Conference 2017 - Keynote Antonio Fernando

Antonio Fernando

Tony is a psychiatrist and a senior lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. He obtained his medical degree from the University of the Philippines and his psychiatry and sleep training at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been awarded multiple teaching awards by medical students and the faculty of medicine in Auckland. In 2012, he was awarded by President Aquino of the Philippines for his services to sleep medicine and medical education.

In 2015, he received the Chair’s award by the New Zealand Medical Association, the highest recognition given by the association to any doctor in New Zealand for his work on physician wellbeing. In January of 2017, he received temporary ordination as a Buddhist monk in Chanmyay Myaing monastery in Myanmar. 

Compassion is Happiness 

Recently, happiness through mindfulness has been in vogue whilst its “twin”, compassion is often neglected. As social species, our brains get a natural buzz when we connect, nurture and care. Our default setting in our genes is to look out for one another. However, this compassionate wiring gets easily hijacked by other emotional states (e.g. fear, anxiety, and anger) resulting in aggression, divisions and at a population level, genocide.

This session will focus on understanding the phenomenon of compassion, including its psychology and basic neuroscience. Barriers to compassion, practical ways to enhance compassion and results from our latest research on compassion will be discussed.