The Dark Side of Rehab Symposium Was Held on June 17th 2017

TAVRP Inc Proudly hosted the “Dark Side of Rehab” Symposium on 16th June 2017. Discussing some of the more complex and controversial aspects of Compensation systems from around Australia and the World. With many University affiliated Speakers bringing the latest research into possible solutions to address these complex issues.

The day and associated workshops were a great success and delegates reported thought provoking and up to the minute with its focus.

TAVRP are proud to bring local Professional Development opportunities to Tasmanian based Rehabilitation Practitioners and will continue to do so ! – Stay tuned for our next event.


To explore the most difficult challenges faced by those in the Occupational Rehabilitation / Return to Work / Early Intervention / Injury Prevention Space.

  • Identify challenges
  • Explore interventions
  • Identify potential pathways to overcoming the challenges


Email now for further information:

Symposium Themes : Confirmed Program

Speakers Details

Alex Collie is Professor in the Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, where he leads a research program on insurance, work and health.

Alex has established and led numerous large applied research projects in the fields of workplace health and injury compensation, within Australia and internationally. His current projects include a national comparative return to work project supported by nine Australian workers’ compensation regulators, and a major new program mapping work disability systems in Australia. He is also currently Chief Investigator on the NH&MRC funded Centre of Research Excellence in Recovery after Road Traffic Injury; and the NH&MRC funded REcovery after Serious Trauma: Outcomes, Resource use and patient Experiences (RESTORE) project.

He has advised multiple state and commonwealth government departments in matters relating to workplace health and injury compensation. Alex was previously CEO of the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) and Executive Director of the Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative (VNI). He is a Churchill Fellow. He has a PhD in Psychology and is widely published. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and two children. You can follow Alex on twitter via @axcollie.

Anne-Marie Dean is a Rehabilitation Counsellor with twenty years of experience in the fields of Health & Human Services, Government & non-Government and Education. Anne-Marie has developed this experience working throughout Queensland, Tasmania, as well as in the USA, Switzerland, England, Japan and Ireland.

Anne-Marie has lectured into the Rehabilitation Counselling course at UTAS for 8 years, and this year became the Coordinator of the post-graduate Counselling programs.

She also provides EAP counselling and workplace meditation services throughout Tasmania.

After completing her Masters of Health Science (Rehabilitation) earlier this year, she is now following on with her PhD research in the field of claimants experiences within workers compensation systems.

She is also an Advisor to the Rehabilitation & Compensation Committee with WorkSafe Tasmania.

Barry Gilbert has now worked as an Independent Medical Examiner (IME) and Impairment Examiner for over 10

years, and in Tasmania for 5 years, based initially in George Town, and now full-time in Launceston.

Barry works as an IME in Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT, and Queensland and was formerly a Presiding Member of Medical Panels Victoria.

Barry undertakes frequent worksite assessments, and assist GP’s in the return to work process – when it all gets too hard! He advises on diagnosis, investigation and treatment of acute and chronic workplace injuries and illness.

Barry is a past Federal President of ANZSOM, Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine

(RACP), and active member of the Australian Pain Society, the International Society for Infectious Diseases, Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

He is also a Member of the Tasmanian State Committee, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Medical Association.

Few people have the drive and dedication of Mitch McPherson.

When his younger brother Ty took his own life in 2013, Mitch, a glazier by trade, turned the devastating loss into the successful suicide prevention charity SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY.

Since then, Mitch has spoken to 150 school groups, workplaces and sporting clubs and is committed to spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it. Through partnering with key community groups, businesses and sporting identities SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY has over 18,500 likes on its Facebook page, and this support continues to grow daily.

Mitch’s list of personal achievements since creating the charity continue to grow.

Since 2013, Mitch has been awarded the following:
• Clarence Citizen of the Year Award in 2014
• Tasmanian of the Year finalist 2014
• Southern Cross Young Achiever, Heather and Christopher Chong Community Service Award 2015
• Tasmanian Pride of Australia Medal for Community Spirit 2015
• Southern Cross Young Achiever, St Luke’s Healthier Communities Award 2016
• Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year Award 2016
• Red Herring Surf Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention LIFE Award 2016.

Since 2014 Mitch has partnered with Relationships Australia Tasmania, to ensure that the message of SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY continues to grow.

Download The Mitch McPherson Full Story

Ian Snape is the Managing Director of The Coaching Space, a coaching and training company based in Hobart, Australia.

He is a scientist, martial arts instructor, Neurocoach for the Australian Olympic Taekwondo team and has organized and led more than a dozen expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.

He has extensive experience in coaching, facilitation, training, research and assessment.

He specialises in helping frontline services people recover from potentially traumatic experiences and stress-related conditions

I have worked in the field of occupational medicine for 30 years. After studying medicine at the University of Adelaide, I started my occupational career as the on-site doctor on Hydro Tasmania’s West Coast Construction in the mid-1980’s. Here I gained experience in general practice as well as experiencing the ‘coal-face’  with  serious industrial and motor vehicle injuries, including a number of workplace fatalities. I went on to a managerial role in workplace health & safety with the Hydro, before branching out into rehabilitation management in my own business during the 1990’s.  I worked for a short period as a visiting occupational physician at the Royal Hobart Hospital and assisted with setting up their Occupational Health Unit. For the last 20 years I have worked as an occupational physician in private practice in Hobart. I have an interest in the management of musculoskeletal  injuries and occupational diseases with a particular interest in low back pain, overuse conditions and occupational respiratory disorders and the management of rehabilitation programmes. I have experience as an independent medical assessor with accreditation as an impairment assessor in Tasmania for upper and lower limb, spinal, nervous system, ENT (including hearing), respiratory and skin impairments.

I am passionate about changes at a system level to improve the management of work-related injury. I have regular contact with WorkCover Tasmania, the government body that oversees the system in Tasmania. Recently I have convened the AMA Workers Compensation Sub Committee. I am active within the Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) and other medical organisations. I am  a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the AMA, Tasmanian Association of Vocational Rehabilitation Providers and Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation.

Dr Mandy Matthewson has 13 years of experience working as a psychologist. She is currently a senior clinical psychologist in private practice at Salamanca Psychology in Hobart.

Mandy is also a lecturer in psychology at the University of Tasmania. She was previously the coordinator of the Rehabilitation Counselling programs at UTAS for 6 years.

Mandy has extensive knowledge and expertise in teaching a variety of core and applied topics in psychology. Her specific areas of teaching interest are in psychological assessment, as well as clinical and professional practice skills.

Mandy’s research aligns with the University’s research theme of Better Health. Her areas of research include examining the workers’ compensation process in Tasmania, investigating claimants’ experience of the workers-compensation process as well as understanding family and interpersonal relationships.

Mandy is also Relationships Australia, Tas board member and an Eeny Meeny Miney Mo Foundation board member.

Dr Frank Chow is an experienced Psychiatrist with a special interest in Organisational and Occupational psychiatry. With the understanding of psychiatry and management, he is skilled to perform assessments related to compensation claims, disability, fitness for duty and workplace difficulties such as bullying and harassment.

Apart from treating general mental health conditions, Dr Chow also has experience in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder especially with individuals from various Public Service Organisations through an inpatient and outpatient program.

Dr Chow has worked extensively in public psychiatry in the Northern Sydney network including Royal North Shore, Ryde, Macquarie and Manly hospitals. He currently consults at St John of God Private hospital and Berkeley Vale Private hospital.

Additionally, Dr Chow is accredited as a Permanent Impairment Assessor with WorkCover Tasmania.

EmmaGeePortraitImage2017 Emma Gee is one of Australia’s acclaimed Inspirational Speakers, offering her thoughts and solutions on person-centred care and resilience through her keynote presentations, workshops and consultancy.

With a background in Occupational Therapy and as a Stroke Survivor, Emma is a renowned expert and a living example of what it takes to step in another’s shoes and truly bounce back in life. Through her inspiring presentations, Emma is able to both captivate and challenge her audiences to consider what IS possible in their own lives.

Learning to speak again post-stroke, and realising the importance of sharing her story to help others, were the catalysts for Emma taking on speaking professionally.

Today, and thousands of presentations later, Emma as an Inspirational Speaker has incredibly broad client group: from healthcare (associations, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities); businesses & corporate events; community organisations; through to educational facilities.

She has also just published her first book e titled Reinventing Emma. Emma is passionate about enhancing person-centred service delivery and resilience in the lives of all she works with and promises to leave her audiences inspired to bounce back and step up.

Emma Gee’s signature phrase is “that it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you choose to deal with it!” will see her audiences moving past life’s hurdles to what’s possible.

Teena James was appointed to the position of Injury Management Advisor at the Motor Accidents Insurance Board (MAIB) in November 2016.

Prior to her appointment at the MAIB, Teena’s experience over a 20 year period was working with vulnerable children and adults across the disability, acquired injury, mental health, family and community services sectors.

This work included working with people who have lived in institutionalised settings, children and adults with significant behavioural issues, or experienced a catastrophic injury.

Since 2010, Teena had been working closely with Tasmanian governmental reforms to improve the way in which services are delivered to at risk and vulnerable people living with disability and acquired injury.

Her role at the MAIB involves:

  • managing contracted rehabilitation providers, state-wide and across five disciplines (Vocational Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy, Support Needs Assessments, Case Management and Equipment),
  • identifying, researching and where practicable implementing service provision efficiencies and outcomes across the rehabilitation and treatment/therapy areas, and
  • keeping abreast of industry challenges and changes.
Jodi Oakman is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors, La Trobe University. She is the Head of Department for Public Health.

 Her background is a mix of industry and academia. Jodi has worked extensively in industry across a range of sectors including health, manufacturing and logistics.

 Her PhD focused on the ageing workforce and the impact of organisations on their employees’ retirement intentions.

 Her research is currently focused on the impact of the psychosocial work environment on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and strategies to improve risk management in workplaces.

 She has several higher degree students researching in this area.

Mark Stipic is founder and host of Australia’s number one podcast about Return To Work – ‘RTW Nation’.

His career in workers compensation spans self-insurance, claims agents and employer-based roles. Today Mark provides consulting services to employers and training for rehabilitation professionals.

 Mark is a previous winner at WorkSafe Victoria’s Injury Support & Service Awards for his achievements with a large aged care provider. In 2012 he completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Studies at La Trobe University.

 Mark’s mission is to use his passion for Return To Work to inspire and motivate others in the field of workplace rehabilitation.

Peter Tullgren is the Case Officer at WorkerAssist. He is a member of the WorkCover Tasmania Board and chairs the Rehabilitation and Compensation Committee of the Board.

Peter has had 34 years in providing advice to workers covering the full range of industrial issues including Award and Agreement interpretation, drafting of Agreements, negotiation of Agreements, termination of employment matters, arguing State Wage Case Applications, prosecuting under payments, dealing with long service leave disputes and workers compensation issues.

Peter has appeared before the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, Magistrates Court of Tasmania, Anti-Discrimination Commission, Workers Compensation Tribunal and Federal Court of Australia sitting throughout Tasmania.

Dr Genevieve Grant is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, where she is Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation. Genevieve is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research.

Genevieve has a PhD in public health and law, and experience working as an injury lawyer, in court administration and legal policy development in government. Her research investigates the impacts of compensation scheme design and change on system performance and claimant outcomes. She teaches litigation and dispute resolution, health law and legal ethics. Genevieve is a graduate of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategic Training Program in Work Disability Prevention.

Brad Parker

Director – WorkSafe Tasmania

Brad has over 20 years’ experience in workers compensation and managing the operation of the Tasmanian Workers Compensation Scheme. He is also responsible for managing the Asbestos Compensation Scheme for Tasmania.

Prior to moving into workers compensation Brad spent 12 years working in the area of injury prevention performing various roles including leading teams responsible for Occupational Health & Safety across a range of industry sectors.

Brad has also held a range of engineering positions within the mining sector. He also holds various tertiary qualifications in Engineering, Health and Safety, and Public Sector Management.

Brad is a Non-executive Director of the Personal Injury Education Foundation and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Emma completed a Bachelor of Arts/law majoring in Psychology at the University of Tasmania in 2006.  She was admitted to the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 2007 and began working for a smaller Tasmanian personal injury firm until it was acquired by Slater and Gordon in 2012.  I

n 2016 Emma was appointed the Practice Group Leader of the Tasmanian office.  Emma has exclusively practiced in personal injury law since her admission and has a broad range of experience including motor vehicle accidents, medical negligence, public liability and workers compensation claims.  More recently, Emma’s focus has been on those client’s injured at work and ensuring that they understand their rights and responsibilities under the workers compensation legislation.  

Emma is able to assist her clients with both their statutory entitlements and common law rights and regularly advocates for her clients in the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal.