The Pre-Conference Workshops will be held on Wednesday 18 October 2017 from 8.30am until 5.00pm, at the ICC Sydney (unless otherwise stated below). Details will be updated as they become available.


Acupuncture and Dry Needling, 8.30am – 12.30pm

Integrating Pain Mechanisms with Objective Findings and Needling Strategies
Presenter: Jay Shah, Jorgen Forsberg


Animal (off site TBC)

Neurological examination of the horse and use of TENS in equine back pain
Presenter: Heli Hyytiäinen



Direct from Valens….an update on handling, techniques and clinical reasoning with the Bad Ragaz Ring Method
Presenter: Dr. Benjamin Waller

The Bad Ragaz Ring Method (BRRM) is a well-known manual aquatic therapy treatment modality, which has undergone continuous development ever since its conception in the 1950’s. This development has mainly occurred in the rehabilitation centres in and around Valen’s Switzerland. Recently, this development has accelerated with the refreshed interest in the utilization of active 3-dimentional PNF based patterns combined with specific treatment techniques to achieve a specific therapeutic outcome and relearn movement patterns. The BRRM provides the physiotherapist with a unique tool to treat patients in a very specific way while benefiting from the aquatic environment.


This workshop will provide an up-date on the required handling skills used in the BRRM and give plenty of time to practice and refine them in the pool practical session. Special focus will be on using specific treatment techniques, e.g. timing for emphasis and combinations of isotonics within a few of the most important BRRM patterns.


Participants will:

  • Gain an update on the developments within the BRRM
  • Gain an update and practice the most important aspects of the handling skills in BRRM
  • Appreciate the fine tuning of treatments with the BRRM
  • Gain treatment options that can be applied to a wide range of patient populations



Business Sustainability and Growth
Presenters: Jason Cunningham, Mark Alexander, Tristan White, Mellissa Salmond

  1. Have Your Cake and Sell It Too
  2. What you need to know about strategic marketing and pricing
    After attending the session, participants will have practical implementable solutions and be able to achieve the following for their business, their own individual practice, and organisation:
    • identify drivers and barriers to growth and know how to overcome them
    • apply a simple strategic marketing framework to ensure:
    • services, tenders and products are optimally priced
    • all marketing communications are effective
    • develop optimal branding for maximum cut-through
    • This session is perfect for:

    • private practice business owner
    • physiotherapists in private practice
    • executives / managers in public and private sector hospital departments
  3. Your Leadership can grow a high performing team
    Ever wondered how you can become a leader that could grow a team to a high performing group of 10, 20, 50 or 100? If so, this experience-share from Tristan White is a must attend.
    In this session, Tristan will cover:

    • How he progressed from a Clinical Physio to Team Leader and then CEO
    • Lessons learned growing a business from startup to 100+
    • What hasn’t worked
    • How to continue to learn, grown and develop yourself first (and then others)

    This session will be both a personal story and insightful presentation packed with practical leadership lessons that you can start using immediately.

  4. Identifying the right qualities for private practice and mentoring new staff
    Accessing and providing structured mentoring in the private practice setting can be challenging for the new graduate, business owner and business revenue. Most graduates have had little exposure to a physiotherapy private practice prior to graduation and majority do not feel ready for working in a private practice. Physiotherapy private practice owners are reluctant to hire graduates into their businesses as they feel they are lacking in fundamental skills that are necessary to succeed in private practice.
    Topics covered include:

    • What to look for when hiring a graduate in your business
    • Discussing a Private Practice business model of care including employer and patient expectations
    • Language in private practice to create a recurrent clientele, communicate a diagnosis, treatment plans for adherence, limit cancellations and meet patient expectations for satisfaction.
    • Building a full appointment schedule by teaching frequency of sessions for conditions, revisits per patient and recovery guidelines and being in the front of the mind-shelf of your referrers and customers.
    • Conducting streamlined assessments, chart writing, reporting to survive time management in a busy physio clinic.
    • Dealing effectively with compensable bodies, learn structured assessment tools to make a guided decision when a patient is ready to return to work and understand the different patient groups and their accessibility in private practice e.g. DVA, EPC, Work Cover
    • How to sell in private practice e.g. stock, diagnosis, recovery plan etc.
    • Expected KPI’s for graduates in private practice and performance appraisal value.
    • Troubleshooting a graduate


Cancer, Palliative Care and Lymphedema PM, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

To be confirmed.


Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in chronic and acute cardiorespiratory care
Presenters: Sally Singh, Zoe McKeough, Carol Hodgson, Selina Parry, Peter Thomas



  1. Physical activity in COPD during stable disease and how this might be improved (including pulmonary rehabilitation and supported self-management)
  2. Sedentary behaviour in chronic respiratory disease: Is sitting the new smoking?
  3. Physical activity in ICU and the use of technology
  4. Barriers & facilitators to reducing sedentariness in ICU
  5. Are medical and surgical inpatients active enough?


Disability AM, 8.30am – 12.30pm

Incorporating positive behaviour support strategies into physiotherapy sessions for people with disability
Presenter: Tracey Harkness


Have you had a physiotherapy session for a person with a disability impacted by their disruptive behaviour? Would you like to learn more about how you can incorporate positive behaviour support strategies in to your physiotherapy sessions? Would you like to know how physiotherapy supports you might prescribe can be used in restrictive ways and how to address this? Do you need to know when to refer on to a psychologist or behaviour support practitioner?


If you answered yes to these then this half day workshop is suitable for you. Tracey Harkness is a registered psychologist with extensive experience in supporting people with disability who engage in behaviours of concern. Tracey will use a case study based approach to provide participants with an understanding of these issues.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the functions of behaviour
  • Understand when to refer a person with disability to a behaviour support practitioner / psychologist
  • Understand how physiotherapy interventions can be used in restrictive ways and how to address this
  • Understand strategies in behaviour support plans


Disability PM, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Postural care: Exploring body shape distortions
Presenter: Denise Luscombe


This workshop is targeted at physiotherapists working with children and adults with physical disability and movement challenges. It will explore 24 hour postural care with a focus on supported lying, how and why body distortions still occur in this client group and will highlight the principles of postural care and key areas to analyse in regards to preventing or correcting body shape distortions (with a particular focus on the pelvis, hips and chest). Importantly, it will provide the clinician with a framework for putting the knowledge gained into their clinical practice straight away.


Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of 24 hour postural care
  • Discuss the causes of body shape distortion with children and adults with physical disability and movement challenges
  • Understand the impact of body shape distortions
  • Analyse postures and classify body shape distortions, with a particular focus on pelvis, hips and chest
  • Take a methodical approach to management of body shape distortions in clinical practice
  • Consider related areas such as pain, sleep and thermal regulation in application of 24 hour postural care


Emergency Department / Orthopaedic Network

Putting the pieces together – from the Emergency Department to Orthopaedics.
Presenters: Lucy Thomas, Deborah Lenaghan, Patricia Evans, Chris Maher, Chris Needs, Trish Schlotfeldt



  1. Clinical reasoning in acute headache and neck pain: recognition of patients with cervical artery dissection:
    Cervical arterial dissection (CAD), is rare but potentially catastrophic adverse outcome of cervical manipulation but. It is also a common cause of stroke in people under 55years who are usually otherwise healthy. The early symptoms, typically headache and neck pain, may mimic migraine or a musculoskeletal problem and patients may present to physiotherapists for musculoskeletal treatment. Early diagnosis is crucial, but often it is missed, delaying medical evaluation and putting the patient at risk of a poorer outcome. Patients have sometimes had multiple visits to emergency departments before CAD was identified. Physiotherapists in emergency departments are ideally placed to identify patients of concern presenting with acute headache or neck pain and expedite medical intervention.
  2. Emergency department assessment and management of paediatric upper limb injury:
    This presentation will cover the assessment and management of common upper limb paediatric presentations to the emergency department. Included will be injuries not to miss as well as suggested immobilisation and follow up options
  3. Anterior slabs in the ED- casting unstable and painful fractures:
    This is a practical look at techniques to use when casting unstable or very painful fractures without moving the limb. This is particularly useful for long bone and forearm fractures.
  4. Exploring different radiological modalities in foot and ankle injuries. The what when and how.
    This presentation will provide teaching on the merits and limits of using different radiological modalities such as Xray, CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine to assess for particular musculoskeletal conditions with a focus on the foot and ankle. It will include specialist Xray views for the foot, ankle and knee; some case scenarios with the radiologists thoughts about differential diagnosis and which investigation modality should be selected first for that diagnosis. We hope that this will be a very interesting and interactive session.
  5. Acute low back pain: Best practice, clinical practice and the evidence:
    The new UK and US guidelines for back pain both signal major changes to the way back pain should be managed. A lot of the changes are around the use of pain medicines in the management of back pain. This presentation will outline the changes in recommendations on pain medicines and review some of the key research that led to those changes.
    The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation has developed a Model of Care for Acute Low Back pain. The model uses a classification of lumbar pain into non-specific low back pain and back pain with accompanying leg pain, the pathways for management of these will be reviewed. The recommendations for Red flag assessment, the integration of yellow flag issues into patient management, as well as imaging recommendations and the medical aspects of management will be discussed.


    The experience of managing patients with acute low back pain in the emergency department at Royal North Shore Hospital will be described, highlighting the learnings and challenges with reference to the ACI Model of Care and also innovation regarding strategies to prevent readmission.


Gerontology AM, 8.30am – 12.30pm

Pain and movement reasoning model – enhancing clinical reasoning when working with the older person with pain
Presenter: Lester Jones
Pain is a complex individual experience influenced by many things including a person’s life experiences of danger and threat. It is apparent that some people have a heightened body protection response including a psychological and physiological hypervigilance. Research into neuro-immune-endocrine plasticity is providing greater insight into how important it is to be aware of and to address factors that can enhance the protective mechanisms of which pain is a part. The Pain and Movement Reasoning Model was developed to assist physiotherapists reason through the complexities of each person’s pain presentation with the aim to simplify the decision making about appropriate management.


This workshop will apply the Pain and Movement Reasoning Model categories to cases and present the literature that suggest that there could be benefits when physiotherapists broaden their assessment and treatment focus when working with older adults with pain. Participants will then be given the chance to practice applying some strategies common to pain management – including ways of facilitating exercises for reactivation, practice of basic components of motivational interviewing and delivery of some scripted mindfulness tasks.


Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the age-related changes to somatosensory function and pain
  • Explain how adverse life experiences and chronic stress can influence pain
  • Adapt a simple clinical reasoning tool to capture the complexity of pain in the older person
  • Provide rationale for and apply three aspects of pain management – reactivation exercises, motivational interviewing, mindfulness


Gerontology PM, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Pilates, osteoporosis and posture (POP)
Presenter: Marie-Louise Bird


Pilates exercises remain a popular option for physiotherapists to use from exercises in their tool box, however much of the flexion based repertoire is inappropriate for older adults, especially those with concerns about bone density. This experiential workshop brings together current research evidence about exercise for people with osteoporosis with practical ways to use the principles of Pilates to meet the goals of older adults including improving posture, upper and lower limb weight bearing, range of motion, functional strength and balance.


The class will focus on developing skills of the participants to teach exercises from the mat repertoire focusing on anti-gravity muscles and weight bearing with adaptations for the seated position. This workshop welcomes physiotherapists with little or no experience in Pilates.
Note: A small Pilates ball will be provided to each participant at a cost of $10. Please bring $10 with you to the session.


Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the current evidence base for exercise and osteoporosis
  • Describe the movement contraindications for people with osteoporosis
  • Be able to teach a basic set of Pilates based mat and small apparatus exercises to meet commonly experienced needs of older adults with osteoporosis, using cues to improve the quality of movement based on the principles of Pilates.


Musculoskeletal and Sport

Assessment and treatment of shoulder pain: Learn from the experts
Presenters: Jeremy Lewis, Tania Pizzari, Kellie Wilkie, Andrea Mosler, Christian Barton



  1. Assessment of shoulder injuries
  2. Typical impairments and clinical tests of the shoulder (Practical)
  3. Treatment of shoulder injuries and clinical applications of research
  4. Practical application and advanced rehabilitation of shoulder injuries


Neurology AM, 8.30am – 12.30pm

Behaviour change: How can we support this better?
Presenters: Dr Taryn Jones, Prof Cathy Dean

As physiotherapists we know that supporting individuals to change their behaviour to promote increased levels of physical activity is important. But despite what we know – people are sitting longer and moving less, particularly those with chronic health conditions and persistent disability.


So, as physiotherapists what can we do better to support behaviour change in the individuals with whom we work? What tools and strategies can we employ? This workshop will move beyond the ‘why’ of behaviour change to the ‘how’. It will cover some simple strategies that can be used in clinical practice to help individuals living with chronic health conditions to build the skills needed to move from an intention to be active, to action. The workshop will incorporate a sharing of experiences and resources used in the myMoves program developed at Macquarie University. It will also encourage robust discussion about how we as a profession can better support behaviour change in others, as well as an opportunity to share challenges and brainstorm strategies for use in different settings.
On completion of the workshop, participants will be able to

  • Describe and discuss the principles of behaviour change and identify strategies which can be implemented to support behaviour change
  • Describe how support for physical activity behaviour change has been used within the myMoves program developed at Macquarie University.
  • Develop skills and strategies to promote increased physical activity levels in individuals with chronic health conditions and persistent disability.
  • Discuss challenges commonly associated with behaviour change support and collaborate to find potential strategies that may be used in different settings to overcome these challenges.


Neurology PM, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Aerobic Exercise, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour in Cardio-Metabolic Diseases: Exploring Strategies to Support Patients to ‘Move More and Sit Less’
Presenters: Prof Sandy Billinger, Prof David Dunstan


While it is well accepted that regular physical activity imparts numerous health benefits during post-stroke recovery and within the management of type 2 diabetes, disappointingly, low participation rates persist amongst both clinical population groups. Furthermore, sedentary behaviour (too much sitting) can occupy many hours across waking hours, within workplace, transportation and domestic settings. Increasingly, leading health agencies have promoted moving more and sitting less in people with or at risk of chronic disease. This workshop will have a specific focus on identifying strategies that could be utilised across the continuum of care to support patients post-stroke and patients with type 2 diabetes to overcome the health issues arising from physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour. This will include exercise assessment and prescription during inpatient stroke rehabilitation and opportunities to use patient cases.
Participants attending this session will be able to:

  • Identify the cardiovascular, metabolic, and brain health benefits of aerobic exercise and physical activity
  • Discuss how the principles of exercise testing can be applied to people with stroke, and what adaptations may be required to accommodate the needs of people with neurological impairment
  • Discuss and apply exercise testing results and exercise prescription post-stroke
  • Understand how exercise in stroke recovery interacts and promotes both cardiovascular health and physical function


Occupational Health, AM, 8.30am – 12.00pm

To be confirmed

Occupational Health, PM, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Reducing sedentary behaviour at work without compromising musculoskeletal health
Presenters: Jack Callaghan, Venerina Johnston
Too much sitting is now recognised as a public health concern with the office workplace identified as a key setting in which to address this ubiquitous behavior. However, workstations that permit postural variation are often installed with minimal or no guidance in regards to appropriate use or frequency of postural shifts between sitting and standing. There is anecdotal evidence that incorrect installation and use of height adjustable workstations may induce musculoskeletal problems. This workshop will provide the physiotherapist with the knowledge and skills in making recommendations for safe use of standing workstations.
After completion of this workshop, attendees will:

  • Be aware of the health problems associated with standing at work
  • Know how to apply the hierarchy of control to limit discomfort associated with prolonged sitting and standing
  • Know the recommended guidelines for safe use a height-adjustable workstation



When walking is not enough. Training running skill in children with cerebral palsy and like conditions.
Presenters: Gavin Williams, Annie Chappell


  1. To understand and identify the biomechanical similarities and differences between walking and running in healthy individuals and those with neurodevelopmental conditions or neurological injury.
  2. To be able to critically evaluate running performance in children and young people with neurodevelopmental conditions or neurological injury.
  3. To learn practical interventions aimed at training running skill.

Summary: This full day workshop will present a research-based running intervention programme for children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental conditions or neurological injury. This 12-week running program has been used with children and adolescents with CP and shown to improve their running skill and participation. Through interactive video case presentations the participants will discuss the critical evaluation and training of running based on the learnt material. Participants will be required to use knowledge of the biomechanics of running and the primary impairments contributing to higher level mobility limitations to guide clinical decision making and treatment selection.
Target Audience: Physiotherapists and exercise scientists who work with children and/or adolescents with neurodevelopmental conditions or neurological injury.
Pre-requisites: A basic knowledge of walking and running biomechanics and terminology would be helpful but not essential.

Pain, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Physiotherapy management of pain: Practical skills update for clinicians
Presenters: Julia Hush, Duncan Sanders, Toby Newton-John, Catherine Ketsimur


This workshop is designed by an interdisciplinary team of pain clinicians and researchers to enable physiotherapy practitioners to advance key clinical skills for managing pain in the clinic.


The workshop will start with a series of brief topical lectures, followed by break-out practical workshops in small groups and finally a Q&A session with the panel of presenters. This mixed-format workshop maximises opportunities for participants to develop skills most relevant to their specific needs.



  1. Helping patients understand their pain: practical pain education
  2. Psychological aspects of pain management: what, why and how for physiotherapists
  3. Neuropathic pain in the clinic: understanding prevalence, assessment and management
  4. Radiological imaging and pain: helping patients understand what their scans really mean


A central theme of the workshop will be communication – including how to help patients understand their pain, how to discuss psychological contributors to the pain experience and the need for psychological assessment/referral, pain mechanisms and how to deal with patients’ understanding of scans and x-rays.


Participants will be able to:

  • Explain the fundamentals of pain to patients
  • Understand when and how to include a psychologist in pain management for your patient
  • Know how to use simple clinical tools to identify neuropathic pain
  • Provide helpful explanations to their patients about radiological investigations and findings


Women’s, Men’s & Pelvic Health

Keeping up the momentum in pre and post natal women
Presenters: Siv Morkved, Heba Shaheed, Daniella Aldabe, Marg Sherburn