THE HISTORY OF ASSBI.
Looking back to looking forward.
The Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI) held its first annual conference in Melbourne in 1978. The early years of ASSBI owe a significant debt to the leadership of the foundation President Dr Kevin Walsh, who is fondly and rightfully acknowledged as the founding father of Australian neuropsychology.
From its inception, ASSBI has provided a unique forum for multi-disciplinary research and clinical practice for Australian professionals working in brain impairment. Annual conference proceedings were published until 2000 when the society launched the journal Brain Impairment. Abstracts for all presentations at most of the annual meetings have since been published in Brain Impairment, as well as selected full papers. Brain Impairment is a high quality, peer-reviewed, international scientific journal. It publishes empirical studies, literature reviews, commentaries, case reports and special issues across a broad range of disciplines including neurology, neuropsychology, psychiatry, clinical psychology, neuropathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology and anatomy and conditions that affect brain function throughout the lifespan.
ASSBI has always had a strong focus on giving young aspiring students a collegial environment to meet their peers and more experienced clinicians and researchers. Traditionally, at each conference, the Kevin Walsh encouragement award is given to the best fourth year or masters student presentation. In 1999, the Luria award was also introduced for the best PhD student presentation. There is also a Travel Award for the best abstract.
The society has a strong Australasian and international profile. Conferences have been held in a variety of locations across Australian states, in New Zealand and south-east Asia. Joint meetings have been held in conjunction with large international organisations including the International Neuropsychological Society (INS; 1991, 1996, 2004, 2011, 2015) the International Association for the Study of Traumatic Brain Injury (IASTBI; 2001); the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA) with the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) in 2005, WFNR, The Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP), Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) for the 7th WCNR2012 The Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP), the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine AFRM and ASSBI and the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association (NZRA) in 2019.Finally, ASSBI has a longstanding commitment to best practice in the assessment and remediation of disorders arising from brain impairment. Our commitment is evidenced through a range of activities including ongoing professional development opportunities, access to resources through ASSBI resources and sponsorship of the NeuroBITETM database of treatment studies published to address psychologically based disorders arising from brain impairment.