Director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience
Dr Lucy Hone combines her research through AUT’s Human Potential Centre with professional practice and publishing. Brought up in London, educated at Edinburgh University, the University of Pennsylvania and Auckland’s AUT, challenging life events have forced Lucy to combine her academic research in resilience science with personal and professional application.
Having completed her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology on Martin Seligman’s world-leading programme at the University of Pennsylvania, Lucy returned to New Zealand in 2010 when her hometown of Christchurch was unexpectedly struck by a series of devastating earthquakes, including the February 2011 quake killing 185 people. “I thought the earthquakes were my professional calling, a challenging, but utterly unexpected, chance to apply my academic training to promote city-wide resilience and post-traumatic recovery.”
But the death of her 12 year old daughter, Abi, in a tragic road accident in 2014 forced Lucy to draw on her academic insights to foster resilience in even more extreme personal circumstances. The blog she wrote in the aftermath of Abi’s death, One Wild and Precious Life, attracted considerable international interest and book deals with New Zealand and American publishers. What Abi Taught Us, Strategies for Resilient Grieving (Allen & Unwin, 2016) became number one best seller in New Zealand and has recently been rebranded as Resilient Grieving (The Experiment, 2017) for the North American market.
Since the publication of her books Lucy has been in much demand as a Keynote speaker and workshop presenter, fusing academic knowledge and personal grief experience with refreshing honesty and a light touch making her presentations unique, engaging and memorable. Working with diverse organisations from the Chief Coroner’s Office to Civil Defense, multiple government departments and NGOs, she also contributes a weekly column to the Sunday Star Times.
Her professional now work focuses on the effective application of wellbeing and resilience science in real world contexts to promote mass-market wellbeing. Based in Christchurch, she worked closely with several key organisations in the post-quake environment to promote resilience and effective psychological recovery. A member of the NZAPP Executive Committee, the All Right? advisory board, Lucy is New Zealand’s only representative of the International Positive Education Network (IPEN). She has published her research in several peer-reviewed academic journals including the Journal of Positive Psychology, Social Indicators Research, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the International Journal of Wellbeing and NZ Journal of Human Resources Management.
As a mother of teenagers and wife to a busy Christchurch builder, Lucy knows what it is to juggle work, family, community, social and wellbeing commitments. Her work is enhanced by her self-deprecating approach, use of simple, easy to understand strategies, and made more memorable due to her humour and frank tales of real-life experience. It is the unusual combination of her professional, academic and personal experience that makes her work so inspirational and unique.