Session 13: Clare Hocking, Ema Tokolahi, Elizabeth Townsend


About Clare, Ema, and Liz

Professor Clare Hocking and Dr Ema Tokolahi

Kia ora from Aotearoa New Zealand. We are occupational therapy academics, with British heritage, committed to the development of occupational therapy to serve humanity. Both of us identify as settlers in Aotearoa, and our recent work together has centred on occupational science, population level health promotion, and the virtual absence of Indigenous perspectives on the relationship of occupation and health. Clare is perhaps best known as the editor of the Journal of Occupational Science and for her work furthering discussions of occupational justice. Ema is building a reputation in establishing innovative student fieldwork placements that address the health and wellbeing of students in school settings.

Professor Emerita Eizabeth Townsend

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Dr. Townsend has a long record of occupational therapy practice after graduating from the University of Toronto. Her Masters and PhD are in Adult Education. She retired as a Founder and Former Director of the Dalhousie University School of Occupational Therapy. She is also a Founder and ongoing participant in the International and Canadian Societies of Occupational Science.

Session Title

(WEIRD) Occupational Science Propositions about Health Promotion

Session Details

Occupational scientists in WEIRD countries (western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic) assert that occupation can positively and/or negatively influence health. Such broad assertions are difficult to support or refute. Our presentation draws on occupational science scholarship to examine six propositions relating to access to meaningful occupations, diversity and balance of occupations, patterns of occupation, and community-based projects. Drawing insight from Indigenous researchers, we conclude by asserting the need to examine and extend the proposed links between occupation and health promotion from both WEIRD and non-WEIRD perspectives.


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