Session 1 Resources: Karen Whalley Hammell

Karen Whalley Hammell

  • Access the recording here on our new YouTube channel!


  • Access the OCCUPIED Podcast of this session – 114 – All About Occupation Series ft Karen Whalley Hammell here



  • Karen’s responses to comments and questions posed, following her talk:
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Session 7: Daniela Castro de Jong & Georgia Pike-Rowney


About Daniela

Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra (Australia)

I am an Occupational therapist, academic and researcher. Born and raised in Chile, I completed my doctoral studies in Sweden, before moving to Australia in 2016. As an academic and practitioner, I have always been interested in the connections between what we do (occupations), who we are, and our surrounding contexts which has been supported by my experiences in the design, implementation, and evaluation of community-based rehabilitation strategies. Working with communities, allowed me to further understand the importance and the value of collective doing. A particular type of doing that I am interested in is arts and crafts, including music, which connects me with the traditional and historical approaches used in occupational therapy. Engaging in the Music Engagement Program was beneficial in professional terms, but also, and equally important, supported me to navigate the migration process.

About Georgia

Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University (Australia)

I am a practitioner and researcher in the transdisciplinary space of music, community, education, health and wellbeing. I am also the Co-Director of the Music Engagement Program, delivering training and outreach opportunities in schools, care facilities and community organisations. I regularly collaborate with researchers and practitioners in mental health, ageing, occupational therapy, education and medicine to research the impacts of the MEP approach, including in occupational therapy contexts. I have been collaborating with the University of Canberra’s Occupational Therapy program since 2014, through which over 300 students have participated in, and led, social singing outreach programs with aged care residents and children living with disabilities.  The MEP approach is now being delivered overseas, particularly in New Zealand. Music outreach practice has continued throughout 2020-2021 via online collaborations with community groups and schools.

Session Title

Doing music together as a shared occupation: a socio-altruistic music program as a collective occupation and a learning opportunity for occupational therapy students

Session Details

Music and singing are complex occupations, considering their known effects on health, occupational performance, collaboration, and socialisation for people of all ages and with all levels of abilities. This session will introduce the participants to the community-based Music Engagement Program, which aims to create opportunities for social interaction and wellbeing for all of those who are involved through sharing songs. The program is based in Canberra, Australia, and since 2014 has been a part of a local occupational therapy program to teach students about the nature of occupation. The students learn through engaging in community music sessions with residents in aged care facilities and local schools.

The collaboration has been recently published as a discussion paper:

Castro de Jong, D., Pike, G., West, S., Valerius, H., Kay, A., & Ellis, S. (2020). Shared music, shared occupation: Embedding music as a socio-altruistic collective- and co-occupation in occupational therapy education. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-14.

Session 6: Danielle Hitch


About Danielle

Dr. Danielle Hitch, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, Deakin University, Australia & Allied Health Research & Translation Lead, Western Health, Australia

I am a clinician, educator and researcher who is passionate about occupational therapy. My clinical experience includes mental health, neuropsychiatry, and employment services, and my areas of particular interest include preventing occupational violence, social justice and promoting mental health and wellbeing.  My meaningful occupations are crochet and knitting, Aussie rules football and playing with my kids.

Session Title

Outcome measurement in Occupational Therapy – What are we scared of?

Session Details

Outcome measurement is crucial to proving the effectiveness of occupational therapy, but remains scarce in many areas of practice. So what’s holding us back? And what does / should ‘outcome measurement’ look like in occupational therapy?

Session 5: Moses N Ikiugu


About Moses

Moses N Ikiugu, PhD, OTR/L, Professor and Director of Research, Occupational Therapy Department, University of South Dakota

I am Professor and Director of Research in the occupational therapy program, University of South Dakota. I have been an occupational therapist for 36 years and have conducted research and published articles extensively covering occupational therapy theory, occupational science, and the nature and use of meaningful occupations in therapy. My publications include three books: Psychosocial conceptual practice models (2007); Occupational science in the service of Gaia (2008); and Meaningful Living through Occupation: A guide to every-day life (2015) with Nick Pollard of Sheffield Hallam University in England.

Session Title

Understanding Meaningful Occupation and its Healing Qualities

Session Details

In this seminar, we will discuss the following:

  1. The nature of meaningful occupations
  2. The difference between meaningful and psychologically rewarding occupations
  3. The postulated healing properties of meaningful and psychologically rewarding occupations
  4. Future research to clarify the nature of meaningful and psychologically rewarding occupations
Suggested readings:

Ikiugu, M. N. (2019). Meaningful and psychologically rewarding occupations: Characteristics and implications for occupational therapy practice. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 35(1), 40-58. DOI: 10.1080/0164212X.2018.1486768

Ikiugu, M. N., Lucas-Molitor, W., Feldhacker, D., Gebhart, C., Spier, M., Kapels, L…Gaikowski, R. (2019). Guidelines for occupational therapy interventions based on meaningful and psychologically rewarding occupations. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20, 2027-2053.

Ikiugu, M. N., & Pollard, N. (2015). Meaningful living across the lifespan: Occupation-based intervention strategies for occupational therapists and scientists. Forest Hill, London: Whiting & Birch.

Session 4: Paula Kramer


About Paula

Dr. Paula Kramer PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, USA


I have been an occupational therapist for almost 50 years, practicing mostly in pediatrics, then in education.  I am a Professor Emeritus of the University of the Sciences, located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  My scholarly interests are in theory and the relationship of theory to practice.  I have co-authored and coedited 11 books on pediatrics, evaluation, and occupational therapy theory.

I have presented nationally and internationally on these topics.


Session Title

Occupational Disruption in the Pandemic: A Window into the Better Understanding of our Clients


Session Details

COVID has drastically changed the critically important occupations of many and has enhanced our understanding of occupational disruption experienced by clients with disabilities. Occupational therapists profess to understand disruption, but now have a personal experience of disruption. The pandemic provides a unique perspective on our clients’ experience.


  • Understanding clients’ occupational disruption through a personal experience lens
  • Acknowledge parallels between occupational disruption due to pandemic and the occupational disruption of illness/disability.


Session 3: Michael Sy & Pauline Gail Martinez

About Michael

Michael Sy, University of the Philippines Manila

I am a Filipino occupational therapist and currently designated as Associate Professor at the National Teacher Training Centre for the Health Professions, University of the Philippines Manila. I did my Ph.D. in occupational therapy where I studied about bridging the concept and practice of occupational justice among occupational therapists and justice workers in the field of substance addiction. My exposure to drugs and addiction scholarship led me to further explore what else is (un)known about the dark side of occupations. This allowed me to work on a recent study, with Pauline and Bex, that examined a group of people whose aim is to engage in hidden doings to become “beautiful”.

About Pauline

Pauline Gail Martinez, Angeles University Foundation

I am a Filipino occupational therapist and a lecturer in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Angeles University Foundation. Currently, I am a Diploma/Master of International Health graduate student in the University of the Philippines Open University. My research interests include occupational therapy education, occupational science, interprofessional collaboration, and global health.

Session Title

The doings and occupations of those who desire to be “beautiful”

Session Details

Learning aims:

  • Describe the group culture of people who desire to be “beautiful” through the world of beauty pageants
  • Discuss the different perspective on pageantry work
  • Discuss essential and hidden occupations performed within the context of beauty pageants
The presentation will be largely drawn from the following work:

Sy, M. P., Martinez, P., & Twinley, R. (2021). The dark side of occupation within the context of modern-day beauty pageantsWork (Reading, Mass.), 10.3233/WOR-205055. Advance online publication.

Session 2: Nedra Peter

About Nedra

Dr. Nedra Peter, PhD, Adjunct Professor and Research Associate at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Toronto, Canada

I completed my doctorate in the field of Occupational Science at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. My PhD thesis explored the occupational possibilities of people receiving social assistance in Ontario. I also have experience in Disability Studies, Child and Youth Health and research methods.

My research interests include: understanding how health systems, policies and programs do or do not address the diverse needs of marginalised youth, Fostering partnerships through integrated knowledge translation between academic institutions and third sector organisations to directly support marginalised populations, advancing the interdisciplinary field of Occupational Science by conducting empirical research focusing on conceptualizing and studying occupation in racial and ethnic minorities living in Western contexts and addressing equity, diversity and inclusion in access to social support, employment and education.

Session Title

Considering the impact of social assistance on Occupation

Session Details

The aim of this session is to show how social assistance recipients experience lack of opportunity and resources to make everyday choices and to have decision-making power as they participate in occupations. This presentation will also consider my research from a lens that moves away from individualised Western epistemologies and discuss how race/culture has a significant influence on occupation.

Session 1: Karen Whalley Hammell


Seminar Series Launch Competition!

To mark this opening seminar to the All About Occupation series, the 26th registered person to enter the Live Q&A session will win a hard back copy of Illuminating The Dark Side of Occupation: International Perspectives from Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science, Edited By Bex (Rebecca) Twinley


About Karen

Karen Whalley Hammell is Honorary Professor, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

I am a graduate of the Liverpool occupational therapy programme, the Rehabilitation Studies MSc programme at Southampton, and the Interdisciplinary PhD programme at UBC in Vancouver. My work has addressed themes that include spinal cord injury, qualitative research, critical disability studies, client-centred practice, the Capabilities Approach, justice, injustices and occupational rights. My most recent book – Engagement in living: Critical perspectives on occupation, rights and wellbeing (2020; CAOT) – explored occupation as a determinant of human health and wellbeing, and as a human right. Ardently opposed to credulity – the disposition to believe on insufficient evidence – all my work reflects my desire to foster critical thinking, challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and ideologies, and promote the justice and equity required for all people to have equitable opportunities to use their abilities and to attain the occupational rights to which all are equally entitled.

Session Title

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing occupational disruption: Exposing the lie that “we’re all in this together”

Session Details

Karen will reflect on her report entitled ‘Engagement in living during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing occupational disruption’. This essay, about occupation and wellbeing, was written in March 2020 during the uncertainties of the first weeks of the pandemic. Looking back on the intervening year, Karen will explore the deeply rooted social inequities and structural injustices that have been exposed by the pandemic; inequities that impacted occupational rights, wellbeing and the likelihood of survival itself.