in the success of a business but more importantly, the enjoyment of the job and the individual's sustainability in the profession. In recent years she has been researching the role communication skills play in Client/ Veterinarian bonds and has studied ‘Advanced Human Connections’, a paper included in the Veterinary Social Work Certificate at the University of Tennessee. She has become interested in what Human General Practitioners are doing and studied what the experts in this field of communications are teaching GP’s and how this can be used in a Veterinary setting. More recently, Meg has been involved in individual mentoring of Veterinarians who have been struggling in this field. She runs a workshop and course in communications for a group of Veterinarians who had either, expressed interest or had been identified as having a need for improvement in their client communications, in Nov 2020 and will be repeating this in May 2021. Meg feels very strongly that this craft is something we can improve and expand on, the same way we continue to expand and improve our clinical knowledge and that, when mastered, this craft can vastly improve our professional and personal success.

The veterinary consultation: connecting with clients and developing rapport | Wednesday 23 June 3:00pm | Some tips and tricks on running a successful Veterinary Consultation with a focus on connecting and developing rapport with clients. How these skills affect the success of a business but more importantly, professional and personal satisfaction and individual sustainability in the profession.

Michael Meehan

Conflict management to sustain workplace wellness | Wednesday 23 June 9:00am
Getting the most out of your team | Thursday 24 June 2:30pm

Natalie King

Research around retention in the veterinary profession | Thursday 24 June 9:00am

Rachel Foughy

SBD: Rachael Fouhy is a mixed animal veterinarian with Tararua Vets in Pahiatua and is passionate about sheep and beef production and parasitology. She has 15+ years clinical experience and has become involved with MPI welfare cases in the last 3 years. Outside of work Rachael is sheep and beef farming with her husband and 2 young daughters.
VBB: Rachael is the lead vet at Tararua Vets in Pahiatua and a Director of the Totally Vets Group which consists of 8 vet practices. Over the last 4 years she has undertaken various leadership training courses which has reaped many positive returns when the business has been through unforeseen turbulent situations. Rachael is passionate about the support and development of young veterinarians in the industry.

Creating a great clinic culture | Wednesday 23 June 2:30pm | An insight into how to create a great clinic culture where staff feel valued, are supported in their growth and all work towards the same common purpose. Celebrating the individual while growing and nurturing the team.

Stuart Gordon

Stuart is a Senior Veterinary and Animal Science Lecturer in the School of Veterinary Science at Massey University, teaching Equine Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Professionalism. He is currently engaged in research on veterinary professionalism and aspects of veterinary teaching and learning. Stuart is passionate about active learning and student engagement. These presentations form part of a broader research project on determining the opinions of veterinary students, veterinarians and veterinary clients on veterinary professionalism attributes important to include in a veterinary undergraduate training programme to ensure future veterinary career success.

Determining the structure of practice management in veterinary practices in New Zealand | Wednesday 23 June 8:00am | The role of the veterinary practice manager has traditionally been undertaken by practice-owning veterinarians in addition to their clinical obligations. Veterinarians, however, often lack the skills, knowledge, and aptitudes that result in economic success. Furthermore, a veterinarian who spends valuable time on office management is not generating direct revenue for the practice. This presentation reports on the findings of research aimed at determining the current structure of practice management in veterinary practices in New Zealand. Stakeholder opinion on how existing undergraduate educational programmes in veterinary practice management should be modified to ensure veterinary students graduate with adequate practice management competencies, will also be presented.

Determining essential veterinary professionalism attributes using critical incident reporting | Thursday 24 June 8:00am | This presentation presents findings of a critical incident reporting technique1 used to determine the views of practising veterinarians in New Zealand on professionalism attributes important for career success. Respondents were asked to recollect their most striking positive and negative critical incidents in their clinical career. Those professionalism attributes that contributed to a successful outcome or those attributes that were deficient and resulted in an unsuccessful outcome were elucidated using thematic analysis. The overarching theme that emerged was that of building a relationship between the veterinarian and the client.