BAIL's Tales is our monthly newsletter to keep you up with the play at the Burwood Academy!

The names of Jo Nunnerley and Johnny Bourke have been associated with BAIL for quite a few years now and both of them have made considerable contributions to our work. It is with great pleasure we announce they are to fill two roles within our organisation that will expand our ability and impact. John Bourke (PhD Candidate), is appointed to the role of Lead Researcher (previously held by Anne Sinnott) and Jo Nunnerley (PhD Graduand) to the role of Knowledge Translation Specialist.

The Lead Researcher role has been created to strengthen the framework in which health consumers and health professionals, tertiary education institutions and industry leaders link to advance the science and practice of rehabilitation and independent living, and to promote research and learning about rehabilitation and independent living among consumers, health professionals and in the community. John has a strong background in rehabilitation and will bring both, his understanding of rehabilitation principles, the research process and his lived experience of spinal cord injury to this role.

The primary focus of the Knowledge Translation Specialist role is to identify specific new knowledge to action project opportunities with purpose to implement knowledge translation projects that transform rehabilitation practices and the independent living experience of consumers. Jo is an experienced clinician and clinical researcher and is ideally placed to bridge the knowledge to action gap between research and clinical practice and to take BAIL’s knowledge translation objectives and strategy forward. She and John will work together with the Academy Director and the Board of Trustees, to promote BAILs mission and key objectives.

Following Spinalis's 'The Art of Healthy Living with Physical Impairments' book launch in Stockholm in June, (where Anne was the invited speaker), the team created a rather literal 'research translation' opportunity. While 'knowledge translation' is obviously not limited to translation of language, it does raise the point that a vast amount of clinically based activity around the world is not necessarily reported in universally acceptable English. Watch this space for further developments. So far the BAIL/ Spinalis/Rehab Station Stockholm team have submitted an abstract to ANZSCOS 2015 on this unique interpretation of knowledge translation in the SCI field.

PhD - Negotiating the return to work journey after an earthquake injury
BAIL researcher Jo Nunnerley has successfully completed her Doctor of Philosophy degree. Her research topic was returning to work after sustaining a serious injury in the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011. Her interest in this topic was sparked through experiencing the 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquakes, and working with a number of the injured survivors. She found the longer term outcomes of injured earthquake survivors are poorly understood, and wanted to help develop a better understanding of how an earthquake injury affects a return to work.

The post-grad coffee group is up and running again…..
Friday 4th September at 12noon - Burwood, Travis Cafe
The post grad coffee group is an opportunity to catch up with other CHCH-based students involved in post-grad studies and is open to anyone who is involved in this level of study regardless of the institution they are studying at, and whether they are connected to BAIL or not. However it would be fair to say we will have a focus on studies in health-related fields!
Contact Rachelle Martin at if you would like further information and would like to be included in the email invitation list..

BAIL Research Peer Group meeting 24th September

The next Research Peer Group meeting is Thursday 24th September 12:00-1pm in the Chapel.
Our presenters Rachelle Martin and Jo Nunnerley will be presenting from their PhD research; Rachelle at the early stages of her research and Jo now being a Graduand. Here is a brief outline of their presentations.

First presenter: Jo Nunnerley. Negotiating the return to work journey after an earthquake injury: A grounded theory study.
Jo will present the results of her PhD that explored the influences on return to work for individuals with severe injuries requiring hospitalisation as a result of the February 22nd Christchurch earthquake in 2011. Return to work was influenced by unique factors as a consequence of the earthquake and was complicated by a range of environmental factors. One positive influence was employer and co-worker empathy, which improved the outcomes and experience of the return to work process. This has interesting implications for improving return to work outcomes for other patient groups.

Second presenter: Rachelle Martin : ‘Horses for courses’: Evaluating effectiveness in complex rehabilitation interventions
Rachelle’s PhD is using a mixed method design to evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic horse riding in influencing health and wellbeing outcomes. Rachelle will be reflecting on the challenges, and (hopefully!) possible pathways towards, determining the effectiveness of complex rehabilitation interventions. She’ll have her PhD candidate hat on as she talks about her studies, and her physiotherapist-clinician hat on as she thinks about the ‘so what’ questions.

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

Rehabilitation Conference in Wellington 13-17 October
“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. If you are interested in attending this premier Australasian rehabilitation conference go to the conference website which can be accessed by going to the NZ Rehabilitation Association web page ( and clicking on the link to the conference.

Hans Wouters – Operations Manager Burwood Academy of Independent Living.