The theme of this year’s conference is Building Strong Foundations—a reflection of the resilience and adaptability of Canterbury following the devastating earthquakes and the region’s ability to embrace change and grow stronger.
Sir John Kirwan (KNZM MBE) is a former player of both rugby union and rugby league.
Former coach of the Blues in Super Rugby, John is one of the highest try scorers in international rugby union.
In 2002, John moved to Italy to become the coach of the Italian national rugby team, which under his guidance recorded two victories over Wales in 2003 and Scotland in 2004.
John’s knighthood recognised much more than his contribution to sport—it acknowledged his services to mental health, having been for several years at the forefront of the campaign to heighten public awareness of depression, an illness he has suffered from personally.
Dealing with change
We are all facing major change during the fire services reform. Dealing with change can be stressful and people need to take care of their mental health to ensure they are able to support their brigade, their fellow volunteers and communities.
Change is about building new strong foundations. John will talk about how:
- Leading this change is important—you are the glue that will keep the foundations together
- The change process can be like a grieving process and how you can make sure you look out for signs of stress, give people time to accept change and guide them through it.
More about the 2016 UFBA Annual Conference
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