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Joan Hume

It is with a heavy heart and overwhelming sadness that we inform you that Joan Hume, who has been President of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) for the past few years, unfortunately has passed away. Joan passed away on Friday 10 March 2017. Read More »



Independent Living Specialists partnership with SCIA

We are excited to announce that SCIA has now formed a new long term partnership with Independent Living Specialists (ILS). ILS is one of Australia’s largest providers of homecare equipment and a leading provider of mobility and seating equipment, specialising in scripted power and manual wheelchairs. Read More »



Spinal cord injury scientist named Australian of the Year

A scientist and international leader in stem cell research, Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, who has given hope to thousands of Australians with spinal cord injuries has been named Australian of the Year. A global authority on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells, Professor Mackay-Sim led the world's first clinical trial using these cells in spinal cord injury. Read More »



$100M to prevent injury and boost recovery

We are excited to announce that Spinal Cord Injuries Australia will be one of the first organisations to receive support from the newly launched icare Foundation, to help fund the expansion of our NeuroMoves exercise service into Lismore. Read More »



How to transition easily to the NDIS

SCIA can support your transition into the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS). To help people maximise the benefits offered by the NDIS we are holding group information sessions, individual NDIS pre-planning sessions, sharing information over the phone, holding face to face meetings and providing individualised assistance.  Read More »



Big Day Off 2017 is here!

The Big Day Off is a fun and unique way for businesses and staff to fundraise for an important cause, and it’s so simple. You can register or nominate your workplace online today. Read More »



The NDIS should not be used as a political football

Media Statement - 20th February 2017

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will make a massive contribution to the lives of people with disability as it rolls out across the nation. Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) strongly endorses its development and full implementation and believe the scheme should not be used as a political football by the major parties. Read More »



Leading the world to a new reality for spinal cord injury recovery

A potentially life changing project for all Australians with spinal cord injury was launched in Sydney by SpinalCure Australia​, UTS: University of Technology Sydney​, Professor V. Reggie Edgerton of UCLA and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia. 

Project Edge will see a cutting edge neurostimulation research program established here in Australia to build on the successes of Prof Edgerton and his team at UCLA to achieve the best possible outcomes for people with SCI. Read More »



How I’m getting the most out of the NDIS

"My name is Vickie, I have paraplegia and recently started the process to enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The first thing I did was to educate myself best as I could on the NDIS. This included attending an information session run by Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA)." Read More »



Seeking people with a spinal cord injury to join the NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service network

The NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service (SSCIS), a clinical network of the Agency for Clinical Innovation, is seeking people with a spinal cord injury to join the network and participate in its work. Depending on your interest and availability, a range of opportunities exist for people with spinal cord injury to contribute to the work of the network including participation in committees, reference or project groups, organised forums and providing feedback on resources etc. Read More »



SCIA making your transition into NDIS easier

Wheelchair symbol hovering over handSpinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) is offering support to anyone with a spinal cord injury (SCI) or similar disability transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

For example, in your NDIS plan you can ask for funding you need to support you living as independently as possible. This include core supports such as personal care and continence products, assistive technology, health and wellbeing and connecting and coordinating your services. 

SCIA can also help people advocate for their needs if issues arise during their transition to the NDIS. Our clients are finding this support vital when they receive their approved plans from the NDIS and are not satisfied with the funding approved in some areas in their plan.

Barry has Guillain–Barré syndrome and is currently transitioning to the NDIS. He is one of the clients SCIA is helping as the NDIS rolls out. “For the past 18 months I've attended numerous presentations, meetings and individual plan skills workshops in preparation for my transition onto the NDIS. I thought I was well informed and ready for the NDIS, however, I was wrong and I'm so glad SCIA rang me and accepted my request to be my support coordination provider.”

“Maree from SCIA has been an invaluable resource in assisting me to set up my service agreements with service providers. She has also provided professional advice and direction when I've not known where to turn next. She has made my transition into the NDIS a lot easier.” says Barry.

Contact SCIA on or 1800 819 775 to talk to us about helping your transition into the NDIS.



New partnership with Revitalife

We are excited to announce the launch of our new partnership with Revitalife which will bring a fantastic new benefit for our members. Read More »



Transport to travel with a disability made easier

People with disability contact Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) about many issues but particularly about accessible transport options. Because transport and travel are such crucial issues for people, we are applauding a move by Hertz to introduce wheelchair accessible vehicles to its fleet.

Hertz will provide ten new rental wheelchair accessible vehicles available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The five door vehicles provide access for people with disability using mobility aids via the rear door and seats five other ambulant passengers. The vehicle layout exceeds Australia’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and fully comply with all wheelchair restraint standards. Resulting in people with disability now having the freedom to use these vehicles as a passenger, and explore Australian destinations with family and friends. Read More »



Travel smart this summer

During the Christmas and New Year period there are often lots of events with family and friends. It’s a time of year when competition for accessible vehicles is much higher – an SCIA client was recently told that on Christmas Day to expect a wait time of up to two hours for an accessible taxi. At this time of year it’s important you plan your travel well in advance to ensure you can get to and from events on time, and without stress. Read More »



Share your videos with us

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, SCIA is asking members, clients and their family and friends to film a short 30 second video, sharing why SCIA is important to you. Read More »



Our NeuroMoves Lismore facility

The NeuroMoves Lismore centre is now operational and we are so excited about bringing its services to the Northern Rivers of NSW.

The centre will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is now taking appointments. If you would like to take part in the NeuroMoves Lismore program, please contact us on 1800 819 775 or for more information or complete an application today.

NeuroMoves Lismore will be based at the Southern Cross University Health Clinic. Funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and the icare Foundation has made this possible. 






Heidi Haydon has become an ambassador for this year's Don't DIS my ABILITY campaign. Read More »



Stories from the Smallest Room Webinar - unanswered questions from the live event

On this page are the responses to the questions that weren't able to be answered during the recent Stories from the Smallest Room WebinarRead More »



UberWAV accessible vehicles now in Newcastle

We are excited to announce that Uber has launched a trial of wheelchair accessible vehicles on the Uber platform in Newcastle. The trial will start with a few vehicles and is expected to grow gradually over the 12 months trial period. 

Take advantage of this in three easy steps:

  1. Download the Uber app at
  2. Create a free Uber account
  3. Enter the code 'AUSWAV' in the payment section of the menu

Full PDF instructions can be found here. You can also watch a video for more info on how to set this up:

If you have any questions please contact SCIA on 1800 819 775 or email

driving brandless car



Mixed experiences as NDIS rolls out

SCIA members and clients are reporting mixed experiences when entering the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). With the scheme rolling out in capital cities like Sydney in July, SCIA is sharing these experiences so that others are prepared for ther own transition. For so many people this scheme will be a life-changer, it's important you go in prepared and informed. Bruce, an SCIA member, has a longstanding C5/C6 spinal cord injury and lives in north-west Sydney in NSW. He has found the experience of entering the NDIS rather challenging.

Bruce's level of spinal cord injury means that he needs everything from adaptive equipment, power chair upgrades, excercise physiology to personal care. His biggest problem with the NDIS has been communication gaps and their lack of knowledge about spinal cord injury and the impact it has on daily life.  Read More »



Results from the SCIA AGM

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the members of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia was held on Thursday 24 November 2016 at 3.00 pm at St Michael’s Golf Club in Little Bay. The meeting was also streamed live to SCIA members. Read More »



Exercise services for spinal cord injury coming to Canberra

As part of its election campaign, the Labor party in Canberra committed to a one-off $300,000 grant to Spinal Cord Injuries Australia to establish a NeuroMoves exercise service for people with disability in the ACT. Thanks to this commitment and a generous grant from the John James Foundation, a NeuroMoves gym in Canberra will be established, providing people with spinal cord injury exercise that increases their functionality and independence. Read More »



SCIA and Coloplast webcast Stories from the Smallest Room

Missed out on the SCIA and Coloplast live webcast, Stories from the Smallest Room?

Don't worry, you can download a pdf version of the presentation here or you can still watch it at If you are logged in you can launch the webinar video. If you are not logged in, simply scroll down below the registration fields to the "Login to View" section. If you have not previously registered you must register to view the webinar.

Some questions weren't able to be answered during the webinar. Visit this page to read the responses to those questions.



Stories From the Smallest Room explores a range of issues relating to continence care so people with a disability are fully informed and can make the right choices for their circumstances. It covers a range of issues from how to prevent UTIs, what to do when you are travelling and how will the NDIS affect you and your continence needs. Our panel features SCIA staff sharing their own personal experiences as well as two nurses talking from a more medical perspective.   

If you have any further questions about your continence needs or the NDIS please contact SCIA’s Customer Connect Team on or 1800 819 775.

You can also call Coloplast on 1800 316 650 or request a call back on the Coloplast website for their advice about continence and the NDIS.



Blue Badge Insurance Australia

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia is delighted to announce that Blue Badge Insurance has come on board as SCIA’s newest corporate partner. Read More »



SCIA Annual General Meeting 2016

You are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 24 November 2016, 3pm at St Michael’s Golf Club, Jennifer Street, Little Bay. 

Please RSVP to or 1800 819 775 by Thursday 17 November.

Our guest speakers this year are Duncan Wallace and Bryce Vissel who will talk about Project Edge. Visit for more information about this ground breaking project bringing a cutting edge neurostimulation research program to Australia.  Read More »



Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week

Most people wouldn’t know what a spinal cord injury (SCI) is and how it affects someone unless they happen to know one of the 15,000 Australians living with the injury. 

Sometimes people see the wheelchair and assume that an SCI means game over in terms of living a fulfilling life. Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week, 5-11 September 2016 is here to show the public that this could not be further from the truth. Read More »



Our constitutional changes

At our upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM), we are making some key changes to our constitution to ensure membership and the organisation can run as well as possible, now and into the future.

If you are a voting member you will receive the full details about the changes via email or mail on 31 October approximately.

Here is a short explanation of the changes. It is then up to you as a voting member to decide if you'd like to vote for the new constitution or not. 

  1. The reason for changing the Constitution is because it was based on the Corporations Act, and had been changed so many times it had become unworkable
  2. The new Constitution is based on the “model Constitution” of the Australian Not-for-Profits and Charities Commission (ACNC), which is the new body created to oversee charities and not-for-profits
  3. The new constitution will use less legal language and more plain English language, so our members will find it easier to understand
  4. The “Supporting Member” category has been deleted because it was never used
  5. The Board will be able to create other classes of non-voting membership in the future, e.g. for corporate organisations and sector professionals
  6. Membership will no longer be restricted to people over 18 years of age
  7. Membership will now expire for each individual member after 12 months, instead of there being a common expiry date for all members
  8. Membership will be automatically renewed each year (but members can cancel their membership at any time)
  9. General meetings may be held using technology, currently SCIA has to hold a physical meeting, in the future it could all be done online
  10. Communications to and from members regarding general meetings can be done electronically
  11. The new constitution clarifies the term for Invited Directors to two years, which is the same as Elected Directors (this was previously unclear)
  12. The new constitution clarifies how casual Board vacancies will be filled
  13. A limit to how long Elected Directors may serve has been introduced (3 x 2 year terms). Elected Directors can then return after a two year break
  14. The new Constitution operates prospectively, i.e. no changes are retrospective

If you have any questions about the changes, please contact us on or 1800 819 775.

For more information on the AGM and to vote please click here.



Disability groups back targets to boost lagging employment rates

Some of Australia's biggest corporations have been coming under fire during the current annual general meeting season for linking lucrative CEO and executive bonuses to non-financial targets for diversity, sustainability and culture. 

However, advocates for diversity in the workplace have expressed concern over the negative publicity, arguing that setting targets for more open-minded hiring policies is necessary to achieve cultural change. An area of particular concern is the employment of people with a disability.

Read more about this issue on ABC online. SCIA's Communications and Media Coordinator, Susan, has also written about her own experiences with disability and employment and is well worth a read.

If you are thinking about getting into work, we provide tailored support and assistance to people with spinal cord injury and other disabilities to find suitable employment. To learn more about our employment services email contact us on or 1800 819 775.



Be Fearless by Susan Wood


I grew up in the Blue Mountains in NSW where there was one disabled accessible railway station a 25 minute drive up the highway and there weren’t any accessible buses. Or even regular buses. My parents trudged up and down the Mountains to look for a primary school suitable for me to go to and at the time the only school willing to take me on as their first disabled student was Lawson Public.

My disability is called neonatal flaccid paraplegia, it came about due to a stroke I had while being born. Since I was three years old, my disability had me using callipers and sticks to move around. It wasn’t the greatest and would often leave my legs bleeding and raw after a day at school. They used to tell my parents that there would be a day I would be walking on callipers with only one stick. I don’t think anyone in the late 80s really knew much about what to expect with a progressive disability and now I’m in a wheelchair full time, I look back on that and think how wrong they were. Read More »



Disability Discrimination Commissioner National Consultations 2016-2017

The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Alastair McEwin will be conducting a national consultation which will help guide the development of his priorities and seek input from the disability community on how he can most effectively work to advance the rights of people with a disability. These consultations aim to engage with the disability community and gather information and knowledge on the extent and nature of disability discrimination and the human rights of people with disability in Australia. The focus of the consultations will be guided by the Commissioner's National Consultation Discussion paper which sets out five proposed areas of priority as being:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Housing
  • The criminal justice system
  • Implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Consultations will be held in each capital city and some regional centres between October 2016 - March 2017. For details about the consultations visit the Human Rights Commission website or the Commissioner's Facebook page.



SCIA membership is now free!

We’re excited to announce that from 1 July 2016 membership for people with disability, their immediate family and carers is free.*

Plus there are new member benefits like NDIS transition support, discounts on Coloplast products and a free NeuroMoves consultation for you to enjoy. Read More »



Overcome continence challenges

(This event has now concluded. To view please visit the webcast page)

Join SCIA and Coloplast for a free, live and interactive webcast Stories from the Smallest Room and learn all you need to know about strategies and products to help overcome the continence challenges that having a spinal cord injury presents.

The webcast will explore a range of important issues relating to continence care to ensure that people with a disability are fully informed and can make the right choices for their circumstances. Read More »



Enjoy new member benefits for you

We are delighted to have seven new corporate partners on board, providing you with some fantastic member benefits, all part of our new FREE membership offering to people with disability, their family and carers.  Read More »



Study: Immune genetic studies of spinal cord injury patients

The University of Adelaide is currently running a study entitled: “Immune genetic studies of spinal cord injury patients”. 

The research study will investigate how a person’s genetic make-up is related to their spinal cord injury, including any chronic pain experienced since the time of their injury. The study has been approved by the Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Ethics Committee and the Royal North Shore Hospital.

This is a non-invasive study that requires participants to complete a questionnaire about their medical health and provide a buccal swab sample (inside the cheek). Participants can take part in the study from their home as they will be sent a study kit that contains the questionnaire and a cheek swab collection kit. Participants will also be asked for their permission to have access to their case notes for past medical history information.

To find out more about the study you can call (08) 8313 0449 or 1800 009 897 or email



Screenability NSW

Screen NSW has launched Screenability NSW, a new program to create opportunities in the screen industry for people with disabilities.
Screenability NSW is a partnership between Screen NSW, Ai-Media, AFTRS, Carriageworks and Bus Stop Films, and involves a program of initiatives aimed at delivering on Screen NSW's policy commitment to work with industry to grow the participation of people with disabilities in the screen sector. 

Upcoming Screenability NSW initiatives include:
•    An annual film festival at Carriageworks
•    A short film-making initiative to finance and deliver films for premiere at the festival, for travelling around Australia and the world, and for screening online
•    A long-term job placement scheme

Read more about Screenability here.



Nominate an SCIA Life Member

Nominate someone you think deserves to be a Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) Life Member.

An SCIA Life Member is someone who has shown an extraordinary commitment and contribution to SCIA and the empowerment of people with spinal cord injury. We’re asking our members to nominate someone they think deserves this honour for the Board to consider. Read More »



Launch of relationship with PME

We are excited to announce a new partnership with leading car modifiers, Problem Management Engineering (PME). PME has over 25 years’ experience in modifying cars and, like SCIA, strive to bring greater independence to people with a physical disability. Read More »



Run for SCIA in 2016

Thanks to people running in various events across the country, vital funds are being raised for people with spinal cord injury and similar disability. 

The bar has been raised for 2016 and we need your help!

You can help by participating in one of the running events below and fundraising for SCIA. Read More »



Blackmore's Sydney Running Festival

Blackmores Sydney Running Festival

Coming up on Sunday, 18th September is the annual Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. SCIA has a team participating and we’d love for you and your family to join us in completing the 4km Family Fun Run event. The course is one of Sydney’s flattest and easiest courses, with a spectacular view to boot! Join TeamSCIA and have some fun running, wheeling or walking over the Harbour Bridge.

If you are feeling a little more energetic, there is also a Marathon, Half Marathon or 10km course to join – more information about the courses can be found on the Sydney Running Festival website. We’d love it if you’d create a fundraising page and give SCIA a shout out to your friends, family and colleagues, to help SCIA continue to bring amazing programs and services to those who need them.

If you need some help setting up a page or registering, please give Rebecca Mackay our Community Fundraising Manager a call on 1800 819 775 or drop her a line at



SCIA helps you get ready for the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolling out across Australia from July 2016. Now is the time to get ready for this new model of support that is set to revolutionise how you live your life, and SCIA can help you do it. Contact us on 1800 819 775 or Read More »



Model of care for spinal cord injury project survey

Following on from earlier news about the ACI State Spinal Cord Injury Service (SSCIS) project to review and further develop the model of care for the management and support of children and adults with a spinal cord injury in NSW, please find attached the first edition of the newsletter. The newsletter includes an update on achievements so far, and an opportunity for consumers and health professionals to participate in the consultations by completing an online survey. 

Links to the consumer and health professionals surveys are also included below. More information on the consultation process (including the online surveys) can be found in the newsletter. If you would like any further information or to ask any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Frances Moneypenny on the details below.

Health Professionals Survey:  Click on the link to participate:

Consumer Survey:  Click on the link to participate:


Frances Monypenny, Manager SSCIS
Phone: (02) 9464 4616



Coloplast and SCIA join forces to help people with SCI

We are delighted to announce that SCIA will be working in partnership with Coloplast and their Access to HealthCare initiative. Coloplast is a leader in the field for bladder and bowel care and will be supporting SCIA’s upcoming ‘Stories from the Smallest Room’ program, designed to break down the barriers people currently face in accessing the right continence care. Read More »



Dan Holt on The Project

Dan Holt, one of our Peer Support Education Officers, appeared on The Project recently with his assistance dog Charlie. Charlie works alongside Dan all day, helping if he drops anything and opens cupboards.

Plus Charlie brightens the day of any patients Dan visits in the spinal wards, showing people that after a spinal cord injury you can find new ways to do things, sometimes with a little help from a friend.  Read More »



Invitation to join the ACI Consumer Council

The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) is inviting expressions of interest from people interested in sitting on the ACI Consumer Council (

The ACI works with clinicians, consumers and managers to design and promote better healthcare for NSW. The ACI Consumer Council provides expert advice to the ACI and its Board on consumer engagement strategies and represents consumer members of ACI Networks, Taskforces and Institutes.

The ACI is keen to appoint new members to the Consumer Council that can represent the diverse interests of the NSW community.

Membership involves attending up to five 2-hour meetings per year at the ACI office in Chatswood, NSW, for a term of 2 years with the opportunity to nominate for reappointment for a further 12 months.  The positions are unpaid but the ACI will organise any travel and reimburse any costs associated with attending meetings and participating on the Council.

There are currently 3 vacancies available.  If you are interested in joining the ACI Consumer Council, please review the Fact Sheet and Terms of Reference and complete the Application Form by 15th September 2016. Applications can be submitted via email (preferred) or post – details can be found on the Application Form.

The successful applicants will be appointed by Wednesday 26th October and will be invited to attend their first ACI Consumer Council meeting on Wednesday 9th November.


About the ACI Consumer Council - Fact Sheet

ACI Consumer Council - Terms of Reference

ACI Consumer Council - Member application Form



Win a three night stay at Sargood on Collaroy

Located on Sydney’s picturesque Northern Beaches, Sargood on Collaroy couldn’t be better placed as a holiday destination.

The resort offers a range of fully accessible self-contained studios and family apartments, plus a wide range of activities catering for all ages and abilities. Add accessible transport and facilities in the local area and Sargood on Collaroy becomes an ideal resort destination for people with SCI.

Sargood on Collaroy, which is set to open in December 2016, has all the facilities you’d expect from a resort, such as a gym, spa and barbecue areas. Plus a range of activities showcasing health and wellness, learning, leisure, sport and fitness.

Royal Rehab runs the accommodation is excited to offer readers of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia's accord magazine the chance to win studio accommodation for two adults and two children (one adult must have a spinal cord injury) for a three night stay at this beautiful and accessible resort and location.

Enter the Sargood on Collaroy competition, it will be drawn at the end on October and the winner notified.

Sargood on Collaroy



A model of care for spinal cord injury - invitation to consultation

The ACI State Spinal Cord Injury Service (SSCIS) is committed to ensuring people with spinal cord injury residing in NSW receive the highest quality services, coordinated in collaboration with other stakeholders to facilitate individual independence and achievement of goals. The SSCIS is undertaking a project to review and further develop the model of care for the management and support of children and adults with a spinal cord injury in NSW through a series of consultations and consumers, health professionals and other key stakeholders working in, or receiving, spinal cord injury services are invited to participate. 

Consultations will be taking place in Newcastle on Thursday 28th July 2016, 11am at ParaQuad NSW, 65 The Avenue, Wickham NSW 2293 and in Ballina on Thursday 21st July 2016, 11am at the University Centre for Rural Health Building, Ballina Hospital, 78 Cherry St, Ballina (near corner of Fox St).

To participate please complete the relevant form - Newcastle or Ballina, scan and email to or phone Marina on (02) 9464 4638 to register your interest. 



Grab hold of a slip free future

Due to popular demand SCIA is proud to be selling spill-free mugs. The mugs have a vacuum seal lid and suction cap on the bottom that is released simply by lifting the handle in an upright motion. They are lightweight and durable and can be used with hot or cold liquid. Contact SCIA’s peer support team on 1800 819 775 or to purchase one today. Read More »



Emergency+ app saves dad who was trapped in car wreckage


Evan Cobcroft and his family were on their way back from a picnic at Barrington Tops National Park when they had a car accident on a remote dirt road, trapping Evan in the vehicle.

With their father trapped inside the car and no idea where they were, Evan’s children Jessika and Lachlan were forced to take his mobile phone and walk until they found a phone signal.

“It was really scary ... I thought we’d be trapped there forever. We ran most of the way. We were just going down the hill and kept checking the phone. When it finally said SOS, we called police”, said Jessika.

After walking 2.5km from the crash site, Jessika used the Emergency+ app on her dad’s phone to give the operator their exact location.

Within an hour, a police car had arrived and Mr Cobcroft was flown to hospital with a spinal cord injury.

He said he owed his life to his children, “they’re amazing. I’m so proud of them,” he said.

Mr Cobcroft said the Emergency+ app was vital in directing police to the crash site, “who knows what could’ve happened if the emergency services hadn’t got there as quick as they did. I had no idea where we were, I didn't even know what the road was called,” he said.

“I’ve been telling everyone, give it to your kids, show them how to use it.”

If a Triple Zero operator doesn’t know where the caller is, they can’t send help. Download the Emergency+ app for free today.

Read more about Evan's story of sustaining a spinal cord injury and what happened next.



PDCN Survey on the availability of accessible public transport in regional and remote NSW


The Physical Disability Council of NSW (PDCN) has been invited to provide comment to the NSW Legislative Assembly on the availability of accessible public transport in regional and remote NSW. So that the PDCN can gather as complete a picture of the current situation as they can they have invited people to complete a short survey. All information shared will assist the PDCN in providing a report to the NSW Parliament. 

Please complete the survey here



Re-launch of Slater and Gordon’s Partnership

We are excited to announce the continuation of our long standing partnership with Slater and Gordon Lawyers.  Slater and Gordon is one of the largest and most successful law firms in Australia and the Motor Vehicle Accident Group Leader in NSW, Genevieve Henderson, said “the firm is honoured to continue to partner with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia”. Read More »



GoGet launches carshare vehicle for people with disability in world first

GoGet carshare is planning to revolutionise transport for people with a disability with the launch of the world’s first fully accessible carsharing vehicle and SCIA are in full support. Read More »



Permobil and SCIA launch new partnership!

We are thrilled to announce that Permobil Australia has become SCIA’s newest corporate partner. We look forward to working with them to reduce social isolation and promote independence for people with an SCI through a program of social events and activities both in the communality and in the spinal units of NSW. Read More »



It’s time to renew your membership

SCIA members are being asked to renew their membership when they receive notification this month to ensure they continue to receive benefits and are actively contributing to the organisation. Read More »



FREE online pain management course for people with SCI

Macquarie University is responding to growing demand by Australians with spinal cord injury (SCI) for information on chronic pain management, with a series of practical free online courses.  Read More »



NDIS discussion: Chris shares his real-life experience

Chris Sontag shared his real-life experience of using the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to fund his disability supports during a recent panel discussion with Joan Hume (SCIA President) and Tony Jones (SCIA Policy and Advocacy Officer). Read More »



Joan Hume - disability work honoured

SCIA's President Joan Hume was recently honoured to receive a University of Sydney Alumni Award for Community Achievement for her advocacy work for people with disabilities and her tireless efforts to improve disability services across the country and internationally. Read More »



Close call with spinal cord injury inspires fundraiser

Do something amazing this year and join Team SCIA! Run, swim or cycle your way towards helping us overcome barriers to independence for people with spinal cord injuries. Join people such as Harley Lewis, who was only 1mm away from potentially never walking again after a serious neck injury on the footy field in August 2015. Now he is preparing to complete his first ever triathlon and fundraise for SCIA. Read More »



Research Project Opportunity: ‘Discriminatory acts towards young Australians with disabilities in public places’

Researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne wish to interview young people in Sydney & NSW mid-North Coast with impairments. To be eligible, you need to have left high school and be aged up till your late 20’s. Read More »



Congratulations Matthew Pierri

We are so excited for Matthew Pierri, one of our Exercise Services clients from Melbourne, who has been awarded the 2016 Victorian Rhodes Scholarship for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford.

Matthew completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media and Communications and Chinese Language at the University of Melbourne with First Class Honours and is due to complete a Juris Doctor degree at the Melbourne Law School this year. He hopes to study a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Matthew said he was thrilled to receive the scholarship, which will allow him to further his ambition to achieve social change at a systemic level. 

“Over the last few years, I have advocated to change the perception and treatment of people with spinal cord injuries and I strongly believe that progressive and practical public policy is needed to address increasingly complex and multi-faceted social problems,” Matthew said. Read More »



SCIA President Joan Hume receives Alumni Award from University of Sydney

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) President, Ms Joan Hume OAM, has received the Alumni Award for Community Achievement from the University of Sydney. Joan receives this award for her advocacy work for people with disabilities and her tireless efforts to improve disability services across the country and internationally. Completing her Diploma of Education and Bachelor of Arts in 1969, Joan became an English and History high school teacher with the NSW Department of Education, before she sustained quadriplegia in a car accident in 1971. After a year of recovery in hospital, Joan attempted to return to teaching, only to be told there was no future for her in the state school system. Fortunately, she was offered a teaching role at another public high school and became the state’s first classroom teacher who used a wheelchair. Read More »



Jessica Hansson wins national alumni award

Jessica Hansson, Spinal Cord Injuries Australia’s Team Leader of Exercise Services in Melbourne, is the inaugural Young Alumnus of the Year at the Australian Catholic University (ACU).  Read More »



NSW Accessible Toilet Project in the News

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia is currently involved in a project updating the National Public Toilet Map. The map is a tool that can be used by people with disability to find an accessible toilet. The project was featured in ParaQuad NSW's Magazine recently, encouraging people to get involved and volunteer for the project. A $100 gift voucher is available to people who help out. Read more here.



Current Vacancies - Community Fundraising Collectors

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) is a leading social enterprise committed to ensuring ongoing empowerment and independence for people living with a spinal cord injury in the community.  We are passionate about continually improving our service offerings and driving innovation to provide maximum opportunity for those whose lives are affected by traumatic injury.

SCIA are looking for committed and outgoing individuals to join our team to collect donations and raise awareness for people whose lives are affected by traumatic injury.   

We are looking for candidates that are passionate about the cause and enjoy having conversations.

If you are interested in this opportunity please email your CV, to or contact Jenny on 02 8347 3005 for more information.

Successful candidates are required to complete pre-employment screening including a criminal background check.



Turning access nightmares into access wins

Making the most of a difficult situation can test anyone’s patience, however resolving it can make a huge difference for you and others in the future, making speaking up really worthwhile. SCIA’s policy and advocacy team can advise on ways to turn difficult situations into positive outcomes, and we encourage you to speak up and take the challenge when you can.

For instance SCIA clients had a difficult experience at the Cool Yule ice skating rink in Sydney. SCIA had been assured the rink was accessible at all times. Unfortunately it had not been communicated to ice rink staff that the SCIA group would be attending on that particular day and a ramp wasn’t available to get everyone on the ice. Read More »



Young Aussie becomes poster boy for spinal therapy

Claire Conroy spoke to the Northern District Times about her son Evander, who has been doing intensive locomotor treadmill training at the Frazier Rehab Institute, in Kentucky USA.

On the locomotor treadmill, people hold Evander's hips and legs, teaching his brain how to make them work.

Evander has also attended our Walk On program in Sydney, which will be opening an exercise clinic for kids and offering intensive locomotor training soon.   

Click here to read the article



On the map

Link Magazine has profiled Spinal Cord Injuries Australia's charge to improve access to public toilets for people with disability by updating the National Public Toilet Map

The map is a website and app that provides locations and information on over 16,000 publicly available toilets across Australia. It is designed to reduce the stress people face when they cannot find an accessible toilet and to ensure that people with disability and other mobility restrictions can be confident in getting out and enjoying their lives.

SCIA is asking people in the community to help assess toilets in their local area by becoming Volunteer Access Officers. The tools and forms to assess toilets are provided and $100 gift vouchers are available to eligible volunteers as a thank you.

For information contact SCIA on 1800 819 775 or email

Click here to read the article.

Project logo



Research into Facilitated Sex and Disability

You are invited to participate in a research project conducted by researchers from Deakin University that aims to provide information that will help to have a better understanding of the need for facilitated sex support in the lives of adults with disability (AWD). Some AWD may need assistance from their paid carers or support workers in order to express themselves sexually or participate in sexual activities (this is called facilitated sex). There is very little research on this issue. Currently in Australia, the need for this kind of help is ignored by disability services and those who make policy.

In order to be eligible to participate in the research you would need to:

  • be an adult with a disability age 18-65
  • be restricted in one or more of the following: mobility, arm movement, hand manipulation and/or ability to communicate
  • use the services of a carer or support worker to assist you in everyday care/tasks
  • reside in Victoria

For more information about the project visit the project website.



Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and NRL partnership

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia's partnership with National Rugby League (NRL) has featured in the media recently, with the news that the NRL launched its whole of game Foundation to provide assistance to players who sustain catastrophic injuries. 

CEO Dave Smith said the NRL wants to provide support for players who suffer catastrophic injuries playing rugby league.

The NRL already has in place an insurance scheme which provides compensation of up to $1 million to NRL players who suffer severe injuries. Read More »



Exhibit for disability rights open at M.A.D.E

An exhibition exploring campaigning for disability rights Grassroots Democracy: The Campaign for Disability Rights recently launched at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka. Exploring the deinstitutionalisation of the 1970s, the right-based activism of the 70s and 80s and the recent introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the retrospective show was exhibited both in the museum and online. President of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, Joan Hume, was included in the exhibition and on the Honour Board for the Campaign for Disability Rights, launched in conjunction with the exhibition.  Read More »


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