Keynote Speaker Saturday
Dr Terry Fitzgerald
Initially a civil engineer, Terry began AT lessons in London with Patrick Macdonald in 1974. He trained with Mr Macdonald and Shoshana Kaminitz from 1976 to 1978, while also gaining ballroom dancing teacher qualifications. He returned to Sydney in 1980 and for a year was the only AT teacher in Sydney (Alan Murray had died by then and Graham Pearl was in Melbourne). In 1983, along with other returning and visiting teachers, he helped start SATTS, Australia’s first AT teacher training program. He was the foundation chair of AUSTAT for three years from 1985, and a couple of times later. More recently he was chair of the Training Course Standing Committee.
In 1994, Terry returned to London to gain more experience in teacher training. While there, he taught at Misha Magidov’s course, had a private AT practice, and taught dancing. He returned to Sydney in 1996 and commenced the Sydney Alexander School teacher training program, which ran for 11 years. During this time, he completed a masters degree in adult education and a doctorate in education (EdD). His 2007 thesis, titled The Future of Alexander Technique Teacher Education: Principles, Practices and Professionalism, was awarded one of the six places on the 2007 UTS Chancellor’s List. In parallel with his AT teaching, he now works at UTS as an academic editor in the fields of teacher and professional education.
Keynote Speaker Sunday
Jacqui Main is an Exercise Physiologist with a Bachelor of Applied Science Human Movement and Graduate Diploma of Exercise Rehabilitation. She spent six years treating road trauma patients, has worked in occupational rehabilitation, corporate health and wellbeing, and in private practice. She now has her own business, Dizzy hEDS & Co. where she focuses on Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) and the co-morbidities of autonomic dysfunction syndromes, dysautonomia, pain syndromes, and ME/CFS, MCAS. Jacqui is passionate about evidence-based practice, education, and movement therapy as a priority for managing these conditions. Having been an attendee at several EDS ECHO programs, Jacqui is now a facilitator on the EDS ECHO AHP Australia program.
EDS / HSD
The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are a group of 13 heritable connective tissue disorders. The conditions are caused by genetic changes that affect connective tissue. Each type of EDS has its own set of features with distinct diagnostic criteria, including joint hypermobility, skin hyperextensibility, and tissue fragility. Hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD) are connective tissue disorders that cause joint hypermobility, instability, injury, and pain. Other problems such as fatigue, headaches, GI problems, and autonomic dysfunction are often seen as part of HSD.
Conference workshop descriptions
Michael Stenning Waking the Primary Control
The term ‘primary control’ is not very satisfying. Definitions can vary. I think of it as a set of dynamic, constantly changing relationships which include not just neck, head and back but also the limbs, ground contact and the breath. We will go through a sequence of activities which highlight that the primary control relationships go well beyond just the neck/head relationship and that looking at them as a broader, less limited sequence makes ‘primary control’ simpler, clearer and more useful. This has enlivening implications for every aspect of teaching
Jane Shellshear Making it Palpable: hands-on strategies for students
Ever found that a student has left their AT session with your expert guidance and then “translated” it for themselves during the week? The resulting change is, alas, not always for the better and what you intended for them may have been lost in translation.
In this workshop, we’ll be pushing, prodding and poking to uncover the anatomical landmarks that remain constant within the process of change, to assist your students to stay on course between lessons and enhance their learning overall.
Julianne Eveleigh Back to Back
Integrating the muscles of the back body through simple movement awareness activities that provide: stability and mobility; deeper connection to breath; lightness and ease; as well as becoming present to each moment. Drawing on the work of Cathy Madden, Penelope Easton and Caren Bayer plus 30 years of teaching experience in the performing arts I am interested in the dynamic relationship between physical and vocal expression and whole body organisation of the breath.
David Young Berlin to Brunswick: Alexander Technique in Australia
After nearly ten years in Berlin training and working as an Alexander Technique teacher, David has moved back to his home town of Melbourne. In this session he will share experiences and insights into the differences between the Australian and European Alexander Technique scenes, including hands on practice and some lying down.
Mick Gleeson Balance Co-ordination and Falls
Inputs from the vestibular system of the inner ears, kinaesthetic information from muscles tendons and joints, graviceptors in the body cavity, tactile information from touch and visual information from the eyes feed into our balance and coordination systems. All of this information is utilised to maintain our dynamic alertness and is best conceived as a perceptuomotor skill. The AT helps us to integrate all these inputs as we learn to use ourselves well. As we age, nerve conduction speeds slow within the nervous system, making it all the more important that we maintain our awareness and fine tune our use. This presentation will look at balance and coordination from childhood to old age and highlight the age-related changes that increase the risk of falls in the general population. It will also provide an overview of a research project that looked at using the Alexander Technique for fall prevention in the population of people with Vision Impairments.
Around one-third of adults over 65 years of age fall at least once a year, and in Australia hospitalisation rates due to fall related injuries are rising. Falls are the most common cause of injury death among Australians over 75 years of age owing to the high susceptibility to trauma in this group. The prevalence of vision impairment and blindness increases significantly with age across all racial and ethnic groups and the risk of injury is higher for people with a vision impairment. About 12% of falls lead to serious injuries and about 40% of fractures are attributed to poor visual acuity or lack of depth perception. A study in the UK using national data from accident and emergency departments found that 21% of the cost of treating falls was spent on the vision impaired population. The high burden of falls in our community and the over-representation of older people with vision impairments make verifed strategies for prevention of falls for this group a pressing concern.
Michael Shellshear Use and Functioning
What do we understand by the term “use” and how does it differ from our understanding of “functioning”? Joe Armstrong wrote a piece describing a different meaning for conditions of use and manner of use. Donella Meadows describes how complex systems operate within a pattern that can be described and understood. This workshop will take those ideas and move them in a practical way for you to experience, ponder and enjoy.
Leo Canales Evolutionary Movement
Evolutionary Movement is an opportunity to study body coordination and motor skills through developmental stages observed in human evolution. This session will analyse the skills and knowledge required to cooperate with postural support, balance, movement and breathing in daily functioning. The session will focus on matching intention, body mapping and muscle tone to promote clarity of thought and ease of motion. The primary aim is to feel comfortable in your own skin to be ready for play and learning during the Conference.
Dr Anikó Ball Translating the Alexander Technique for Health
The Alexander Technique is well known in the performing arts but almost unknown in medicine and dentistry. The transformative impact of the Alexander Technique is desperately needed by health professionals, especially dentists and surgeons, however a special translation of the Alexander Technique is required for effectiveness, both in promotion and teaching.
The Alexander Technique needs to be presented in a different style and language than the way it is traditionally taught, to match the learning style of health professionals. Scientifically trained people require research evidence and clear factual explanations, otherwise they tune out. Learning how to present and teach the Alexander Technique as evidence based and cause oriented, will open the dental as well as other health fields to Alexander teachers.
Anikó will discuss the methodology she used to translate the Alexander Technique into a language and learning style that is enabling the dental profession in Australia and NZ to hear the message and embrace the teaching.
It is suitable for teachers and trainees.
Sarah Cathcart Running Walking Standing Still: An Introduction to
I will be taking participants through the first workshop that I teach beginner actors.
This will involve movement and games. The aim of the workshop is for young actors to experience a state of being alert, centred and available - connected to self, space and each other.
For the purposes of the conference, I will show how I embed the principles of the AT into the exercises that I teach.
Jenny Thirtle The Voice as an Indicator of Use
Exploration in stimulus and response related to voice. A playful ook at how tone of voice can indicate subtle patterns of tension or 'pre-set'.
Group Run Workshop Participants from Penelope Easten’s book group
This session will be run by a number of the participants who spent a year in a book group with Penelope Easten exploring her book The Alexander Technique Twelve fundamentals of integrated movement. It will be a practical session where we will teach you different procedures and give you a chance to explore teaching them to each other.
Panel of teachers who have conducted research on Alexander Technique
Dr Terry Fitzgerald will lead a panel of teachers who have conducted research involving the Alexander Technique including Dr Ann Shoebridge, Dr Mick Gleeson, and Janet Davies.
6, 7, 8 OCTOBER 2023
| Time|| Event|| Location|| Presenter|| Title|
FRIDAY 6 OCTOBER
| 4.30 – 5.00|| Registration|| Linen Room|| || |
| 5.00 – 5.15|| Welcome|| Community Room|| || |
| 5.15 – 6.45|| Session 1|| Community Room|| Leo Canales|| Evolutionary Movement|
| 6:45 – 8.00|| Dinner|| Linen Room|| || |
| 8.00 – 9.00|| AT Games|| Community Room|| Leo Canales, Jem Nicholas, |
| Alexander Technique Games|
SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER
| 8.00 – 8.45|| Yoga|| Community Room|| Chris Falk|| Yoga|
| 9.00 – 10.30|| Keynote 1|| Community Room|| Dr Terry Fitzgerald|| Celebrating Australian Research into the Alexander Technique|
| 10.30 – 11.00|| Morning Tea|| Linen Room|| || |
| 11.00 – 12.30|| Session 2|| Community Room|| Michael Stenning|| Waking the Primary Control|
| 11.00 – 12.30|| Session 2|| Bishop’s Parlour|| Jane Shellshear|| Making it Palpable|
| 11.00 – 12.30|| Session 2|| Linen Room|| Dr Terry Fitzgerald, Dr Ann Shoebridge,|
Dr Mike Gleeson and Janet Davies
| Research Panel|
| 12.30 – 1.40 || Lunch|| || || BYO|
| 1.40 – 3.10|| Session 3|| Community Room|| Jenny Thirtle|| The Voice as an Indicator of Use|
| 1.40 – 3.10|| Session 3|| Bishop’s Parlour|| Dr Aniko Ball|| Translating the Alexander Technique for Health Professionals|
| 1.40 – 3.10|| Session 3 || Linen Room|| David Young|| Berlin to Brunswick|
| 3.10 – 3.25|| Afternoon Tea|| Linen Room|| || |
| 3.25 – 5:00|| Session 4|| Community Room|| Group Presentation|| Highlights from Penelope Easten Book Group|
| 3.25 – 5:00|| Session 4|| Bishop’s Parlour|| || Marketing the Alexander Technique|
| 3.25 – 5:00|| Session 4|| Linen Room|| Michael Shellshear|| Use and functioning (Practical Session)|
| 5:00 - 6:00|| Discussion|| Community Room|| AUSTAT Members ONLY|| Training and Proposed Changes to the AUSTAT Constitution|
SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER
| 8.00 – 8.45|| Yoga|| Community Room|| Caroline Blackshaw|| Yoga|
| 9.00 – 10.30|| Keynote 2|| Community Room|| Jacqui Main|| What Alexander Teachers need to know working with|
| 10.30 – 11.00|| Morning Tea|| Linen Room|| || |
| 11.00 – 12.30|| Session 5|| Community Room|| Sarah Cathcart|| Running Walking Standing Still|
| 11.00 – 12.30|| Session 5|| Bishop’s Parlour|| Dr Mick Gleeson|| Balance, Co-ordination & Falls|
| 11.00 – 12.30|| Session 5|| Linen Room|| || TBA|
| 12.30 – 1.40|| Lunch|| || || BYO|
| 1.40 – 3.10|| Session 6|| Community Room|| Julianne Eveleigh|| Back to Back|
| 1.40 – 3.10|| Session 6|| Bishop’s Parlour|| || TBA|
| 1.40 – 3.10|| Session 6|| Linen Room|| || TBA|
| 3.10 – 3.25|| Afternoon Tea|| Linen Room|| || |
| 3.25 – 4.00|| Farewell|| Community Room|| || |
May be subject to change