I work with health professionals, parent advocates, community support services, teachers and education providers, teaching them empowering and effective communication solutions to use with patients, parents and children. Studies prove that the language used at diagnosis, or when delivering life changing medical information, or to describe disability or difference is vitally important and so often, used with negative outcomes. I teach that using effective communication, is just as important as any medical therapy or procedure, and that the difference between a powerless and empowered patient, parent or child, is determined by language. This learning is being used to great effect across many different areas of the community, and changes are being made which has huge impact on positive patient outcomes and practitioner wellbeing. 

Keynote Presentations

Tailored to your audience, as many in attendance as you need, 15-60 mins.

My message is delivered with passion, beautiful imagery, no "death by powerpoint", elegance and flair. The message is simple, validating and powerful. Your audience will have actionable takeaways ready to implement as soon as they leave their seats.

Learning objectives include: 

  • The impact of effective communication styles,

  • Understanding the power of language- especially at diagnosis,

  • Making clinical/education reports more human,

  • How to have positive relationships with parents and patients for the benefit of everybody, including yourself as a professional.

You change your language, you change your mind. You change your mind, you change the world
— Paul Hawken, Dumbo Feather Magazine issue #52



3 August 2014 NZIPP InFocus Conference Rotorua
16 August 2014 TEDx Auckland
27 January 2015 Ministry of Education Special Education Canterbury
4 May 2015 Ministry of Education Southland
2 July 2015 Perinatal Bioethics Symposium Dunedin
24-26 July 2015 Poss-Able Expo Sydney
23 September 2015 Waipuna Hospice Fundraiser Tauranga
29 February 2016 NZORD Rare Disease Day Celebrations Wellington
11 May 2016 Allied Health Leading the Change Conference Auckland
12 May 2016 Waikato Hospice Fundraiser Hamilton
20-22 June 2016 MC at NZIPP InFocus Conference Wellington
12/13 October 2016 Southern DHB Courage, Compassion and Innovation Forums
5 November 2016 PONZ Tauranga
18-20 February 2017 Hair Of The Dog Photography conference Brisbane
5 April 2017 South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Innovate Conference, Geraldine, NZ
2-4 June 2017 Australasian Sonographers Association International Conference, Brisbane
15-19 June 2017 NZIPP InFocus Conference Wellington, New Zealand
10 August 2017  Bay of Plenty DHB, workshop on compassion to exec team
28-30 August 2017 Acute Paediatric conference Don't Forget the Bubbles 2017 Brisbane 
27 October 2017 ECIA Awards evening Perth
30 October-3 November 2017 Gathering of Kindness Melbourne
20-22 November 2017 Oceania Seating Symposium Rotorua NZ
28 February 2018 Rare Disease Day Keynote and MC Perth
1-2 March 2018 Conversations About Care Conference Melbourne
7-9 March 2018 PSNZ Forum Auckland NZ
25-28 March 2018 Perinatal Society of Australia & New Zealand Annual Scientific Congress
6-8 June 2018 MP4 Paediatric Meeting, Bowral NSW
5-9 July 2018 MC and Judge at NZIPP Iris Awards and Infocus conference NZ
18 July 2018 Royal Children's Hospital,  Keynote and Training Workshop Melbourne
20 July 2018 Therapy Focus 20 year Celebration Gala Perth
4-7 August 2018 42nd Human Genetics Society of Australasia Annual Scientific Meeting Sydney
26-29 August 2018 DFTB18 collaborative workshop with Mary Freer Melbourne


20-21 September 2018 NZNO Wellington
29 September 2018 Courageous Conversations Conference Bozeman Montana USA
3-5 October 2018 Global Genes RARE Patient Advocacy Summit California USA
18-20 October 2018 Auscrs Conference Noosa Australia
23-24 October 2018 Communities for Children Conference Tasmania
26 October 2018 Changing Lenses Christchurch NZ
16-17 November 2018 Rare Voices Australia National Rare Disease Summit Melbourne



In the 25 years that I have been organising and involved with the ASA, yours was the best opening address I have ever seen. And we’ve had politicians and celebrities and all sorts of people. We look at medicine in a very narrow way, we label and categorise everything and everyone. It is so good to be reminded that there is another way of looking at things. Thank you!
— Andrew Martin- former President of the Australasian Sonographers Association
I wanted to say again how your presentation at Monash Children’s Hospital was incredible - so inspirational, and I utilised the skills and insights that you taught us, the very next day at work! So beautiful to focus on what the child can do! So powerful :)

— Grace Davies- Paediatric Junior Resident Medical Officer
Hi Rachel,
Just wanted to let you know how great you were at DFTB 17. It has revitalised and revolutionised my clinical approach to my patients, and the copies of your book that you signed for me have found a good home.
Keep up the great work…it matters!!
— David McDonald A/Prof David McDonald MBBS FRACP DA(UK) Associate Professor in Paediatrics UNSW Director Prevocational Education and Training PMBH Consultant Paediatrician | Head Department of Paediatrics /Port Macquarie Base Hospital
Thank you for your powerful story, and your willingness to share at our recent AH Conference. While we are still going through the process of collating and analysing the feedback we received, I have had multiple anecdotal conversations, and people relating the impact that your words have had. You speak with such a simple but powerful message, and I know that it has touched and impacted many who heard you speak.
— Martin Chadwick Director Allied Health Counties Manukau District Health Board
I am still in awe of the recent talk you gave me and my colleagues at the Courage and Innovation Conference for Southern District Health Board. I truly believe you have changed my clinical practice forever ... One small step at a time! You are amazing.
— Sarah Maley- Occupational Therapist NZ
What can I say? Just.... WOW! WOW! Not only are you an amazing, loving, caring, intuitive being, you hold a room in the palm of your hand and nurture them and guide them to be better people. What a gift you possess. Thank you!
— Sara McKenna, AIPP board QLD and Hair of the Dog team
“Rachel’s talk should be compulsory for all medical students!”
— - Dr Simon Rowley, Neonatologist Auckland District Health Board
There are 3 things in my life I will never forget, even as I get old and start to lose my memory. The first is my wedding day, the second, the time I went snorkelling in the most amazing ocean and the third, is your presentation you gave to the ASA.
— Debbie Eadie, Obstetric Sonographer
I feel privileged to have heard you talk today. Thank you for sharing. I am going to strive to be that understanding Paediatrician that communicates in an empathetic, empowering way to parents.
— Paediatrician, DFTB17 conference
Why oh why did I wear eyeliner!
— Nicola Campbell, Paediatric Registra

are you HAVING A CONFERENCE and need a positive change inspiring speaker? do you NEED your STAFF to practice effective communication, for better outcomes?

Get in touch, I'd love to hear about your event and work with you to create a more caring health system.

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