NIISQ visits Townsville as part of inaugural brain injury information sessions

(Speakers at QBIC Townsville Community event. L—R: Mikayla Dempsey [NIISQ Participant], Neil Singleton [CEO, NIISQ], Jenniffer Cullen [Synapse], Ben Turner [ABIOS], Gaenor Walker [General Manager, NIISQ], Adam Schickerling [Synapse])

The NIISQ Agency was proud to join with the Queensland Brain Injury Collaborative (QBIC) in Townsville in April to host our inaugural brain injury health practitioner and community information events.

Alongside QBIC, we hosted Brain Injury: Unmasking the Invisible, a free information session and dinner for general practitioners to navigate the complexities of brain injury care. The event saw brain injury specialist speakers share their knowledge and expertise with more than 30 local health care professionals.

Man stands at podium on stage looking towards a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation includes aerial photos of landscapes, an image of a truck, a cane field and a map of Australia.
Dr Eric Guazzo (North Queensland Neurosurgery) presents at the Brain Injury: Unmasking the Invisible event.

A further free community information session and morning tea was held to facilitate engagement between locals living with a brain injury, their carers and local experts. The event, From surviving to thriving: Building bridges for brain injury awareness and recovery, welcomed over 50 attendees. A key highlight was NIISQ participant Mikayla Dempsey sharing her lived experience of brain injury with eloquence and humour.

Woman holding microphone addresses room of seated people. She stands in front of a "NIISQ" banner and a PowerPoint presentation that reads "Living with a traumatic brain injury Mikayla Dempsey".
Mikayla Dempsey (NIISQ participant) presents at “From surviving to thriving: Building bridges for brain injury awareness and recovery” community event.

NIISQ CEO, Neil Singleton said the events achieved their main goals and he was impressed by hearing the unexpected ‘wins’.

“A GP revealed she had been liaising with Townsville Hospital staff by email and phone for many years and this was the first time they had met face to face. They are now planning more meetings,” Mr Singleton said.

“A service provider had been trying to get three of her clients to engage in social activity and attending the community event on Saturday was the perfect opportunity to bring them together.”

Others spoke about the current challenges in health service delivery in regional and rural areas and how much they appreciated working with NIISQ clients and the Agency.

NIISQ General Manager, Gaenor Walker said she was pleased to hear about future opportunities for the Agency to aid service delivery and research supporting regional road trauma victims.

“Given the success, we will be looking to host another event next year to build on the relationships formed. Along with visits to other regional areas, we are looking forward to a busy year of meeting, connecting and supporting Queenslanders with serious injury and those that support them,” Ms Wallker said.

“The most recent NIISQ trip to Townsville was the first of a series of regional trips the NIISQ Agency will be making, ensuring that the local issues and needs of regional providers and participants are better understood. We look forward to organising similar events in regional Queensland.”

Last updated: April 2024