Dr Deborah Stevens

A leading researcher and educator in the field of bioethics, Deborah is a consultant in secondary school and public bioethics education. Deborah designs and delivers professional development seminars for teachers across New Zealand, Australia and Asia. Author of New Zealand's first stand-alone bioethics curriculum, Deborah provides expert advice on implementing the values and key competency/capability aspects of the New Zealand and Australian curricula.

Deborah's knowledge of the impact of contemporary culture on citizens' values development, decision making, behaviour and wellbeing is grounded in her background in science, psychology, education and public medicine. Her research shows that bioethics education provides an effective forum for students to critique the origin and structure of their personal worldview and to understand the worldviews of others.

Deborah's latest educational initiative is a national Bioethics Roadshow for secondary schools in which students are encouraged to critically engage with bioethical issues through short live dramas and follow up interactive teaching and learning sessions, including THE bioethX FACTOR, The Soap Box and the Bioethics court.

Deborah is also in high demand as a conference presenter. An engaging story-teller, Deborah uses authentic cases to explore contemporary bioethical issues and the variety of ethical perspectives that members of a diverse society may apply to them.

Education and Professional Qualifications:

  • PhD, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • Master of Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Science, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Diploma of Teaching, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Trained councillor, including education in relationship and grief counselling, youth and mental health.

Significant presentations Deborah has made include:

  • Presenter and participant, Societies in Transition summer school, University of Jena, Germany, July 2013.
  • Keynote presenter, 11th Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association biennial conference, July 2013.
  • Keynote presenter, Bioethics Education conference, National University of Singapore, March, 2013.
  • 11th World Congress of Bioethics, Rotterdam, June 2012
  • New Zealand Bioethics Association Conference, Dunedin, Jan 2012
  • Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics, Tasmania, June 2011
  • 11th Asian Bioethics Association Conference and 5th UNESCO ethics roundtable, Singapore, August 2010
  • 10th World Congress of Bioethics, Singapore, July 2010
  • Australasian Bioethics Association and Health Law Conference, Adelaide, July 2010
  • Independent Schools of NZ Conference, May 2008 - Plenary presenter
  • Methodist Church of New Zealand conference, Nov 2007 - Workshop presenter
  • Association of Religious Education Teachers and School Chaplains National conference August 2007 - Keynote speaker
  • UNESCO Asia-Pacific Conference on Bioethics Education, Seoul, 2006 - Plenary and Workshop presenter
  • Marion Pryer Memorial lecture 2006
  • Eastbourne Winter Series 2005
  • New Zealand Bioethics Association Conference, Dunedin, 2005
  • New Zealand Churches Education Commission Conference, 2005 - Keynote speaker
  • Australasian Bioethics Association Conference, Sydney, 2004
  • Numerous presentations to student, teacher, community and church groups across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom

Professional Memberships:

  • Affiliate University of Otago Bioethics Centre
  • Member of the International Association of Bioethics
  • Member of the Asian Bioethics Association
  • Member of the New Zealand Inter-Church Bioethics Council (appointed in 2002)
  • Registered teacher
  • Foundation member of the Dialogue Australasia Network Board and Executive, and consulting editor (following five years as principal editor) of the Dialogue Australasia Journal.