Plenary Speakers

Jacqui Close

Jacqui Close is a Geriatrician at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney and Clinical Director of the Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre at Neuroscience Research Australia.

Her primary research area is falls and injury prevention and management with interests extending from risk factors and interventions to prevent falls to the impact of falls and injury to health service use and the way in which health services are designed to prevent and manage falls in older people. She has published over 200 articles in this area.

She is active in the area of translation and implementation research and sits on a number of state and national committees responsible for policy and practice.

She is Co-Chair of the ANZ Hip Fracture Registry, housed here at Neura and a Past-President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine.

Anne-Marie Hill

Professor Anne-Marie Hill is a researcher in the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University who obtained her PhD in 2011 (The University of Queensland). She holds an NHMRC EL2 Investigator (2020-25) grant focusing on Fall Prevention and was previously awarded an NHMRC early career fellowship (2012-15). She is an APA titled Gerontological physiotherapist. Anne-Marie has over 30 years clinical experience working with older people and has obtained over $11M in research funding. Anne-Marie’s interests are in fall prevention, promotion of physical activity among older populations and translation of evidence into practice in health communities. She has conducted large clinical trials in hospital, community and residential care populations. She is leading a NHMRC clinical trial focusing on post discharge support for carers of older people and working collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and communities focusing on sustainable physical activity programs for older Aboriginal people in WA.

Andrea Maier

University of Melbourne

Yoshiro Okubo

Dr Yoshi Okubo completed his PhD (Sports Medicine) at the University of Tsukuba, Japan in 2015. He is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia and a Conjoint Lecturer at UNSW Medicine. He has developed an innovative Trip and Slip Walkway which enables training of reactive stepping. It is a fundamental advance on other perturbation systems in that it can generate unpredictable trips and slips at any point on the walkway and thus replicate real life trips and slips. In contrast to traditional balance training, reactive stepping training directly trains stepping skills required to avoid falls in daily life. His study demonstrated reactive stepping critical at the moment of a trip or slip can be regained in older age. His recent research focuses on helping people with an advanced age and neurological disease reduce falls using the reactive stepping paradigm.

Cathie Sherrington

Professor Cathie Sherrington FAHMS, FACP, PhD, MPH, BAppSc (Physio) is a Professorial Research Fellow and National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship holder at the School of Public Health and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health University of Sydney/ Sydney Local Health District where she leads the Physical Activity, Ageing and Disability Research Stream. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of falls prevention and exercise interventions for older people and those with disabilities. She has authored 248 refereed journal articles, including reports of 33 clinical trials and 17 systematic reviews, and has been a Chief Investigator on National Health and Medical Research Council grants totaling over $19 million. She was also one of the founders of PEDro, the Physiotherapy Evidence Database www.pedro.org. Prior to completing a PhD and Masters of Public Heath, Cathie was a physiotherapist in aged care and rehabilitation settings.

Daina Sturnieks

Dr Sturnieks has a PhD in human biomechanics. She is Laboratory Manager for the Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre at NeuRA including a state-of-the-art Balance and Gait Analysis Laboratory. Her research focuses on understanding biomechanical, sensorimotor and neurocognitive contributions to balance and falls in older people and clinical groups, and randomised controlled trials of novel interventions to prevent falls involving balance, stepping and cognitive training. Dr Sturnieks is active in translating research findings into community, aged care and hospital settings and is an Executive Board Member of the Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Society.

Ruth Teh

University of Auckland

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