rehab for kids shaping futures together

Rehab for Kids conference

The Rehab for Kids conference is a national conference organised by the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (QPRS), Queensland Children’s Hospital, to provide the latest information and research relevant to paediatric rehabilitation.

Dedicated streams with a variety of presentation types, including key note addresses, short workshops and research papers, will provide you with opportunities to update knowledge and network with colleagues involved in the rehabilitation of children with brain injuries, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, limb difference, spina bifida and other low incidence conditions.

Who can benefit from attending?

  • Health professionals
  • Other professionals who work with children who have received rehabilitation
  • Parents/carers of children who have received rehabilitation
  • Students
  • Researchers

Parents/carers of children who have received rehabilitation are invited to register and attend this conference. We value our parents and carers participation and would like to offer the opportunity to attend the conference at a reduced cost. Families are also invited to attend a parent/carer networking session at no cost.

Some conference content may be limited to health professionals where applicable.

Content and case studies presented at the conference is not intended to replace qualified medical or health related advice. If parents/carers have any concerns or questions arising from the conference in relation to the care for their child, these should be discussed with their QPRS health professional.

Keynote speakers

Dr Glenn GardenerDr Glenn Gardener is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist and Director of the Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals.

He graduated from the University of Queensland with a medical degree in 1991. Following speciality training in obstetrics and gynaecology, Dr Gardener went on to sub-specialise in maternal fetal medicine, working at King George V Hospital in Sydney and University College Hospital in London.  Dr Gardener returned to Mater in 2003 as a consultant in Maternal Fetal Medicine, becoming Director of the Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine in 2009.

Dr Gardener has a long held interest in fetal therapy including in-utero surgery and is currently the only specialist in Australia and New Zealand performing fetal surgery for diaphragmatic hernia and spina bifida. In July 2016, Dr Gardener and a team of Mater specialists performed the first in-utero maternal fetal surgery in Australia on a baby with spina bifida at 24 weeks gestation. He regularly performs surgery for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in-utero blood transfusions and other complex in-utero procedures.

With a particular interest in the prevention of stillbirth, Dr Gardener is involved in research and is a current board member for the International Stillbirth Alliance and leads a Fetal Therapy Special Interest Group through the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ).

Dr Gardener is actively involved in teaching obstetric ultrasound and passing on his skills to new doctors.

Professor Keith YeatesProfessor Yeates, Ph.D., R.Psych., ABPP-CN is the Ronald and Irene Ward Chair in Pediatric Brain Injury, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology, and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. He leads the University’s Integrated Concussion Research Program. He has a 30 year track record of funded research focusing on the outcomes of childhood concussion and traumatic brain injury, and has published over 240 peer-reviewed journal articles, 40 book chapters, and 5 edited or co-authored books. Professor Yeates is actively involved in knowledge translation; for instance, he was co-lead author of the report of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Expert Panel on Acute Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury among Children and Adolescents, and an invited expert panel observer at the 5th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport in Berlin. Professor Yeates was previously Associate Editor of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, and is the incoming Editor of Neuropsychology. He has served as President of the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association, and is currently President of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Professor Yeates’ research aims to better understand the outcomes of childhood brain injury and influences on recovery, and thereby foster more effective treatment and management. His current projects focus on concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), in terms of both assessment and treatment. He is particularly interested in understanding the interplay of neurobiological and psychosocial factors in determining children’s outcomes after mild TBI, and how such factors can be modified through intervention to improve outcomes. He also has an interest in children’s social development after TBI, as well as other brain disorders. He directed a large multi-site study of social outcomes in children with TBI, and is working with several groups investigating social outcomes in childhood brain tumours, neurofibromatosis, and stroke.

Associate Professor Michael FaheyAssociate Professor Michael Fahey PhD, Child Neurologist and Geneticist is Head of Paediatric Neurology at Monash Medical Centre, and a Chief Investigator on the Aus-CP-CTN CRE and member in two themes – the Pre-clinical and Neuroprotection theme and the Early Detection and Neuroimaging Theme. Michael’s research focuses on using neurogenetics to understand the causes of movement disorders and diseases of the muscle and nerve including Cerebral Palsy. Michael collaborates on research into treatments for Cerebral Palsy with researchers at the Ritchie Centre, part of the Monash Institute of Medical Research. The work focuses on melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain, and Michael is confident the research will soon move to human trials. In addition he collaborates on gene discovery research with Genetic Health Services Victoria and experts at the Alfred Hospital. He is involved in the treatment of rare neuro-metabolic diseases with partners at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.  Outside of the lab, Michael maintains a heavy workload as a physician in Paediatric Neurology and in Neurogenetics clinics. He still finds the time to act as neurologist at the Paediatric Rehabilitation Clinic and has co-founded a mitochondrial clinic. Michael has a lead role on the new International Cerebral Palsy Genomics Consortium.

Update on Genetics in Cerebral Palsy

While prematurity and hypoxic-ischemic injury are contributors to the pathogenesis of cerebral palsy (CP), as many as a third of children do not have these traditional risk factors. In other developmental disabilities genetics are recognised as fundamental. It is increasing recognised that cerebral palsy may be similar. Several recent studies have implicated copy number variants and mutations in single genes in children with CP. However current studies are limited by poor recognition of the possibility of a genetic contribution and relatively small patient numbers. There is emerging evidence for intersecting pathways controlling neurodevelopment and neuronal connectivity. As with other neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and intellectual disability CP genetics is likely to be highly complex.  This talk will discuss the language of genetics and explore some of the early evidence for a genetic contribution before postulating what future studies might look like to enhance our understanding in this complex area.

Karen BarlowAssociate Professor Karen Barlow is an academic paediatric neurologist, clinical researcher, and specialist in acquired brain injury in children and adolescence. Karen studied at the University of Edinburgh and British Columbia before taking up her first academic position at the University of Calgary in 2002. Here Karen developed and directed the Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion Research Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and where she cemented her interest in the biology and treatment of children with brain injuries. Karen has extensive clinical research experience, devising and overseeing clinical trials in children both nationally and internationally. Karen moved to the Child Health Research Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia in October 2017 and joined the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service and Queensland Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Centre to facilitate research into improving the health outcomes of children with acquired brain injury in Queensland and Australia.

Karen’s research focuses on the neurobiological signatures and treatment of subtle neurological dysfunction in mild traumatic brain injury and concussion, especially the behavioural and cognitive impairments that are found in post-concussion syndrome. Karen uses multimodal neurological assessments combining neuroimaging and neurophysiological investigations, including perfusion studies using MRI (ASL-fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation to help understand the changes in the brain in children who are slow to recovery following a concussion.

Karen is the director of the newly-established KidStim Lab at the Child Health Research Centre. This is the first non-invasive neuromodulation facility aimed at improving the health outcomes of children with brain injury in Australia and is led by a mulitdisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists from Brisbane.


Queensland Health staff

  • $250 | 1 day
  • $400 | 2 days

Non-Queensland Health staff

  • $280 | 1 day
  • $495 | 2 days

Students and families/carers

  • $110 | 1 day
  • $200 | 2 days
Register here

Delegates will require the program during registration to assist with stream selection on conference days.


Download the Rehab for Kids conference programme


Download the conference abstracts

Pre-conference workshops

Other events of interest

Further information

There is limited parking available at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH):

Public carparks

South Bank Parklands carpark is a 10-minute walk to the QCH.

South Bank has over 42 acres of parkland that follows the banks of the Brisbane River it is Brisbane’s cultural, food, events and recreational precinct.

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Conference partners


Pre-conference workshops

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Welcome reception

Thursday 7 March 2019 (view the details)


Thursday 7 and Friday 8 March 2019


8:00am – 5:00pm
Arrive 7:30am (registration) for 8:00am start


Level 7
Queensland Children’s Hospital
501 Stanley Street
South Brisbane QLD 4101

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Download the Rehab for Kids conference programme


Timothy McGowan
t: 07 3068 2950