As seating and wheeled mobility professionals in North America (and their peers from around the world) get ready to head to Nashville for the International Seating Symposium in March, complex rehab professionals in New Zealand are preparing for the premiere of their own event.
The Oceania Seating Symposium (OSS) debuts November 20-22 at the Energy Event Centre in Rotorua, New Zealand. Registration opens March 1, and the call for abstracts closes on March 31.
Speakers expected to present at the first OSS include Ginny Paleg, Bonnie Sawatzky, Maureen Story and Kelly Waugh.
The OSS is being produced by Seating To Go.
“Seating To Go is a wheelchair and seating assessment service that covers the central north island of New Zealand,” said GM Debbie Wilson, a wheelchair and seating therapist with the organization. “We are also the facilitators of the national training workshops that form part of the Ministry of Health’s two-tiered credentialing programs for wheeled mobility and postural management assessors.”
Seating To Go celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and the organization aimed to invite speakers from ISS to visit and lecture. That initial idea expanded, Wilson says, at the European Seating Symposium, where “I met Associate Professor Rachael McDonald from Swinburne University in Australia. We now have an on-going agreement between Seating To Go, Swinburne University and ISS Vancouver to work together to bring the Oceania Seating Symposium to our part of the world.”
New Zealand and Australia will take turns hosting the event every other year, much as the ISS alternates between the United States and Canada. Sawatzky, an associate professor with the University of British Columbia, is serving as the ISS representative on the OSS committee.
“We are grateful for the support we are receiving from ISS to host this inaugural event and want to extend an invitation to people to travel to New Zealand to share your expertise, develop networks, extend your practice and be part of what is looking to be really special event,” Wilson said. She added, “November is a great time to visit New Zealand, with the warmer weather and daylight savings ensuring you can make the most out of your stay.”