Sometimes the outcomes of a project have impact far beyond what was planned or anticipated. The Participant Led Videos project that we rolled out earlier this year was one such case. Our Clinical Practice Lead, Cath Bucolo, shares her reflections:

I’ve been working in the fields of acquired brain injury, rehabilitation, disability and advocacy for more than 20 years. But, surprisingly, it’s only recently that I’ve come to fully appreciate the lack of opportunity people with disability have to work out what’s really important to them, to find their voice, and be really heard.

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The winners of the two $5000 2018 Allen Martin Scholarships have been announced.

Clinical neuropsychologist and Monash University Research Fellow, Dr Kate Gould (pictured above, left), received a scholarship for her Australian first research to help protect people with acquired brain injury (ABI) from cyber scams

“This will be the first study to investigate how common cybercrime is for individuals with ABI,” Dr Gould said. “We will look into the types of cybercrime experienced and factors which may contribute to this vulnerability.”

She said understanding, preventing and effectively managing the impact of cybercrime had the potential to enhance quality of life for people with ABI by maximising their safety and confidence in accessing the internet, email, social media and other online activities.

Danielle Sansonetti (pictured above, right), an occupational therapist and senior clinician at the Alfred Health ABI Unit, will look at ways to optimise independence for individuals with ABI through successful application of daily routines after they transition to the community.

This will assist clinicians to better understand those interventions that can be applied in rehabilitation in order to achieve clinically important long-term outcomes.

“Investigation of an individual’s ability to maintain their daily routines in the community following discharge from residential rehabilitation will provide clinicians with important information around the factors that contribute to long-term sustainability of routines in the community,” she said.

About 40 people attended the Allen Martin Memorial Lecture and scholarship announcement on 14 November.

The lecture was presented by Professor Fary Khan, who discussed the “evolving role of rehabilitation in global health”.

The Allen Martin Research Scholarships are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kew and Robinson Gill lawyers.

Source: Sunday Herald-Sun | Author: Karina Grift

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A scratch on her leg dramatically changed Deb Huismann’s life forever. Her story is a great example of why our work to keep young people out of aged care is so important.

Reproduced with kind permission from the Herald-Sun.


In September Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission into Aged Care.

The commission’s interim report is to be provided by 31 October 2019.

CEO Luke Bo’sher and policy manager George Taleporos met with Royal Commissioner Lynelle Briggs and her team in November. We are very pleased to report that young people in residential aged care and the issues related to this group are a high and early priority for the Commissioner.

We talked to the Commissioner about the importance of providing a range of options for people to tell their stories, and will be working closely with the Royal Commission to support young people to have their say.

If you or a family member would like to have your say please keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates, contact us directly or you can contact the Royal Commission by visiting:

You can watch the announcement of the Royal Commission by the Prime Minister here.

You can view the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference here and read our statement regarding the Terms of Reference here. You can read our briefing paper about the Royal Commission here.

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Our Get Building SDA initiative has been launched in regional NSW.

Get Building SDA aims to increase the number of SDA properties for NDIS participants and, as a result, increase the hours of Supported Independent Living (SIL) delivered in NSW.

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The Summer Foundation is pleased to announce the Allen Martin Research Scholarship 2018 sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kew and Robinson Gill Lawyers.

This scholarship is open to clinicians, health professionals and students who wish to conduct a new research project in the field of recovery following acquired brain injury. This year there are two awards, each valued at $5,000, which need to be utilised over a period of one year. All applications must meet the eligibility criteria and responsibilities of the scholarship, which can be accessed here.

Applications are now open. To apply complete the application form and submit to by COB Monday 15 October 2018.

Applications will be reviewed by the Summer Foundation Scholarship Sub Committee and the successful candidates will be announced at the Allen Martin Lecture on 14 November 2018.

This scholarship acknowledges the work of Allen Martin who showed great dedication and support towards advancing clinical knowledge and practice for people with complex brain injury, with particular emphasis on slow stream neurological rehabilitation.

Previous scholarship winners:

Laura Connolly – Light therapy for fatigue following traumatic brain injury
Suzana Hercegovak – Participation in volunteering roles following ABI
Michelle Kahn – Development of a gold-standard clinical assessment for associated reactions of the arm following ABI
Kate D’Cruz – Investigating the value of client-centred practice from the perspective of adults with traumatic brain injury participating in community based occupational therapy
Katie Anson – Long-term outcome following acquired brain injury
Melanie Drummond – Consequences of post-traumatic anosmia
Ming-Yun Hsieh – The treatment of people with anxiety disorders following moderate-severe traumatic brain injury
Lucy Knox – The experience of decision-making after severe traumatic brain injury: A Grounded Theory exploration
Margaret Mealings – ‘School’s a big part of your life’. Perspectives of students returning to secondary and tertiary education following traumatic brain injury, their peers and family members
Ruth Tesselaar – Classroom performance of student with an acquired brain injury: The impact of aide programs.

The Summer Foundation’s very own Dr George Taleporos is hosting a second series of podcasts, to help you make sense of the NDIS.

Back by popular demand, Reasonable and Necessary with Dr George: Making Sense of the NDIS is available to listen to on iTunes or SoundCloud. There will be five half-hour episodes in this second series, in which Dr George talks about different topics including self management of your NDIS Plan, support coordination and the relationship between the health system and the NDIS.

The podcasts are about simplifying the NDIS and helping participants, their families and anyone else involved in supporting NDIS participants to be able to work their way through a new and complicated process.

Series 2


The NDIS and Health Interface – with Cath Bucolo, Clinical Practice Leader at the Summer Foundation

get it on itunes read transcript

Previous episodes of Reasonable and Necessary with Dr George are available here. Full transcripts of each podcast are also available.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) presented its latest policy position for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in a statement to the provider and investor market on 24 April.

People with disabilities and developers of innovative housing for people with disabilities are pleased the NDIA has reiterated the government’s commitment to SDA in its SDA Provider and Investor Brief. The NDIA has confirmed that the SDA funding model is here to stay.

However, the NDIA’s SDA Brief expresses a vision for SDA housing with a clear bias toward shared models of housing for people with disability, presumably to reduce support costs. This is unacceptable. You can read our joint statement here (A Rich text format is available here).

You can read the Summer Foundation’s summary of the SDA Brief here.




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