24 Feburary 2024

Stronger together


Led by our community, for our community.

Our Mission

Our conference embodies unity with the theme “stronger together.” The development of this event has been driven by disabled leaders and young people passionate about fostering connections in the community across many demographics. Our aim in this conference is to cultivate leadership skills, boost confidence, encourage collaboration, and develop new and long standing partnerships, mentoring, and to support new initiatives. 

‘Alone we get so far, together we get so much further’.

The future is bright, but it’s even brighter when it’s built with collaboration, connection and community. 

Disabled persons, family, whanau, and allies. How do we come together strategically, and in partnership to think outside of the box? To work together for the greater good of our community. 

“Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te manuhiri.” – This means with your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive.


Promote a culture valuing community, connection, and leadership.


Ensure all voices are heard and valued.


Highlight and learn from others achievements and possibilities.


Foster relationships, self care, and mentorship for disabled persons, youth and whanau.

Kylee Black



meet our incredible keynote speaker

Kylee Black is our dynamic keynote speaker and conference opener. Through “What’s in Your Hands,” she guides us towards practical steps for individual and community goals.
Kylee also explores “The Power of a Connected Community,” setting the mandate for a day of learning, empowerment, and meaningful connections. Join us as Kylee kickstarts the conference, shaping a stronger, more connected community from the very beginning.
What’s on


We have a jam packed schedule full of guest speakers, workshops, interactive activities, networking opportunities, space for good korero, and getting to know others!

09 : 00 AM - 09 : 30 AM

Registration & Coffee Cart

09 : 30 AM - 10 : 00 AM


10 : 00 AM - 10 : 15 AM


Welcome from Kylee and Annick

10 : 15 AM - 10 : 45 AM

Kylee with What’s in Your Hands and The Power of a Connected Community.

Kylee Black is our dynamic keynote speaker and conference opener. Through “What’s in Your Hands,” she guides us towards practical steps for individual and community goals.
Kylee also explores “The Power of a Connected Community,” setting the mandate for a day of learning, empowerment, and meaningful connections. Join us as Kylee kickstarts the conference, shaping a stronger, more connected community from the very beginning.

10 : 50 AM - 11 : 20 AM

The Life Changing Impact of Adaptive and Assistive Technology — With Clipboard hosted by Mike Fellows and Sarah Clarke (held in Auditorium)

  • Discover the transformative impact of adaptive and assistive technology in the lives of disabled individuals. Hear firsthand accounts of how everyday accessible tech is changing lives. Explore affordable options and future innovations. Join us for an interactive engaging discussion on the life-changing potential of assistive technology.


Find Your Strengths — With Annick and Melissa Janson (held in the Gymnasium) 

  • Our strengths are a core part of our identity. We all have different strengths which we bring to the fore in different circumstances. Our ‘signature strengths’ are our top strengths – they are positive qualities that energize us, that support us to perform well, and that increase our wellbeing and mental/emotional health. Research shows however, that  we are not always fully aware of how we choose which signature strength we use to overcome what challenges. Participants receive a fun kit to identify their signature strengths and reflect on how to use them.

11 : 20 AM - 11 : 35 AM

Morning Tea

11 : 40 AM - 12 : 10 PM

Knowing our Legal Rights and how to advocate for them – With Nan Jensen and Toby Cooper from Auckland Disability Law (held in Auditorium)

  • Nan Jensen is a lawyer in sole practice who specialises in Disability Law. She lives in Hamilton with her husband and their dog. Nan is autistic and so are two of her four adult children. She decided to study law after taking a successful arbitration case against the Ministry of Education to retain ORRS funding for her son. 

    Nan is on the Steering Committee of Auckland Disability Law, the EGL Waikato Core Group, the Committee of Parafed Waikato and she is a director of Spectrum Care Limited and of her law firm, Better Lives Legal Limited. She has been a support person for Parent to Parent for many years. Nan has been running workshops about Disability Law for disabled people and their families as well as professionals since 2011. She is also a Director of The Disability Trustee Limited, a company that provides independent Trustee services for family trusts that have a beneficiary with a disability.

    Nan can be contacted at: [email protected]


Expanding your support circles on your leadership pathways — With Janine Morrah (held in the Gymnasium) 

  • Come along and experience a fun and creative way to set goals, unpack them into small, achievable steps and with each step expand your circles of support.

12 : 10 PM - 12 : 20 PM

Ko Tainui te Waka
Ko Ngaati Maniapoto te Iwi
Ko Motakiora te Maunga
Ko Mangaokewa te Awa
Ko Rodney Bell taku Ingoa
Rodney is a Internationally renowned dancer and performer of Maaori descent. Rodney has been dancing professionally since becoming a founding member in 1994 for Touch Compass Dance – an integrated dance company with performers with and without Disabilities based in Auckland, Aotearoa.
Rodney is a Performing Artist with a Disability and acquired his Disability as result of a Motorbike Accident in 1991 with no feeling or control below his chest.
Rodney actively works not only as an artist but also as an advocator and provocateur, calling for stronger integration and providing voice for people with diverse requirements to have more choice and control over their lives especially Tangata Whai Kaha (Disabled Maori) and he is very honoured to be on the Waikato Enabling Good Lives Leadership. Rodney feels very strongly about making performance and performance spaces accessible.
In 2007, he relocated to Oakland, California, U.S.A, to join AXIS Dance Company, winning an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2008. In 2011, he was invited as a guest artist to appear with Sonsherée Giles on – So You Think You Can Dance in America. He also performed with many other independent artists and arts organizations while experiencing years of homelessness on the Streets of San Francisco, Dandelion Dance Theatre Company, Dance Monks, Tango Body San Francisco, Safe House Arts San Francisco.
On his return to Aotearoa in 2015, he collaborated with the talented artists at Movement of the Human and in collaboration with Artistic Director Malia Johnston, created and developed Meremere: a powerful autobiographical survival in life with a strong focus on his time of living on the streets of San Francisco and dealing with the physical and psychological challenges to survive. Meremere has toured extensively throughout Aotearoa and Australia.
His talent and leadership as a performing artist with a Disability have won him The Creative New Zealand- Toi Iho Pūmanawa award (lived experience of disability and is making a national or international arts contribution) 2020, The Grant Tilly Actor of the Year Award at the Wellington Theatre Awards 2018, Arts Access Aotearoa – Artistic Achievement Award 2017 and the Attitude Artistic Achievement Award in 2016.
Rodney is always seeking new ways accessing movement vocabulary in order to express these movements in ways which support the well being of all communities. He also endeavours upon using his lived experience to enhance the future for Disabled Artists in Aotearoa.
Rodney always draws his Mana (Strength) from his Ancestors who sacrificed their lives so his Iwi (tribe) can live with Tikanga (Te Ao Maori World View) Mauri Ora- (Honouring life force)
He waka eke noa
A canoe we are all in with no exception

12 : 20 PM - 12 : 30 PM

Hear Annick Janson briefly launch the book ‘Everyday citizenship’. We are all equal. We are all different. We are all citizens. Being a citizen means making your own choices about how to live life to the fullest. This book helps you ask the right questions so you can find the answers that are right for your life. No dream is too small or too big. See what you can achieve, and don’t ever stop!

12 : 30 PM - 01 : 10 PM


01 : 10 PM - 01 : 25 PM

Afternoon OVERView

01 : 25 PM - 02 : 15 PM

How did you do what you do and got where you got? Challenges and how you have overcome them, and the importance of connection and community in navigating it all.’


Ollie Goulden — Disabled male voice

Sarah Clarke — Disabled female youth voice 

Mike Fellows — Whanau (partner) male voice 

Charity Smith — Whanau (parent) female voice 

Melissa Janson — Whanau (sibling) female voice

Rodney Bell — Disabled male Māori voice


02 : 15 PM - 02 : 30 PM

Afternoon Tea

02 : 30 PM - 03 : 45 PM

An intentional networking event, that is all about engaging and connecting in conversations with others on different table subjects.

Each table will run for 20 minutes and there will be 3 different chances top swap tables to different subject options that you are interested in.

We have 13 table topics include the following:

  • Accessibility and Accessible Transport 
  • My Rights and Speaking up for myself 
  • Making friends / Dating & Relationships
  • The Power of Inclusive Art
  • The Power of Managing Supports 
  • Connecting & Engaging with Maori Communities
  • Walking the Walk with Disability in the Whanau
  • Connecting into Sport and Activity Opportunities 
  • Youth Transition 
  • Connecting into Community 
  • Engaging with Hamilton City Council 
  • One to One Friendship
  • South City Pharmacy

03 : 45 PM - 03 : 55 PM

Feedback Session

03 : 55 PM - 04 : 00 PM



Register now for Stronger Together Conference on 24th February 2024, 9 am – 4 pm. 

Te Rautini Church, 160 Rifle Range Road, Dinsdale, Hamilton 3204

Hurry, limited spaces available! Secure your spot by joining our waiting list, and we’ll notify you in stages as tickets are released. Don’t miss out!


A huge thank you to every one of our sponsors and contributors who have helped us make this event possible for our communtity. This includes:


Clipboard Limited

Te Pou

DV Bryant Trust

Kylee & Co

My Life My Voice


Jono Viviani Creative

Now & Next

Sensory Sam

South City Pharmacy

The Lucy Foundation

Halberg Foundation


Munoletto Espresso

Hamilton City Council

Waikato Regional Council

Countdown Dinsdale

Te Rautini

Little Lato Gelato

ContaCT information


+64 27 469 0927

Contact US

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