Tuesday , October 24 , 2017
Newsletter March 2012


Executive Committee welcomes Chair, Annual Scientific Meeting Liaison Committee

I am delighted that Ms Emily Duke has accepted an invitation to join the Board of ISPO Australia and Chair the Annual Scientific Meeting Liaison Committee.

Emily will convene the ISPO2012 Instructional Course on Orthotic Management of Stroke, with a long-term view to assuming the full responsibilities of the Chair, Annual Scientific Liaison Committee.  In this position, Emily will play an important leadership role in the forward planning of ISPO Australia’s conference and courses, helping build better relationships with our sponsors and exhibitors and supporting convening committee’s to stage these educational activities.

Emily graduated from La Trobe University in 2005 and has worked as a prosthetist/orthotists at Barwon Prosthetics and Orthotics, Geelong and more recently at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she enjoys working with a diverse range of clients.

Please join me in welcoming Emily to the ISPO Australia Executive.

Michael Dillon
President. ISPO Australia. 


Phoebe Thomson takes leave from ISPO Australia Executive to volunteer in the Philippines.

Phoebe Thomson has accepted a six month volunteer position with AusAid and will leave the ISPO Australia Executive at the beginning of June to work in the Philippines.

As part of this wonderful opportunity, Phoebe will undertake a review of current practices at the Simon of Cyrene Children's Rehabilitation Department and create a long-term plan that includes implementation of endoskeletal prosthetic program.

The clinic is located in Legaspi, about 10 hours south of Manilla and is the main hub for all medical services for the Bicol region.  

Phoebe will be known to many ISPO Australia members through her role as Convenor of the ISPO2010 Advanced Instructional Course on the Management of Children and Young Adults with Cerebral Palsy.

As a member of the ISPO Australia Executive, Phoebe has successfully directed ISPO Australia’s strategic planning and will continue to lead the next couple of meetings that will see the plan near finalisation around the middle of this year.

I feel most fortunate to have worked alongside Phoebe as a member of the ISPO2010 Instructional Course and the ISPO Australia Executive. While I am sad to see Phoebe leave, I believe there’ll be wonderful opportunities for Phoebe that will be both enriching and rewarding.  

I am sure you’ll join me in wishing Phoebe well on her adventure.

Michael Dillon
President. ISPO Australia.


ISPO Australia achieves significant increase in membership.

Membership of ISPO Australia has grown nearly 50% since 2009 reflecting a concerted effort to increase membership and make our National Member Society (NMS) truly multidisciplinary.

In 2009 the Australian NMS had some 90 members.  The Executive Committee developed and implemented a range of strategies including:

  • Initiate contact with those whose membership had lapsed since 2005
  • Actively promote the work of ISPO at conferences and courses through the President’s welcome address and an ISPO Australia booth
  • Membership Secretary attended courses and conferences to answer queries from prospective members and offer an ‘on-the-spot’ sign up service during the exhibition and meal breaks
  • Dedicated webmaster appointed to the Executive Committee to update the website and streamline the process for new and existing membership renewal
  • Paired registration at ISPO Australia conference and courses with membership for both new and existing members
  • Offered non-ISPO members a complimentary copy of the current edition of Prosthetics and Orthotics International upon joining at the 2010 Advanced Instructional Course.
  • Targeted non-traditional audiences by selecting themes and topics for our courses and conferences that had a broad multidisciplinary appeal. For example, in 2010 we staged an Advanced Instructional Course on the Management of Children and Young Adults with Cerebral Palsy which saw half the delegation comprised of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation specialists and speech pathologists.

These initiatives saw the membership increase by just over 15% to the end of 2010. By the end of 2011, membership had increase 45% to 133. We hope this strong interest in ISPO will continue, particularly with promotion of the Society at the World Congress in India next year.

If you’ve not yet renewed your membership for 2012, please follow this link.


Executive engage in planning to focus the work of ISPO australia over the triennium.

The ISPO Australia Executive Committee met face-to-face in December last year to begin building a strategic plan to focus and guide the work of ISPO Australia into the next triennium.

“The first planning meeting provided a wonderful opportunity for the new Board to meet in person and begin building the personal relationships that will see the Board become a cohesive team“, reflected ISPO Australia President, Dr Michael Dillon.

The first planning meeting focused on canvassing ideas about what the organisation might aspire to achieve over the next three years. “There were some wonderful initiatives, such as providing members access to peer-reviewed journals. This is a very tangible and practical benefit to ISPO Australia members; particularly those working in private practice who don’t readily have the access to the same professional literature as our colleagues in large hospitals or universities,” reflected Ms Phoebe Thomson – leader of the strategic planning activity.

The Executive Committee will continue their planning initiative well into this year with a view to finalising the strategic plan in the second half of this year. 


Chair Outreach Committee attends Motivation Australia workshop

The ISPO Australia Outreach Committee is currently undertaking an assessment of the most pressing needs of people living in the South Pacific to help inform their long-term planning.

“A recent meeting with Motivation Australia provided a wonderful opportunity for the ISPO Australia Outreach Committee to learn more about current challenges faced by people with disabilities living in the South Pacific as well as barriers to providing high-quality care,” reported Ms Lee Brentnall, Chair Outreach Committee.

Motivation Australia has a recent history of developing wheelchair services in the Pacific region. The ISPO Outreach Committee was invited to the Motivation Australia meeting as a key prosthetic and orthotic organisation with a history of working in the Pacific. The meeting gave ISPO Australia an opportunity to feed into the development of Motivation Australia’s regional strategy.

The three-day meeting will pave the way for Motivation Australia and ISPO Australia to work collaboratively to address some of the most pressing rehabilitation challenges in the South Pacific. “Throughout the meeting it was evident that wheelchair services share many of the same barriers as prosthetic and orthotic services in the Pacific; particularly around appropriate technology to use, training of rehabilitation professionals, procurement of supplies and policy related issues,” reflected Lee. “These barriers become even more crucial to solve when you consider the extent of problems such as diabetes and ulceration. The scale of the need is enormous. Even basic interventions, such as training clinicians to assess at-risk feet, could have a huge impact.”

ISPO Australia is in a good position to be able to make a profound impact in the South Pacific; particularly when working collaboratively with organisations such as Motivation.

If you’d like to know more about the work of the ISPO Australia Outreach Committee, please contact the Chair, Ms Lee Brentnall - outreach@ispo.org.au




The ISPO International Board extends congratulations to the Australian National Member Society (ANMS) for the successful initiative that is the ISPO Australia Research Grant and hopes to encourage other National Members Societies to actively encourage research in this way through promotion of the grant in the upcoming international ‘eUpdate’.

The ISPO Australia Research Grant was established six years ago with the view to encourage research activity among its members and provide support to early career researchers who wish to make a meaningful contribution toward improving the evidence base in prosthetics and orthotics.

The ISPO International Board congratulates Dr. Patritti and his team on their successful grant application and wishes them every success as they pursue this work.

The 2011-2013 grant was awarded to Dr. Ben Patritti from the South Australian Movement Analysis Centre, Department of Rehabilitation and Aged Care, Repatriation General Hospital, Adelaide, for his project entitled “Training effect of functional electrical stimulation on locomotor function and motor fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis.”

Dr. Patritti’s study aims to investigate the training effect of using a commercial FES device in ambulatory people with Multiple Sclerosis who exhibit fatigue induced gait problems. They also wish to understand how regular use of an FES device effects gait, balance and fatigue in people with Multiple Sclerosis.

“Now is a great time to begin planning a future research project to ensure the best chance of success in the 2013-2015 research grant cycle”, says Ms Renee Mackenzie, Chair Scientific and Education Committee. Members of the Scientific and Education Committee have extensive experience in planning and successfully executing research projects and can offer advice when planning the experimental method. If you’d like to enquire about this service, please contact the Chair, Scientific and Education Committee, Ms Renee Mackenzie: Sci_ed@ispo.org.au