Today is a VERY special episode! Firstly I got the opportunity to talk with our WFOT President Samantha Shann. We explored her journey through the profession, How she got involved with WFOT, how she made it to the position of President and then we explore the upcoming WFOT Congress in Paris.
The upcoming congress in Paris is looking towards to being an amazing, unique celebration of diversity within the profession. If you want to go, and save yourself some $$$ get in and register before 23rd of June to get the early-bird registration price.
All of the congress information can be found here:
Secondly today is Occupied 4th birthday so what better way to celebrate than with an episode with the President! So celebrate all things OT with me, have a listen and share this ep with an OT friend.
Look after yourself, look after others, and always keep Occupied
If you want even more valuable content join <<Occupied Plus+ on Patreon>> for bonus podcast episodes, resources, mentorship and much much more!
Brock Cook 0:00
G’day and welcome to a very very special episode of occupied this episode being proudly brought to you by the W fo ti Congress. Today we have the amazing pleasure of being able to bring to you your W fo ti President Samantha Shan to discuss her journey into the profession, her journey into being involved with the profession at literally the highest possible level as well as her go to tips, tricks, experiences, and things you need to know about the upcoming wfh e Congress in France. You guys are gonna love this. I absolutely love having a chat with Samantha. And an absolutely phenomenal story about coming into the profession of OT. So enjoy. G’day, my name is Brock cook and welcome to occupied. In this podcast we’re aiming to put the occupation in occupational therapy, we explore the people topics, theories and underpinnings that make this profession so incredible. If you’re new here, you can find all of our previous episodes and resources at occupied podcast.com. But for now, let’s roll the episode.
Samantha Shann 1:25
I think I would probably agree with your theory there. And so while I was doing my A levels and live in the UK, and at that time in the late late 80s, they were really pushing women to go into science. So I was really exploring chemistry and had places at university to do chemistry had a little bit of an inkling about physiotherapy, but nothing really. And then at the same time, I was a young leader, Brownie Girl Guide pack. And there was a brownie that joined that had Down syndrome. And we had an occupational therapist come to one of our rowdy meetings to talk to us about how to help this brown me integrate how we might need to adapt some of the things that we did, but genuinely just to, you know, talk to us and, and show us how to enable her to be part of the brownie pack. And it was suddenly like this. Wow. And that was probably so it’s certainly not the end of the journey. It was it got me thinking I applied and obviously got a place at university. But it wasn’t an easy journey. So although occupational therapy found me, I will probably be very honest and sort of say, I struggled throughout my three years of my ot course. And not because I wasn’t having a fantastic time, I made some wonderful friends that are friends now. And, and I enjoyed the course. And I was stretched by my lectures and made to think differently. I was the last year of what was the Diploma in the UK. So there was lots of art based things Monday morning was in the crafts, room photography, pottery arts work, it was, it was it was a really, really good cause it was nothing there. But equally, in the late 80s. It was that sort of time of when theory was probably starting to come in a little bit more. Yep. So Moho starting to appear. And there was theories and models starting to be talked about. And then also where occupational therapy was positioned in the UK at the time, very much discharge focused hospital based. So there was this real sort of thing for me of like, what I was hearing and learning at university, and then what I was seeing in practice, and somehow they just didn’t meet. I couldn’t I couldn’t see where they were meeting at all. And I had a wonderful program lead Margaret Robinson, who’s been with me throughout my career actually. And, you know, Sutton spent many hours in her office and you know, she would say there Well, if there’s something else um, I was like, no, no, I’ve enjoyed it. But I just don’t see where this all fits together.
Brock Cook 4:26
Put the picture together.
Samantha Shann 4:29
Yeah, just nothing. Nothing matched. It was. Yeah. So anyway, I stuck with it. I stayed stayed with the course. And then again, in my first job because because we were the late 80s We wouldn’t really 90s By that point. It was still very medical model, very discharge equipment processed, getting people home from hospital. Again, that Just didn’t match with, with everything that I was learning about sort of like choice about participation, enabling people. And actually what we were what we were discharging people home to. And I also then at the same time was working in quite a rural community in the north of England, and move to erode. I was on a rotation post, so moved into mental health. And it was a community mental health, but we would spend ages waiting for patients to arrive. And these patients and clients would like have to drive like hours on country roads to come to occupational therapy or come to anything. Yeah. And I can remember sitting there thinking, wow, this is not right. And then therefore, probably then start challenging that thing. I’ve probably been qualified about sort of six, seven months at that point, and I thought, okay, if this is gonna work for me, I need to make some changes. And so very adamantly decided that we were going to have a community group out in the middle of nowhere.
Brock Cook 6:09
That’s kind of like the outreach. kind of position. Yeah.
Samantha Shann 6:13
Yeah. And it was really hard to justify to start with because it was like, Oh, so you’re gonna spend four hours in the car for an hour’s group with five clients? Yeah. Well, what do you justify that master’s, because we can look back over their records. And those five clients have maybe attended once or twice in the last six months. And I’ve sat around waiting for them. And you know, in all honesty, when you’re sat waiting for clients to arrive, you might do a little bit of work, but you’re not. You’re not fully engrossed in anything else. So yeah, we set up this outreach group. And it was my first time I think, and actually this is, this is more about what I learned. This is more about what I thought at the time occupational therapy was about was about engaging with people, listening to them, and trying to help them solve their problems as much as anything. So that was that, but equally at the same time, I’d reapplied to go back to university. I was gonna go back into chemistry.
Brock Cook 7:20
That’s right. You just hedging your bets, just in case?
Samantha Shann 7:24
Yeah, just don’t give up. That’s the good, okay. Yeah. Got a place but decided, no, I’ll just give it one last shot and reapplied for another job. And that was in mental health. And it was like, again, it was early 90s, mid going into mid 90s. But it was probably one of the last big occupational therapy departments around was lots of technical instructors, pottery, computers, would work the gym. And you know, it was the technical, technical instructors were absolutely fantastic in that department. And it was, it was a breath of fresh air, really, I got some excellent supervision, again, was allowed to develop things. We set up some work with GP surgeries, and out of hours work, which again, was, you know, we talked about that now is like, you know,
Brock Cook 8:26
just common practice. Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah. But
Samantha Shann 8:29
back then it was really sort of quite groundbreaking to be talking with the GPS, and giving people opportunity to attend sessions outside of their working hours. And that was really, really engaging. So I think that was probably at the point where I thought, okay, yeah, I can stay I am an Occupational Therapist, I, that’s where I started to feel it. But at the same time, personally, I’d been doing a lot of traveling, loved travel, loved that whole sort of thing, but again, felt that I wanted to spend a bit more time outside of the UK, and worked in the States for a little bit not not as an occupational therapist as an activity coordinator on a disability camp for children with disabilities.
Brock Cook 9:22
I know a couple people from the UK that have done that in the States, it seems to be like a popular thing.
Samantha Shann 9:28
Yeah, well, during university, there’s a whole camp America sort of thing. So you can go and do it for sort of for a few weeks, and I’m, I did it, I did it a bit more permanent than that. And, and it was interesting, because probably that was the first time that my job title was an occupational therapist. But actually, it was probably the time where I use my occupational therapy skills to learn Yeah, even now. It was, you know, there was nobody else prompting me there was nobody else there it was, you know, every day you were that camp coordinator for children with with very severe disabilities, as it turned out the brief wasn’t quite what it was.
Brock Cook 10:14
They didn’t want to scare you off before you got there.
Samantha Shann 10:17
As is often the case with those sort of things, yeah. Yeah. And that’s sort of, I think it showed me the different cultures as well. And, you know, we sometimes think, you know, the UK, the US lots of similarities. I would probably say there’s more differences than similarities, really. And certainly within the health systems, and where occupational therapy sets and, and how people access services just drastically different.
Brock Cook 10:48
Yeah, I think through this podcast, speaking with quite a few Americans and people who’ve worked in the American system, it’s, it’s, well, it’s definitely drastically different to Australia, I think Australia is probably more similar to the UK than than the states is. It’s definitely a very unique system. But I still haven’t quite got my head around. I’ve never worked there. Not sure how I’d go, I’d probably struggle a bit.
Samantha Shann 11:13
Even silly things like language, Amanda was working with children and like every day, they would sort of say to me, speak to me in your own language.
Brock Cook 11:25
What do you think the language came from?
Samantha Shann 11:27
Yeah. But it was it was that real sort of like an awakening, I guess, on that sort of like cultural thing, because although we learned about culture, within the Occupational Therapy Program, and whilst that initial job that I worked in was a real culture shock for me, I’ve always lived in towns and cities, and then that my first job qualified was in a rural farming communities. There were cultural differences. And you know, I’m from West Yorkshire and that first job was in North Yorkshire and they always called me Southerner, despite the fact that it’s probably 30 minutes between where we came from. Yeah, so I but other than that, I’ve been hidden from culture, but the sort of cultures that you understand a little bit more, and we don’t certainly at that time, in the north of England, we didn’t have masses of sort of like and people from other countries, it’s sort of like it was quite close, sort of, like, part of the UK at the time. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s, that gave me the thing. And then I was interested in going to India, but the project that I was going to India didn’t work out for lots of reasons and got an opportunity to go to Uganda, UK in the late 90s.
Brock Cook 12:46
I did see that. I think it was on the W fit website, that you’re the liaison for Africa as well. And I was wondering about how that came about. And then I saw that you’ve got a couple of publications relating to practices in in Africa. Is that where that sort of interest in that part of the world came from?
Samantha Shann 13:06
Yes, yes, it was to bits with that, within who to the executive health responsibilities for regions just to try to make sure that we keep on top of things that I wish to. But yeah, my, my involvement in occupational therapy in Africa started from Uganda. So I originally went for a year and stayed just the short five years. And that was the time the Occupational Therapy Program was just establishing. And the first graduates were just going out to sell occupational therapy services. So Uganda had a history of back in the 60s and 70s, they’d sent occupational therapists to the US and the UK to do their therapy, education. Some of them did return. But as we see time and time again, when people leave, very often, they don’t come back. And that in itself was a valuable lesson for me. And probably my real passion, when I get around to wfh OT is, you know, helping countries to establish their education program. Not only does that make sure that it’s culturally appropriate for where those occupational therapists need to work and to meet the nation needs, but hopefully we’re gonna keep people to retention as well. And that’s not so like tracking people that’s like looking at like, Where, where, where the need is. Yeah, yeah.
Brock Cook 14:44
So So what was the what was the project in Uganda was like at that university style project, or was it just like a work project or what was your Why were you there?
Samantha Shann 14:56
It was with a very small UK charity at the time. But part of my remit for that first 12 months was to get my position established within the Ministry of Health. As it turned out, during that first 12 months, the occupational therapy training school in Kampala got moved to education, I ended up becoming the first occupational therapist in Uganda to be employed by the Ministry of Education. Quite quite an achievement into that. So my remit was teaching on the new program, and also helping the new graduates to set up services, particularly in mental health, because that’s where my skills were at that point.
Brock Cook 15:48
So did you so you said like when you first came out of uni, and then you sort of moved into mental health? Did you kind of stay there? Like, would you say that mental health was your? I don’t know, most people sort of find their sort of passion area, would you say mental health was yours? Or did you sort of chop and change a bit? Or where did you find stuff?
Samantha Shann 16:08
wasn’t changed in that first job? Sort of like stroke, rehab, orthopedic surgery? But yes, predominantly, sort of like mental health? Yeah. And I would say, still, although we’ve sort of like a lot of my international work and sort of stuff that I do, whether it’s mental health, my other real sort of like failing is community based practice, and community based rehabilitation.
Brock Cook 16:35
So like, the specific modalities are like community development,
Samantha Shann 16:42
community development, and sort of like really was very much through some wfh at work as well. And also some of the work that was done in Uganda very involved in the World Health Organization, and their CBR guidelines. And that’s where my real sort of like passion is around that community development and real grassroots community based rehabilitation. So in really taking, who is definition of that, and, you know, everything coming from the community, and then have been those sort of decision making, sort of like skills now that
Brock Cook 17:20
this is something that’s kind of always interests me when like you find people like yourself in in the positions that you’re in, obviously, you’re president of W fit now. And I talked to a lot of people, and they’re like, oh, it’s almost like there’s a gap of lack that those people and then there’s us, but in talking with, you know, people like yourself in hearing your story, it’s very much like a story that anyone could sort of go through in terms of therapy and progression. But how how did you get first get involved? Because obviously, you’ve been in volved with W fit for quite a while now in other positions. How did you first sort of get involved with the World Federation?
Samantha Shann 18:03
Literally my first week in Uganda, I attended my first Ugandan Association meeting. And there was about five of us in the room and suddenly found myself the treasurer got a properly unpacked my suitcase. There, I was treasurer of the Ugandan Association. And one of the first tasks within that was helping right there the code of ethics. Because Uganda at the time, when I was working towards WF ot membership, and I will be perfectly honest, I had not really heard about the World Federation of occupational therapists. Up until that point, it was not something I’d been taught on my program. And I’ve always been a member of the British Association, the Royal College of OT, but never really thought about WF OT. So yeah, helped write the constitution and that that year, Uganda became a full member of WSI OT. And it was also at that point where discussions and the formation of Otago, the Occupational Therapy Africa regional group was forming. And in 1999, we had the first Otago Congress in Mauritius and the WF O T executive held their executive meeting at the same time. So that was my first contact. You know, in person with WF OT and meeting the executive with Otago, again, was very involved in helping to write the constitution. That first Congress did the scientific program with the Ugandan occupational therapists and became very involved Often Otago, the second otol Congress was in Kampala in 2001. At that point, I was the president of the Ugandan Association. And it was probably that time when we really saw the Ugandan Association really coming together, I think it gave us as an association, a real focus to be able to host and bring these occupational therapists, not just from Africa, we have many delegates from your in the states come to that Congress in Kampala. And think, you know, it was, it was a very special time to be part of occupational therapy in Uganda as that professional identity started to really embed people were getting employed in the Ministry of Health, there were positions opening up. And then they were presenting about their work international congresses, and starting to talk and network with occupational therapists across the Africa region, predominantly. But those links really starting to establish and, and also people started to question as well as like, Okay, well, yeah, this is great. But actually, how do we want to develop occupational therapy in Uganda moving forward? What is a standardized assessment in rural Uganda? What sort of outcome measures do we want to do? And it was, it was some, yeah, very excited to be part of those discussions and and see, see the graduates developing the confidence to start questioning their own practice, and push those boundaries that little bit further still
Brock Cook 21:49
trying to get graduates to do that. One thing I’ve I don’t know a whole lot about the development of the profession, in other African countries, but was so you You’re obviously very involved in the development in Uganda was the development of the profession in other African countries sort of around the same stage? or were there other countries that were sort of already established and Uganda was catching up? Or like, how was it developing sort of, I guess, in the rest of the continent?
Samantha Shann 22:23
Yeah. There’s always been a big difference. I mean, South Africa was one of the founding members of the World Federation of occupational therapists and occupational therapy in South Africa. I won’t even guess what date that started. well established, it was certainly around in 1952, when wfh It was established. So if you take sort of like South Africa, out of quite different, I think then actually, your next pocket of development was East Africa. So Kenya, they started with occupational therapy in the 1960s. So a very colonial health system, obviously enough in Kenya with that history. And yet that they that long, and then Uganda and Tanzania, started back quickly, together, sort of those late 80s, early 90s. Zimbabwe has a long, long history, as well by one of the association’s West Africa. Quite interesting. As I came back from Uganda, to the UK, I got a teaching post in the UK. And one of the students on the program was from Ghana, and he’d been got funding from his government to come in education. And there was at the university that I was teaching at so he turned I developed a relationship and supported that. And that was sort of like the start. Occupational therapy has been around in Nigeria for many, many years. They don’t have to be fit approved education programs, or many of their education programs. Still arts assistant level or diploma level. And there’s lots of work still going on there in Nigeria. Ghana was first WF O T approved degree program in West Africa. And then, yes, then Zambia, Malawi, so it’s been pocket. So I think really, the most development has probably been in the last 20 years across the African region.
Brock Cook 24:50
Yep. So you spent you I think you said just under five years over there, and then you went back to the UK where did you go You went back into a teaching position.
Samantha Shann 25:02
Yeah. Didn’t really expect it. That was never probably part of the plan
Brock Cook 25:07
seems to be the pattern here is all these opportunities presented, you’re not expecting? No, I like it.
Samantha Shann 25:12
I do. And it’s funny, like you say about occupational therapy find. And when I talk to students, and whatever I talked, I’ve talked about my career pathway, a little bit like the London tube map, yep. You know, when I first started out, people say, oh, you know, you’ll have a career and you’ll go up the career ladder, well, that’s either not happened or that I don’t think that actually exists anymore. So I sort of see my career as I sort of get on this train. And I’ve made a decision to get on the train. But then I’ll go, and sometimes I’m going along, because I’m quite happy on that train. I don’t like to a station, and I’m given some other choices. And I might decide to get off for a bit, or I might decide to stay up. And sometimes I find myself coming back in a full loop or on a different trail with various things. But it’s that sort of I think it’s like always keeping moving forward. There’s always something and sometimes you sometimes you make a very conscious decision to to make a change in your career. And other times opportunities arrive. And you think actually, yes, that’s worth trying. And, yeah, I guess I’m, I’m always open to opportunities. And I like to try new things. So I had literally come back from Uganda just for a couple of weeks holiday, and went to see my old program leader was associate she’d been very helpful while I was in Uganda sending lots of resources. It wasn’t really the end of an email or the phone, it was lots of letters that she would send stuff and sat in her office. And I’d actually come back to discuss about doing my master’s, and thinking about what to do it. And then during that course of the conversation, it was like, we’ve got an opening at the moment. Who wants to be interviewed next week? Okay, I returned, yeah, I returned to Uganda with a new job, which, which was hard. It was hard. Telling people. What was leaving, it was hard, sort of like leaving, because I’m really thought about it. Lots of things had happened personally. But my heart was very much in Uganda, at that point, very much part of my local community, part of the local school. But at the same time, this job opportunity felt right. Yeah. And it felt right. And I and I knew that there were people in Uganda, that were already doing what I was doing, and they could take it forward. You know, it wasn’t that I was walking away and nothing was there. They were occupied. Ugandan occupational therapists working in the occupational therapy education program. There were very well established occupational therapy departments. At that point, the association was strong, they were a strong member of to be fit a strong member of Otago. So I knew that they had the skills to do that. I think a lot of we had a lot of conversations about that. And and I guess, then that’s when I realized that you know, how you support people, and how you enable people doesn’t have to be from the same room or the same country. And then, at that point, I was sort of like, an internet wasn’t great. At that point. I still spent a lot of time in Uganda and internet cafes and not to download anything. So we had to talk through how that continued support would happen. Yeah. And I was very lucky when I head back to the UK that I was able to go back to Uganda quite regularly. Okay, person, continue some sort of like development workshops through Otago as well. So yeah, that it was at that point there. But meeting Peter, when I came back to the UK then got involved, involve me in Garner, West Africa.
So Peter, dear, Dr. Peter, dear now has gone on and helped us to well established the first occupational therapy education program in Ghana. And I think I was the first external examiner for that program. And again, I’ve had the real pleasure to watch the first number of cohorts. I think we’re up to six cohorts. Now when Garner graduated, and really see them come through We’ve seen them take hold of the guard, Ghanian Occupational Therapy Association and, and again, help form their own professional identity. And I think that’s one of the things I talked earlier about education programs, and they’ve been established in country has been so important about the legacy of the profession. And I strongly believe that is to get a strong education program within the country, gives that country a really good grounding, for developing occupational therapy, and the sustainability of the profession. Because there has to be ownership from the government around the education program. For professional identity, and for the real development of the protection, it’s national associations that really do that, from, from what I’ve seen, witnessed and being part of that belonging to an association, being able to come together, having a shared vision of what you want, and being able to impact and equally through having a recognised Association. It gets people different invites to implement things. So it’s easier to get to the tables and the meetings where you need to be having those discussions. So yes, I’ve Yeah, and the gun, the gun I, Occupational Therapy Association. Now, you know, they’re running regular webinars, doing conferences that talk in other people’s events, they’re out there and yeah, again, have developed occupational therapy, as it needs to be in Ghana, not without challenges. Oh, now
Brock Cook 31:51
can imagine. Yeah. So when you when you came back to the UK, did you, like continue with your involvement with WF ot directly, then? Or was that something you sort of came back to after a bit?
Samantha Shann 32:04
No, kind of probably another lucky break at the time. Yeah. The UK position for the WF ot delegate. So College of occupational therapists, that delegate position was very like I say lucky, because I think for the first time in history, there was five of us that applied for it. And it was suddenly like this big sort of like election thing. But yeah, I got elected, thank you to the members. I think Sheila Richards, who was the chief executive at the time, she told me like she had a little bit of a heart attack, because she saw that I was living in Uganda as I applied, and there was nothing in their room articles at that point about travel. And she was thinking, do we have to pay for it to come from Uganda? I think that probably got changed quite quickly. Somewhere in the articles. Yeah.
Brock Cook 32:57
Yep. Small freakout just immediately. Yeah.
Samantha Shann 33:01
So no, I was I was lucky. And then yes, I spent four years as the UK delegate to W fo TI. But in that time, so halfway through that position, I got elected on to be executed tense. So within W fo TI, there are sort of like the main executive positions, as we would see in most organizations of the president, vice president, treasurer, Vice President, finance, Executive Director. But then what, what we also have is the program coordinators, to they are part of the exec, the bigger executive management team. So that part of decision making they’re part of all of that. But maybe not quite so much responsibility. I think when they were first brought in, it was sort of like that bit of a stepping stone, it was tried to like look at how you structure because quite a big going from being a country delegate to them sort of being on the executive. So I got elected in what year it was now, but yet to international court, cooperation, international cooperation. And I think again, that that fed into my skills that I’ve been developing over the last sort of like six years around sort of like developing occupational therapy in countries where the professional was still relatively new. And through that, start to tap a lot more contact with occupational therapists that were in similar positions to what had been in
Brock Cook 34:50
like in sort of developing areas or countries trying to get it off the ground.
Samantha Shann 34:57
Yeah, and I think, you know, One of the things that’s really helped me over the years is actually having lived through that as well. So, you know, I can still remember, you know, spending days sat in government corridors, just waiting to speak to someone. So like, when I go to the countries now and people say, oh, you know, we’re gonna go and have this meeting with whoever the meeting is at 10 o’clock. But it could be whenever it’s like, that’s fine. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, that, that sort of understanding and recognizing, and, you know, when I start to think about it, you know, although it’s sort of, like 20, odd years back those those years in Uganda and working with my Ugandan colleagues, were really where I, I really feel I became an occupational therapist. I learned so much from my Ugandan colleagues in those years that I still use on a day to day basis.
Brock Cook 36:11
Do you? Do you ever feel because I wonder this probably more on a smaller scale with some of the people that I’ve spoken to. But do you ever wonder whether or do you ever feel like, you’re because obviously, it sounds like you’ve always been kind of, for lack of a better term, like a natural born leader of sorts. But do you ever feel like you’ve ever sort of flicked the switch from being that on the ground lead, by example, clinician to now looking at it sort of from the policy, national association, international association level? Do you ever feel like there was like a time when you just made that switch? Or is it still sort of the same skill set, I guess?
Samantha Shann 36:55
It’s interesting, because I would never sort of like put myself as a natural born leader, I don’t often think of myself as a leader in that sort of term. And I did a course actually about and about sort of leadership, so long back and, and one of the things that we spent a lot of time discussing, it was an interesting concept was about sort of like where you spend your time as a leader. Is it on the dance floor? And dancing for want of a better word and integrating? And I’m doing Yeah, I do you spend time on the balcony? watching and observing? Yeah, can you change and making those decisions of where your time is best spent? And it was really quite eye opening for me, because I think you’re right. I am very much an activist. It’s probably my it’s my real strength, I think, but probably equally, why I haven’t gone into sort of more research because I will do something but then the thought of writing it off, just, I’m on to the next thing, I can understand that. And I think we all have different skills, and I absolutely admire or have people that can sit and do different things. And I think my policy change probably came in because equally when I was the delegate to the UK, so when I was on the board of the Royal College of occupational therapists, I was also for two years, the Vice Chair, Council. Yep. So at that point, got more into policy and some of the corporate things within the Royal College that you see. So you start to see that and then equally come in on the wfh at executive and the involvement at the World Health Organization and the policy levels in there. And again, what we’ve seen in the last sort of like 15 years within the World Health Organization, is a shift in how they focus on disability as shifting their focus on rehabilitation, so much more involvement in policy levels there. I think also that, that understanding, and the more that you speak with governments, the more that you interact with them is sort of understanding where they have to come from sometimes as well, and where those policies are really important to them, and establishing sort of like that more formal part of the profession. But I think I’m still much to do, I’m still an occupational therapist, I still practice as an occupational therapist. Day to day. So yeah, because it colourful,
Brock Cook 39:38
because you you have a private practice now, is that right? Yeah, yep. Do you find or have you found taking on literally probably the, someone say the biggest role in OT in the world? Has that had an impact on your ability to do what you want within that practice? So Here’s sort of, like while you’re in this president position, have you sort of had to put that on hold? Or how have you managed to balance? I guess, keeping your foot in the door in that clinical sense as well as, I guess leading from the top down as well?
Samantha Shann 40:14
Yeah. Well, I guess this is probably a nice time I don’t I can do shoutouts to phonecard. Kate, my fellow directors, because honestly, without Adam and Kate, no, I couldn’t. I couldn’t do both. So very lucky that within the OTT service, there’s actually now four of us, because Lucy has just joined us. But as directors, there’s three of us and Adam and Kate are extremely supportive of my W. F. O T work. I guess it’s been woven into our business plan and our business expectations over a number of years, whilst this role is an opportunity. So yes, I don’t work full time into
Brock Cook 41:01
Samantha Shann 41:04
But I think that equally raises other challenges as well about equity. You know, the World Federation of occupational therapists, in my eyes is a fantastic organization, and just so much work. Probably does an awful lot more than what people know. Because yeah, one of the things we’re not so good about is is telling all the minut details. But we are a volunteer. We’re a volunteer organization,
Brock Cook 41:32
you just start a podcast.
Samantha Shann 41:35
Yeah. You sometimes think, okay, occupational balance. What’s that? A good? Yeah. Never heard of it. Yeah. Um, but yeah, so we have some, we have an operational management team, and we have some paid support and some occupational therapists within that. But we’re talking, you know, small hours, the executive director has a small secondment, but again, does much more volunteer hours. The wfh at the president and all the other positions or volunteer positions, which, you know, is very much what I know other organizations alike. But we don’t have the office, we don’t have the backup staff.
Brock Cook 42:24
Yeah, support staff and admin.
Samantha Shann 42:27
I think people sometimes assume that we do. I think people sometimes assume that we’re the size of OT Australia or TA.
Brock Cook 42:36
I think that may be why because I know OTA has an office. And like they have admin staff I’ve done I’ve done a fair bit of work with them over the over the years. And I think most people just kind of assume that well, who to the next level up? So it must be sort of this but even bigger kind of thing.
Samantha Shann 42:52
Yeah. And we’re not. It is volunteers. And as I say that, I think that that for me that there is a challenge within that I’m very lucky that my business partners and my colleagues support me. And I’m very lucky, then that I can put many hours into WF IoT, and I do that, because I enjoy it as well. I get an awful lot out of the work that I do. I enjoy meeting with people I enjoy mentoring, sort of like our new leaders come in through the profession. I enjoy helping establish those associations. Absolutely. I enjoy it. But the amount of hours that I put in is not necessarily what future volunteer. Yeah. Yeah. There is a real challenge there about how can we get w fo ti to the point that it is a realistic volunteer position for people?
Brock Cook 43:53
Yeah, more of a sort of a sustainable model, I guess.
Samantha Shann 43:57
Yeah. And it always comes back down to that wonderful word of finances. And
Brock Cook 44:04
unfortunately, that’s seems to be what runs the world nowadays.
Samantha Shann 44:08
Brock Cook 44:10
So So why
Samantha Shann 44:12
are very dependent on our member organizations were like,
Brock Cook 44:15
yeah, yeah. Even one thing that speaking about like the American situation, I one thing I’ve noticed with them is just the differences in how membership works in different countries. It’s probably not so much a W fit thing, but more an individual country thing, but I know like with Australia, when I’m a member of Ota, it comes with, like, automatic membership to wfh T whereas in the states, if you want membership to wfh, t you have to get that separately. Is is that I guess which one’s the more common model would you say sort of around the world because I, I can’t obviously, like you were saying before, and I want to get into this a little bit in a sec, but people don’t really really fully understand I don’t think the amount of stuff that W fit does for the profession. So I wonder like, you know, OTA, I guess it’s almost, you’re supporting OTA, therefore you’re supporting W fit. But if you’re not sure what w fit does for you, and it’s sort of, I guess a an extra step that you need to go to, I would imagine that there would that’s a pretty big barrier for people to actually join W fit.
Samantha Shann 45:28
Yeah, so there’s this two membership models within who T, there is what we call the premium pricing model, which is what OTA Australia has signed up to. And a quarter of our member organizations have now signed up to that. We brought that back in in 2008, just as I became vice president finance, and that is very much like you said, is that the member organization, so ot Australia, the Swedish Association was the first one to sign up. They pay a block amount of money as number of dollars per, per member, and then all their members are members of who tea as well. Yep. And the traditional way that would always happened prior to was bringing in the premium pricing. And we had to bring the premium pricing in as a separate model, because some member organizations were not so sure about it. Yeah. So we kept the old model where people have to be a member of their national association. But they can do an add on of that. But yes, it does, it does mean that they have to make an active decision. I think the other thing around that is then Wi Fi T is very reliant on its member organizations, promoting Wi Fi T for us and making that easy for people to join. I think it’s also about people’s understanding, I think, sometimes people say, Oh, well, I’m not a member of Wi Fi t because I don’t want to go and work overseas. Yeah, it’s like, well, that’s it, that’s not really why you need to be a member of WF OT, you need to be a member to be fit to support your profession. And there are sort of people say, Well, what do I get from my membership? Well, there are a few membership benefits, there’s things like the who to call it, those reduced Congress registration fees. But I always sort of say as it’s not about an external thing, membership to the reality, it’s I try to think about little bit more internally, of that, it’s your opportunity to support support your profession, and enable WF ot to represent occupational therapy at very high level stakeholder meetings. So who T has a collaborative partnership with who the World Health Organization, we’ve been in official collaborations for just over 50 years, one of only eight health professions to have such a long relationship. And that’s not an easy relationship. We have to do a collaboration plan every two, three years, and show how we’re working together. But it’s that representation at that high level meeting that gets occupational therapy recognized if occupational therapy is an act, who meetings we don’t appear it who documents it’s about then how it trickles down into regional policies, regional documents, regional workforces, then from regions down into countries and localities. So WF O T membership is not the same as your membership to your national associate. One, even if you’re opting in, you’re paying 25 US dollars. That’s not it’s not, you know, you’re gonna get things coming to you. But it is about how you support your profession. And feeling it does then give you that access to occupational therapists around the world as well as network opportunities. But I think it’s more about how we envision being part of the profession, how we can influence health and well being around the world really.
Brock Cook 49:32
I think that’s always been the biggest thing for me. It’s obviously with my OT, Australian membership. It’s included in that but it’s always been promoted in Australia to be more of, I think, speaking without a president a few years ago, like she described it as it’s an investment in the profession, as opposed to like when you sign up to your local one, you know, you get a discount on CPD like that’s more of an investment in your or learning and whatnot, whereas the W fit is an investment in the profession. And like you said, it allows the the organization to represent and which amazes me because I speak to so many OTS around the world nowadays through this podcast, and just through networking in general. And one of the biggest complaints that people have about the profession is that it’s not marketed or it’s not, you know, promoted. And we need more people in these positions of policymaking, and I’m like, we’ve got the people, we need the support the people, it’s, we have these mechanisms already in place, we just we need to support Well, in this case, W fit in order to, to make that happen more often, or or sustain that, that representation because without it, like it, I could see, especially with now that say who everyone can recognize that models, like the ICD are fairly sort of representative of what we think of health with regards to OT, but without us sort of having a seat at that table, I could very easily see other professions sort of just seeping in and no tea fading into the background quite easily.
Samantha Shann 51:19
And having that full spectrum as well, you know, sometimes, you know, that, you know, the big push at the moment within who is rehabilitation 2030. And the member states of the World Health Organization sign in up to you know, developing rehabilitation services by 2030, which actually feels very close now. Yeah, you know, for occupational therapist, that’s a bit mind blowing. You think, what, we’re only just focusing on rehabilitation. And it’s that recognition of, you know, well, where does occupational therapy play its role in rehabilitation, you know, and I’m really putting forward that there is no rehabilitation without occupational therapists, yeah. But equally, being very realistic. And that’s where the policies, that’s where the politics come in. That’s where the negotiation skills come in. And that’s where it’s really important that W OT, has this collaboration with the World Health Organization, because whilst we can say that occupational therapy is key in rehabilitation, we have to be also very aware that in many countries, there are so few occupational therapists that, that there’s not enough to go around to set up Rehabilitative Services we want to find in that match between, you know, where we see ourselves, hopefully, in sort of 1020 5060 years, and making sure part of occupational therapy, that occupational therapy is part of that vision and plan. So there is rehabilitation services are developed, is making sure that occupational therapist developed along with that. That’s really important because we can’t, we can’t raise people’s expectations. But equally, we can’t afford for occupational therapy not to be part of the conversations because we don’t quite have the workforce yet.
Brock Cook 53:19
Yeah, definitely. So one of the big things I think that everyone would recognize wfh Wofford for is the Congress. It’s yeah. You easily would say it’s probably the largest ot related event. Every time that it’s on. It’s It’s massive. When was your sort of, I guess, introduction to the Congress? When did you first go and what was it that drew you to such a massive event?
Samantha Shann 53:55
My first of the fit Congress was in 2002, in Stockholm, in Sweden, and just become the UK delegate. And, but equally had just left Uganda. So had loads of Ugandan occupational therapists come over, we’d worked hard to get them to get their papers accepted. So for me, I think I’d left Uganda a few weeks before and then suddenly was with all my friends and colleagues. It was absolutely fantastic. A union. Yeah, it was I was sort of like a week in Stockholm with my colleagues from Kenya and Uganda. And that’s really, because that’s that’s 2002 was the last time who to Congress was in Europe. So it’s 20. Yes, because we we move the Congress around. And we recognize it’s not easy for people to get to all of the time for travel for expenses for lots and lots of different reasons. But one of the reasons then is therefore we move it around the world to try and win Make it a little bit more accessible. And in those last 20 years, you know, we’ve had the first one in Latin America, we went to Chile in 2010. And the last one was in South Africa, the first W hoti, Congress on the African continent. So really, you know, tried to make it as easy and accessible as it can be. And I think part of that is then recognizing that we have the grants program for the Congress. So helping to support occupational therapists from low and middle income countries to present at the W H O T. Congress, and anybody can donate to that Congress. So even if you can’t actually come to the Wi Fi at Congress, whether virtually this time, because this will be the first time that we’re going to have virtual attendance as well. But you can still be part of the Congress and you can still enable that by helping to support maybe somebody else just even a small donation makes quite a difference.
Brock Cook 56:04
So what is it I guess? What would you say would be the biggest draw card of a W fit Congress compared to say, a national conference that someone might have in their own country, like what would be the big difference?
Samantha Shann 56:20
Diversity, and that real opportunity to meet occupational therapists from around the world to learn about occupational therapy, Practice Research and Education in the different global context. But I think, for me, it’s beyond that cultural diversity as well. The bit that I really, really enjoy about WF ot congresses is the diversity in the presentations. So you can have a very well, renowned occupational therapist presented. And then the next presenter can be a new graduate who’s presenting their groundbreaking work with a new community or a new practice in their country. And I think that real, real difference in experiences, not just an experiences of like the cultural country context, but that different lens of like being a new graduate coming into the profession, to having some really experienced things. And then the rest of us in the middle where we’re, yeah, we’ve got some experience, still developing it, still learning it. And I think for me that that’s where the real strength and the real beauty, not just of WF ot Congress, but WF ot lies is like really bringing the profession together on all those different levels.
Brock Cook 57:47
Because I think I see, and even from my personal experience, I feel like people operating sort of in their little silo or like their country, their health system, you kind of very much get just, I guess, stuck with the status quo of that. And as much as you might be trying to learn and diversify your knowledge and that kind of thing. It’s hard when you’re still in that system. And I think one of the benefits I could see of a W fit Congress is, like we’ve already explored today, like the difference in health systems around the world, like how the profession started differently, and how it operates differently in different countries and being able to be exposed to that and to network with people in from all over the world, I would imagine would just be the most I could already foresee myself just being utterly exhausted at the end of it just from trying to like, soak in all the information.
Samantha Shann 58:47
It is it’s absolutely exhausting. absolutely mind blowing. Yeah. And it’s that, yeah, it’s opening your eyes and opening your ears and actually, you know, what does it mean to be, you know, an occupational therapist working in rural Kenya? What does it mean working as an occupational therapist in a city centre of Singapore? I mean, the, the differences are vast, but equally with every sort of presentation, there’s always something that you can pull out because we’re occupational therapists, and there’s always this deep, rich conversations of sharing ideas and sharing practices and developing links. And I think, you know, I’ve had the real privilege to be able to go to a number of who T congresses now, but seeing people make connections and watching those connections grow, you know, I, I’ve seen people connect and then come back to the next wfh at Congress doing joint papers together because they’ve gone on and developed this work in relationship that, you know, developed over coffee or who tea Congress and I think it’s really interesting because with the last Two years and the pandemic and virtual and things have become a little bit more accessible. And we, we, we’ve had the opportunity to connect in different ways. Yes, I know what got us through the pandemic. But there’s such a different richness in having that conversation with somebody, because it’s that conversation, it’s an occupational therapy conversation, isn’t it? It starts maybe around that presentation that you both heard and what that made you think about your own practice, but then it goes on and you, you learn about people’s lives, and you learn about their stories, and you can make those connections and, and for me, that’s what occupational therapy is about. It’s about learning about people’s stories and engaging in those stories and developing those stories together. And I think those face to face connections are where those real relationships really develop. I was talking to somebody yesterday who I’ve met via zoom a number of times over the last couple of years, and we’ve we’ve developed a good working relationship, can’t wait to just meet them. Yeah, and just have that, that conversation. And
Brock Cook 1:01:13
I think that’s something that a lot of people have experienced, like you said, like, during the pandemic, like this zoom became the thing. And it was a way, like you said, to get us through and I know a lot of people pivoted to telehealth and that kind of stuff. But I’ve still never met anyone that’s considers telehealth to be a complete and total package replacement of face to face therapy. I think it’s the same for these kinds of events, like even before pandemic, like even some of the CPD stuff I used to do through ot Australia, like I could do a webinar, but I’ve never got as much out of it as I would sort of an in person training. And I’ve been to quite a number of conferences, state and national conferences here. And I just can’t even imagine the the richness of the learning and the connection that I usually get from those events being available. Obviously, the direct knowledge from the presentations and stuff, you can probably get over a virtual platform. But for me, personally, the value from conferences was always sort of those conversations in between sessions and the people that you meet and the people that you run into, or you go out for dinner after after the day’s conference and converse and have those ot really rich, deep conversations with people that you’ve, like you said, either met online, because I’ve done this a number of times now and then finally met in person, or people you’ve just met during the day. And that, to me was always where I got the most value out of any of those kinds of events. So I could definitely think that yeah, you could do the the online version. And that’s great that that’s an option, especially obviously, with everything that’s going on in the world today, it does make that aspect of it more accessible. But I can imagine that just the rich richness of the experience of being there in person would be exponentially more valuable to a lot of people.
Samantha Shann 1:03:18
Yeah, yes, the online versions there, and I agree with you, it’s great to be able to look back on things and do that learning, and that real sort of like professional sort of like development stuff, but that richness, connections and never quite knowing which connections are going to lead to something else. And even small connection, you know, you always remember those conversations, as you’re going up an escalator or, you know, finding a seat in an auditorium and just hearing, you know, somebody’s story. It’s just, it’s just wonderful. And I think, you know, this year as well, we’re going to be in Paris. And, you know, we were talking about the differences of occupational therapy around the world. And sometimes we can make real assumptions. And you know, we can look at France and, you know, power strength within you’re in a really strong history, a very strong sort of French history. But the development of occupational therapy or logo therapy in France, is really something we need to be learning about. It’s very, very different to lots of European countries, lots of other countries. They’ve got very different struggles to other places, they’re making great achievements in different areas. So, you know, there’s the beauty of Paris itself and the excitement of being in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, which I think, you know, we would all enjoy being enjoying that, but really starting to understand what occupational therapy is in France, and seeing what they’re doing, I think is a great opportunity as well.
Brock Cook 1:04:54
Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t. Unlike I don’t know why and I may because it’s sort of A long established sort of group of countries in that area of the world. But earlier, I’m very aware that African countries are very different and very unique to themselves. And I think a lot of people just grew up in countries altogether. And just think that, you know, Europe is Europe, and that all came up together. And it’s all the same, they speak different languages in some countries, but everything else is the same. So it’s fascinating that even I hadn’t even considered that France may have even had like a different developmental timeline for the profession, compared to say, the UK or, you know, other areas in Europe.
Samantha Shann 1:05:35
They’re very, very different, and a very, very different health system that they’re working in and trying to influence as well. And I think, you know, that’s the beauty sort of, like, we’ll get to see that through some of the conquest program as well. But you know, it’s one of the keynote sessions is focusing on occupational therapy in France, because it’s, you know, where we are, and there’s so much to learn, because it is, it is very, very different. It’s very different to what I’m used to in the UK a lot to learn and move up, you know, other international sort of keynote speakers to give us that more broader aspect around that. But I think that opportunity to come together and be able to ask questions, and and I think that’s yes, who at Congress is always a large Congress, but it’s actually also quite intimate. Yeah, there’s always lots of opportunities to have those small conversations, and our keynote speakers are always there for the Congress, they’re going to be there in coffee, that there’s always that opportunity to have a conversation with people.
Brock Cook 1:06:41
Yeah. speaking earlier about, like projects and stuff that have started, like, I know, there’ll be a number of people listening to this, this podcast now that we’ll probably discover this podcast through some of the 480 groups. And I know that the, the ladies that started that four ot network on Facebook, that that whole thing started from the Congress in Chile. And you know, they’re from all corners all at the time, were from all corners of the globe, and came together started this project, which, like, I got involved with that a couple of years into it. And, but that’s the kind of sort of thing I mean, I think, for OTS got, like 30,000 members or something in it now, but that’s the kind of project that started from just coffee and catching up and meeting new people at WF ot Congress. Yeah. So it’s not always it’s not always just the research side of it. I guess. There’s like, there’s this, there’s something for, you know, the academically minded as well as the probably more practically minded OTs, there’s something for everyone at these events.
Samantha Shann 1:07:46
Absolutely. And I think, again, you were saying the difference between national and international, you know, that the program is, you know, very well evaluated, you know, we have a strong system of review in abstracts submitted, you know, so congratulations to everybody that’s had their abstracts submitted, because there was a lot of competition, again, this Congress, but we are different in that it’s not just research focused, there are so many practice, and education sort of things that and real practice sort of things of day to day practice within occupational therapy. All the things that probably brought us into the profession to start with,
Brock Cook 1:08:30
yep, one query I’ve I’ve had myself, and I’ve heard from another people, other people sort of, I guess one sort of concern around, let’s say, a WF ot conference, compared to a national conferences is how people might manage with the language barrier. How does how does that generally work within the Congress?
Samantha Shann 1:08:54
I get I think that’s part of the beauty of it as well, you see lots of hands flying around in conversations and conversations becoming quite animated, as people try to get their points across. I think as occupational therapists, we’re good communicators, so we tend to enjoy that as well. And within the Congress program, that we it’s predominantly English, but within France, we do the translation into sort of like the predominant local language. So there will be French translations. We are also looking into other translation things as well, because, you know, again, with the pandemic over two years, some of that’s become more accessible. Yeah, the difficulty always is cost. Yeah, translation is extremely expensive. But there are more online translation tools now. I think we have to recognize that online translation tools are brilliant, but they’re not perfect. Yeah. And especially When it comes to something like occupational therapy, because we have our own professional language, and our own professional intent, sometimes that Yeah, isn’t always picked up by them electronic translations or even translation full stop. Yeah. And so whilst we, we are working very hard to make it accessible with various translation options, I guess I do ask people that they’re realistic and that there are limitations,
Brock Cook 1:10:30
I guess that’s one of the benefits to of being able to attend in person is that if you’re able to find a particular presentation or topic that you may not be able to get a very accurate translation on, but it’s something that interests you, you could find the speaker in person and try and have that conversation. And same as we would do in practice. If you’re working with someone that spoke a different language, like you find ways of doing it, there might be someone with you, that can translate for you, etc. So
Samantha Shann 1:10:59
absolutely. And I think absolutely, some of my Congress discussions, I’ve been more enriched by those language conversations, because the different use of words in different languages are what you described it this way, and I didn’t quite fully understand it. Because for us, in my culture, that would mean this, but you seem to be implying something else. And suddenly, the worlds opened up, and you’ve you’ve gone into a totally different path of what you were originally thinking about. So I think absolutely, that those conversations and exploring language is really, really important.
Brock Cook 1:11:37
And I think yeah, like you said, just add to the diversity and the experience that you can really only get from a WF ot Congress compared to say, a national one where you would assume in most countries, the dominant language of the country is going to be that at your at a national level conference, whereas Yeah, a lot more diversity at IWF. At Congress.
Samantha Shann 1:12:00
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you know, the other thing with wi petition, many Congress’s, as we’ll talk about being international congresses, but generally that means that they’re based in a country, and the vast majority of their delegates are from that country, because it’s aimed at that country. And then they open it up to international delegates, you might get 100 or so from different places depends on the size, the difference with a WF O T Congress, okay, we’re based in France, but actually, it’s a WF ot Congress. So it is fully International, there is no one culture, there is no one country that that Congress is working around, it is working around a fully international sort of delegate base.
Brock Cook 1:12:54
Yeah, I remember many, many moons ago presenting at an international mental health nurses conference. And then this is on the Gold Coast in Queensland and Australia, and then realized that it was in the same place every two years. It didn’t move. The next one was on the Gold Coast, the one after that was on the Gold Coast. So I’m like, okay, so it’s not really international, is it? I guess you can come if you’re from overseas, but other than that, it was just mostly Australian OTs and Australian nurses and Australia and other like other allied health professions, it was a very odd realization that I hadn’t really come across up until that point, but yeah, you’re you’re right, it’s the WF ad Congress is W fit in it’s, it travels, it moves.
Samantha Shann 1:13:35
And I think that that, again, you know, when we’re looking at, I mean, to Paris, in the logistics of it, I can understand people’s anxiety over travel, certainly with, you know, the last couple of years, but we’ve done a lot of work and in our Congress organizing, teams are working really hard. Looking at that recognizing the, you know, people come into our Congress will be, you know, from many different countries and what that actually means, you know, with vaccinations with access, what are COVID rules and things like that. So, I do sort of encourage people to keep looking at the website, look for those updates. And, you know, we’re trying to make that as smooth as possible. Try not to get too far into the future. Yeah. But feel now that you know, right now, just feel the right time to come together in person.
Brock Cook 1:14:28
Definitely. I’m gonna assume that similar to Australia, like the Organising Committee for a WF at Congress is also all volunteers same as the rest of the the organization. So yeah, like you said it, especially in this current climate in the world. It’s almost like an added workload for those people. So kudos to them.
Samantha Shann 1:14:50
Yeah, now we’ve got the scientific programs, volunteers and then different groups the French Association looking at social programs as well, because let’s not forget, you know, Congress is about coming together and learning. But as we’ve already talked, it’s those connections. So they will be Congress parties as well. Also, before Congress, there’s education day. So Education Day is a dedicated day for educators to come together and discuss very pertinent issues around education now, and looking into the future. We’ve got a group of volunteers developing that program at the moment. And they’ll also be pre Congress workshops as well, to be able to look at some, some topics in more detail. So there’s the four day Congress, but there’s also lots of things happening outside of that problem as well.
Brock Cook 1:15:44
And from talking with other people, it does sound like the social aspect of a WF at Congress is a lot more expensive than any national like, conference I’ve ever been to it does seem to be more of a priority. And I guess you’re, you’re traveling overseas, it’s kind of a big deal. So you want to make the most of it as well.
Samantha Shann 1:16:08
Yeah. You know, there will be there’ll be the official sort of like social programs. But also, like we said, is, you meet people and the amount of people that you meet, and then say, Oh, well, you know, we’re going out for dinner tonight, or should we go for coffee, and there’s always something and I think, we’re very aware as occupational therapists. So if we see people on their own as well, they’re not on their own for very long. You get to make you get to meet new colleagues, but you get to meet new friends as well.
Brock Cook 1:16:45
Fantastic. Just having a look for the website, if people wanted to go and check out the program and see what what might be of interest in interest is W fit Congress 2020 two.org. And I’m assuming that for registration, everything all in that site? Yep.
Samantha Shann 1:17:03
Registration there, there’s how to donate to the Congress grants program. If you want to support occupational therapists from low middle income countries, there’s the program on there at the moment. There’s some ideas for what to do in Paris. And we’ll keep adding to that, this early bird registration. And the program I think, is really exciting as well, because like we’ve already talked about that diversity of new graduates, experienced therapists, the diversity from around the globe. But there’s also some symposium sessions where we’ll be able to explore topics in some more depth, and there will be some WF IoT lead sessions. So learning a little bit more about what w fo Ti is actually doing and how people can get involved in some of that work as well.
Brock Cook 1:17:52
Excellent. So if you’re considering going earlybird is up until the ninth of May 2022. So hi, everyone. postprocessing Brock here. Just a quick note to say that since we recorded this episode, WF o t have extended the earlybird till June 23. Everything else still stays exactly the same is all accurate. But you now have until June 23, to get that early bird price and sign up for the Congress. Let’s get back to the episode. Get on that and save yourself a little bit of coin as well, which is awesome. Thank you so much for for coming and having a chat. It’s been fantastic. I’ve really very much enjoyed it.
Samantha Shann 1:18:41
It’s been great. My first podcast
Brock Cook 1:18:43
Samantha Shann 1:18:45
Yeah. Wow. New opportunities you
Brock Cook 1:18:49
see that you. If anything, if you can take anything from your story, it’s that you just jump on these opportunities when they come up. So I’m glad I could present another one that you haven’t had the pleasure of doing up until now.
Samantha Shann 1:19:05
No, thank you very much. It’s been a real pleasure.
Brock Cook 1:19:12
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