Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers for conference 2022:


Professor Mary Egan
Professor Mary Egan is director of the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa.

During the first 10 years of her career, she worked with adults and children in institutional and community-based settings across Canada. Her graduate work in occupational therapy at the University of Alberta and in epidemiology at McGill University provided her with the tools to continue her career as an educator and researcher. 

Professor Egan’s research is driven by curiosity about the legitimate goals of occupational therapy and how these are best reached. She is particularly interested in how people return to valued activities within meaningful social contexts following serious health events. This has led to work on how occupational therapy and rehabilitation are conceptualized, and how the processes of occupational therapy support—or thwart—occupational participation. 

With Dr Gayle Restall, she is co-editor of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists’ latest textbook, Promoting occupational participation: relationship-focused collaborative occupational therapy.

Jack Kavanagh

Pharmacist | Speaker | Non Exec Director

Jack acquired a spinal cord injury in 2012 aged 20 leaving him with 15% muscle function. Choosing to see the injury as an opportunity to grow, learn and reset his view on life, in the following years Jack has challenged the limits of his situation. As a Pharmacist and Speaker Jack builds awareness of the value of health & wellbeing as drivers for performance coupled with cultivating diverse & inclusive environments where people belong and are valued.

Jack sits on the board of directors of the National Disability Authority and Center for Excellence in Universal Design as well as the leadership development organisation Common Purpose Ireland. Jack hosts the ‘Only Human Podcast’ and is well-known for his acclaimed TEDx talk ‘Fearless Like A Child, Overcoming Adversity’ and award-winning documentaries Breaking Boundaries. Jack loves an adventure, is a keen hand cyclist, budding sailor and can be seen online sit skiing down snowy mountains at speed.

Check out Breaking Boundaries documentary and Only Human Podcast at:


Professor Suzanne Martin



Professor Suzanne Martin, Professor Suzanne Martin (PhD) is an Occupational Therapist.  She has 15 clinical experience which includes physical disability (MS, spinal injuries, orthopaedics, amputees) paediatrics (developmental clinics and supporting children in mainstream school), community care and intensive homecare (end of life care).  

Suzanne moved to Ulster University 2003. Her PhD explored the integration of new and emerging technologies in health and social care. She was involved in the design of technology enriched services for people with dementia (Belfast Trust) and also for people with acquired brain injury (Cedar Foundation).  

She was appointed Head of School Health Sciences during 2017 and led the School through the CoVid19 pandemic. Suzanne has served on ORECNI, NICE, Cochrane and currently sits on NIHR panel for out of hospital care.  She has lead on the design and delivery of post graduate education in collective leadership.  

Suzanne is currently Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for Northern Ireland. She lives in Belfast and enjoys yoga, running and walking with her Bernese Mountain dog Darcy, which means walking slowly!. Her research outputs can be explore here



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