The Workshops

Choose TWO: one in the morning and another in the afternoon


'All changes,

Dr. Kate Grundy

Palliative Medicine Physician

Dr Kate Grundy is the Clinical Director of the Canterbury Integrated Palliative Care Services. 20 years ago she established the palliative care service at Christchurch Hospital which now employs 2 medical specialists, 4 nurses and 2 doctors in training. Education is one of her main priorities. She teaches and mentors medical students, young doctors and other healthcare professionals in symptom management, communication skills and medical decision-making. She often travels throughout the South Island conducting lectures and workshops on topics such as Advance Care Planning, motor neuron disease, end stage kidney disease and care of the dying.


Kate has held many leadership roles in New Zealand and Australia and is on a number of national committees.


She lives on a 10 acre lifestyle block near Oxford, North Canterbury, with her husband and two daughters.


Q&A on How We Die

After hearing Dr. Grundy's presentation in the earlier plenary session, this is a rare chance to ask questions and dive a little deeper into her areas of expertise.

Many people are extremely fearful of the dying process. They have an expectation that death will be painful and distressing and completely overwhelming for their loved ones. As a consequence, talking about death has become too hard, and people fight against it, believing that if they don’t think about it, it won’t happen.

But, death will come to us all – there is no avoiding it. Acceptance helps planning and normal dying is most often a gentle process, where  symptoms can be managed and everyone supported.

Kate will share her 20+ year experience of caring for people at the end of their lives.


TSB Space - Main Lecture Room


  • Maximum number of participants: Unlimited

  • Morning only

Michael Hempseed

Author, TEDx Speaker &

Mental Health Educator

Michael Hempseed is the author of the book, Being A True Hero: Understanding and Preventing Suicide in Your Community. After an inspiring Ted Talk on overcoming failure he has gone on to become a highly sought-after professional speaker. In the last two years Michael has delivered more than 300 seminars on topics such as overcoming failure, mental illness and suicide prevention.


Funny and full of enthusiasm Michael’s talks are always informative and engaging.


even the most longed for,


Q & A on Overcoming Failure and Suicide Prevention

A chance to hear about suicide prevention in more depth, and to ask questions after Michael's presentation. A smaller more intimate environment means you can explore this sensitive subject further in safe hands.

'When we think about suicide we often associate it exclusively with depression, yet there are many causes of suicide including bullying, lack of sleep, psychosis, panic disorder, loneliness and failure.'


This discussion is about further understanding the causes of suicide and what to do when someone is suicidal.


Spark Place - Ground Floor Room


  • Maximum number of participants: 50

  • Afternoon only


have their melancholy;

Dr. Nicole Lindsay

NDE Researcher

Dr Nicole Lindsay is a researcher at the School of Psychology at Massey University, with a special interest in near-death experiences (NDEs).  Nicole has spent the last six years investigating NDEs within a New Zealand context, investigating how these experiences manifest and the impact they have upon people’s lives. 


As part of her PhD studies, she examined how NDEs change a person’s attitudes and beliefs about death, and the implications of this research for wider society.


'I’m not afraid to die' Q & A

After hearing Dr. Lindsay's presentation in the earlier plenary session, this is a chance to ask Dr. Lindsay questions in a smaller setting and dive a little deeper in her research and case studies.

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are vivid and realistic subjective experiences that often occur during life threatening episodes or an actual state of death. Many people who experience NDEs are forever changed by their experience and often claim they no longer fear death.  This presentation discusses how and why NDEs can dramatically alter a person’s outlook on both life and death.


Spark Place - downstairs

  • Maximum number of participants: 50

  • Morning only


Melanie Mayell

Christchurch Death Cafe

Melanie is an author, photographer and Deathwalker. In 2016 she started the Christchurch Death Cafe to confront her own fears about death and to encourage people to talk more openly about the subject.

She's been facilitating conversations ever since and is always looking at ways of bringing more colour, creativity and consciousness into life's small and big challenges.


Death Cafe


for what we leave behind us

This is a chance to experience what we do in a Death Cafe gathering. Usually a Death Cafe runs for about 90 minutes; a group of strangers meet at a local cafe to talk about death while drinking coffee and munching on cake. 

Although there is a host the conversation is group-led. The basic rules are: no agenda, no speakers, no grief support and it's not therapy. Everyone regardless of beginner or expert is welcome to the table and each opinion, experience or question is valid. There's no judgement, though there can be disagreement or debate. We talk about anything death-related - which pretty much is everything if you think about it.

Today's Death Cafe attendees will be guided through an introduction and will work in smaller groups to get a feel for the process. 


TSB Space - Main Lecture Room


  • Maximum number of participants: Unlimited

  • Afternoon only


is a part of ourselves;

Rosie Mac

Intentional Creativity© Artist & Facilitator

Although nursing was my career for over 40 years, painting as a form of self-care emerged in 2012. Despite being told I couldn’t draw when I was 14, I nervously ‘had a go’.

A year later I came across Intentional Creativity©. I was completely captivated by this art method’s mystery and magic, and undertook the nine-month teacher training so that I could share it with others.

The next few years was a very personally difficult period in my life. My two brothers died of cancer within a year of each other, and I sustained a head injury, subsequently developing ongoing concentration issues. 

I can honestly say that I would not have been able to navigate that time in my life if I hadn’t had the compass of Intentional Creativity© and the wonderfully supportive group of like-minded women in the Intentional Creativity© community. Bringing mindfulness and intention to the art process created a different perspective and experience for me.


I am proud to call myself a Visionary Artist and Intentional Creativity© Facilitator and am now sharing my passion for a process that needs no previous experience that anyone with an open heart and an open mind can do.


Navigating Grief with Intentional Creativity©

This short class will provide you with an opportunity to connect with your heart in a way you may not have experienced before. It’s a time to reflect and honour yourself with a painting process that needs no experience. We’ll use mixed media paper and paint to bring healing to your heart, in whatever way you need on the day. Be prepared to have fun and be surprised!


Activity Room


  • Maximum number of participants: 20

  • Class offered in the morning and repeats in the afternoon.

  • No creative skills needed, all materials provided

Tanya Tunnicliffe

Soul Centred Counsellor and Energy Therapist 

Tanya currently runs a private counselling practice. Her passion is guiding people in times of crises, uncertainty, grief and change. She has great faith in the natural potential and capacity of your Soul to find its unique pathway of deep healing, love and spiritual enrichment.

She also currently works as a Bereavement Counsellor for John Rhind Funeral Directors.


In the past Tanya has worked at the St John and Elizabeth’s Hospice in London, and the Nurse Maude Hospice in Merivale Christchurch as counsellor, energy worker and craniosacral therapist.


we must die to one life

Nilguen Kulpe

Grief Counsellor & Story Teller

Nilguen is a passionate and naturally gifted Story Teller who currently spends her time travelling and telling a rich repertoire of stories from ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’, tales that stir your soul with their rich power.


She also runs a private practice as counsellor supporting individuals and couples.


In the past Nilguen has worked as a counsellor for Nurse Maude Hospice in Christchurch, Relationship Services Canterbury, and as a Social Worker for Probation Services Canterbury.


Rainbow Jars, Creative Grief Workshop

Join Tanya and Nilguen in this simple and fun hands-on activity. You will each make your own rainbow memory jar (yours to keep) while being guided through a lovely process to help you connect with a loved one in a symbolic way.


This is a tender and heart-warming journey of shared memories and reconnection led by two wise women with deep experiences in the mysteries of love and loss.


Activity Room


  • Maximum number of participants: 20

  • Class offered in the morning and repeats in the afternoon.

  • No creative skills needed, all materials provided


before we can enter another.'

Sue Dwan

Management & Business Coach

and Change Agent

Sue is a management and business coach, a professional certified coach (PCC/ICF), a writer and 'go to' person for specific projects and initiatives. Three specific deaths and an extraordinary event at a crematorium led her to consider our predominant death-denying culture and its impact on individuals, their families, and employers. She wrote three downloadable Get Your Affairs in Order (Before it is too late) books as a result.


Must Have, Must Do - Get Your Affairs in Order and Advance Care Plans

Statistics show few adults (from 18 – 70+ years of age) ever prepare themselves mentally, emotionally, or in any practical way for their eventual death. This typically results in significant issues, work, stress and expense for loved ones left behind. Moreover, individuals tend to give little attention to thinking about the healthcare and treatments they may want/not want, in the future. An Advance Care Plan enables decisions to be made and recorded, before it is too late to do so.  


Activity Room


  • Maximum number of participants: 20

  • Class offered in the morning and repeats in the afternoon.

  • All materials provided

Donna Sutherland

Christchurch Coffin Club

The Coffin Club is a community group like no other - they make and customise coffins! Born in the back of a Rotorua garage 10 years ago, the Coffin Club has since evolved into a bustling cottage enterprise with clubs springing up all over NZ.

Every coffin is decorated by hand to reflect the life of its maker, and costs less than $500 to make - a much cheaper option to commercial coffins.


Donna set up the Christchurch Coffin Club 5 years ago, and has been helping people paint and decorate their caskets ever since. She and her team mate Jill Newton alongside the Bishopdale Menzshed [who make the Caskets and Angel boxes for them].


by Anatole France


Coffin Club

Donna and her assistant Jill are bringing along two full-size coffins for her workshops. Each group will be guided through the process of decorating and finishing a coffin to theme.  This is a chance to get comfortable and creative in an area that is usually off limits to most of us.  You might be considering a DIY coffin for yourself or a family member or just want to explore this option for future reference. This is a great way to find out more. Donna and her assistant Jill will be there to guide you and answer questions, and you will learn about Coffin Club along the way. 


Activity Room


  • Maximum number of participants: 20

  • Class offered in the morning and repeats in the afternoon.

  • All materials (including coffins] provided


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A Day of Exploration & Discovery


September 14th, 2019

10am - 4:30pm



Central Library

1st Floor - TSB Place

60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch

Contact Us

To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch



Tickets will be available for sale from xx

Early Bird

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