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Our Speakers


Sir Mark Solomon is a national treasure. He is a former leader of Ngāi Tahu: under his leadership the tribe grew to prosperity. He is the current Chair of the Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board. In 2013 he was knighted for his services to Māori business. Sir Mark has dedicated himself to preventing child abuse within communities. There have been many times when this has been a difficult and painful journey, but despite this, the welfare of innocent children has always been his utmost priority. Sir Mark will be speaking on the importance of speaking up when we know abuse is occurring. He will share many personal stories of this.

Ed Tronick PhD is one of the most famous developmental psychologists alive today. Dr Tronick is also a lecturer at the Harvard School of Medicine and has been an advisor for UNICEF and the WHO. He is also the Director of Child Development Unit and Distinguished Professor at University of Massachusetts, Boston. His highly influential "still face" experiments shed light on the importance of love and attachment in healthy development. He continues to carry out important research in his field and he has authored over 200 scientific papers. He will be speaking on the role of attachment in healthy development.

Marilyn Davillier is the Co-Director and Curriculum Coordinator for the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship Program. Marilyn maintains a private practice in Boston that specializes in play, art and sand tray therapy for elementary and middle-school aged children. She lectures both nationally in her home of the US and internationally on meaning-making in the clinical treatment of young children, the importance of limit setting, family narratives, and the use of literature to promote resilience in the private life of the child. She will be speaking on how her work has helped heal different kinds of trauma.

Ruth Lanius.jpg

Ruth Lanius MD, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and the director of the PTSD research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She established the Traumatic Stress Service and the Traumatic Stress Service Workplace Program, both services that specialize in the treatment and research of PTSD. She has conducted ground breaking research into what happens within the brain of someone who experiences PTSD.

She will be speaking on the neuroscience of trauma as well as some of the leading therapies and interventions.


Stephen Porges, PhD is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He has authored over 400 scientific papers. Dr Porges is the creator of the polyvagal theory, a theory that explains how we react in times of safety and threat. The advisors of the Polyvagal Institute are a who's who of leading figures in neuroscience and trauma, He will be speaking on the science of safety through the polyvagal theory.

Stephen Trzeciak, MD, MPH is a physician scientist, professor and chair of medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and the chief of medicine at Cooper University Health Care. Dr Trzeciak is a practicing specialist in intensive care medicine, and a clinical researcher with more than 120 publications in the scientific literature. He is the author of Compassionomics and Wonder Drug. Stephen will be speaking on how compassion helps people get better faster.

He will be presenting via Zoom.

Sue Carter, PhD is a Distinguished University Scientist and Rudy Professor Emerita of Biology at Indiana University and Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. A career biologist, Carter has studied the biology of love and social bonds for more than four decades. Dr Carter’s research was integral to discovering the relationship between social behavior and oxytocin. Her current work in humans and other mammals examines the developmental and intergenerational consequences of oxytocin and the role of oxytocin pathways in selective sociality.

Robert Sege, MD, PhD is a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he directs a new Center for Community-engaged Medicine. Dr. Sege is nationally known for his research on effective health systems approaches that directly address the social determinants of health. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington and serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Children’s Trust and Prevent Child Abuse America.  He is a graduate of Yale College, and received his PhD in Biology from MIT and his MD from Harvard Medical School. Dr Sege lives in the Boston area, where he and his wife Karen have raised three young adult children. He will be speaking on the positive childhood experiences study.

He will be presenting via Zoom.


Key workshop presenter

Simon Rosenbaum, PhD is an academic exercise physiologist and Scientia Associate Professor in the Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health, UNSW Sydney. Simon’s research focuses on physical activity, trauma and mental illness, including physical physical health co-morbidities. Simon is the co-chair of the Olympic Refuge Foundation Think Tank on sport and humanitarian settings. Simon has led international research and capacity building projects, and has consulted to the United Nations Migration Agency in North-east Nigeria.  Since 2019, Simon has been recognised by the Clarivate Highly Cited list for mental health.

Book Now

NZ Trauma Conference
27 Feb, 9:00 am – 01 Mar, 5:00 pm
Riccarton Park Function Centre,
165 Racecourse Road, Broomfield, Christchurch 8042, New Zealand
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