Highlights from the 2022 HCANZA Conference – June 2-3

We were so thrilled to be a major sponsor at the recent Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand Association conference on the Gold Coast. This was our industry’s first ever conference, showcasing some of our leading innovators and impactful coaches from Australia and overseas, including our very own Fiona Cosgrove, Melanie White and Dave Carroll each presenting in in their areas if expertise.

This event was an incredible opportunity for like-minded graduates and professional health and wellness coaches to come together and learn new and innovative research in our field and opportunities for our profession. The conference was made possible by the incredible work by HCANZA Chair Linda Funnell-Milner and the HCANZA board and leadership team.

It was such a thrill to see so many WCA graduates and students in attendance, flying in from all over the country to attend this event. Having such a large WCA presence was so gratifying and a real testament to our long history as a training provider in this space.

Health and wellness coaching is truly at the cutting edge of health behaviour change in a variety of contexts, and the opportunity is huge right now for qualified health and wellness coaches to make their mark and build a successful career.

A recap of the conference

For those unable to join the conference, here is a great recap of the 2 days. If you have yet to join HCANZA as a member, we encourage you to reach out to them and find out the great benefits available to you.

Day 1 – 2022 HCANZA Awards

After the opening keynote address from Professor Grant Schofield, there was a great evening of networking along with the awards presentation. We were so pleased to see a number of our WCA graduates as recipients of these awards, recognising them for their innovative approach and success in our field.

WCA Graduates who received awards

Karina Morris: Health & Wellness Coach Advocacy Award

WCA graduate coach Karina is dedicated to delivering coaching to a truly underserved population within the disability community, showing both courage and leadership to take Health and Wellness Coaching to areas that will make a significant difference to people’s lives.  Karina is striving to have Health and Wellness Coaching recognised as a professional service within the NDIS that can be funded under many other parallel funding-based systems. 

The Change Room: Business Achievement Award

The Change Room has successfully adapted to the challenge of Covid and has created and provided resources for the unprecedented health and wellbeing issues arising in this time both for the individual and for organisations.  They have adapted their use of technology to facilitate ongoing delivery of their core mission – supporting clients involved with return to work via insurance company funding. The Change Room employs WCA-graduate coaches including Alisa Carpenter, Megan Spyker, and Philippa Flowerday.

Day 1 – Full Day Conference

On Friday, the audience was treated to a jam-packed day with speakers from different realms sharing knowledge and innovation from the coaching front.

Session 1: Thinking big and exploring the possibilities.

Michael Arloski – Michael spoke of the importance in  deepening our craft – and he discussed the concept of craftsmanship, which is very close to my own heart. Michael says that in the face of global wellbeing challenges that our clients face, we can double down by focusing on masterful coaching and stay within our scope of practice. Practice, patience and presence are required to become good at what we do and focusing on this will help us to deliver incredible value to our clients.

Paul Taylor presented a summary of his new book ‘Death by Comfort’ – why modern life is killing us and what we need to do about it. He discussed some of the latest research around the benefits of ‘uncomfortable’ things like exercise, cold therapy and heat therapy, and how they can truly improve quality of life and longevity.

Suzie Carmack talked about creating value as a coach, and about building your personal brand and business with a portfolio career. A portfolio career is the idea of having multiple income streams as a coach, but also organising your days and working in batches to avoid burnout.

Session 2: Partnership and exemplars from the field.

We heard from Grant Schofield, Troy Morgan, Dr Sandra Scheinbaum, Bee Pennington and Sam McBride.

The speakers illustrated various ways in which coaches can build and leverage partnerships to build their businesses and have an impact.

One thing was definitely clear – as a coach, we need to engage our target market and build relationships there to truly understand their needs, before going in to ‘sell’ anything. It is truly relationships that give coaching a platform to really shine and make a difference.

Troy Morgan discussed two ways to succeed in corporate – firstly, to develop strong partnerships with all stakeholders, and secondly, to collect data that proves the impact and value of the work you are doing. Those two things can make you indispensable within an organisation.

Sam McBride’s ‘Men’s Shed’ in NZ was a particularly interesting example of how to engage men with the idea of health behaviour change, with a little beer and a lot of engaging outdoor activities.

Session 3: Breaking business ground.

David Carroll, Melanie White, Philippa Flowerday and Michelle Yandle discussed how coaches can establish thriving businesses in a variety of contexts.

The speakers explored different models that can create income and add value, and discussed coaching success in organisations, workplaces, communities and solo businesses.

David discussed different models to create a viable income in Health and Wellness coaching and spoke about the importance of a model that can be scaled to generate more income. He discussed the key marketing skills required to succeed.

Melanie presented 5 keys to business success – skill, personal strengths, structures, strategy and having a specialty – and presented four case studies of coaches who are succeeding in business ‘their way’ in corporate, within a job role, and in solo business.

Session 4: Inspiring Best Practice

This final session included speakers who are inspiring best practice and stepping into new specialty fields.

Dr Cam McDonald, Shivaun Conn, Sarah Rusbatch and Fiona Cosgrove talked about cutting edge research and emerging niches in coaching.

Dr Cam McDonald discussed the power of combining coaching and technology, focusing how we are extremely variable in terms of our exercise, nutrition, psychology and medication needs, and how digital metrics can identify and predict the needs of individuals so as to fine tune their habits and protocols in these areas.

Shivaun Conn talked about trauma informed care – what it means and how to work with it and manage your own triggers as a coach. She explained the signs of a dysregulated nervous system (stuck ‘on’ or ‘off’) and the language that someone might use in either state, as signs that a coach could use to identify a need for referral or support.

Sarah Rusbatch outlined how (and why) her grey area drinking practice has skyrocketed in the past 14 months, and shared the personal story behind her journey to becoming a grey area drinking coach. Her talk hit home with a lot of questions and commendations related to her work.

Fiona Cosgrove discussed her PhD research into development and care of the health and wellness coach, and the four key areas that changed for coaches themselves during their coach training journey. These are self-knowledge and acceptance, better relationships, professional optimism, and personal health and wellness. Fiona’s was a fitting final session that pulled together the essence of the conference – that Health and Wellness Coaching has important impacts on both coaches and clients in terms of physical, mental and emotional health.

We very much look forward to the HCANZA conference in 2023.