Otago Polytechnic

Head of Department

  Megan Gibbons
Head of College MeganG@op.ac.nz

Megan is the Head of College of Te Ohu Ora, (Sport, Adventure, Massage and Occupational Therapy). Megan joined Otago Polytechnic at the beginning of 2007.She has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, and last year was the recipient of a National award in Excellence in Tertiary Teaching . She is a New Zealand Athletics coach, and well recognised within Otago Sport. Email Megan.gibbonsop.ac.nz

Publications and Research

Emery DP, Milne T, Gilchrist CA, Gibbons M, Robinson E, Coster G, Forrest CB, Harnden A, Mant, D, Grant CC (2015) The impact of primary care on emergency department presentation and hospital admission with pneumonia: a case-control study of preschool-aged children npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine (2015) 25, 14113; doi:10.1038/npjpcrm.2014.113; published online 5 February 2015

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Debbie Davie
EA Kaitohutohu Office debbied@op.ac.nz

Michelle McMaster
Technician MMcMaster@op.ac.nz

  Simonne Wood (formerly Samuelson)
Administrator (Bachelor's Programme) simonnes@op.ac.nz

Administration related to the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and the School's Assessment Committee. EdTech Champion.

Gail Morris
Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Administrator gmorris@op.ac.nz

Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors

  Jackie Herkt
Academic Leader JackieH@op.ac.nz

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. Jackie has a Masters 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. Jackies 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.

Publications and Research

Dodds, K., & Herkt, J. A. (2013) How Occupational Therapists Manage and Experience Returning to Practice after a Career Break. New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapists Journal. http://www.nzaot.com/publications/journal/

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  Karen Blackwood
Senior Lecturer karenb@op.ac.nz

Karen is currently the Team Leader (Dunedin) for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy programme. She has been with the School of Occupational Therapy since 1999 and, prior to this, worked as an Occupational Therapist in neuro-rehabilitation. Karen is a Registered Occupational Therapist, has a Masters degree in Health Sciences and a Diploma in Teaching (Tertiary).

  Carolyn Van Kampen
Senior Lecturer, Hamilton-based Co-ordinator ckampen@op.ac.nz

Carolyn is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator for the School of Occupational Therapy, based in Hamilton. Her qualifications include Occupational Therapy study and registration and a Masters in Business Administration (Waikato). She has worked in a variety of clinical occupational therapy, both within New Zealand and overseas, and in business management positions, before joining the Otago Polytechnic team in early 2011.

Kim Reay
Senior Lecturer/Hamilton Team Lead kreay@op.ac.nz


  Alexa Andrew
Senior Lecturer alexa@op.ac.nz

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 Masters degree in Occupational Therapy and a Level 5 Teaching Certificate. Her clinical practice and research expertise is focussed on older people in residential care.

Publications and Research

Andrew, A. & Wilson, L. (2015) A café on the premises of an aged care facility- more than just froth? Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Conference: Doing well together. September 2015 in Rotorua New Zealand. http://www.cmnzl.co.nz/apotc-2015/abstracts/

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  Michelle Holland
Senior Lecturer MichelleH@op.ac.nz

Michelle is a Senior Lecturer who joined the School of Occupational Therapy in 2007. She has been a Fieldwork 2 Supervisor for eight years and the Coordinator of Fieldwork 2 since 2011. Michelle has also been involved in teaching in the undergraduate programme since 2007 and her areas of teaching have included psychology, occupation, professional practice and Neurology.

  Karin Govaerts
Lecturer KarinG@op.ac.nz

Karin is a Lecturer within the School of Occupational Therapy. She began working for Otago Polytechnic in 2006 and currently teaches on the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree programme.

  Sian Griffiths
Senior Lecturer siang@op.ac.nz

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.

Publications and Research

Whitcombe-Shingler, W., Griffiths, S. & Penman, M. (2013) Peoples' experiences and perspectives of using multifunction power wheelchairs in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60 (Suppl. 1), 16.

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  Helen Jeffery
Senior Lecturer HelenJ@op.ac.nz

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, and has a coordinating role with the Occupational Therapy Post Graduate team.

  Annette Jensen
Senior Lecturer annettej@op.ac.nz

Annette is a Danish trained occupational therapist with extensive practice experience in New Zealand and a current NZROT. Since 2010 she has been employed at the School of Occupational Therapy, Otago Polytechnic and is based at WINTEC City Campus in Hamilton. She has completed her Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (Level 7). Annette is a senior lecturer and student support for year one students enrolled in Hamilton.

Publications and Research

Herkt, J.A., Wilson, L. H., Webster, J., Jensen, A., Blamies, H. (2016) The influence of curricula on the career and life pathways of graduates. ZAHPE - OTTAWA 2016 Joint Conference, Perth, Australia. http://media.wix.com/ugd/363deb_3fc11e0e465046a0a2339f92f7a78993.pdf

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  Penelope Kinney (PhD Candidate)
Senior Lecturer penelopek@op.ac.nz

Penelope is a senior lecturer at the School of Occupational Therapy. 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 Masters degree which explored the lived experiences of moving from a secure unit to an open ward within a forensic service and is now enrolled into her PhD. Penelope works part time each day.

Publications and Research

Kinney, P (2016) Walking interviews: Reforming qualitative health research data collection Qualitative Health Research Conference - 17-19 October 2016, Kelowna, Canada

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  Linda Robertson
Associate Professor lindar@op.ac.nz

Dr Linda Robertson is an experienced lecturer who has taught at all levels of occupational therapy education but is now focusing on postgraduate courses. She has a PhD from Victoria University, a Masters in Education from Edinburgh University, and BA from Alderson Broaddus College (US). Her topics of research expertise are clinical reasoning, qualitative research methods, education, and care of older people. A major achievement from a long career in teaching is her book, Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy Controversies in Practice, published in 2012. She is a registered occupational therapist and a member of the Abbeyfield Dunedin Inc committee and of the Age Concern Otago executive committee. Linda fosters the natural abilities and curiosity of postgraduate students, helping them to follow strong research methodologies.

Publications and Research

Robertson, L. & Hale, B. (2017) Chinese Seniors on the threshold of becoming a New Zealander. Conference in July

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  James Sunderland
Senior Lecturer jamess@op.ac.nz

James is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Occupational Therapy and Year Two coordinator in the bachelors program. He teaches across the three years of the undergraduate degree programme. His teaching has a strong focus on exploration of both the commonalities and differences that exist in individuals and communities engagement in occupation. His masters study looked at the Men's Shed movement in New Zealand.

Publications and Research

Sunderland J., Wilson, L., and Members of the Taieri Blokes Shed (2017) Why I fit in: A Taieri blokes's shed story OT Insight, vol.38, No 3, May 2017

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  Kevin Tattersall
Senior Lecturer kevo@op.ac.nz

Kevin is a Lecturer and started working within the School of Occupational Therapy in 1998. He holds a Masters in Physical Education, Bachelor of Science (Anatomy) and Bachelor of Physical Education (Kinesiology). Human movement is his passion and he particularly enjoys teaching functional anatomy, kinesiology, ergonomics and the benefits of physical activity. Kevin lives with his wife and daughter in a passive solar-designed house, keeping goats and chickens and growing what they can.

Publications and Research

Handcock, P.J. & Tattersall, K. (2011) Occupational Therapists Beware: Physical activity guidelines have limitations British Journal of Occupational Therapy British Journal of Occupational Therapy. Special issue: Promoting physical activity to enhance quality of life In print Word count: 100 + 1465 In print

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  Jayne Webster
Senior Lecturer, Hamilton-based jwebster@op.ac.nz

Jayne is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Occupational Therapy based at the satellite site in Hamilton (Wintec), working for Otago Polytechnic since 2011. Prior to this, Jayne worked in the USA in a clinicalmanagement role within the human services for 10 years. Her qualifications include a PG Dip OT, BHSc(OT), GCTLT (Level 7), NZROT and OTR (USA). Jayne's interests are in the field of mental health and developmental disabilities. Jayne is co convenor of the mental health academics ANOTMHA (Australia and New Zealand) steering committee looking at research based on mental health curriculum and clinicians current practice, with the aim to ensure that Otago Polytechnic school of occupational therapy curriculum is at a superior standard. Jayne has recently published research in the Australian Occupational therapy journal related to the research and has presented at numerous conferences with the group. Jayne is currently completing her masters looking at retention of occupational therapists working in mental health services in New Zealand.When Jayne is not working, she loves to travel and spend time at the beach.

Publications and Research

Newton Scanlan, J., Pépin, G., Haracz, K., Ennals, P., Webster, J., Meredith, J, P., Batten, R., Bowman, S., Bonassi, M. & Bruce, R.
(2015) Identifying educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare for mental health practice in Australia and New Zealand: Opinions of practising occupational therapists Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, Special Issue: Mental Health and Occupational Therapy. Volume 62, Issue 5, pages 286–298, October 2015

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  Mary Butler
Senior Lecturer mbutler@op.ac.nz

Dr Mary Butler is a Principal Lecturer and coordinates the Master's programme. She is passionate about doing research that is relevant and makes a difference to our clients and that also speaks to the heart of Occupational Therapy philosophy. Research interests include visual impairment including neurological visual impairment, and clinical ethics. Mary obtained her Bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy from Edinburgh University, and has a Masters degree in Anthropology and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Otago. She teaches on the postgraduate program, supervising students and teaching a research methods paper. Mary helps her Masters students align their research with their personal and professional interests. She is a member of the Otago Polytechnic Ethics Committee and a Board member of the Vision Impairment Charitable Trust Aotearoa.

Publications and Research

Jaye, C., Tordoff, J., Butler, M., Hale, B., McKechnie, R., Robertson, L. & Simpson, J. (2016) Quality in residential care: exploring residents’, family members', managers' and staff perspectives. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 17:4.

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  Margaret Fish
Lecturer, Hamilton-based mfish@op.ac.nz

Margaret began lecturing for the Otago Polytechnic School of Occupational Therapy in 2011 and is based at the WINTECRotokauri Campus in Hamilton. She has been operating independently in Hamilton as an Occupational Therapist for a number of years and works primarily with elderly people. Her postgraduate study included literature on supporting older people with dementia in their own home and community-based occupational therapy for people with diabetes.

  Rita Robinson
Lecturer RitaR@op.ac.nz

Rita is a 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 the Rotokauri Campus (WINTEC) in Hamilton. Rita holds a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Otago Polytechnic and her specific interests surround childrens occupational development and co-occupation.

Publications and Research

Robinson, R. (2017) Care moments- Engagement in everyday task of toileting. 54th ECNZ Annual Conference, 14 - 15 July 2017, Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre.

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Narinder Verma
Lecturer/Fieldwork Associate nverma@op.ac.nz

Sharon Harth-Bryant
Lecturer/Fieldwork Associate shbryant@op.ac.nz

  Jenna Collie
Lecturer jennac@op.ac.nz

Jenna is a Lecturer within the School of Occupational Therapy. Jenna began working for Otago Polytechnic in 2016 and currently teaches on the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree programme. Jenna has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Health Science and a Masters of Health Practice (addictions).

Sarah Redfearn
Fieldwork Associate/Lecturer sredfearn@op.ac.nz

Support Staff

Kiri Waitai
Academic Staff member - WINTEC kwaitai@op.ac.nz