Vanessa is a graduate of Curtin University, Western Australia and commenced her physiotherapy career 25 years ago, in Albany Regional Hospital, before returning to Perth – working across an extensive and varied breadth of physiotherapy in both the public and private sectors.Vanessa is the founder and principal physiotherapist of a small, seniors and aged care specialised practice and currently divides her professional clinical and education time across home visiting, residential aged care, occupational health and safety (residential and home care) and clinical supervision of Curtin physiotherapy students.Vanessa is strongly involved with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), at both State and National levels. She is the current National Group Chair of Gerontology Physiotherapy Australia and sits on the APA National Advisory Council, the APA Western Australia Branch Council and is an APA Representative member of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA).Vanessa is a life-long student of the human experience and human potential, who is inspired to work with older persons, their families and other supports for meaningful ageing and quality of life – considering the breadth of elements of true health and well-being. Vanessa is a passionate advocate for sustainable, high quality and value health care for all older Australians.
Associate Professor Jo Connaughton is currently the Chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Mental Health Special Interest Group, Secretary on the Executive Committee of the International Organisation of Physiotherapists in Mental Health (IOPTMH) and the Australian representative of the IOPTMH. In July 2018 Jo Connaughton stepped down from Dean, School of Physiotherapy at University of Notre Dame Australia following a physiotherapy career spanning over 40 years including. In her 30 years of clinical work Jo practiced in almost all aspects of physiotherapy in metropolitan and regional WA, working with people from across the lifespan in both public and private settings including acute mental health. As Discipline Leader in an acute mental health facility Jo worked predominately with people aged between 18 and 65, however, also worked with older adults and supervised physiotherapists working in the psychogeriatric units. Jo joined the University in 2007 and in semi-retirement now teaches undergraduate students pathophysiology, presentation and treatment of mental health conditions. She is also a qualified Mental Health First Aid instructor and advocates for this to be included in undergraduate degrees. Jo's research in the mental health field includes exploring attitudes of physiotherapists and physiotherapy students towards mental health and psychiatry and more recently how these are influenced by inclusion of Mental Health First Aid training in undergraduate programs. Jo has also researched headaches experienced by people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and has presented her research findings at National and International Conferences.
Ms MELANIE GALBRAITH MSc Med (Pain Mgt), BSc (Physio). Mel is a physiotherapist with 25 years' experience of treating people with musculoskeletal conditions in the UK and Australia. Was attached to Fremantle Hospital Pain Medicine Unit for several years where she was extensively involved in the management of patients with chronic pain, both individually and in groups. Melanie completed an MSc Med (Pain Mgt) via the University of Sydney and is a titled APA Pain Physiotherapist, currently working for Biosymm (an Occupational Physiotherapy company) as an Injury Management Consultant. Mel has a passion for both pain research and travel and combines the two by regularly attending national and international conferences.