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Report on the ARA Annual Scientific Meeting May 2016 in Darwin

by Debra Grech, physiotherapist

This year the annual scientific meeting was held in tropical Darwin and was as always a very educational and enjoyable experience.

One of the main themes of the conference was patient empowerment and involvement in research activities and we were fortunate to have Dr Susan Bartlett, Prof Ross Andersen and Dr Sandra Navara as keynote speakers.

Darwin convention centreThere were also several sessions discussing the management of neck pain, treatment options for tendinopathy and an update on the evidence base for the management of chronic back pain which were of particular relevance to physiotherapists. The sessions covered a good mix of clinical and scientific content in keynote sessions, free papers and in the poster display and as always the clinical grand rounds session on the last day was informative and entertaining.

Following the main meeting, 50 clinicians with a particular interest in paediatrics gathered for 2 days of lectures, presentations and networking.

Two of the international speakers from the main meeting, Dan Kastner and Seth Masters attended and shared their expertise with us in a more informal and relaxed setting which allowed lots of interaction and discussion.

There were several sessions which were focused on nursing and allied health including a very comprehensive and informative talk by Dr Geoff Thompson who is a sports physician based in Darwin and a very interesting session from Scott Bevis, psychologist, discussing strategies to assist therapists to manage chronic pain.

Paediatric physiotherapists from Melbourne, Perth, New Zealand, Westmead and Randwick Children’s HospitalsThere was plenty of time for informal discussion, case presentations, networking and socialising and also planning for the ARA conference in Auckland next year.