I work with health professionals across many specialities, teaching them to use empathy and open hearted language in their clinics and meetings with patients or parents. I believe that the language used at diagnosis, or when delivering life shattering medical information, is vitally important and so often, used with devastating outcomes. I teach that using kind words and having empathy, is just as important as any medical therapy or procedure and that the difference between a powerless and empowered patient or parent, is determined by language. It is very exciting to see this attitude being used to great effect across many different areas of health care, and small changes being made which have huge impact on positive patient outcomes and practitioner wellbeing.



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
25 June 2015 Leader to Leader workshop Aoraki Polytechnic Timaru Campus
2 July 2015 Perinatal Bioethics Symposium Dunedin
18 July 2015 MECA conference 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
11 September 2016  Australasian Sonographers Association Queenstown
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
10 August 2017 Bay of Plenty DHB Tauranga and Whakatane hospital, staff presentation
28-30 August 2017    Acute Paediatric conference  Don't forget the Conference Brisbane


11/12 October 2017 Southern DHB Innovate, Administrator Engagement Symposium NZ
20-22 November 2017 Oceania Seating Symposium Rotorua, New Zealand



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
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
Everyone loves your book! They find it original, moving, smart and beautiful. It works so well as counter-narrative to the medicalization of these kids.
— Josephine Johnston, Director of Research, The Hastings Center, New York.
You rock!!
Nothing but positive feedback. Your workshop prompted so much in the way of deep reflective thinking and how we make it all more of a reality, so you hit the nail on the head from this perspective.
You have such a gift in cutting to the chase of what we are here for… all too often this can get lost, so thank you for being a “pathfinder”… maybe that could be your new job title??

I hope to be in touch again soon for the next bright idea.
— Martin Chadwick, Executive Director Allied Health, Scientific and Technical BoP DHB
Why oh why did I wear eyeliner!
— Nicola Campbell, Paediatric Registra

are you HAVING A CONFERENCE and need an inspirational speaker? do you NEED your STAFF to practice open hearted language, for better patient outcomes?

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

Name *