Blog

Thursday, 27 October

SCHS_WEB_SPEAKERS_RYAN_08165 minutes with Ryan Picarella

For our final interview before Wellbeing now in exactly one week, we were lucky enough to hear from Ryan Picarella. Read on to find out why he's looking forward to joining us next week.

Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are and how you came to be presenting at Wellbeing now – people, place and performance.

I’m the President of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), and in my role I have the awesome privilege of working with communities and organisations around the world to ignite social movements to improve the lives of working people everywhere. In my personal life, I love to travel, experience culinary arts, practice yoga, explore new places on my motorcycle and try to be the best dad I can for my two little ladies.

The story of my journey to New Zealand began when Chris Watney reached out to me on a recent visit to the States. I was immediately impressed by Chris’s—and ultimately Southern Cross’s—commitment to helping all Kiwis live a healthier and happier life. Several months later, I was honoured to receive an invitation to be a part of the Wellbeing now conference.

Give us some insight into your talk at Wellbeing now. What will our audience learn?

My goal for my presentation at Wellbeing now is to get the audience to think differently about wellness. Living a happier, healthier life doesn’t mean you have to make massive changes. I hope to leave everyone in the audience with at least one thing they can do that will bring them and their businesses closer to achieving their wellness goals.

Who are you most looking forward to hearing from at the conference?

I am looking forward to meeting and hearing from as many people as possible. I am extremely excited about sharing and gathering insights with such an inspiring group of innovators - New Zealand is in a very exciting place in the conceptualisation of its wellness initiative and I am grateful to be a part of the history of what I know will be a wildly successful story.

Who are the three people that inspire or influence you the most?

My mom, wife and Nelson Mandela.  

What gets you up in the morning?

I have the opportunity every day to wake up and help people all over the globe be the best version of themselves. It’s a gift I don’t take for granted, and I feel incredibly blessed I have the opportunity to live my purpose. Coffee helps too…

You’re visiting New Zealand for the first time. What are you most looking forward to doing or seeing while you’re here?

Two of my greatest loves in life are travelling to new places and riding motorcycles and I have plans to do both in New Zealand. I am spending my first three days exploring the coast and countryside on a motorcycle, seeing glow worm caves, sitting in thermal springs, meeting new faces, and trying new foods. But the thing that I’m most excited about is helping Southern Cross and New Zealand create a healthier and happier place for people to live and work.

Tuesday,  18 October 2016

SCHS_WEB_SPEAKERS_DRTOM_08165 minutes with Dr Tom Mulholland

This week we sit down with Dr Tom Mulholland, who’ll be joining us on 3 November for Wellbeing now. Dr Tom gives us some insight into his background and explains what we’ll hear from him on the day.

Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are and how you came to be presenting at Wellbeing now – people, place and performance.

I’m an emergency department doctor, currently travelling New Zealand in a retro Chevy Ambulance visiting communities and workplaces to educate them on healthy living and healthy thinking.

In addition to my work as a doctor,  I’ve also been a professional speaker for 15 years, often being invited to talk about physical and emotional wellbeing. I’ve published several books, hosted my own TV show on health and attitude, and a weekly talkback show on Radio Live. During my career I’ve also worked with companies, like Google, Microsoft and Hilton giving them tools to improve workplace wellbeing.

Give us some insight into your talk at Wellbeing now. What will our audience learn?

At Wellbeing now I’ll be talking about how to live to 100 and stay out of the Emergency Department, as well as share some of my Healthy Thinking tools on how to manage and improve your relationships, both at work and at home.

Who are you most looking forward to hearing from at the conference?

Lisa Carrington.

Who are the three people that inspire or influence you the most?

Epictetus, a Greek slave and stoic philosopher, his teachings on the way we think are inspiring.

Captain Cook for his exploration.

And my family, they never cease to amaze and inspire me!

What gets you up in the morning?

The desire to help people, that’s why I became a doctor in the first place and that’s why I have been involved in wellbeing. After 25 years of being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, I’ve discovered that being the ambulance at the top of the cliff helps more people. So much of what I see as an ED doctor is preventable, so being able to give people the tools to live healthier and happier lives is what drives me.

What’s the one most preventable health concern in NZ, and what could workplaces be doing to help support staff?

Stress! But luckily there’s a science to understanding and preventing it.

We’re born with a massive brain but no manual on how to manage it. It’s important that we give people the tools to manage their own rollercoasters in life.

Stress, frustration and anxiety are all preventable and manageable. There’s a huge loss in productivity and harm due to unhealthy emotions, so recognising these and treating them has massive benefits both at work and at home. It’s all about having the right tools and techniques to flourish in life and business. 

Monday, 10 October 2016 

SCHS_WEB_SPEAKERS_VICKI_08165 minutes with Vicki Caisley

There’s one month to go until Southern Cross Health Society’s inaugural health and wellbeing conference, Wellbeing now – people, place and performance. This week we chat with Head of People, Strategy and Performance Vicki Caisley about what she’s looking forward to most about the conference and what she has instore for us.

Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are and how you came to be presenting at Wellbeing now – people, place and performance.

I’m part of the executive team at Southern Cross Health Society, holding the role of People, Strategy & Performance.  I’ve been with Southern Cross for just over three years.  Prior to this I spent most of my career in the Not for Profit, health, banking & finance sectors – ending up at Southern Cross is a glorious combination of all three. 

Part of my leadership portfolio includes responsibility for our successful employee wellbeing programme; Switch2well, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of our insights with the rest of the business community at Wellbeing now and hope that we can share some gems that might be inspirational to others.

Give us some insight into your talk at Wellbeing now. What will our audience learn?

I don’t want to give too much away – I’m already in the challenging fidgety spot right before morning tea!  At Southern Cross we’ve put a lot of energy into employee wellbeing - it’s been a real journey starting out with the basics, what we tend to refer to as ‘tracksuits, nutrition and smoking cessation’ programmes. But over the last few years we’ve worked hard to establish a very holistic and humanistic programme.  It’s been a really exciting transformation, made even better because we feel like we’ve laid the groundwork and are now looking forward to sharing our expertise with organisations who are getting ready to dip their toe in to workplace wellbeing.

I’ll be talking about Switch2well and how our focus on employee wellbeing has impacted on delivering the Society’s brand promise to over 800,000 Kiwis.  We’ll explore how the Health Society’s ‘whole person’ model provides positive returns back to the organisation. I’ll share as much as I can in the time given and hope to be able to provide organisations starting out on their wellbeing journey with a little inspiration.

Who are you most looking forward to hearing from at the conference?

Oh – that’s a hard one.  We’re so fortunate to have secured  such a great line up of speakers.  It will be great to hear from our international presenters. I think it’s important for New Zealanders to look at what’s happening in the global market as well as on our own shores so that we’re well informed when we’re designing the best of the best for our people.

Who are the three people that inspire or influence you the most?

I always find this question very challenging because there are so many incredible people in this world.  I’m keeping it close to home this time…

I’ll start with my mum

Our family just celebrated her 80th birthday and I swear she’s fitter than I am.  I gave her an activity tracker for Christmas a couple of years ago, she lost weight and has outwalked me ever since.  She’s such an inspiration and the perfect case study on how movement enhances your overall wellbeing. One fit and generous lady.

Our employees (I know that’s more than three) 

Not a week goes by where I don’t hear the most amazing stories of what they do for others up and down the country.  From teams fundraising for various charities to individuals who work with kids in difficult situations and in need of positive influence in their lives.  They’re an amazing and inspirational bunch.

My husband & kids

Children have this outrageous view on life – it’s wondrous to look at the world through their eyes. They inspire me with the enthusiasm with which they approach things although it can be a bit hair-raising at times.  Finally the most positive influence in my life is definitely my husband - always there right beside me.

What gets you up in the morning?

My family and making a difference to the lives of over 800,000 Kiwis.  We’re NZ’s support crew - how cool is that for a job?

Tell us one simple thing New Zealand business could do right now to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff.

Listen!