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Programme and speakers


This international symposium will create a great opportunity for sharing knowledge from multiple disciplines, encouraging dialogue between different sectors, and transferring that knowledge to the wider community. Such an approach will bring a dynamic and vibrant flavour to our scientific program including international and New Zealand-based speakers, oral and poster presentations and panel discussions of experts from multiple fields.

We will also have great opportunities for physical activity and social events that will help the delegates to enjoy what Dunedin and New Zealand have to offer.

Browse through TALES 2019 Symposium presentation slides

Download symposium programme (in PDF format, 1MB)

Download symposium pamphlet (in PDF format, 865KB)

Download symposium proceedings (in PDF format, 2MB)

Public Forum

Join us for the Public Forum “Transforming Cities into Healthy, Active and Sustainable Places”. This forum is open to public and free of charge. See poster for details.

University of Otago, Castle Lecture Theatre Complex, Castle 2, Dunedin, New Zealand

Friday 15 February 2019 |4:00pm to 5:00pm

Download public forum poster (in PDF format, 1.5MB)


The goal of this symposium is to facilitate and grow an international, multidisciplinary and multi-sector dialogue related to Active Living and Environment. Therefore, participants will have an opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with a range of international and New Zealand speakers and participants across the fields of health, transport, environment and sustainability.

International speakers

  • Professor Jennifer Mindell, UCL (University College London), London, United Kingdom
  • Professor John C. Spence, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Dr Enrique García Bengoechea, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

New Zealand-based speakers

  • Ms Celia Wade-Brown QSO, Living Streets Aotearoa
  • Mr Martin Dutton, Ministry of Health
  • Professor Simon Kingham, Ministry of Transport
  • Ms Claire Pascoe, New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Mr Andrew Jackson, Consulting Jackson Ltd
  • Professor Erica Hinckson, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland
  • Associate Professor Melody Smith, University of Auckland, Auckland
  • Associate Professor Ben Wooliscroft, University of Otago, Dunedin
  • Associate Professor Sandy Mandic, University of Otago, Dunedin
  • Dr Christina Ergler, University of Otago, Dunedin

Details about speakers and their presentations are provided below:

Jenny Mindell_PhotoProfessor Jennifer Mindell

UCL (University College London), London, United Kingdom

Community severance – the barrier effects of busy roads

Dr Jennifer Mindell is Professor of Public Health at UCL (University College London). A public health doctor based in UCL’s Research Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, she conducts research on community severance (the barrier effects of busy roads) and road casualty rates, and leads the UCL Health Survey for England team. She is Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning Journal of Transport and Health. She is on the Executive of both the Transport and Health Study Group (convenor of its Latin American network) and the International Professional Association on Transport and Health and chairs the UK Faculty of Public Health’s Health Improvement Committee.

Speaker_John SpenceDr. John C. Spence, Professor and Vice Dean

Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Potential Impact of Autonomous Vehicles on Movement Behaviour: Insights from a Scoping Review

Professor Spence has expertise in theories of health behaviour, research methods, and population health. His research focuses on the benefits and determinants of physical activity and how physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are related to obesity. Recent work has examined the role of policy initiatives for promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior in Canada. For instance, he has led evaluations on the effectiveness of tax credits and a micro-grants program to support children’s access to physical activity and sport.

Enrique_Garcia_Photo_V2_WebDr Enrique García Bengoechea

Dean’s Research Fellow in Physical Activity and Health, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland 

The promise of participatory research for scaling up physical activity interventions

Enrique’s main area of research is community-based physical activity and health promotion. Previously, he has held research and academic appointments at the Alberta Centre for Active Living, McGill University and the University of Western Sydney. Enrique is a member of the research team of the Built Environment and Active Transport to School (BEATS) study, based at the University of Otago. He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the new Institute for Health and Sport (IHES) at Victoria University in Melbourne.

Speaker_Celia Wade-BrownMs Celia Wade-Brown QSO

Living Streets Aotearoa

Highlights from Walk21 Conference in Bogota, Columbia

Celia Wade-Brown has been active in local government for 20 years, with two terms as Mayor of Wellington. She founded Living Streets Aotearoa, the nationwide voice for people on foot, in 2002 and is currently their National Secretary. Celia walked the 3000 km trail in 2017 and is now a trustee of Te Araroa Trust. She is also a trustee of the international Walk21 Foundation.

Speaker_Martin DuttonMr Martin Dutton

Ministry of Health, New Zealand, Senior Advisor, Wellness, Nutrition & Physical Activity Team

New Zealand response to the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity

Martin has a passion for all things activity related, especially those connected with the outdoors. Having spent a decade running an outdoor activity centre in the UK as well as 7 years as the Senior Advisor Physical Activity at the Ministry of Health, Martin understands the benefits of physical activity from the perspective of a participant, educator and operational policy maker. Martin has authored several Ministry guidelines including ‘Guidelines on Physical Activity for Older People (aged 65 years and over)’ (2013), the ‘Eating and Activity Guidelines for NZ Adults’ (2015) and the ‘Sit Less, Move More, Sleep Well Guidelines for Under-Fives’ (2017). In 2017, Martin represented New Zealand at the World Health Organization’s Fifth Regional Workshop on Leadership and Advocacy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases.

Professor Simon KinghamProfessor Simon Kingham

Ministry of Transport, Chief Science Advisor

Turning active transport research into policy: a view from the Chief Science Advisor

In February 2018, Professor Simon Kingham became the first Chief Science Adviser for the Ministry of Transport. In this role, Simon supports the Ministry in developing and supporting an evidence-based approach to strategy and advice to ensure the Ministry uses the best scientific research in formulating policy. He spends two days a week in Wellington, and the rest of the week at the University of Canterbury where he is a Professor of Geography, Director of the GeoHealth Laboratory, and deputy-Director of the Geospatial Research Institute. His research primarily focuses on the impact of the urban environment on individual and community health and wellbeing. Much of his research uses geospatial science. His research is generally applied and carried out with end users with a strong community engagement focus.

Speaker_Claire PascoeMs Claire Pascoe

New Zealand Transport Agency

Changing Urban Mobility systems: technical problem or adaptive challenge?

Claire Pascoe is the Lead Advisor Urban Mobility at the New Zealand Transport Agency. In her current role, she provides technical expertise and leadership in relation to rebalancing the transport system, providing people with genuine options for getting around our towns and cities and making them healthier places to be. She was previously involved in developing and delivering the Urban Cycleways Programme and managing the national cycling culture change team.

Mr Andrew JacksonSpeaker_Andrew Jackson_Web

Consulting Jackson Ltd

Exploring the interplay of living and digital cognitive systems in mobility and what this might mean for future health and environmental outcomes

In his consulting role, Andrew Jackson led New Zealand Transport Agency's programme to create a Future Transport Technology Roadmap and has consulted a number of public sector organisations on strategy including NZ's Treasury and Ministry of Education, and a range of multinationals. He represented Udacity in New Zealand (a Silicon Valley company providing training in leading edge programming). He was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Transport where he was responsible for strategy and research and before that was the Deputy Secretary for Competition, Trade and Investment in the Ministry of Economic Development. Prior to coming to New Zealand he worked for the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser (Professor Sir David King) bringing together groups of world leading scientists under the Foresight banner to tackle challenging issues. Projects he led included those on Obesity, Psychoactive substances and Addiction and Intelligent Infrastructure.

Professor Erica HincksonSpeaker_Erica Hickson_Web

Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Active Living through Citizen Science: a bottom up approach

Professor Erica Hinckson is currently the Head of School-Sport and Recreation at Auckland University of Technology. Her research is focused on understanding the links between the environment, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health. She is on the steering committee for the International Physical activity & Environment Network-Adolescents, IPEN study, chair of the international Council of Environment and Physical Activity and inaugural member of Citizen Science Global Research Network.

Speaker_Melody SmithAssociate Professor Melody Smith

The School of Nursing, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Neighbourhoods for Active Kids: Understanding children's neighbourhood use, perceptions, and preferences, and links with health

Aspirations for neighbourhoods where children can be independently mobile, where people can get around safely by walking and cycling, and where social and physical well-being is prioritised and facilitated are key drivers of my research. Most of this work involves the integration of objective measurement of behaviours and outcomes (e.g., accelerometry, inclinometry, GPS, GIS), as well as person-centred methods (participatory planning, online mapping). I am fortunate to work with amazing researchers and students across a range of innovative projects that contribute to understanding the links between built and social environments and health and well-being in children and their families.

Speaker_Ben WooliscroftAssociate Professor Ben Wooliscroft

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Moving beyond infrastructure: Changing the culture (and mode) of our mobility

Assoc Prof Ben Wooliscroft is the Associate Dean Research in the Division of Commerce and a transportation and energy researcher affiliated with the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago. His primary interest is in the place of active transportation in the move towards more efficient, healthier, more sustainable and more equitable mobility in New Zealand. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Macromarketing and an active macromarketing researcher, dealing with the interactions between markets and society. Other research focuses on ethical consumption (including transportation) and sustainable business models (including sustainable mobility’s place in business).

Speaker_Sandy MandicAssociate Professor Sandra Mandic

Active Living Laboratory, School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Challenges for active transport to school in urban and rural New Zealand: Insights from the BEATS Research Programme

Multidisciplinary and multi-sector approach to physical activity and health with the links to transportation, built environment and sustainability inspire Sandy's research. Her academic training and professional experiences span Europe, Canada, United States and New Zealand. She is the academic leader of the Active Living Laboratory, the principal investigator on the Built Environment and Active Transport to School: BEATS Study, the convener of the Transport Research Network and a Research Affiliate of the Centre of Sustainability at the University of Otago.

Speaker_Christina Ergler_1Dr Christina Ergler

Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

'Yes, its fun, but ...': Young people voice their suggestions for improvement of a cycle skills training programme

Dr. Ergler’s research interests are at the intersection of geography, sociology and public health and centre on how physical, social and symbolic environments shape and are shaped by the way people play, live, age fall ill and recover in particular places. She has published numerous theoretical and methodological pieces to alert stakeholders and communities to the socio-spatial, structural and experiential dimensions of people’s health and wellbeing in transforming urban environments.