Plenary Speakers

Professor Narasimman Swaminathan

Narasimman Swaminathan Narasimman Swaminathan is Dean and Professor of Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, INTI International University, Malaysia since 2014. Prior to this appointment, Narasimman worked at various capacities with Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, India since 2003. He has completed his entry-level physiotherapy graduation 1999 and Post-graduation in Cardio Pulmonary Physiotherapy in 2003. He also completed his two years fellowship in Advanced Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) in the year 2012. As an active academician, he has completed a project, which analyzed the entry-level physiotherapy curriculum of various universities of India, and prepared a blue print for a uniform physiotherapy curriculum, funded by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science, Karnataka, India. He teaches research methods and evidence-based practice to the entry level and postgraduate health sciences programme and concentrating on implementing the evidence in developing countries. He has completed funded projects related to lifestyle disorders and physical activities. He has several publications in peer reviewed journal and won Laureate Research Publication award in the year 2017. He conducted several workshops on evidence based physiotherapy practice across the country. He won several awards and recognition including Indian association of Physiotherapists Prestigious CP Nair oration. 


Teaching Evidence Based Practice for Entry Level Graduates - Strategies, Challenges and Impact

Training the entry-level graduates in Evidence Based Practice skills is mandatory to create healthy society. Various methods of EBP trainings are explored globally. The objectives of this lecture is to share the best practices used in imparting EBP skills to the entry level physiotherapy graduates of India and Malaysia. This will also discuss the impact of the training approach and the challenges faced during the implementation of the training programme

Associate Professor John Moss

John MossJohn Moss is enjoying an active retirement during which he is continuing to conduct research and teaching. John’s current research includes an economic analysis in conjunction with a randomised controlled trial in the management of atrial fibrillation. He is also supervising three doctoral students in health services research and health economics. He is a project grant panel member for the NHMRC. He is a member of a team providing consulting services to the Economics SubCommittee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, reporting on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medicines proposed for inclusion in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. He is also a member of the South Australian Formulary Committee.  He teaches a postgraduate course in the foundations of public health and provides occasional lectures in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in public health.


 “I’ll have a bit of economics with that”: Incorporating an economic perspective into allied health services research and funding

Health economic appraisal is about value, especially comparative value. What is the most valuable improvement in health care that we can obtain from our scarce health resources, given that the latter have value in terms of the next best outcome we might obtain from them. Allied health practitioners are increasingly examining the relevance of such ideas to their services.

With the progressive application of high technology health care to an ageing population, we have come to recognise that there are insufficient resources to provide all forms of care that might have some claim to be effective. We face tragic choices and need to use the most appropriate forms of evaluation to minimise unnecessary pain and suffering. Health technologies and services must be demonstrated not only to be safe, effective and of high quality, but also to represent the best use of society’s scarce resources.

Health economic appraisal is much more than a superficial accounting exercise. At its heart are strong assertions about how citizens and their government understand value and make choices. The measurement of both costs and health outcomes is subject to debate, as is the manner in which they should be compared. To be able to interpret, let alone participate in, any form of health economic appraisal requires a nuanced understanding of both the possibilities and limitations of this endeavour and how it can lead to better health for individual patients and the population.

Ms Ivis Chung

Ivis ChungMs Ivis Chung has taken up the Chief Manager (Allied Health) position of the Hospital Authority (HA) in Hong Kong since 2008. She began her career as a physiotherapist at Caritas Medical Centre, Hong Kong and had taken up various roles and positions including clinical, student education and department management during the period of service. She has a Master in Health Services Management from the University of New South Wales, Australia and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Hong Kong. She has been serving in various professional boards and committees under the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

Under the current position, she is the grade head of 16 Allied Health (AH) professions in the HA, namely audiologist, clinical psychologist, diagnostic radiographer, dietitian medical social worker, medical technologist, optometrist, orthoptist, occupational therapist, physicist, physiotherapist, podiatrist, prosthetist and orthotist, radiation therapist, scientific officer and speech therapist, with a total staff strength of around 5,600. Her key roles are providing advice to the organisation on subjects relating to AH in support of the HA objectives and leading the development of the professions. 


Strategies and experience sharing for promotion of outcome driven allied health services

Allied health services play a pivotal role in the rehabilitation of patients affected by different diseases. At the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong, we are committed to providing quality and timely allied health rehabilitation services for public patients. Whilst data on patient needs and rehabilitation outcomes are essential to provide information and knowledge that support provision of appropriate care and quality improvement, understanding the importance of clinical outcome measurement and reporting will help service providers achieve excellence.

The presentation would cover the strategies and processes adopted by the Hospital Authority for promoting the quality of allied health services in stroke and hip fracture rehabilitation. Disciplines involved were clinical psychology, dietetics, medical social services, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, prosthetics and orthotics and speech therapy. The buy-in process involved the setting up of platforms to discuss and steer the project development. There was a lengthy engagement process to agree on pre-defined minimal data sets with reference to international clinical guidelines and locally validated measures. The development of information technology platforms for data capturing, retrieval and reporting is also very important.

The project experience could be used as a prototype for further quality improvement in other service areas.

Mr Paul Burke

Paul BurkePaul worked as a Registered Nurse before joining Ambulance Victoria in 1999.  He has worked as an ALS Paramedic, Clinical Instructor, MICA Paramedic, Education and Training Coordinator, Clinical Review Specialist and now works in Clinical Practice Development writing the guidelines for AV.

When he is not at work subverting the branding of the AV Corporate Communications team, Paul enjoys stealing the affection of other people’s pets. He likes to play with fonts in official documents and has breached the AV Style Guide on numerous occasions, including the use of Calibri, Cambria, Copperplate Gothic, Euphemia and Palatino Linotype.  He is yet to achieve his career goal of having an internal document published in Comic Sans, but is confident it is attainable.


Paul will be discussing the experience of implementing Clinical Practice Guidelines within a state-wide prehospital service, using practical examples to show how we have attempted to manage anticipated barriers, deal with unanticipated issues, draw out and analyse some of the successes we have achieved and highlight lessons from some of our less successful work.  The talk will also cover our move into a digital interactive format, discussing some of the pros and cons of this strategy.

Mr Ken Stewart

Ken StewartKen Stewart is based in Canterbury and has an academic background in epidemiology, neural science, clinical psychology and physiotherapy.  For many years he has taught in post graduate programmes in Occupational Medicine, General Practice and Physiotherapy. He works professionally as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist in primary care and is clinical lead for Falls Prevention & Fracture Liaison services for the Canterbury health system. Canterbury has achieved a 30% reduction in hip fractures and a 16% reduction in hospital admissions for falls since the programme began in 2012. He is also on the NZ Health Quality & Safety Commission Expert Advisory Group for falls & fracture prevention and the South Island regional network lead. He has a leadership role for the Canterbury health system and holds numerous clinical governance positions across the Canterbury health system including Deputy Chair of the Alliance Leadership Team. Ken is currently clinical advisor to ACC and leading the outcomes work for a cross-agency nationwide initiative to prevent falls and fragility fractures for older New Zealanders.

Ms Gillian Hall 

Gill HallGill Hall is the Manager Rehabilitation at ACC. Gill has spent 28 years working in the health sector in both the UK and NZ. Prior to joining Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in 2001 she worked at the University of Otago as a clinical teaching fellow in the School of Physiotherapy, and before that at the University of Birmingham NHS Trust in the UK. She’s held various roles related to clinical physiotherapy, research and rehabilitation practice.

She has held a number of roles within ACC including in research and in operations. This current role is to lead ACC’s contribution to a national programme improving services for older people – falls and fracture prevention and rehabilitation.



Evidence into Clinical Practice – A System Wide View of Falls and Fragility Fracture Prevention Outcomes for Older New Zealanders.

Mr Ken Stewart and Ms Gill Hall will be presenting together. 

New Zealand’s health system is facing increasing demand for acute treatment and long-term rehabilitation services as a result of an ageing population. Falls are the most common and costly cause of injury in people over 65 years old and are a significant contributing factor to health service demand. The challenge is 99% of older person’s falls occur in the community setting where a targeted population focus is required.

The underlying problem is complex as falls in an older age group reflect frailty. 

An integrated health system approach to implementation of evidence informed guidelines for falls prevention in older people has been implemented in one of New Zealands largest health regions.  As a result of this allied health intervention there have been significant reductions in hospital admissions for falls and hip fractures contributing to 9000 people over 75 remaining well and independant at home.

New Zealand is taking a national approach that builds on these impressive results. The initiative is supported by a national outcomes and best practice framework including key enablers such as the hip fracture registry, guidelines and service stanadards.

The presentation will outline the results from local implementation of evidence based falls prevention and some of the key features of the national approach and early outcomes from this initiative.

Ms Julie Marker

Julie Marker

Julie Marker is a cancer survivor and active Executive Team leader of Cancer Voices, a consumer-led 100% volunteer advocacy group in South Australia (SA) and at the national level.  Since 2007 she’s had numerous informal ‘research buddy’ roles as well as formal ongoing consumer representative positions, including the national Psycho-Oncology Research Group PoCoG, Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials Group PC4, Australasian GastroIntestinal Trials Group AGITG,  Cancer Data Monitoring Advisory Group for the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare AIHW, and South Australian Cancer Services advisory committee.  Julie works hard to support, encourage and create opportunities for others to share their insights, ‘lived experience’ and to partner with researchers and services.  Cancer Voices SA motto is ‘Good systems, not just good luck!’ with a focus on wellness, not just illness.  ‘Survivors as teachers’ and weekly cycling and walking groups are novel ‘advocacy in action’ initiatives of Cancer Voices SA.



A consumer perspective on helping allied health achieve improvements in teaching, research, practice, services and policy.

How can consumers be involved in partnerships around healthcare policy, research, services, practice and teaching in meaningful, sustainable and mutually beneficial ways? “Partnering with consumers in healthcare governance, planning, design, measurement and evaluation”[1] is a requirement of the current Australian National Standards of Quality and Safety in Health Care.  From 2019 “the need to partner with patients in their own care” will be added with a “focus on processes such as shared decision-making and involving patients in care planning”.[1]  However, there is an acknowledged gap in evidence: “Although consumer partnerships are becoming more embedded in the health system, there is not yet an agreed ‘best practice’ approach on how this should be done, and measurement and evaluation of partnerships has often been limited. ….. there is little information about the impact of these partnerships.”[1]

From a personal and consumer-led organisational perspective, examples of ‘partnerships with consumers’ in practice will be explored, outlining some opportunities, challenges and implications


[1] Vital Signs 2017: The state of safety and quality in Australian Health Care  (October 2017)

Areas of study and research

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