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.
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.
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.
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!”
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
|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”
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
|Ambassador Award from The Hopkins Centre for Ballet for Brain Injury
|Selected for Compton School’s Tenacity Labs Screen Business Development Program
|Ambassador for the Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation & Resilience
|Adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University/Menzies Health Institute
|Recipient of Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Achievement Award
|Ambassador for Synapse, Australia’s Brain Injury Organisation
|Simply Human Inc. ‘Heroes Without Capes’ Unsung Hero Award
Ph: 0468 947 743
- Accessible travel study featured in RACQ RoadAhead magazine
- The Dignity Project Interview with Louise Sauvage OAM
- Ambassador Belinda Adam's talks about Ballet for Brain project
- Hopkins Hour Event Resources: Planes, trains, & automobiles, experiences of citizens living with neurological injury