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Invited Speakers


Chris Chapparo

Dr Chris Chapparo PhD MA Dip OT is an internationally recognized researcher and theorist on the impact of cognitive disturbance on occupational performance of children and adults with neuro-cognitive impairment. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy at the University of Sydney and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Southern Cross University. Together with international colleagues she developed the Perceive, Recall, Plan and Perform System of Task Analysis (PRPP) and intervention which identifies and explains the impact of information processing deficits on human performance.  Dr Chapparo has authored and researched this approach which is used internationally to identify the impact of neuro-cognitive disorder on functional performance across diagnostic and age groups including people who have had a stroke. The PRPP has been adopted in intervention guidelines and research protocols across NSW, the Netherlands, Canada and in Germany. Consistent with her lifetime commitment to continuing professional education she disseminates the findings of her research in publications and presentations. She is widely read and cited having published 27 peer reviewed publications and 6 book chapters in the last ten years. She is regularly invited to present courses in Australia, North America and Europe. Dr Chapparo is one of only three Australians appointed to the Roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association for contributions to clinical education and research.


Louise Connell

Dr Louise Connell is a Reader in Rehabilitation at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK. She has been awarded fellowship status by the Association for Chartered Physiotherapists In Neurology for advancing the specialty of neurological physiotherapy, by forwarding the boundaries of professional knowledge.  She is a former National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Career Development Fellow. Her interest is in implementation research, and she is undertaking a programme of research into neurological rehabilitation. Her current research focuses specifically on implementation research for arm problems after stroke. 


David Copland

David Copland is a speech pathologist and Professorial Research Fellow at UQ where he leads the Language Neuroscience Lab, conducting research into post-stroke aphasia treatment and recovery, and the brain mechanisms underlying language learning, processing, and re-learning. He has published over 115 journal articles and has obtained over $12 million in competitive research grant funding in addition to ARC and NHMRC fellowships.  He is currently involved in 5 NHMRC trials investigating various aspects of aphasia including neuroimaging predictors of recovery, brain stimulation, and the effectiveness of different behavioural interventions.



Sandy Middleton

Sandy Middleton is Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University.  Professor Middleton has obtained 71 grants totalling over $22M.  She is the lead investigator on the NHMRC-funded T3 Trial: Triage, Treatment and Transfer of patients with stroke in the emergency departments.  Professor Middleton also led the landmark NHMRC-funded QASC cluster trial demonstrating decreased death and dependency following implementation of protocols to manage fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing post-stroke. Subsequently, she successfully translated this intervention into all 36 NSW stroke units. Professor Middleton is a Ministerial appointment to the NHMRC Research Committee.


Cathy Stinear

Associate Professor Cathy Stinear is Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory at The University of Auckland. Her research specialisation is in stroke neuro-rehabilitation. As an applied clinical neuroscientist, she is focused on translating neuroscience discoveries into clinical practice. Her current work is using neurophysiology and neuroimaging tools to accurately predict the potential for motor recovery after stroke for individual patients. She is also testing a range of neuromodulation techniques for promoting neural plasticity and enhancing the effects of neuro-rehabilitation. Her laboratory is located within Auckland City Hospital, which provides unique opportunities for conducting clinical research. She is regularly invited to present her work at international conferences in Asia, North America, South America, Europe, and Australasia, and has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications. She serves on and Chairs scientific and grant awarding committees for health-related funding organisations, and is on the editorial board for three international journals. She frequently gives public lectures and media interviews on neuroscience topics.