As 2019 draws to a close, this affords the opportunity to reflect upon the year and plan ahead. Since taking on the Presidency of ASSBI at the AGM in May 2019, I have appreciated with new eyes what a multi-faceted and vibrant multi-disciplinary Society we are. With the Society concluding its 42nd year since it was formed in 1978, it seems that a review of our activities is timely – indeed, well overdue. Accordingly, we plan to conduct an external review of the Society (date to be announced). In planning the review, I am working closely with the ASSBI Executive Committee, and in particular Jacinta Douglas, past President and Olivier Piguet, President-elect. As part of the review, we welcome submissions from the membership. Here is a snap-shot of who ASSBI is and what ASSBI does.
ASSBI is a multidisciplinary society dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with brain impairment and their families. ASSBI’s mission is to:
- enable all disciplines who work with people with brain impairment to meet, learn and discuss the latest clinical research initiatives in a scholarly environment
- provide high quality continuing education
- publish scholarly research via our journal Brain Impairment
- promote scientific rigour and evidence-based practice in the field of brain impairment
- encourage students to present, share and publish their work
- provide high quality assessment and treatment resources via ASSBI Resources
ASSBI Executive Committee activities include the following:
- a 16-member Executive Committee (chaired by Robyn Tate) with representation from all Australian states. The Committee meets every two months by teleconference and oversees the day-to-day running and other activities of the Society.
- a Publications Committee (chaired by Jan Ewing) which oversees the running of the official journal of the ASSBI, Brain Impairment (co-edited by Jenny Fleming and Grahame Simpson, with Petrea Cornwall and Cynthia Honan as associate editors). The journal is published quarterly and has a 26-member Editorial Board.
- a Professional Development group (coordinated by ASSBI’s Executive Officer, Margaret Eagers, and MERS Events, with consultation from Barbara Zupan and Skye McDonald from the Executive Committee) that oversees the planning of a variety of continuing education activities, including:
- the annual 3-day conference, with invited international keynote speakers
- workshops (full- and half-day), incorporating face-to-face presentation and live streaming via Zoom, as well as available for purchase as MP4 to view later
- webinars (60 or 90 mins) streamed live via Zoom, also available for purchase as MP4 to view later
- a Student Ambassador programme which aims to recruit students from all Australian states. As part of the programme there is a Student Coordinator (Jonathan Reyes) and Student Liaison Officer (Dana Wong).
- a Marketing arm, which includes:
- social media, with Twitter, Facebook (managed by Lizzie Beadle and Travis Wearne), and Linkedin (managed by MERS Events)
- the ASSBI Newsletter (coordinated by Margaret Eagers) produced quarterly
- the ASSBI website (managed by MERS Events)
- ASSBI Resources (managed by Skye McDonald and Margaret Eagers), contains assessment tools to download and/or purchase, treatment manuals to download and/or purchase, past workshops/webinars to download
- In addition, ASSBI has working parties that consider time-bound issues, such as consumer involvement (Michelle Kelly, Janet Wagland and Claire Ramsden)
- It also hosts BRAINSPaN, a community of practice network, curated by Dana Wong, Emmah Doig and Joanne Steele
- ASSBI fosters the next generation of clinicians and researchers and acknowledges outstanding achievement with a range of prizes, which are awarded at the annual conference:
- The Douglas and Tate Prize for the best research article published in Brain Impairment for the year
- Early Career Clinical Innovation Award for innovation in the field of brain impairment consistent with ASSBI’s mission (see above)
- Student Awards:
- o The Kevin Walsh Encouragement Award for the best Honours/Masters student presentation at the annual conference
- o The Luria Award for the best PhD presentation at the annual conference
- o The Travel Award for the best conference abstract
Again, I welcome your thoughts, ideas comments and submissions regarding the external review. I will keep the ASSBI membership updated about the external review via this newsletter. May I take this opportunity to send you season’s greetings and well wishes for an excellent year ahead. And do enjoy reading this bumper Christmas issue of ASSBI’s Newsletter.
Robyn Tate, President