Some of New Zealand and Australia’s most creative minds in music, theatre, creative writing, mental health, neuroscience and more will be participating in Mataora: Encounters Between Medicine and the Arts. Roll over their images and then click to read more about their work and interests and return to this page regularly to watch the programme grow.

Katherine Boydell

Katherine Boydell is a professor of mental health at the Black Dog Institute in New South Wales, Australia.  She is an internationally recognised leader in arts-based knowledge translation and the use of body mapping to develop resilience.


Paora Joseph

A youth worker turned psychologist, Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph is also a film maker whose docudrama Maui’s Hook deals with stories of families who have had a loved one take their own life. It focusses on changing attitudes and provoking action.

Sue Wootton

Sue Wootton is a novelist, poet and former physiotherapist. Her 2016 novel, Strip, is the story of a doctor whose initial, well-meaning, decision has unexpectedly devastating consequences. Her poems have been placed and commended in the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Sue edits the medical humanities e-zine “Corpus: Conversations about Medicine and Life”, found at

Chris Reid

Chris Reid is a Northland General Practitioner whose work Portraits from a Doctor’s Surgery provides an evocative glimpse into the minds and lives of his patients (and perhaps, of himself!).

Rob Mokaraka

Rob Mokaraka, Actor and Playwright, whose one-man theatre project called Shot Bro – Confessions of a Depressed Bullet illuminates the problem of depression.  Rob brings both his artistic work and his korēro to suicide prevention programmes across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Gina Grimshaw

Gina Grimshaw leads the Laboratory for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience at Victoria University of Wellington.  She studies the relationship between cognition and emotion as well as the cognitive and neural processes we use to create novel ideas.

Chris Bowden

Chris Bowden works and researches in suicide pre- and postvention services with a particular interest in adolescent and post-adolescent men affected by suicide.  He is a senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.

Annemarie Jutel

Annemarie Jutel is Professor of Health at Victoria University of Wellington.  Her work focusses on the sociology of diagnosis and the tales elicited at the moment of a diagnosis.  She is the author of Diagnosis: Truths and Tales.

Cindy Towns

Cindy Towns is an internist at Capital Coast District Health Board with a PhD in bioethics.

Chessie Henry

Chessie Henry is a writer and author of We Can Make a Life: A Memoir of Family, Earthquakes & Courage. Her book won Best First Book of Nonfiction at the 2019 Ockham New Zealand book awards.

Carl Shuker

Carl Shuker is principal advisor in publications at the Health Quality & Safety Commission and a former editor at the British Medical Journal. He is the author of five novels, most recently the bestselling A Mistake, a novel about errors in medicine and how we use data to understand – and misunderstand – what goes on in our hospitals.

Chris Marshall

Chris is the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice in Victoria University’s School of Government. His research focuses on restorative justice theory and practice, and its many applications in society. His theological work has focused strongly on the biblical and spiritual roots of the restorative justice vision.

Freya Daly Sadgrove

Freya Daly Sadgrove is a writer and performer whose work focuses on mental illness, relationships and memory, and also jokes. Her first book of poetry, Head Girl, is due for publication in 2020. More of her work can be found at

Siouxsie Wiles

Siouxsie Wiles MNZM is an award-winning microbiologist and science communicator at the University of Auckland. Her work focuses on the transmission of infectious microbes and the discovery of new antibiotics. She is the science correspondent for RNZ’s Nine to Noon show and the author of Antibiotic Resistance: The End of Modern Medicine?

Angela Andrews

Angela Andrews trained as a doctor but has spent recent years raising children and writing. She published a collection of poetry, Echolocation, in 2007, and her poems have featured in Sport, Landfall, and Best NZ Poems. More recently she completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, which explored the relationship between medicine and poetry.

Charles Royal

Charles Royal (Marutūahu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngā Puhi) is a composer and performer of music and stories; a teacher and researcher of indigenous knowledge, mātauranga Māori and iwi histories and traditions; and a leader in the arena of indigenous arts, culture and education,

Kiribati St. Faustina Choir

The Kiribati St. Faustina Choir was formed in 2008 by members who are from Kiribati, and who now reside in Titahi Bay, Tawa, Hutt Valley, and other Wellington regions, having made New Zealand their home. They are passionate about telling their Kiribati cultural stories through singing their traditional Kiribati songs with guitars and ukulele, and upholding their Kiribati culture.