2021 Festival 8-18 July

The Heart of a Woman
Teens |Adults

Heart disease is a leading killer of women in Aotearoa, however, it is often thought of as a man’s health problem.


Heart disease causes 1 in 3 deaths each year around the world (equivalent to 1 death every minute). It is also the greatest contributor to the life expectancy differential for Māori and Pacific when compared to non-Māori, non-Pacific peoples.

Too often women can think their symptoms don’t match what is perceived as “typical”. Women may also not be aware of the symptoms of heart disease, or think “it is an older person’s problem”. This means half the population may not be getting the adequate care and treatment they need.

Please come and join Manaaki Mānawa: The Centre for Heart Research as we hear from a range of world-leading researchers in heart health about how we study cardiovascular health from bench to bedside and what makes Aotearoa a leader in cardiovascular science and research. We’ll also hear from patients about their experience and share what we can do to ensure healthy hearts for all.

Light refreshments and a drink included in the ticket price.

The Panel:

Dr Allamanda Faatoese a biomedical researcher with the Christchurch Heart Institute, University of Otago Christchurch, is a first-generation New Zealand born-Samoan. She is passionate about improving the health of Pacific communities in her work and in the community. Her research focuses on novel biomarkers of heart disease and associated risk factors in Pacific communities.

Dr Anna Rolleston (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngāti Pukenga), Co-Director of the Health Hearts for Aotearoa NZ (HHANZ) Centre of Research Excellence, Director of Manawaora/The Centre for Health (a kaupapa based health centre) and co-chair of the Māori Advisory Group for Manaaki Mānawa. 

A/Prof Johanna Montgomery is a physiologist with Manaaki Mānawa, based at the University of Auckland. Her research is focussed on understanding how the brain controls heart rhythm, particularly in atrial fibrillation and long QT syndrome.

Dr Kate Thomas is a Senior Lecturer & Researcher in the Department of Surgical Sciences with HeartOtago, University of Otago. Kate’s background is in Exercise Physiology and she’s interested in further understanding exercise and environmental stress and their application for cardiovascular health benefits.

Moderator Dr Julia Shanks is a research fellow with Manaaki Mānawa at The University of Auckland. Julia’s work focuses on changes in the neural control of the heart in health and disease. She is passionate about progressing women’s health and equity in research.


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