Opening keynote speaker

Mai Chen

Mai Chen

Managing Partner

Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists

  • Adjunct Professor at University of Auckland School of Law
  • Director, BNZ Board
  • Chair, New Zealand Asian Leaders
  • Chair, Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business
  • Inaugural Chair, NZ Global Women
  • Co-founder, Cultural Bridge, JV company with NZME
  • Top 10 finalist, 2014 and 2016 New Zealander of the Year
  • Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life in the Global Diversity List 2016 affiliated with the Global Diversity Awards, which produces the annual European Diversity Awards, and supported by The Economist

Chen Palmer won the Best Boutique Law Firm in 2010, and Best Public Law Firm in the New Zealand Law Awards from 2007-2011, and 2013, and was a finalist in the Employment Law Awards in 2011. The Firm has offices in Wellington and Auckland and celebrated its 20th Anniversary in November 2014. Chen Palmer was one of NZ’s first boutique law firms and was Australasia’s first “Washington-style” law firm specialising in legislation and public policy. Mai is a thought leader, a direction setter and a futures thinker. She is one of NZ’s top constitutional and administrative law experts, specialising in central and local Government policy and legislation, especially as it applies to business, and litigating major public law cases.

Mai is Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland, School of Law. She was previously Adjunct Professor in Commercial and Public Law at the University of Auckland, Business School.

Mai is the best-selling author of Public Law Toolbox published in 2012 and Transforming Auckland: The Creation of Auckland Council published in 2014, both by LexisNexis. The second edition of Public Law Toolbox was published in 2014.

Mai is the inaugural Chair of NZ Global Women, including NZ’s top 200 women leaders, and founded and is the inaugural Chair of NZ Asian Leaders connecting top Asian NZ CEOs and emerging leaders with New Zealand companies doing business in Asia to enhance their success to help NZ Inc. She also helped to establish the Pacifica Leadership Academy at BEST Pacific Institute of Education, formerly led by Olympic medallist Beatrice Faumuina.

Mai was a Top 10 finalist in the 2014 and 2016 New Zealander of the Year Awards. She won the supreme Judges Panel Award and the Professional Excellence Award at the New Zealand Chinese Business Elite Awards in 2012, and also the Business and Entrepreneur Women of Influence Award in 2013. Mai won Next Magazine's Business Woman of the Year in 2011, and is a World’s Best New Zealander in the Kiwi Expatriates Network. Mai was listed in the 2009 and 2010 unlimited magazine’s top Influencers List. Mai is a member of Legals Finest for Public and Administrative Law and has been ranked in the forthcoming edition of Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 as one of the best lawyers.

Mai sat on the Securities Commission, on the NZ Board of Trade and Enterprise’s Beachheads Programme, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Advisory Board of AMP Life Limited (NZ), and was President of the Harvard New Zealand Alumni Association (NZ) for ten years. Mai sits on the board of directors of the Bank of New Zealand and will take over as Chair of the People and Remuneration Committee in June 2016, and will be taking on more governance appointments.

Mai has a First Class Law Honours degree from Otago University, a Masters degree from Harvard Law School, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and an Honorary Associate of Auckland University of Technology. She was born in Taiwan and emigrated to NZ in 1970 with her family. She became a NZ citizen in 1977.

Mai launched in July 2013, a site which allows the making of wills to be easy and which helps New Zealanders to live life to the full. The site was rebranded as, and has just been bought by Perpetual Guardian.

Mai has completed the “Superdiversity Stocktake: Implications for Business, Government and New Zealand” published on the Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business Website. Chen Palmer and the Superdiversity Centre have also recently entered into a joint venture with NZ Media and Entertainment to form Cultural Bridge to advise government and companies on how to communicate with diverse New Zealanders.

Maternity mental health keynote speaker

Dr Bonnie Siu

Dr Bonnie Siu

Consultant and Department Head

Department of Forensic Psychiatry of Castle Peak Hospital of Hong Kong

Dr Bonnie Siu is a psychiatrist practising in Hong Kong and is graduated from the Medical School of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is a fellow of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists, a Specialist in Psychiatry of the Medical Council of Hong Kong and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She is also a Master in Science in Health and Hospital Management of the University of Birmingham of the United Kingdom and an Associate Member of the Academy of Experts of the United Kingdom. Bonnie is currently working as the Consultant and Department Head of the Department of Forensic Psychiatry of Castle Peak Hospital of Hong Kong. She is currently the Editorial Board member of the College Journal (the East Asian Archives of Psychiatry) of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists. Bonnie has published or presented over 40 articles on psychiatric services in various journals and conferences. She has special interest in Forensic Psychiatry, Rehabilitation Psychiatry and Perinatal Psychiatry. She is the first Associate Consultant in psychiatry for the development of the Comprehensive Child Development Service in Hong Kong for the care of women with perinatal mental health problems.

Maternity mental health guest speaker

Dr Ruth De Souza

Dr Ruth De Souza

Stream Leader, Research, Policy and Evaluation

Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health

Member of the Australian College of Nursing, Professional Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand;Member of Health Informatics Society of Australia; Member of Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association; Member of Australian Women's and Gender Studies Association; Member of Graduate Women Victoria; Member of The Australian Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (AMIRCI).

Ruth De Souza is an experienced nurse, therapist, educator and researcher who leads the research program at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health in Melbourne. Ruth was part of a team that established the Maternal Mental Health Service at Auckland District Health Board in 1995. Ruth’s interest in the well being of new parents from migrant and refugee backgrounds led her to complete her PhD using postcolonial feminist theory and cultural safety to highlight the political economy of colonisation, and racialisation.

Health and wellbeing of older people guest speaker

Dr Gary Cheung

Dr Gary Cheung

Old Age Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer

University of Auckland

Dr Gary Cheung is an old age psychiatrist. He completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Otago and specialist training with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He is the Director of Academic Programme for the Auckland Regional Psychiatric Training Programme. His main research interests are suicide in older people, cognitive assessment, postgraduate psychiatry training, and translating cognitive stimulation therapy for people with mild to moderate dementia.

Health and wellbeing of older people guest speaker

Catherine Chiu

Catherine Chiu

Community Palliative Care Nurse

Mercy Hospice Auckland

Ms Catherine (Cat) Chiu (MN) is a registered nurse. She originally trained in Hong Kong. She has been working in nursing over 25 years, including 15 years in Australasia.

She has worked as a specialist palliative care nurse for almost 10 years. She is proud to have held the position of NZ’s first Chinese liaison within specialist palliative care from 2009 - 2014.

Cat is passionate about older peoples care and clinical mentoring and education.

Primary healthcare and community health keynote speaker

Professor Eleanor Holroyd

Professor Eleanor Holroyd

Professor of Research

AUT University

  • Professor of Nursing RN, PHD (Med Anthropology, HKU)
  • Professorial Fellow School of Global and Population Health, University of Melbourne
  • Visiting Professor National University of Singapore
  • Adjunct Professor CUHK Public Health
  • Professor of Research School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology

Prof Holroyd graduated from AUT, completed at PHD in Medical Anthropology at the University of Hong Kong, then undertook 15 years of research work with migrant female sex workers in Hong Kong and Thailand. She has published widely (over 100 papers, chapters and books) from a cross disciplinary perspective and has several current research projects underway. These include asylum seeker and refugee mental and sexual health in Hong Kong and Horn of Africa community HPV uptake in western Melbourne. She is committed to ongoing migration and sexual health research studies and PHD student support in HK, Oman, Thailand, and Africa (Uganda).

Cultural Competency and workforce development guest speaker

Dr Leonie Walker

Dr Leonie Walker

Principle Researcher

Victoria University Wellington

  • BSc MSc PhD MBAcC
  • Principal Researcher
  • Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Nursing & Midwifery, Victoria University Wellington

Former UK NHS health research and research manager, employed for eight years by New Zealand Nurses Organisation based in Wellington, leading a varied, collaborative research programme focusing on nursing workforce research.