Hopkins to host rehabilitation symposium at PA

Translational research for improved rehabilitation in Queensland is the focus of the 2nd Bold Ideas Better Solutions  Symposium 2018 being held this week.

Hosted by Griffith University’s Hopkins Centre, the Symposium will feature over 100 clinical practitioners and health administrators who will join 65 researchers and policy makers determined to scale up and find better solutions for rehabilitation.   

The Symposium will highlight the valuable contributions of collaborative research through ‘enhancing the experience of rehabilitation’ as the theme of the event. This will provide the opportunity to showcase, connect and share new ideas, experiences and enable innovative solutions that enhance the health and well-being of people with long-term and complex rehabilitation needs, and their support networks. 

To be held at the Translational Research Institute at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane on 15 November, the symposium is the premier forum for rehabilitation research in South-East Queensland.  

“This year our focus is on consumers - as drivers of research and active participants of research that matters to them,” says Hopkins Centre director Professor Elizabeth Kendall. “We have almost hit 200 registrations already.

Professor Elizabeth Kendall

“It is our focus on translation and consumer drivenresearch that makes The Hopkins Centre unique. 

At the Symposium, research projects such as Singing Cords will be highlighted.

“This project is important as it will provide necessary evidence that singing improves respiratory function for people with lifelong spinal cord injuries. This will lead to better quality of life and overall increases in life expectancy for this population.<

“We have a unique opportunity to show that singing can be an affordable and effective part of any rehabilitation service.

“What is unique about our research is how quickly it translates into impact on the ground.  Professional singer Tim McCallum from The Voice heard about Singing Cords and is lending his time to coach in-patients and out-patients at the Spinal Injuries Unit at the PA Hospital.  I now see how thrilled these people are to be singing and socialising on a regular basis.”

People are welcome to make small or large donations to this Project to further the research and help the volunteers involved cover their costs.


“The Hopkins Centre was set up last year to provide a sustained approach to building necessary evidence to improve rehabilitation services statewide,” says Professor Tim Geraghty, deputy director of The Hopkins Centre and a rehabilitation medicine physician from the PA Hospital.

“The approach with embedded Menzies Health Institute Queensland researchers working with clinical practitioners is unique and is delivering research of national significance and real local impact.

“For example the TRACE project is a first-time longitudinal study of more than 165 Queenslanders who have experienced traumatic spinal and brain injuries.  The study is tracking outcomes from acute in-service to outreach services and up to 12 months post-discharge.  This is going to make a real difference to how decide where scare hospital resources are allocated to achieve better outcomes for patients and their families.”

Patron of the Hopkins Centre, Mr Kevin Cocks AM, and former Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, (now Executive General Manager of Accessible Transport at the Department of Main Roads and Transport) will be present at the Symposium and will highlight the importance of research set within a framework of human rights.

“Institutional discrimination continues to be faced by people with disabilities so it is important that any research that involves them is participatory in its nature and its design and the way it is conducted includes them where feasible. 

“Whether people are born with or have acquired a disability, the undertaking of research in a context of inclusion for people which allows them to flourish and reach their full potential is what we really need.”