Speaker Bios

Oka Sanerivi – Oka Sanerivi is a physiotherapy clinician, emerging researcher, manager and governor. Oka sits on a number of physiotherapy governance committees including the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand as a Practitioner Board Member and Physiotherapy New Zealand’s Executive Committee as an elected Committee Member. Oka is also the rehabilitation focal point for the Pasifika Medical Association Emergency Medical Team (PACMAT), a team of health professionals of Pacific-descent who are deployed by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist in response to disasters in the region. Oka was recently New Zealand’s delegate to the 20th General Meeting of World Physiotherapy held in Dubai this year and presented at the World Physiotherapy Congress 2023 on his special interests: paediatrics, leadership and indigenous knowledge. His doctoral research explores how physiotherapists could better engage minority groups of Pacific heritage living in New Zealand and the surrounding Pacific islands, with the aim of promoting culturally safe physiotherapy services for these populations.

Mrs Shristi Bajracharya – Shristi holds Bachelor’s in Physiotherapy and a Master’s in Rehabilitation Science affiliated with Dhaka University. Her work experiences mainly include Paediatric rehabilitation, Community-based rehabilitation, and training to government officials, Disabled Peoples Organisations, and Health workers regarding disability and rehabilitation. Her main responsibilities in the position included capacity building of project-based technical staff, and government staff on health and rehabilitation through formal training, job training, and distance support. It also involved developing a strong linkage between the health system and other stakeholders in the community and district for the effective implementation of the project. She is currently working as Training Officer at Handicap International Nepal in a rehabilitation project aiming to integrate rehabilitation services into the health system. Ms. Shristi’s role involves building training packages under the leadership of EDCD/LCDMS and implementing various training packages involving the parents and caregivers of children with Developmental Disabilities and Early detection and referral of children with impairments.

She has made several papers as well as poster presentations at various national as well as international conferences including the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) and has published papers in the Journal of Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) and Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation. Her Master’s thesis involved Evidence-based practice and she further seeks to work extensively in the promotion of Evidence-based practice among Physiotherapists in Nepal in close coordination with the Nepal Physiotherapy Association (NEPTA).

Dr Mel Adams – Mel qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) in 1990. After 10 years of working in the UK, with adults with developmental and acquired neurodisabilities, she decided to turn her attention to the development of Speech and Language Therapy training and services overseas. She started in Sri Lanka, where she taught on the SLT training course and supported therapists working with children with physical disabilities as part of a programme run by the charity Motivation. She went on to spend three years in Bangladesh where she helped to set up a degree course in Speech and Language Therapy and carried out her own research study which led to a PhD. The research involved designing and evaluating a training package for carers of children with cerebral palsy and feeding difficulties. She has since worked at UCL and City University London as a clinical tutor and lecturer in disability, she has continued to assist in the development and evaluation of training packages for international organisations and has been instrumental in the development of the work of MAITS, a charity dedicated to building the capacity of staff and caregivers supporting children with disabilities in low-resource settings.

PT Nazia Hozaifa – Nazia has been associated with ACELP (an organisation providing educational and therapeutic services to children with special needs) for 14 years. In 2016, she started with my Master Training program with MAITS and done multiple national and international trainings as trainer. Having done Masters of philosophy in physical therapy with specialisation in “Women Health and Paediatric Rehabilitation) and Yoga Teacher’s Training course, she applies combination of both physical Therapy and yoga for children with special needs and Women with improved outcomes. As a researcher, I have been involved in various research projects with publications to my credit.

Saadia Asif OT – Saadia is an Occupational Therapist with 26 years of experience at ACELP, an organisation in Pakistan serving children with special needs. She has done Talk Tool certifications (Level 1+2) and contributes as a visiting faculty member at the College of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Ziauddin University. In 2016, she started her journey as a Master Trainer with MAITS and conducts workshops and training sessions for caregivers and professionals dedicated to children with disabilities.

Mr Ali Punjani – Ali is an Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist currently teaching university students of undergrad program of Speech Language Pathology and practicing in university hospital clinic with patients with communication, hearing and swallowing problems.

Dr Lynne Wyness – Lynne is a Senior Lecturer at Plymouth Marjon University and Programme Leader for an online MA Professional Education Practice. She also teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) for new academics: introducing them to how to conduct their own pedagogic research, and how to manage research projects. She has advised on digital pedagogy, both internally and on external projects for the NHS, and is currently researching values-based digital pedagogical frameworks and the impact of teaching, learning, and assessment practices on student mental health and wellbeing. She also coaches practitioner academics who wish to develop their research portfolio. Lynne has five years’ prior experience as an Educational Developer within the Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory at the University of Plymouth, working with hundreds of new academics to enhance their teaching. She also has over 15 years’ prior teaching experience in a range of educational contexts including primary, secondary, Special Needs, and Further Education. Lynne has a MSc in Sustainable Development and a PhD in the geographies of education, both from the University of Exeter.

Professor Michael Rowe – Dr Michael Rowe is an Associate Professor in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom. He conducts research into the use of digital technologies in the classroom and their influence on teacher and student relationships as part of teaching and learning. His current research interests include the role of critical pedagogy in practice, as well as the increasing potential of artificial intelligence in higher and professional education.

Ms Anna Vines – Anna is a Physiotherapist and Program Director for World Hope’s Enable the Children program, which provides home-based therapy for children with disabilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Prior to this, Anna worked with Mercy Ships as the Rehabilitation Coordinator in Sierra Leone. She has been a training consultant with Handicap International and the Aberdeen Women’s Centre. Anna is from Great Britain, and she recently won a Point of Light Award from Prime Minister Theresa May. Anna co-authored the Trauma Orthopaedics chapters in The Concise Guide to Physiotherapy – Volume 1: Assessment and Volume 2: Treatment by Tim Ainslie. Anna has a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy.

Ms Suzanne Thomas – Suzanne trained as a pharmacist in the UK and was a senior clinical tutor for the School of Pharmacy, University of Manchester and Central Manchester Foundation Trust before moving to Sierra Leone in 2011 as a technical advisor for education in Ola During Children’s Hospital with the Welbodi Partnership. In 2013 she returned to Sierra Leone as the education lead for the King’s Global Health Partnerships. She worked closely with the College of Medicines and Allied Health Sciences and Connaught Hospital in Freetown for 8 years. While remaining in Sierra Leone, she has recently been working as a programme manager with the Welbodi Partnership, supporting maternal health research and research capacity building, as well as providing technical advice in education and pharmacy for antimicrobial stewardship with King’s and continuing to teach clinical pharmacy to undergraduates. Since obtaining her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree she has successfully gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Pharmacy Practice and a Master’s in Clinical Education. She is also a Chief Pharmaceutical Officer (UK) Global Health Fellow.