BIBS Symposium 2021

The Hopkins Centre’s fifth annual Bold Ideas Better Solutions symposium (BIBS) was held across two online seminars on October 13th and 20th. This year’s theme was Participation with Dignity in Disability and Rehabilitation, with the first seminar focusing on dignity in life systems and the second on dignity in clinical systems. 193 participants from across the country participated in each session, almost 100 for each session. 

Each session started with a presentation from and conversation with key disability advocates, Graeme Innes AM and Dr Dinesh Palipana AOM, about their insights into the importance of dignity for people with a disability: a concept that can structure interactions with public and clinical systems to produce greater inclusion, respect, and engagement. The conversations revealed that dignity is an elusive aspiration. There is still too much undignified treatment. Bold ideas and better solutions are required. Both speakers focused on people, that dignity is about relationships between people, and if we can start there, by valuing people and diversity, we can start to make a difference. 

The BIBS symposium is an opportunity to showcase Hopkins Center research into disability and rehabilitation. This year we heard from Hopkins researchers and affiliates: Kelsey Chapman, Dr Grace Bitner, Dr Gary Allen, Mr Tim McCullum, Dr David Borg, Dr Camila Shirota, Ms Soo Oh and Dr Daniel Harvie. The topics were broad reflecting Hopkin’s distinctive approach to interdisciplinary research that focuses on practical solutions to challenges that arise for both consumers and clinicians across the rehabilitation continuum. The projects discussed, which included a wide range of projects, are all based on unique partnerships, many involve innovative strategies for consumer-citizen engagement.

But we also take the opportunity to invite researcher, leaders, and advocate from across the country and internationally to participate in the discussion and share their insights. This year we welcomed: 
Professor James Middleton form the University of Sydney who presented on the International Spinal Cord Injury Community Survey. 
Associate Professor Jen Smith-Merry from the University of Syndey explored opportunities to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people with a disability.
Dr Jessica Paynter from Griffith University discussed the development and implementation of autism friendly library programs. 
Associate Professor Libby Calloway from Monash University examined the capacity of ICT to promote independent living. 
Associate Professor Claire-Ashton James interrogated how to engage patients in conversations about opioid tapering and pain management.

The second seminar concluded with a live discussion with consumers and carers about what they think will improve dignified treatment in clinical systems based in their lived experience of rehabilitation and pain management. We were privileged to include Kevin Cox AM D.Univ, Professor Philip Morris, Joletta Belton and Erin and Josh Hill. 

The Hopkins Centre acknowledges and appreciates the ongoing support received from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) in our research and transition events.

This event was funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Visit for more information.


Event Resources and Proceedings