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Mary O'Keeffe

Keynote Address: Diagnostic labels in musculoskeletal conditions: helpful or harmful?

Mary is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, a division of the School of Public Health, University of Sydney. Mary’s fellowship involves two years at the University of Sydney, a three-month secondment to the European Pain Federation in Belgium, and nine months at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Mary completed her PhD in the University of Limerick, Ireland in 2017. It involved a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a personalised exercise and education approach for people with chronic low back pain compared to a group exercise and education approach.

Mary’s current research focuses on nudge-interventions to improve healthcare delivery, media coverage of new tests for healthy people, media coverage of The Lancet low back pain series, and the impact of diagnostic labels for low back pain on treatment choices.

Mary is very passionate about public engagement and communicating evidence-based information about low back pain through radio, newspapers and social media. Examples include “All you ever need to know about back pain” (RTE News Ireland) and “10 myths about back pain and how to cope when it strikes” (Irish Independent newspaper).

Mary is a member of Europe’s Voice of Young Science Network and an invited member of a low back pain guideline development committee within the European Pain Federation (EFIC).

Angie Clerc-Hawke

Plenary Address: The role of Massage Therapists in a pain revolution

Angie is the General Manager of Pain Revolution. Angie brings a broad and varied skill set to the role. She comes from a business background, having studied marketing and worked as a project manager in the corporate sector. Angie draws on her personal experience with/and recovery from persistent pain to drive her passion to share the latest in pain science and education. She has worked and studied in the areas of massage therapy and medical science in a quest to understand more about pain.

Pain Revolution is a collective of researchers, clinicians, consumers and peak bodies working together to improve access to quality pain care and education in rural and regional communities across Australia. The vision is that all Australians will have access to resources, knowledge and support locally to prevent and overcome persistent pain. Angie will explore the latest in pain science and why learning about pain is an essential part of pain care strategies. We will reflect on how this information informs our clinical reasoning and the role of massage therapists as pain educators.

Dr Shelley Keating

Plenary Address: Is it a 'HIIT'? The benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in health and chronic disease

Pre-Conference Workshop: Exercise for Health: moving beyond the headlines

Shelley is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland. After completing her Bachelor of Exercise Science and Rehabilitation at the University of Wollongong (2006) and Masters in Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Sydney (2011), she enrolled in a PhD at the University of Sydney (conferral September 2015). Her PhD examined exercise strategies to target abdominal, visceral and hepatic fat in adults with obesity.

As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, her research explores the role that exercise plays in the management of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease, with a focus on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes. Her research has demonstrated that liver and visceral fat can be reduced in adults with obesity, without weight loss, and using exercise interventions that fall below current recommendations for obesity management. Shelley’s current research interests include the utility of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for the management of obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Shelley is also a Remedial Massage Therapist with extensive clinical experience managing musculoskeletal conditions through a combination of manual therapy and exercise prescription. She was a supervisor and lecturer at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT, 2007-2010) and at Endeavour College of Natural Health (2013-2015). She was the Program Director of Manual Therapies at ACNT between 2009-2010.

Dr Annika Smith

Plenary Address: Massage therapists and melanoma: what you need to know

Annika is a Consultant Dermatologist at St Vincent’s and Westmead Hospitals, the Melanoma Institute Australia and the Skin Hospital Darlinghurst. Annika has undertaken fellowships at the prestigious St John’s Institute of Dermatology London, followed by further sub-specialty training in New York.

Annika has a special interest in skin cancer diagnostics, management and prevention and complex medical dermatology. Dr Smith has been published in local and international dermatology journals, has presented at national and international conferences and has co-authored several book chapters in the field of dermatology. She is a clinical lecturer at the University of Sydney and involved in the education of medical students, junior doctors and dermatology trainees.

Robert Libbey

Pre-Conference Workshop: Ligamentous Articular Strain Technique for the leg and foot

Breakout Workshop: Ligamentous Articular Strain Techniques for the elbow and wrist

Robert has been a Registered Massage Therapist for over 25 years. He has taught Manual Therapists across Canada and internationally since 2001. He has also maintained a successful practice for over 25 years treating a variety of patients ranging from general public to high level and Olympic level athletes. All present with various injuries, types of discomfort and dysfunction.

Robert is biased towards evidence/science based practice and biologically plausible explanations and treats from a neurocentric, biopsychosocial and biotensegral perspective. He hopes to challenge your perceptions of what an injury is and to transform how you think about, approach and treat your clients.

Alison Sim

Breakout Workshop: Motivational Interviewing

Alison qualified as an osteopath in 2001. She has a Masters of Pain Management from Sydney University Medical School and Royal North Shore Pain Management Research Institute. She has lectured at Australian Catholic University, Victoria University, RMIT and George Fox University in a variety of science and clinical subjects. She has also worked as part of the teaching team at Deakin University Medical School. She works in a pain clinic at the Epworth Hospital in Geelong. Alison has been teaching clinicians about a more modern and science based understanding of pain for 6 years. Her emphasis in teaching is always about how the science translates to the clinic.

Lisa Fiddes

Breakout Workshop: Get off the table

Lisa has been an educator for over ten years. She enjoys studying and, after completing two Bachelors of Health Science (Natural Medicine and Myotherapy), went on to study a Master of Preventive Medicine, a Master of Clinical Research, and a Graduate Certificate in Chronic Condition Management. She is the current convenor for the Victorian Massage and Myotherapy Network, a group of RTO educators who meet regularly to discuss issues and share resources related to training and education within the massage industry.

Dan Wonnocott

Breakout Workshop: Program design for manual therapy

Dan is a straight shooting, down to earth therapist who is fed up with the bullshit and fairytales that currently populate the professional massage space. He put aside his aversion to reading research and topics that scared him and learnt to check his own biases in order to become a better therapist for the clients who put their trust in him for help. Having worked extensively in clinical practice and elite sport he has seen lots of shiny tricks but also knows how basic things can actually be and still prove effective. With a sense of pride in the value we bring to our clients, Dan has set about simplifying the complex and stripping back all the jargon and grandiose theories in an effort to help therapists of all levels provide practical yet effective care to their clients.