New year writing sprint

Feb 14, 2023 | Hui

It’s been a tough start to the year with Cyclone Gabrielle. We send our aroha to whānau affected.

The Manawataki Fatu Fatu (MFF) programme was blessed to come together in late January for a 3-day writing intensive. It was a fantastic opportunity to spend a concentrated amount of time together writing and inspiring each other. Before the week, participants had sketched out their writing goals broken down for each day and for the whole retreat. Led by PhD candidate, Taria Tane, we started each day by sharing our SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound – goals. Rounding up each day, we reflected on what we had achieved, our progress and any writing blocks.

We wanted to make sure there was some fun stuff on the programme. There was an energiser session called ‘Strip the Willow‘ (a brilliant idea from Dr Karen Brewer!) which involved a few confusing twists & turns and great team work! We also had yummy kai & chat to share wisdom from/to our Senior Research Fellows and PhD candidates. One thought shared during our kōrero was on avoiding burnout for a challenging year ahead – a suggestion was to think about your ‘Other world’ – activities/things that allow you to recharge and which bring you joy (e.g. paddling a waka, taking up singing lessons).

On the second day, MFF hosted a ‘Show and Tell’ session with the VAREANZ – Vascular Risk Equity for Aotearoa New Zealand -​ programme (thanks Prof Rod Jackson!). It was an opportunity for the sister programmes to share work in progress, and areas for potential future collaboration. A highlight from the MFF presentation was a talk from Dr Tuaeetia-Sua sharing her clinical and research journey, and the Pacific values she brings to our analysis of interviews with patients/whānau. Thank you to our Principal Investigators A/Prof Matire Harwood and Dr Corina Grey for their support of our writing retreat.

VAREANZ show and tell session

Another highlight from last week that some of us participated in was the Pūtahi Manawa Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa New Zealand Celebration. It was a beautiful occasion (Te Ahi Manawa) hosted at Fale Pasifika at the University of Auckland. Below is a photo of Tua sharing some of her reflections on the le vā (sacred space) created from experiences of heart health equity research and community engagement by each participant.

In conclusion, amongst all the chaos of the past fortnight, it has still been wonderful to spend some time together to accelerate our important mahi. We enjoyed the writing sprint concept and look forward to facilitating a few more this year.