Kia ora from the expanding BAIL Team,

This month we warmly welcomed Jenny Freeman (no relation to Claire) to our team. Jenny began her part time roll last month and comes with accounting skills to support Brian in the BAIL office. Managing the financial accounting around the many and varied research projects we have at any one time requires specialised expertise and as we grow and expand, extra back office support will help keep the BAIL machine rolling.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Study – Lead Researcher Dr Debbie Snell
Over the last two years we have been working on a cross sectional study, funded by the HRC, looking at outcomes after mild traumatic brain injury (also called concussion). We recruited around 100 participants who underwent brain scans, completed cognitive tests and questionnaires about their quality of life and psychosocial status. We are now in the midst of analysing the data and have started preliminary dissemination of the findings. On Tuesday 28th July Debbie presented preliminary findings at the Department of Psychological Medicine Grand Round at Christchurch Hospital and has submitted an abstract to the up and coming AFRM/NZRA conference in Wellington in October (see below). Watch this space – as data analyses progress we will report more comprehensively on study outcomes.

PhD - Ageing with Spinal Cord Injury in New Zealand
BAIL Trustee, Richard Smaill has been a regular attendee at our Research Peer Group meetings since their inception. Rich has used the forum as a place to seek advice from fellow researchers as well as having presented his research and has recently successfully completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree. His research topic was Ageing with Spinal Cord Injury in New Zealand. The aim of the thesis was to redress an information deficit and develop a better understanding of the health, living circumstances and quality of life of people ageing with spinal cord injury in New Zealand. The thesis has been recognised by the University of Otago’s Health Sciences Division as an ‘exceptional doctorate thesis’ - in every aspect – research content, originality, quality of expression, and accuracy of presentation – and is amongst the top 10% of theses examined. An electronic copy of the thesis can be obtained from
We heartily congratulate Richard on his achievement and contribution to understanding outcomes after spinal cord injury.

Earthquake focused Peer Group meeting 30 July 2015
A sizable audience attended the presentation updates on the work being conducted by Jason Nicholls and Johnny Bourke. Amongst the crowd were funders of the work and also Civil Defence who found the material presented particularly useful and thought provoking considering their mandate for all citizens in Canterbury. The stimulating conversation post meeting certainly indicates the studies will bear plenty of fruit with potential to have a lasting effect for wheelchair users in NZ.

Jason Nicholls presenting

News Flash: Rehabilitation Conference in Wellington 13-17 October
In October the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) and the NZ Rehabilitation Association (NZRA) are proudly hosting a combined rehabilitation meeting “Building an Enabling Society.” The vision behind this year’s conference is one of working together to build a society and a health and social care system that is enabling not disabling. These conferences are always excellent, check out the conference website which can be accessed via the NZRA website ( Look forward to seeing you there.

BAIL Research Peer Group meeting 24th September – save the date

The next Research Peer Group meeting is Thursday 24th April 12:00-1pm in the Chapel.
Our presenters will be Rachelle Martin and Jo Nunnerley who will be presenting from the PhD research; Rachelle at the early stages of her research and Jo having recently submitted her thesis for examination. Please save the date and look out for more information about the specific presentations coming soon.

If you are not on the regular invitation mailing list and would like to come, just let me know.

Hans Wouters – Operations Manager Burwood Academy of Independent Living.