Rachel Callander

Master of Ceremonies
“What is so moving about Rachel’s story is not about how close to death she’s come, it’s how close to life.”
She’s been described as a great leveler of people. She’s deeply passionate about the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, and how understanding others and drawing out their strengths are the embodiment of the skills necessary to communicate effectively in high context cultures. She brings art, science and lived experience to help people collaborate effectively, achieve positive outcomes, feel seen, heard and understood and communicate clearly.

Rachel Callander is a TEDx presenter, and the author of the New York IPPY Outstanding Book of The Year Award 2015 "Super Power Baby Project". This exceptional book celebrates the lives and abilities of children with chromosomal or genetic conditions, and was inspired by Rachel's late daughter Evie, who was born with a very rare condition herself. In the two and a half years of Evie's life, Rachel learnt a lot about the use of language in the health system, and has spent the subsequent years continuing to explore the impact and implications of how it is used by health professionals - To positive and negative effect.

Rachel is a highly sought-after speaker at conferences around Australia and NZ. Her audiences are mostly made up of health professionals and educators, and she speaks about the need to communicate using open hearted language, especially at diagnosis. She teaches how the first words used at diagnosis critically shape how a parent perceives their future: The words can allow the parent to be their best, and find meaning even in pain; or they can create anger, mistrust, frustration, and can break down the crucial relationship between the parent and the health professional. It's a conversation about empowerment - For the parent, patient, and health professional.