Reception for Spinal Life Australia in support of International Day of People with Disability
Kaye and are delighted, as we are every year, to welcome the sponsors, partners, supporters, researchers, board members and staff of Spinal Life Australia to Government House to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability.
Spinal Life is a truly extraordinary organisation. Over its 57-year history, it has successfully transformed from the Paraplegics Welfare Association with its small but passionate group of founders into today’s highly respected, influential and future-oriented organisation.
The latest name change from Spinal Injuries Association to Spinal Life reflects this forward-looking attitude and represents an important shift in perspective not only within the organisation itself but in the community at large.
With greater public awareness of spinal cord injury and erosion of the stigma that once attached to disability, the organisation has now set its sights firmly on life and potential rather than on injury and disability.
Part of this future orientation is the organisation’s focus on research and rehabilitation, with significant progress made this year.
The disability sector was very excited in January when Queensland researcher, Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, was announced as Australian of the Year for twenty-seventeen.
Professor Mackay-Sim’s work in regeneration and repair of the nervous system is a great source of hope for the future, especially his clinical trials into the use of transplanted cells.
But beyond his contribution as a biomedical scientist, Professor Mackay-Sim has played a vital role in raising awareness of just how important it is for us all to support research if those with spinal cord damage are to realise their full potential.
In this connection, it was very pleasing to see the Queensland Government’s decision, in May, to invest five million dollars in furthering the research begun by Professor Mackay-Sim.
In addition, the year saw the opening of The Hopkins Centre, a world-leading centre for research into disability and rehabilitation, right here in Brisbane.
It has indeed been a very successful year, and, as Patron, I wish Spinal Life ongoing success as its staff, board and supporters strive to make a difference to the lives of our fellow Queenslanders living with spinal cord damage. Thank you.