Join Us for the 29th Annual AMT Conference

By Sharon Livingstone

I can barely contain my excitement about the list of speakers at the 2018 AMT Conference. Read on and you’ll see why, and then you’ll start bouncing around too. Don’t forget to book early to avoid missing this outstanding event (and you’ll save a few $$$ as well)

The basic details:

What: 29th Annual AMT Conference

Where: Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion Street, Surry Hills

When: Friday, 12 October  to Sunday 14 October 2018 (Pre-Conference workshops on Friday, with the Conference on Saturday 13 October followed by breakout workshops Saturday arvo and Sunday, and a cocktail party on Saturday night).

Who: AMT members. Massage students and members of other associations are most welcome.


Why: This is a great opportunity for massage therapists to gather en masse and learn, connect and feel more positive about the massage industry. Who can understand a massage therapist’s life better than another massage therapist? You can have a chat to the hard working AMT Head Office staff, who’ll be there to greet you. We’re all wearing name badges, so it’s easy to put a face to the name or simply reconnect with massage therapists you met at last year’s conference.

About the location: Rydges Sydney Central is around an 8 minutes stroll from Central Station (where the Airport trains will let you out) and is in an area of outstanding cafes and restaurants if you want to escape/avoid the hotel breakfast or if you’re travelling from further afield and need a shot of caffeine or a decent feed before your workshop or the conference. Want some cafe/dining suggestions? Pop a comment below.


AMT has secured a special rate for conference attendees at Rydges Sydney Central. See the brochure for full details. My sister stays there when she’s in town for work and says the rooms are quite nice.

Apart from Rydges, there are several other hotels, apartments and hostels nearby. Try Trivago or HotelsCombined for the best deals and book early. There are 2 YHA hostels located close to Central Station too – Sydney Central and Railway Square – both have private rooms if you’re not a fan of the dorm.


I reckon this is the best conference line-up of any massage/manual therapy association ever.

Professor Ian Harris is delivering the Keynote Address.

“Ian Harris is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UNSW Sydney with a clinical practice based at Liverpool Hospital and an academic practice based at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research and the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney.”

Did you see Ian on SBS’s Insight episode ‘Joint Operation’? Catch up here.

Ian’s been super busy. He’s been published in peer reviewed publications 181 times (read Ian’s CV and you’ll see exactly how busy he’s been). And in 2016, Ian found time to publish a book of his own – Surgery, The Ultimate Placebo, which, not really coincidentally, is the title of Ian’s address at the conference.

Dr Mary O’Keeffe

Mary O’Keeffe is a physiotherapist and European Union Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at Musculoskeletal Health Sydney, The University of Sydney. Mary was awarded her PhD in 2017 in the University of Limerick.

Mary is presenting the plenary address – “The importance of the words we use: implications for the treatment of MSK conditions”.

Mary’s PhD research examined “whether tailoring multidimensional rehabilitation to the individual chronic LBP patient enhances effectiveness, and is worth the additional time (and costs!) involved”.

Mary’s worth her weight in following gold on Twitter – regularly linking to articles and research that all massage therapists need to read. Catch up on a few of her articles here (Body In Mind) and here (Physio Network – co-author with Dr Kieran O’Sullivan) and a podcast episode Mary recorded for Physio Matters here.

Tim Clark

Tim completed his Diploma of Remedial Massage last year and a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Cairnmillar Institute earlier in 2018.

Tim is presenting the plenary address – “The Pleasure-Purpose Principle (or how I learned to stop worrying and enjoy my massage)”.

Tim is also leading a breakout workshop on Knowing Thyself: The Role of Self-awareness in Massage Therapy. To warm you up for the workshop, here’s the article Tim wrote recently for the AMT blog on that subject.

There’ll also be opportunities to say g’day to Tim over morning tea and lunch, maybe ask him more questions about his plenary address. Or which footy team he supports.

Jenny Richardson

Jenny is presenting the plenary address – “Massage Research: Are we asking the right questions?”

Jenny serves on the AMT board and is a myotherapist based in Canberra. Jenny has an insatiable appetite for learning, either that or she loves being known as a student, and is currently undertaking a research project in massage therapy as part of her Bachelor of Science (Honours) with Charles Sturt University.

Here’s an article Jenny wrote for the AMT blog on Treating the Shoulder.

Having sat next to Jenny at the AMT conference dinner last year, I highly recommend stealing a few moments with her – even if it’s in the queue for coffee – Jenny’s got a lot of knowledge in that head of hers.


I’m breathless but, hey, that’s just the Conference speakers. We also have some workshop presenters to get excited about.

Robert Libbey

Preconference workshop: “Working with posture: a biopsychosocial perspective”.

Breakout workshop: “Ligamentous Articular Strain Techniques for the Shoulder”.

Canadian Registered Massage Therapist, Robert Libbey, has been studying, practising and enhancing Ligamentous Articular Strain Techniques (LAST) for over 20 years. He incorporates evidence informed research pertaining to fascia, joint mechanics, arthroneurology, the neurophysiological model of referred pain and the biopsychosocial model for patient management into these courses. There’s lots of information about Robert and his courses (including online courses) on his website.

Josephine Key

Preconference workshop: “Key concepts in getting to the nub of your client’s back pain”.

Breakout workshop: “A unique look at the pelvis in health and its dis-ease”.

Josephine Key is a Sydney based neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapist and author of Back Pain: A Movement Problem (2010).

Josephine developed the Key Approach and delivers workshops on her Key Moves Programme locally and internationally. Josephine recently completed “Freedom to move: movement therapy for spinal pain and injuries”, which will be published in September 2018. Learn more about the Key Approach, and Josephine on her website.

Mirna Tarabay

Breakout workshop: “Trauma informed care”.

Mirna Tarabay is a Sydney based psychotherapist and counsellor. The focus of Mirna’s clinical work is with adult survivors of child abuse. She is also an educator and runs workshops on counselling and other more specialised areas. Learn more about Mirna and her workshops on her website.

Derek Zorzit

Breakout workshop – “Building for success”.

Canberra Based Massage Therapist, Derek Zorzit is the current Vice-Chairperson of AMT. Derek is a former athlete and likes to trek. I can’t actually repeat the first thing Derek said to me. But I laughed heartily afterwards. Derek has a fine sense of humour and is passionate about massage therapy. Spend a few minutes chinwagging with Derek and you’ll see what I mean.

Watch Derek’s presentation (with Alan Ford) at the 2016 AMT Conference.

Register NOW for the Conference

There’s more detail on the presenters and workshops in the conference brochure or via the AMT website.

Join us for what is sure to be a dynamic, entertaining and educational conference by registering online (credit card required) today. Don’t forget that a ticket for our Cocktail Party on Saturday evening is included in all two and three day registrations. You can download the registration form and email/post it in to AMT (EFT or credit card payment possible).

See you there!

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