Keynote speakers


Michael Nicholas

Michael is the Director of Pain Education at the Pain Management Research Institute, Sydney Medical School (Northern) at the Royal North Shore Hospital where he also directs several multidisciplinary pain management programs. He has a national and international reputation in this field, especially in relation to his work in developing and evaluating multidisciplinary pain management programs, and over 170 publications in scientific journals and books on pain assessment and management. His current research interests include the self-management of persisting pain in both the adult and older adult populations, adherence to self-management strategies for persisting pain, and early psychosocial interventions to prevent long-term disability in injured workers. His most recent study on early intervention with injured workers in NSW has demonstrated that injured workers at risk of delayed recovery can be identified in days and RTW in half the time of those offered usual care.




David Phipps

Dr. Phipps received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) and undertook post-doctoral studies in HIV research at the University Health Network (Toronto).  After leaving the lab he built a career managing academic research holding successively senior positions at the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation (Manager of Biotechnology and Life Sciences), Canadian Arthritis Network (Director of Business Development) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Director of Partnerships).  In 2001 Dr. Phipps completed his MBA from the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto).  Dr. Phipps is the Executive Director of Research & Innovation Services at York University where he manages all research grants and contracts including knowledge and technology transfer. 

In this capacity he leads York's award winning Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides services to researchers, community organizations and government agencies who wish to use maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts of university research.  Dr. Phipps has been named the most influential knowledge mobilizer in Canada. In 2012 York's Knowledge Mobilization Unit was awarded a best practice award from the European-based Knowledge Economy Network. In 2012 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work in knowledge mobilization.  In 2013 he was one of three national finalists for the Impact Award – Connections category from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was also awarded the 2015 Research Management Excellence Award (Canadian Association of Research Administrators) and 2015 President's Award for Innovation in Knowledge Mobilization (Institute for Knowledge Mobilization). In 2015 he was named the Gordon and Jean Southam Fellow from the Association of Commonwealth Universities. In 2017 Research Impact Canada received the Directors' Award for Inter-Institutional Collaboration from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators.

He is the Knowledge Translation Lead for Kids Brain Health Network of Centres of Excellence and is the Network Director for Research Impact Canada, Canada's knowledge mobilization network including 12 universities investing in strategies to maximize the impact of research.


Vicky Ward

Vicky Ward is Associate Professor of Knowledge Mobilisation in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Leeds, UK. She started life as a musician and clarinet teacher, before moving into health research after her PhD. Her research focuses on how people (e.g. healthcare staff, academics, communities) can be supported to learn from, and share their knowledge with, one another. 

She has conducted research on how health and wellbeing managers share and create knowledge together, how collaborative relationships between academics and NHS managers develop and how knowledge is exchanged within healthcare service delivery teams. 

Between June 2014 and May 2017 she held a prestigious National Institute for Health Research 'Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship' to study and support knowledge sharing across health and social care boundaries in community settings. Her published work is in the area of knowledge brokering and knowledge mobilisation frameworks. 

Find out more about her work on her webpage and blog.


Plenary speakers


Duncan Babbage

Duncan Babbage, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Rehabilitation at Auckland University of Technology, Director of the AUT Centre for eHealth (ehealth.aut.ac.nz), and heads the Implementation Science cluster of the AUT Centre for Person Centred Research (cpcr.aut.ac.nz). He previously practiced as a clinical psychologist, with a focus on neuropsychological rehabilitation after brain injury. In addition to being Principal Investigator of this project, Duncan personally completed the design and coding of the Inpatient Portal app. You can find Duncan on Twitter @dbabbage.

Outside academia, Duncan's other life is as the developer of Intro, a personal network management app for iPhone that includes tools for learning people's names and recognising faces (https://intro.fm). Duncan built Intro partly because he has terrible trouble retrieving people's names himself, so when you run into him be sure to re-introduce yourself!



Felicity Bright

Felicity is a Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation and Case Management and a researcher in the Centre for Person Centred Research at Auckland University of Technology. She is an experienced speech-language therapist, with expertise in neurological rehabilitation. Her research focuses on professional practices in rehabilitation, and she has a particular interest in exploring the relational aspects of practice. Felicity is increasingly using critical research approaches to examine routine, taken-for-granted aspects of practice to identify unintended effects of such practices and explore different ways of thinking about and doing rehabilitation.





Jacquelin Capell

Jacquelin joined the AROC team in 2011. She has extensive experience in physiotherapy, adult education and research. Jacquelin holds a Masters by Research and obtained a Graduate Certificate in Health Services Research and Development in 2012.


Joanna Fadyl

Dr Joanna Fadyl is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Clinical Sciences at AUT, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Person Centred Research.  Her current research focuses on work disability and vocational rehabilitation, experiences of adaptation and recovery, and the social and political context of disability.






Nicola Kayes

Nicola Kayes is Director of the Centre for Person Centred Research at AUT University. She has a background in health psychology and her research predominantly explores the intersection between health psychology and rehabilitation. She is interested in the role of the rehabilitation practitioner and their way of working as an influencing factor in rehabilitation and whether shifting practice and the way we work with people can optimise rehabilitation outcome. This has sparked an active interest in research and practice in knowledge mobilisation. Nicola actively contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in rehabilitation at the School of Clinical Sciences at Auckland University of Technology.





William Levack

William is an Associate Professor in Rehabilitation at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where he also works as the Associate Dean Research for the University's Wellington campus and Academic Head of an interprofessional group - the Rehabilitation Teaching & Research Unit. Originally training as a physiotherapist, Dr Levack completed his Masters in Health Science endorsed in Rehabilitation in 2001 and a PhD in interdisciplinary rehabilitation in 2008. His work focuses on patient experiences of rehabilitation, goal setting processes, and interventions to increase patient engagement in rehabilitation activities – particularly in the areas of neurological and respiratory rehabilitation. He served as Executive Member of the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association, spending time as Treasurer and Secretary between 2004 and 2015.  William has published 44 peer-reviewed articles, several book chapters, and, in 2015, a textbook entitled: "Rehabilitation Goal Setting: Theory, Practice and Evidence" with colleague, Professor Richard Siegert.  In 2016, William was part of a core group of international promotors who successful established Cochrane Rehabilitation – a new specialist Field within the Cochrane – and now works on the Executive Committee of this group.


Jo Nunnerley

Jo Nunnerley is the Academy Director and Knowledge Translation Specialist at the Burwood Academy of Independent Living (BAIL), Christchurch, New Zealand. She also holds a Post-Doctorate position in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch. Her research interests are employment and community participation after spinal cord injury and knowledge translation. 

Jo has close links with the Burwood Spinal Unit where she continues to makes guest appearances as a physiotherapist.


Deborah Snell

Dr Deborah Snell is a Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Otago Christchurch.  In her clinical life she is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. Her research interests include better understanding factors that contribute to development of chronic symptoms, and rehabilitation outcomes, across a range of health conditions.


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