Combined 11th Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and the 3rd International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disabilities 'Better Together' Conference 2022

Keynote Speakers

More speakers to be announced soon

Prof. Gillian King


Gillian King is a Distinguished Senior Scientist (Bloorview Research Institute), Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (University of Toronto), and Canada Research Chair in Optimal Care for Children with Disabilities (Tier 1). She has held over 100 peer-reviewed grants, authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles, and has developed and published over 20 measures for use in pediatric rehabilitation. Her work focuses on psychosocial aspects of care, including the delivery of health services, client engagement, family-centred care, client and family resiliency, and transition programming. Her current research focuses on measures of client, parent, and therapist engagement in service delivery, the key elements and processes underlying the effectiveness of youth transition programs, mental health and the participation of children and youth with disabilities, solution-focused coaching, and the role of resiliency in rehabilitation service delivery.

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Prof. Rick Lieber


Rick Lieber is a physiologist who earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from U.C. Davis developing a theory of light diffraction that was applied to mechanical studies of single muscle cells. He joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 1985 where he spent the first 30+ years of his academic career, achieving the rank of Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He received his M.B.A. in 2013 and is currently Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Lieber’s work in intentionally translational, applying basic scientific principles to help patients who have experienced spinal cord injury, stroke, musculoskeletal trauma or cerebral palsy. He has published almost 300 articles in journals ranging from the very basic such as The Biophysical Journal and The Journal of Cell Biology to clinical journals such as The Journal of Hand Surgery and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Dr. Lieber’s research focuses on design and plasticity of skeletal muscle. Currently, he is developing state-of-the-art biological and biophysical approaches to understanding muscle contractures that result from cerebral palsy, stroke and spinal cord injury.

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Prof. Susan Michie

United Kingdom

Susan Michie, FMedSci, FAcSS is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London. She is co-Director of NIHR’s Behavioural Science Policy Research Unit, leads UCL’s membership of NIHR’s School of Public Health Research and is an NIHR Senior Investigator.

Professor Michie’s research focuses on behaviour change in relation to health and the environment: how to understand it theoretically and apply theory to intervention development, evaluation and implementation. Her research, collaborating with disciplines such as information science, environmental science, computer science and medicine, covers population, organisational and individual level interventions. Examples include the Human Behaviour-Change Project and Complex Systems for Sustainability and Health. She is an investigator on three Covid-19 research projects.

She serves as an expert advisor on the UK’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavioural Science (Covid-19) and is a member of WHO’s Behavioural Insights Technical Advisory Group. She is also expert advisor to Public Health England and the UK Department of Health and Social Care, is Chair of the UK Food Standard Agency’s Social Sciences Advisory Committee and chaired the Academy of Social Science’s ‘Health of People’ project.

Twitter: @SusanMichie

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Dr Steve O’Flaherty


Dr Steve O’Flaherty is a Rehabilitation Paediatrician who has worked with children for over 50 years. Originally from New Zealand he completed consultant training at Sydney Children’s Hospital and then worked as the community Paediatrician for western Sydney. From the late 1980s he was head of the Paediatric Rehabilitation department at Westmead Hospital until 1995 when all Paediatric services moved to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead where he was the inaugural head of Paediatric Rehabilitation (Kids Rehab) for 17 years. He oversaw the introduction in Australia of training of Paediatric advanced trainees in Paediatric Rehabilitation. This avoided the previous need to travel overseas for training. Such training is now offered in all Paediatric Rehab services around Australia. From this a cohort of trained consultants has developed and has facilitated the staffing of units in Australia and NZ. Amongst other things and with his colleagues he oversaw the introduction at Kids Rehab of Botulinum Toxin, Intrathecal Baclofen, Selective Dorsal Rhisotomy and Deep Brain Stimulation treatment options for managing movement disability especially in children with CP and he was part of the team that facilitated relocation of the Paediatric Gait Lab to CHW. He continues clinical work with children with CP as a senior Staff Specialist in Paediatric Rehabilitation at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

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Dr Rupal Patel


Rupal is the Founder and CEO of VocaliD, a voice technology company that provides AI-generated voices with personality. VocaliD’s award-winning technology leverages the latest advances in machine learning, signal processing and voice analytics along with the company’s crowdsourced Voicebank to create inclusive, diverse and brand aligned voices for organizations and individuals with special needs. Rupal began her career as a speech clinician where she became fascinated with the potential of using speech technologies for assistive communication which then led to a doctorate in speech science. Her interdisciplinary research applies empirical evidence about speech motor control to develop novel communication technologies. She is currently on leave from Northeastern University where she is a tenured professor in Bouve College of Health Sciences and The Khoury College of Computer Sciences. A Health Innovation Fellow of the Aspen Institute, Rupal was named one of The Top 11 Visionaries in Voice 2019 by and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Rupal has also been featured on TED, NPR, and in major international news and technology publications around the world.

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A/Prof. Mark Peterson


Mark D. Peterson is the Charles E. Lytle, Jr. Research Professor at the University of Michigan-Medicine (Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.), Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a Fulbright Scholar, and an active member in the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM), Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AusACPDM), the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Dr. Peterson’s work focuses on understanding factors that influence health and life expectancy among individuals aging with disabilities across the lifespan. This includes efforts directed at identifying precision strategies to prevent cardiometabolic dysregulation and secondary physical and psychological morbidity among children and adults with cerebral palsy, as well as a variety of frailty syndromes, and to better understand health disparities among individuals with disabilities from the context of access to preventive care and community wellness. Dr. Peterson has published more than 150 peer reviewed scientific articles in the fields of exercise physiology, rehabilitation research, physical activity epidemiology, healthcare disparities, and preventive medicine.

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Prof. Tom Shakespeare

United Kingdom

Tom Shakespeare trained at Cambridge University, and has worked at Sunderland, Leeds, Newcastle, University of East Anglia and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is professor of disability research. He has conducted research on disability and sexuality, with disabled children, on bioethics, on restricted growth, on independent living, on rehabilitation, on inclusive education and on employment of disabled people. He also spent five years in the WHO Disability and rehabilitation team. His books include Disability Rights and Wrongs and Disability – the Basics. He broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio.

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Key Dates
Free Paper/Poster/Instructional Course
Open February 2021
Opens March 2021
Scholarship Applications
Open February 2021
Late breaking abstracts
Open September 2021
AusACPDM / IAACD 2022 in Melbourne
Pre-conference 28th February, 1st March 2022
Conference dates 2nd March - 5th March, 2022
Acknowledgement of Country

Better Together 2022 acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land and sea in which we live and work, we recognise their continuing connection to land, sea and culture and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.