Past Events

We invite leading experts, advocates, and practitioners from here and around the world to share their knowledge, experiences and insights about how to live well and dream big. A wide range of topics are explored and the themes addressed are current and applicable to a New Zealand audience.

Here are some recent examples of events that ImagineBetter has hosted:

ImagineBetter Assembly

ImagineBetter holds an annual Assembly as a way to educate, inspire and provide practical guidance to disabled people, families, practitioners, organisations and policy makers. The annual events also features micro-business stalls and displays from organisations and service providers within the disability sector.

In 2017, the theme of the Assembly was ‘Will You Friend Me? Social Capital and the Value of Relationships’. This two-day assembly featured presentations from two international experts – Dr  Al Condeluci and Janet Klees – on the importance of friendships in the search for a good life.

2017 ImagineBetter Assembly day one programme (PDF 80.01 KB)

2017 ImagineBetter Assembly day two programme (PDF 13.29 KB)


Optimal Individualised Service Design (OSID)

Optimal Individualised Service Design or OISD is a two-week intensive leadership level event. The OISD event is recognised in many countries as the premier leadership event in terms of operationalizing individualised service options. The event has been designed, developed, and delivered by Dr. Michael Kendrick more than 70 times around the globe.

OISD has been created to teach participants how to create a coherent and functional service for and with an individual. It takes a blank page approach and then walks through coherent service design with theory and practice. Participants work in groups of three or four around a focus person (an individual with impairment and or their family/whanau) to create a good life and articulate in detail the steps, approaches, strategies, personnel and resourcing that will be required to create the life.

Building Bridges with Communities

This one day workshop, presented by Janet Klees explored practical ways that individuals with disabilities and their family / whanau can create authentic and enduring relationships within their community. It focused on:

  • the importance of community life, especially for people who are marginalised;
  • influences and practices that tend to isolate people;
  • what it takes to hold a vision for community life;
  • how to build bridges and pathways within community life;
  • how to overcome obstacles;
  • how to create a context for relationship;
  • sustaining our efforts over time.

Towards a Better Life: An Introduction to Social Role Valorisation (SRV)

A two-day workshop for families and professionals working together to gain a high level of understanding of the true nature of valued roles for disabled people in our communities. The workshop is run by John Armstrong, a Senior SRV trainer from Australia.

This introductory workshop reviews the implications and assumptions about the value of all people and their place in society. It provides an extensive theoretical overview of SRV, using a lecture and discussion format.

The workshop is designed to assist participants to:

  • Understand devaluation and its consequences for people who are marginalised;
  • Learn basic tenets of SRV as a means of addressing those experiences of devaluation;
  • Gain clarity of personal values around issues of devaluation and one’s personal service to people who are devalued;
  • Strengthen, support and confirm one’s commitment, stand and purpose to individuals who are wounded by devaluation.

“Was great training, highly recommend for families to challenge current norms and mindsets and start thinking new ways around obstacles that hinder people creating enriched lives for themselves. John Armstrong is excellent.” (Chris Andrews)

Creating your own work: building a micro-enterprise

For many people obtaining and maintaining paid employment is a considerable challenge.  While we believe this pursuit should not be abandoned, we have also seen such great, life changing success with people creating their own work – creating their own business.

This one day workshop is designed for those who are interested in supporting others to become active and contributing members of their communities and society at large.

Circles of Support

Circles of Support (CoS) are a proven method of assisting vulnerable, isolated and friendless people to become intentionally connected with local community members who might then become ‘natural networks’. Using a variety of learning methods the workshop will assist participants to more effectively understand the role and function of the circle facilitation so they are better placed to:

  1. facilitate their own circle
  2. facilitate a circle for another individual or family
  3. understand what they are looking for in a person if they choose to recruit a circle facilitator using their IF or EGL resources

How do Employment Professionals find work for disabled persons? A workshop on the strategies of employment for families

Obtaining a real job that pays a real wage is a deep desire for many persons with disabilities. This event will enable families / whanau to:

  1. understand how to leverage their personal networks and the personal networks of their friends and associates, and;
  2. understand the steps required to locate, obtain and maintain a job for their loved one.

Interested in finding out more information?

If you are interested in finding out more about our events and how they could help you in your search for the good things in life, please get in touch.

You can contact Tony McLean by phoning 07 281 1732, or by emailing

Check out ImagineBetter’s upcoming events