Reflections Changing Lenses

Me aro koe ki te hā o Hine-ahu-one, Ko Hine tītama, Ko Hine nui te Po. Pay heed to the dignity of women.

Joining Anah and her amazing team at the Changing Lenses – A one day Health and Wellness Workshop was enlightening and empowering.

From the early stages of preparing for this day to the closing process at the end of the workshop embodied the very essence of compassion. The energy in this workshop went beyond the powerful words that were conveyed.

Anah paid homage to the people she had nursed and her health colleagues by the sharing of pūrakau (stories). Through the telling of pūrakau Anah was able to respectfully weave her clients health journey together with her nursing care to illustrate the shared experience and the healing that took place not only for the client but others within her rich narratives.

Often I work as a lone warrior in the field of health either specialising in Māori health, assisting whānau Māori to access health services, liaising with whānau to ensure their needs are addressed within the community and clinical settings, advocating for children and youth in acute mental health settings and researching in fields of disability and maternity care. In each of these areas being an Māori advocate for hauora Māori and for those I work with can be lonely and confronting. Attending workshops such as Changing Lenses takes the isolation out of what I do and provides the opportunity of connection and shared possibilities with others.

I am excited about the prospect of working with Anah and the network she is forming in order to enhance the expression of compassion and empathy in all areas of health.

Well done Anah and her whānau of kaimahi for driving this kaupapa to the next taumata with grace, dignity and in unity.”

Kelly Tikao Workshop participant, RN, MScomm, PhD Candidate, Research Associate DBI

“I have been reflecting on the workshop directed by Anah Aikman today “Changing Lenses”

“Changing Lenses: The role of empathy, culture and kindness for healthy communities”.

Part of me wants to say there are no words and yet there are so many. From the beginning I felt a connection with each and every participant I met. I sampled value based leadership from our humble director Anah Aikman as she honoured and nurtured each and every one in her team. I witnessed Anah’s dignity as we dealt with the complexities of running an event in the face of challenges that come along in the intricacies and hiccups that can occur. I felt I was participating in something bigger than myself and my own dreams. There was so much to learn from our speakers e.g. Carolyn Jones who made me feel proud to be a nurse, but humbled by what I saw other nurses were capable of. I was touched to the core by her film documentary “The American Nurse” I have been honoured to hear the input from Rachel Callandar who taught me so much more about the importance of language and embracing the strengths and unique qualities of each individual rather than focusing on limits or diagnosis. Followed by the the inspiring Dr Summer Damuth who brings hope and evidence base as she informed us of the science behind the impact of empathy and kindness on health outcomes by showing us the research. Her story, telling about how a difference could be made to an individual, even in the busy ED department where she works was poignant and eye opening.

The food was nourishing and individualized to meet all needs, the ambience was set to each fine detail with loving attention by Anah and her beautiful helpers Rachel Trumper and Toni Sweetman while the music was embracing. I have been moved, inspired and changed by this experiential workshop and Anah has showed her team values based leadership by being one herself. May her vision and work continue and I for one want to be part of more to come

Thank you Anah”. – Heather Leong