2013 NZABA CONFERENCE REPORT

This year NZABA celebrated its 10th annual conference at the University of Auckland with its biggest attendance to date with 88 delegates, with a number traveling from outside New Zealand. The standard of the 34 presentations and 9 posters were excellent, as usual, and sparked a lot of interesting discussions. An informal gathering was held at SPE bar on Friday. The conference was held in the Copthorne Hotel on Anzac Avenue on Saturday and in the Human Sciences Building on Sunday.

NZABA once again offered Continuing Education Units to practitioners in applied behaviour analysis, administered by Oliver Mudford.

Student presentations always feature in NZABA’s programme but the bar continues to be set higher each year. For the second year in a row, Sarah Cowie won the best basic-research presentation with a paper entitled, “A step in time from 1 to 9: Discriminating local food ratio reversals that occur a fixed time after the last reinforcer”. This was the first time NZABA awarded the same student two years in a row, indicating the outstanding quality of Sarah’s presentation. Elin Engstrom won the best applied presentation with her talk entitled, “Applied behaviour analysis in a dementia care facility”. A number of high-quality Honours and Master’s presentations inspired the nomination of an award to Jonas Chan for his paper entitled, “Stimulus control and resistance to extinction in combined stimulus contexts”. Congratulations to these students on their awards and thank you to all student presenters for contributing to an excellent programme.

Previous winner, James McEwan, awarded Brett Furlonger the Bullroarer for pulling the cloth from our eyes and asking us to examine our effectiveness as teachers. After naming practically every word spoken at the conference, as previous winner, Dave Harper awarded Katrina Phillips the venerable Spear for her claims to play God.

Chris Podlesnik handed the position of President/Chair to Celia Lie, Celia Lie handed Secretary over to Anne Macaskill, and Doug Elliffe provisionally handed Treasurer to Brent Alsop pending Brent’s approval.

Thank you to everyone who helped organise NZABA 2013 and we look forward to NZABA 2014 at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

Chris Podlesnik – 2013 NZABA President/Chair

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