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Dr Di Winkler

Chief of Research & Innovation

HonLLD Monash
PhD, GAICD, BAppSc (Occ Ther)
Grad Dip Neuroscience
Grad Dip AppSc (Comp Sci), MAppSc

Di Winkler is the Chief of Research & Innovation at Summer Foundation and leads the Research Unit. Di’s initial research was a Masters by Research at La Trobe University entitled “Factors that lead to successful community integration following severe traumatic brain injury”. In 2005, after becoming frustrated by the lack of appropriate housing and support for young people with disability who were being admitted to nursing homes for the aged, Di commenced her PhD. Her goal was to provide an evidence base to change policy and practice related to the issue of young people in nursing homes.

After realising that research alone would not solve the issue of young people in nursing homes, in January 2006, Di founded the Summer Foundation. While building the Summer Foundation team and serving as CEO of Summer Foundation for 12 years, she also completed her PhD at Monash University in 2012, undertaking a series of studies focussing on young people in nursing homes.

With the Summer Foundation fully established and making substantial progress at improving the issue of young people in nursing homes, Di stepped down from the position of CEO in 2018 to concentrate on research. As the Chief of Research & Innovation, Di is building a team and developing strategic research partnerships to generate the evidence base needed to change the systems that admit young people into aged care because there is nowhere else for them.

Di’s research efforts are strongly influenced by her professional experience as an occupational therapist, working for more than twenty years with people with severe brain injury. She was the Chief Occupational Therapist at Ivanhoe Manor Private Rehabilitation Hospital prior to developing a private practice working with people with brain injury in the community. This allied health experience, along with her extensive network of professional and research connections, makes Di well positioned to lead the research team.

As a leader in both professional and research communities, Di has received several notable awards. In 2013, Di was awarded the 2014 Stanford Australia Foundation Dyson Bequest Scholarship, enabling her to complete the six-week Stanford Executive Program in 2014. In 2018, Di was conferred with a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Monash University for her distinguished service to the community through her leaderships as a practising Occupational Therapist and researcher with a particular focus of dealing with young people affected by acquired brain injury.

Di sits on the Boards of Summer Foundation, Summer Housing Ltd, and Livable Housing Australia.

Key Publications

1. Jamwal, R., Enticott, J., Farnworth, L., Winkler, D., Callaway, L. (2019) The use of electronic assistive technology for social networking by people with disability living in shared supported accommodation. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Jan 21:1-8 doi: 10.1080/17483107.2018.1534998

2. Jamwal, R., Callaway, L., Winkler, D., Farnworth, L., Tate, R. (2018) Evaluating the use of smart home technology by people with brain impairment: protocol for a single case experimental design protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 7(11):e10451.

3. Jamwal, R., Callaway, L., Farnworth, L., Winkler, D. (2017) Electronic assistive technology use in Australian shared supported accommodation: rates and user characteristics. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 13(7):634-640.

4. Jamwal, R., Callaway, L., Ackerl, J., Farnworth, L., Winkler, D. (2017) Electronic assistive technology used by people with acquired brain injury in shared supported accommodation: implications for occupational therapy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 80(2):89-98.

5. Callaway, L., Winkler, D., Tippett, A., Herd, N., Migliorini, C., Willer, B. (2016) The Community Integration Questionnaire – Revised: Australian normative data and measurement of electronic social networking. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63(3):143-153.

6. Winkler, D., Callaway, L., Sloan, S., Holgate, N. (2015) Everyday choice making: outcomes of young people with acquired brain injury after moving from residential aged care to community-based supported accommodation. Brain Impairment, 16(3):221-235.

7. Sloan, S., Callaway, L., Winkler, D., McKinley, K., Ziino, C. (2012) Accommodation outcomes and transitions following community-based intervention for individuals with acquired brain injury. Brain Impairment, 13(1):24-43.

8. Winkler, D., Farnworth, L., Sloan, S., Brown, T. (2011) Moving from aged care facilities to community-based accommodation: outcomes and environmental factors. Brain Injury, 25(2):153-168.

9. Winkler, D.F., Farnworth, L.J., Sloan, S.M., Brown, T. (2011) Young people in aged care: progress of the current national program. Australian Health Review, 35(3):320-326.

10. Winkler, D., Farnworth, L., Sloan, S., Brown, T., Callaway, L. (2010) Comparison of people with ABI living in two accommodation settings: shared supported accommodation and residential aged care. Brain Impairment, 11(3):313-325.

11. Winkler, D., Sloan, S., Callaway, L. (2010) People under 50 with acquired brain injury living in residential aged care. Brain Impairment, 11(3):299-312.

12. Sloan, S., Callaway, L., Winkler, D., McKinley, K., Ziino, C., Anson, K. (2009) Changes in care and support needs following community-based intervention for individuals with acquired brain injury. Brain Impairment, 10(3):295-306.

13. Sloan, S., Callaway, L., Winkler, D., McKinley, K., Ziino, C., Anson, K. (2009) The community approach to participation: outcomes following acquired brain injury intervention. Brain Impairment, 10(3):282-294.

14. Kelly, G., Winkler, D. (2007) Long-term accommodation and support for people with higher levels of challenging behaviour. Brain Impairment, 8(3):262-275.

15. Sloan, S., Winkler, D., Anson, K. (2007) Long-Term outcome following traumatic brain injury. Brain Impairment, 8(3):251-261.

16. Winkler, D., Farnworth, L., Sloan, S. (2006) People under 60 living in aged care facilities in Victoria. Australian Health Review, 30(1):100-108.

17. Winkler, D., Farnworth, L., Sloan, S., Brown, T. (2006) Transition of younger people with acquired brain injury from residential aged care to community living: anticipated and actual outcomes. Brain Impairment, 7(1):54-55.

18. Winkler, D., Unsworth, C., Sloan, S. (2006) Factors that lead to successful community integration following severe traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 21(1):8-21.

19. Callaway, L., Sloan, S., Winkler, D. (2005) Maintaining and developing friendships following severe traumatic brain injury: principles of occupational therapy practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 52(3):257-260.

20. Winkler, D., Unsworth, C., Sloan, S. (2005) Time use following a severe traumatic brain injury. Journal of Occupational Science, 12(2):69-81.

21. Sloan, S., Winkler, D., Callaway, L. (2004) Community integration following severe traumatic brain injury: outcomes and best practice. Brain Impairment, 5(1):12-29.

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