The Hopkins Centre Ambassador & Researcher Belinda Adams honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia

On January 26, 2024, Belinda Adams – Carer, Brain Injury Advocate, Hopkins Centre Ambassador and researcher was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia, General Division, for her service to community health.

In 2012, Belinda Adams had a life changing experience, becoming a full-time carer when her 19-year-old son was involved in a near fatal car crash. Five years later in 2017, Belinda drove a big purple bus around Australia on Belinda’s Big Bus Tour for Brain Injury Awareness to highlight the invisible barriers brain injury survivors live with every day. Belinda distributed Synapse (Brain Injury Organisation of Australia) resources to rehabilitation centres, hospitals and schools and met with countless individuals around the country sharing hope, peer support and love, to brain injury survivors and carers in remote locations. The tour further highlighted to Belinda the lack of rehabilitation options Australia wide and the unequal access of accessibility to what little resources did exist for those affected by invisible disabilities.

Belinda Adams standing next to her bus, with the Synapse logo on the side

Image courtesy of Belinda Adams

In 2019 Belinda initiated Banging the Drum for Brain Injury, a drumming rehabilitation program in her regional outback hometown of Broken Hill, rallying the local community to raise funds for the program. In December 2019 five participants completed the Drumbeat program that was a sixteen-week collaboration between Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, Interhealth Broken Hill and Drumbeat facilitator Ali Lloyd for people recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

Belinda Adams and a group of people from the Bang the Drum group, with a drum in the foreground 3 Bang the Drum participants standing behind drums.

Images courtesy of Belinda Adams

In 2020 Belinda spearhead the development of the innovative and highly successful program: Ballet for Brain Injury which she developed in collaboration with Queensland Ballet, Griffith University and The Hopkins Centre, for whom she is a proud ambassador. In 2021 ten brain injury survivors and their carers took part in the ten-week pilot program at Queensland Ballet facilitated by Queensland Ballet teaching artists and rehabilitation therapists creating a new inclusive style of community fitness that allowed for individual artistic expression. The program provided enjoyment and fostered feelings of pride for participants working with a prestigious cultural organisation like QB. Participants reported improvement in balance and flexibility but most notable of all was the overall feedback from participants of the value in feeling like part of a community connecting to others and the positive emotions these connections brought.

A group of young people in red uniforms in front of Belinda's bus

Image courtesy of Belinda Adams

An emerging filmmaker, Belinda documented the pilot program on film. The short film featured interviews with program participants as well as QB Artistic Director Li Cuxin AO and went on to be a finalist in the World Health Organisations Health for All short film festival in 2022, as well as being broadcast on the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival segment on Foxtel.

Belinda is currently working on the Hopkins Centre Project - Understanding what self-advocacy means after brain injury: Having a say in your care and rehabilitation. The project is a co-funded collaboration between Metro South Health and Griffith University. Belinda joins a team academics and clinicians researching and developing a new clinical approach and resources for promoting self-advocacy skill development early in the brain injury rehabilitation process. This will support individuals to have a greater say in their rehabilitation across the care continuum and will also improve communication between health care providers.

In the words of one of the research participants: “Having a say in your care makes you feel human, it makes you feel like you matter!”

Understanding what Self-Advocacy Means After Brain Injury Project Logo


Belinda is also in the final stages of penning her memoir ‘I Bought a Bus’. Belinda was just named a recipient of a RADF Grant (Regional Arts Development Fund) from Logan City Council for professional development to work with author/writing coach/editor Kylie Fitzpatrick to complete her first manuscript. She tells her inspiring story of a mother who never gave up hope and broke through adversity to help her own son then countless others living with brain injury and the families who care for them.


Achievements and Awards

Medal of the Order of Australia – General Division – for service to community health    2024
Recipient of Logan City Council & Arts QLD Regional Arts Grant for professional development for editing and literary coaching for Belinda’s memoir “I Bought a Bus” 2024

Co-author on the Metro South Health/Griffith University funded project – Developing

self-advocacy skills across the rehabilitation service continuum (in peer review)  

Queensland Community Achievement Award Finalist for Australia LNG Hero Award 2021
Ambassador Award from The Hopkins Centre for Ballet for Brain Injury 2021
Selected for Compton School’s Tenacity Labs Screen Business Development Program 2021
Ambassador for the Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation & Resilience 2019-current
Adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University/Menzies Health Institute  2019-Current
Recipient of Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Achievement Award   2018
Ambassador for Synapse, Australia’s Brain Injury Organisation     2013-2018
Simply Human Inc. ‘Heroes Without Capes’ Unsung Hero Award   2017



Belinda Adams

Ph: 0468 947 743




Tags: OAM, Belinda Adams, Brain Injury Advocate, Hopkins Centre Ambassador, Emerging Impact Producer, Medal Of The Order Of Australia, Community Health

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