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Occupational Therapy Australia 27th National Conference and Exhibition 2017

Invited Speakers

 Emma Ashcroft_

Emma Ashcroft

Emma Ashcroft is an occupational therapist who graduated with honours from Curtin University and has experience working in the community at local and international levels. Emma is one of the original volunteers of the social enterprise Befriend and has been part of the team driving the Befriend mission since the early days. Befriend was founded based on the belief that all people need social connection, but for different reasons this can be a challenge for so many people. Emma has been a member of the Befriend Board for the last two years and has been a strategic driver of Befriend's growth. Emma is currently employed by Curtin University as a teaching academic, and is passionate about the education of tomorrow's occupational therapists. 

Presenting on Friday 21 July 2017 at 10.45am

Ted Brown

Associate Professor Ted Brown

Associate Professor Ted Brown completed a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours), Master of Public Administration, and Master of Rehabilitation Science at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He has over 16 years of clinical experience in the areas of paediatrics and mental health. In 2003, A/Prof Brown was awarded a PhD in occupational therapy from the University of Queensland and then completed a two year post doctoral research fellowship at La Trobe University. In 2005, he started to work in the newly established occupational therapy course at Monash University. Currently Ted is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Course Coordinator in the Monash University Department of Occupational Therapy. A/Prof Brown is also a member of the executive committee of the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation. A/Prof Brown is also an associate editor of the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal and the American Occupational Therapy Journal.

Presenting on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 2.55pm  
Louise Gustafson - Copy

Associate Professor Louise Gustafson

Associate Professor Louise Gustafsson has been working at the University of Queensland from 2002. During this time she has held administrative roles including Head of Occupational Therapy and Undergraduate Program Director. She commenced her occupational therapy career in 1992, working in regional and metropolitan Queensland and around the United Kingdom. In 1999, she was working full-time as a clinician and enrolled in her PhD studies part-time, graduating in 2006. From this time she has developed her program of research as a teaching and research academic with a current focus on transitions after stroke, and promoting participation and community mobility for older people and people with a neurological condition. 

Presenting on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 2.55pm
Nicola Hancock  

Dr Nicola Hancock

Dr Nicola Hancock is an occupational therapist and academic at the University of Sydney with more than 25 years’ experience in mental health clinical practice, education, and research. She has extensive clinical experience and has worked in leadership roles internationally within hospital and community-based practice. 
Dr Hancock’s profound belief in the importance of working in partnership with consumers drives both her teaching and her research program. She employs inclusive methodologies in order to maximise the participation of mental health consumers in collaborative, co-produced and consumer-led research. She supervises higher degree research students with their own lived-experience of mental ill-health and has attracted numerous grants through which consumer researchers have been employed in long-term, significant leadership team roles.
Dr Hancock’s research is focused on gaining a deeper understanding of individual journeys of mental health recovery, participation and inclusion as well as examining workforce and service systems designed to support recovery. Dr Hancock developed, again in partnership with consumers, a recovery-focused self-assessment scale (RAS-DS), now widely used in clinical and research settings across Australia, Asia, Europe, America and Canada (

Presenting on Friday 21 July 2017 at 10.45am
 Rebecca Nicks__

Rebecca Nicks          

Rebecca has a Masters in Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Sydney and currently works in a research and leadership role at Alfred Health in Melbourne Victoria. Her career as an occupational therapist in rehabilitation and acute neurosciences spans 20 years. She has held many roles across Melbourne and the United Kingdom in the public health sector and brings a wealth of experience in evidence based clinical practice.  She is currently completing research into predictors for home assessments and the effectiveness of occupational therapy home modifications. She supports and mentors many clinicians with their research projects and regards the translation of research into practice as an essential component of occupational therapy practice. She is committed to ensuring that research exists within a clinical setting to strengthen both the clinician and the service they provide.

Presenting on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 2.55pm
Trina Phuah

Trina Phuah

Trina joined the occupational therapy team at Charles Sturt University, Albury-Wodonga in 2013. She previously lived and worked in Melbourne and completed her occupational therapy degree (Hons) at LaTrobe University. Trina worked for Yooralla's ComTEC service for several years and has expertise in the selection and support of complex computer access, environmental control and communication technology options. She enjoys the challenge of maintaining currency in the context of continual technology development and is commencing PhD research which will explore the components of successful assistive technology solutions. Trina is the current Secretary and Immediate Past President of the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA).

Presenting on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 1.30pm
Lorna Rosenwax - Copy1

Professor Lorna Rosenwax

Professor Lorna Rosenwax (BApSc(OT)(Distinction), PGradDipHlthSc(Distinction), MSc, PhD) is the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Health Sciences at Curtin University. Her previous appointments were Head, School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University (2006-2014) and  was the inaugural Sub Dean (Health Sciences), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 2002 to 2006. 
Professor Rosenwax has been acknowledged as one of the early users of data linkage. This has translated into expert knowledge of population-based linked administrative datasets and the translation of these findings into influencing allocation of health services within the community and hospitals. Her reputation is for working closely with the palliative care, public health, disability and health services communities who realised the value of population-based data to guide the provision of health services. In 2002, she brought together a multidisciplinary national team to research the last year of life for people aged 20+ years. The team’s principal contribution has been providing population-based information to guide policy and decision-making for palliative and community care at the end of life. As one example, the team’s research has determined who accessed specialised palliative care and who missed out; providing evidence that the vast majority of adults with conditions other than cancer in Western Australia did not access, or where not given access to, specialised palliative care services. Internationally, her team’s model for estimating a potential palliative care constituency from a population is used by the WHO Palliative Care demonstration project in Catalonia; the Cancer Council of New Zealand; the National Health Service in the UK, Brussels, Nova Scotia, Switzerland and elsewhere. Her work was cited widely in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report ‘Trends in palliative care in Australian hospitals’ (2011) which has influenced the delivery of health services to adults. Through three national tenders, a palliative care curriculum has been rolled out to most health disciplines in the majority of universities in Australia (PCC4U); all testament to translating research into practice. 
Research output includes grants and tenders totalling over $6.25 million including nine nationally competitive grants, of which six are NHMRC grants; 82 presentations at state, national and international conferences; and 62 publications (including 32 refereed articles). Many of the publications have been cited 20+ times. As recognition of her research, she has been awarded the highly prestigious American Occupational Therapy Association Research Initiative Scholars' Award for outstanding research, invited as Associate Editor on an international, impact-factored journal, awarded the Jan Watt Prize for Excellence in Public Health Field Research, the Public Health Association of Australia Annual Postgraduate Student Award and the Pioneers Award from the Australian Association of Occupational Therapists for research services to the profession. She has delivered key note presentations at international conferences and is regularly invited to participate in national and state workshops and steering committees related to the last year of life. Professor Rosenwax is called on to speak to the media on end-of-life issues. Her research standing is also evidenced by NHMRC leadership roles including project grant reviews spanning a decade and appointment to the NHMRC Early Career Fellowships Panel. 
Along with her own research, Professor Rosenwax has concurrently built a research programme in the Centre for Research into Disability and Society. To achieve success, the Centre has actively sought and achieved international collaboration with the US Association of University Centres on Disability; School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, University of Massachusetts; Westchester Institute for Human Development, New York Medical College; National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College; International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, Medical School at Linkoping University; University of Gävle, Sweden; and Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University. In part, these collaborations have assisted with recent success with a Collaborative Research Centre in Autism. She has actively mentored/supervised staff to strengthen the research capability and performance of staff and students within the Centre, resulting in increased research income, publications and research active staff, and through workload performance activities for staff, clear research directions and stipulated research outcomes. Her current position involves a productive relationship with key stakeholders in health, disability and social service industries. Rosenwax has the leadership and managerial skills required to ensure funded research meets the required outcomes. 
Presenting on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 2.55pm 

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