NZABA 2014 CONFERENCE REPORT

NZABA’s 11th annual conference was hosted by the Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, on the 29th to 31st August, 2014. Despite the travel involved for many attendees, 88 people attended, equalling the number at NZABA in Auckland last year (our highest attendance to date). This included a mix of students, academics, practitioners, and professionals from across New Zealand and Australia.  There were 31 paper presentations and 8 poster presentations at this year’s conference, and the standard of talks and posters was extremely high.  NZABA again offered Continuing Education Units to practitioners in applied behaviour analysis, administered by Katrina Phillips.

The conference’s social activities began with a welcome event on Friday evening at Geoff White’s house.  On Saturday evening, there was a tour of the Speight’s Brewery, and a conference dinner at the Speight’s Ale House. These events were very well attended (with a record number of 84 people at the dinner), and allowed conference attendees to mingle with one another.

Awards

At the start of the conference, Geoff White received a special award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to behaviour analysis in New Zealand.

Two student presentation prizes were awarded this year. John Bai (The University of Auckland) received the EAB award for his talk entitled “Response rates and persistence after response-contingent food and additional stimuli”.  Mitchell Stevenson, Shaun Pearl , Vanessa Rausa, and Simon Finkelstein (Monash University) jointly received the ABA award for their talk entitled “Teaching job skills to adults with ASD: Efficacy of video modelling”. Congratulations to these students on their awards, and thank you to all student presenters for contributing to an excellent programme.

At the end of the conference, Brett Furlonger passed the (now lost) Hatchet/Bullroarer to Katheryn Neilson (Victoria University of Wellington) for teaching him about his own gambling behaviours. Katrina Phillips passed the Spear to Randy Grace (University of Canterbury) for the use of various “mentalisms” throughout his talk.

AGM

The University of Canterbury in Christchurch was confirmed as the venue for the 2015 conference, and Celia Lie handed over the Chair/President role to Randy Grace, Anne Macaskill stays on as Secretary, and the Treasurer role is currently in negotiation.

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Thank you to everyone who helped organise NZABA 2014. Special thanks to Geoff White for hosting the welcome event at his house, and for making many, many pizzas to cater for the hungry crowd.

We look forward to seeing everyone at NZABA 2015 in Christchurch.

Celia Lie – 2014 NZABA President/Chair

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