Bold ideas better solutions Symposium

Bold ideas, better solutions 2018, The Hopkins Centre (THC) research symposium was held on 15 November at the Translational Research Institute (TRI). There were over 265 registrations and 200 participants across the day, which included a breakfast forum and main event. Three locations were also online streaming consistently throughout the day, Queensland Health, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation (MIRI), and Mackay Hospital & Health Service. Participants this year showed the growing diversity of The Hopkins Centre (THC) membership across Queensland and inter-state, collaborators and stakeholders, including researchers, clinicians, health service managers, industry and service users.

With an emphasis this year on raising the voice of people with disability, it was a privilege to have Kevin Cox AM, THC patron, Robin Franklin and Tim McCullum present in the opening session, with Janine Walker, CEO Metro South Hospital and Health Board. The human rights framework eloquently presented by  Kevin Cox and personal stories of Robin, and Tim, an international singer, who also gave a moving performance of You’ll Never Walk Alone, made sure this session truly hit the right cord for the symposium theme of enhancing the rehabilitation experience. It sent all attendees to morning tea tingling and reunited with our purpose.

It was a pleasure to welcome leading international disability researcher, Professor Karen Fisher from the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW to present the keynote address on inclusive research practices, which was a challenge to everyone to shift the focus to collaborative research with people living with disability. Disability advocate and researcher, Professor Lesley Chenoweth, AO, from The Hopkins Centre continued this theme speaking about inclusive practices with families and self-directed support. The symposium this year also featured Hopkins research leaders Professor Louise Gustafsson and Professor Michel Coppieters presenting a vision for enhancing the rehabilitation experience, alongside medical doctor, Dr Dinesh Palipana’s visionary approach to research that was triggered by his story of disability. These invited and featured presentations contributed to an overall outstanding program, which also included clinicians, researchers, consumers and industry representatives reporting on their research on access and outcomes, service systems, clinical interventions and support networks.    

A highlight of the day was a recorded candid conversations session about the public image and perceptions of people with disability with Emma Griffiths, host of ABC Brisbane radio show, ‘Focus’. Emma’s interview with Nick Rushworth, CEO of Brain Injury Australia, Belinda Adams, advocate for people with disability, and Tim McCullum, international singer and advocate for people living with disability, revealed the extraordinary efforts of three individuals to bring dignity to the lives of people living with disability and to change society’s thinking about disability.

Congratulations to our award winners:

    > Dr Mandy Nielsen, winner of the Translation Research Award, sponsored by Carter Newell Lawyers
    > Dr Courtney Wright, winner of the Emerging Researcher Award, sponsored by Clinical Excellence Division, Queensland Health
    > Ms Alena Murray, winner of the People’s Choice Oral for her presentation on 'Examining vocational rehabilitation in early ABI
       rehabilitation' 
    > Joint winners of the People's Choice, poster Award, Dr Karleigh Kawpil for her poster on 'Staff experiences of concerning,
       complex and challenging behaviour in rehabilitation settings: Supporting our frontline workforce' and Gisella Brittian for her
       poster on 'Integrating technology in to a new acquired brain injury rehabilitation service'.

It was an honour again to welcome members of the Hopkins family to the symposium, Dr George Hopkins, Paul Hopkins and his wife Jane and Dr Genevieve Hopkins.

Bold ideas, better solutions 2018 displayed how The Hopkins Centre is leading the way in rehabilitation research in Australia. Our mission to improve personalised rehabilitation to allow people to take control of their recovery and lives is impacting on the type of research that is conducted and how it is translated to benefit our community.

The symposium was convened by Griffith University and Metro South Health Division of Rehabilitation, the founding partners of The Hopkins Centre.

Download the symposium program

Bold ideas, better solutions 2019 promises to be even better.