Committee

Congress Management Committee

Ritchard Ledgerd, Executive Director WFOT, Congress Convenor

Marilyn Pattison, WFOT President

Samantha Shann, WFOT VP Finance

Denise Broeren, International PCO, Think Business Events

Charline Richard, Local PCO, Kit Group

Scientific Programme Committee

Elspeth Froude

Elspeth Froude

Programme Chair, Australian Catholic University, Australia

Associate Professor Elspeth Froude is the Deputy Head of School of Allied Health NSW and the Head of Discipline Occupational Therapy at Australian Catholic University (ACU). The school of Allied Health includes the disciplines of Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, and Social Work and Occupational Therapy. Elspeth leads the National Occupational Therapy program across the states of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Elspeth is currently an elected academic representative of ACU's Senate. Elspeth has demonstrated leadership in the University sector for over 25 years. Elspeth has made outstanding contributions to the Occupational Therapy profession as Editor in Chief of the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 2008-2015, inaugural Member of OTA Research Foundation, Member of the National Occupational Therapy Conference Scientific committee 2016/17, Paediatric Symposium Committee 2018, and the Occupational Therapy Australia Paediatric Steering Committee. Elspeth is an active researcher with over 40 publications, with research interests in the area of childhood disability, Autism, knowledge translation and Occupational Therapy education. Elspeth is a certified instructor for the Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance approach (CO-OP).

Peter Bontje

Peter Bontje

Member, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan

Peter Bontje has extensive clinical, education, research and management experience, gained working in various countries across Europe and South-East Asia. Graduating from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in 1985, Peter first worked in rehabilitation in the Netherlands, followed by a year with the International Red Cross in Armenia and two years in London/UK. His private life took him to Japan in 1996 where he began teaching alongside research (MSc from the ‘Euromasters’ and PhD from Karolinska Institutet) and some clinical work. He was involved with the ENOTHE project developing occupational therapy education in Georgia and Armenia and lectured at various colleges and universities in Japan. Peter is currently a Professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University and has collaborations in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. His academic interests are in people’s engagement in occupation, participatory and Narrative-in-Action research, and interprofessional practice and education. Peter is a member of the Dutch and Japanese Occupational Therapy Associations, board member of the Japanese Society for the Study of Occupation and associate editor for several journals. He has contributed to several previous WFOT congresses in roles including presenter, peer-reviewer, administrative support, international relations and organizing committee member. Peter has a special interest in building connections and mutual understanding among persons coming from different occupational therapy backgrounds.

Tongai Chichaya

Tongai Chichaya

Member, Bournemouth University, UK

Tongai Chichaya (PhD, MPH, BSc Hons) is a lecturer in occupational therapy at Bournemouth University. His PhD focused on applying the occupational justice framework in disability policy formulation and described occupational inconsideration as a new form of occupational injustice. Tongai previously worked in Zimbabwe, Namibia and British Overseas Territories. His previous roles include a wide range of clinical and administrative duties. As a former National Coordinator for a community-based rehabilitation program within primary health care services he developed a CBR training manual and guidelines that were rolled-out nationally. Tongai has also previously worked as a Rehabilitation Quality Specialist for a state-owned enterprise overseeing the rehabilitation of people injured in road traffic accidents with a focus on return to work. He is a former Vice President of the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group which is a WFOT member organisation. In this role he was involved in organising the 10th and 11th OTARG congresses for Ghana and Rwanda, and was part of the scientific committees for both congresses. Furthermore, Tongai was a reviewer and a session chair during the WFOT 2018 congress in South Africa. Tongai is passionate about the use of knowledge translation to create and promote opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in meaningful occupations.

Cynthia Engels

Cynthia Engels

Member and Host Country Representative, ANFE, France

Cynthia Engels is a French occupational therapist who holds a PhD in education. She worked with adults in a rehabilitation centre, and in private practice with children with learning disabilities. Cynthia also continued studying education sciences and completed the first year of her thesis in the UK. Her postdoctoral fellowship was realised in Montreal and focussed on the perceived level of competencies of occupational therapists with a Master’s degree. Cynthia has been a lecturer in occupational therapy at UPEC University (Créteil, France) for eight years, and a researcher at the CEpiA team (IMRB, INSERM U955, UPEC) for two. Her research topics focus on occupational engagement of older adults with cancer, and occupational therapist education. Cynthia is also involved in the French national association of occupational therapy (ANFE), and is particularly interested in international exchanges: she has been in charge of international relationships of the OT department of UPEC University for eight years, was the French COTEC’s delegate during three years, and attends the ENOTHE meeting every year since 2012.

Karen Liu

Karen Liu

Member, Western Sydney University, Australia

Karen Liu (PhD, MPhil, BSc) is the Associate Professor in Occupational Therapy and the Allied Health Discipline Leader at Western Sydney University. She has over 30 years of clinical and research experience in rehabilitation and aged care in Australia, Hong Kong, and the United States. Karen has extensive experience in education, research and research supervision at honours, masters and doctoral levels. Karen conducts research using various strategies to enhance people’s occupational performance. For example, she is currently engaging in research investigating the use of memory encoding strategies for people with cognitive impairments; studying the use of cognitive strategies for autistic children, children with spinal cord injuries, and people with low back pain; and investigating an intervention program using imagery to enhance participation in daily activities in people with Parkinson’s disease. Karen collaborates with researchers and clinicians in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the United States and has been involved in multi-centre studies with good outcomes. Karen is currently the Associate Dean (Research) at the School of Health Sciences, Western Sydney University leading the research and higher degree by research programs. In 2019, Karen also received the Award of Fellow of the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Academy, recognising her achievement in leading occupational therapy research.

Ana Malfitano

Ana Malfitano

Member, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil

Ana Malfitano is an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Department and the Post-graduate Program in Occupational Therapy at the Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil. Ana was involved in the creation of the Master in Occupational Therapy (started in 2010), and PhD in Occupational Therapy (started in 2015), the first one in Latin America. She teaches in undergraduate and postgraduate occupational therapy courses, including the supervision of Masters and PhD students. She is Editor of the Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy. Ana’s career is focused on Social Occupational Therapy, which has been developed in Brazil, to deal with various inequities and social injustices. Ana is involved with METUIA Group, a Brazilian inter-institutional group, which develops teaching, research and community-university partnership in the social field. Her research focuses are on Social Occupational Therapy, Social Policies, Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy, Community, Youth, Citizenship, and Excluded Groups.

Aliki Thomas

Aliki Thomas

Member, McGill University, Canada

Aliki Thomas is an Associate Professor at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and research scientist at the Institute for Health Sciences Education at McGill University. After several years practicing as an occupational therapist, Aliki went on to complete a Master’s in Education followed by a PhD in Educational Psychology, with a major in Instructional Psychology and a minor in Applied Cognitive Science. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on knowledge translation (KT) for evidence-based practice (EBP). Her research program has been uniquely designed to address the longstanding challenge of the underutilization of scientific findings in practice, and seeks to understand the developmental trajectory from the classroom to the clinical-practice context where graduates are expected to navigate multiple influences to provide evidence-based and patient-centred care. She currently leads an internationally-recognized research program that focuses on developing knowledge translation interventions to bring EBP to the rehabilitation professions. A key focus of her research is ensuring that educational programs in rehabilitation are evidence-informed and clinically meaningful, such that, under their influence, graduates become scholarly practitioners and agents of change. Aliki is recognized as a leader in the areas of health profession education, KT, mixed methods research, and methodological approaches to knowledge synthesis.

Member Organisation Committee

The Management Team of the Association nationale française des ergothérapeutes (ANFE) provide strategic leadership in the planning of the Congress. Learn more about ANFE, the team and their contribution to occupational therapy in France https://www.anfe.fr/