The symposium theme, Discovery and Design in Disability and Rehabilitation, will feature the latest interdisciplinary research focused on new discoveries and innovations in design in the disability and rehabilitation field aimed at enhancing services, practices and policies for the wellbeing of people with complex rehabilitation needs. The day-long symposium will present a stimulating interdisciplinary program of oral and poster presentations, invited speakers, and panel session.


Professor Marie Elf
International Keynote Speaker


Marie, RN, Professor in Nursing at Dalarna University and at Chalmers University of Technology in the department of architecture. Marie Elf originally qualified as a nurse, receiving her PhD in architecture and has since worked across a number of academic settings within nursing, architecture and healthcare management with the focus on architecture and its impact on patient health and well-being. Marie Elf’s research is focused on the healthcare environment (architecture) and how it influences people’s health and well-being. She has developed an instrument that can be sued for assessing the quality of residential care facilities for older persons. She has also projects going on where the architecture in stroke care from hospital to the home environment is explored. Her expertise is in healthcare architecture, older person’s health and well-being, stroke care and person-centred care.



Dr Jackie Leach Scully
Presenting as keymote speaker and invited speaker for panel discussion


Jackie is a Professor of Bioethics, and Director of the Disability Innovation Institute at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. A biomedical scientist by training she went on to help establish the first interdisciplinary bioethics institute at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and most recently was Executive Director of the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre at Newcastle University, UK. She has lived experience of disability and disabling illness, and has been an activist for disabled people's rights for over 30 years.


Dr Kevin Cocks AM
The Hopkins Centre Patron and welcome address


Kevin, Australian Medal and a well-respected champion of human rights. Kevin has dedicated himself to pushing for an inclusive, accessible and diverse Queensland through legislative and policy reform and State-wide advocacy. Until recently, he was the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. In February 2018, his term of appointment came to an end as Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, but he will now continue to push for evidence-based reform through his important role as Patron of The Hopkins Centre. Kevin has pursued a lifelong fight for the rights of people with a disability, and has always been an inspiring advocate and role model. As a young man, Kevin sustained a C6 complete quadriplegia in a sporting accident. Through his personal experiences, he brought a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to the role of Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, where he focused on protecting the principles of dignity and equality for everyone.


Libby Callaway
Invited Speaker for Panel discussion 

Libby Callaway is a registered occupational therapist, having worked for the past 25 years in the field of neurological rehabilitation in Australia and the USA. Since 1999, Libby has been the director and principal occupational therapist at Neuroskills, a community based practice providing allied health services to people with neurological disability. Libby consulted to the National Disability Insurance Agency during development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Specialist Disability Accommodation Framework, and works with current and future NDIS participants on pre-planning and NDIS plan implementation. In addition to this clinical work, Libby is a senior lecturer and researcher in the Occupational Therapy department at Monash University in Victoria. At Monash, Libby leads a $2.4M national collaborative research program on housing, technology, support, and community design for people with neurological disability. This program is aimed at informing state-based injury insurance scheme and NDIS design and implementation.


Kelly Higgins-Devine
Panel discussion facilitator


Kelly is a Journalist,  ABC Radio Brisbane Evening Show, Reality TV or real people with real stories — the choice is yours. She loves seeking out the ordinary in the extraordinary and the extraordinary in the ordinary and sharing the outcome with her Evenings listeners. She started her ABC career in 1999 after spending a number of years in commercial radio. Kelly has worked across most facets of broadcasting from reporting and news reading to presenting local radio programs. In 2004 she was offered the Statewide Afternoons program where she loved being part of the Queensland conversation. She then kept Brisbane commuters up to date on the drive home for six years on Drive before returning to her home turf of Afternoons in 2012. In 2007 Kelly was named ABC Local Radio Broadcaster of the Year.



Angel Dixon
The Hopkins Centre Ambassador and invited speaker for panel discussion 


Angel is 2019 QLD Young Australian of the Yeay & Advocate for people with disability The first agency signed model with a physical impairment to feature in a national television campaign, Angel Dixon's mission is to challenge societies perception of disability. The international Mercedes Benz Fashion Week model and 2019 QLD Young Australian of the Year is a passionate activist for universal design and inclusion. Aware of the power that the media has in forming perceptions, Angel is advocacy manager for not-for-profit organisation, Starting With Julius, and CEO of the Attitude Foundation. Both organisations seek to accelerate the inclusion of people with disability through the creation of authentic media and education on inclusive principals. Learn more about: attitude.org.au and startingwithjulius.org.au