Our Speakers

  DR MICHAEL MAKDISSI    Speaking Topics :  5th Concussion Consensus Statement Review;   Return To Play Following Multiple Concussions – When Enough Is Enough.    Michael currently works as a research fellow at the Melbourne Brain Centre (Florey Institute of Neurosciences and Mental Health), where he is looking at acute and long term effects of concussion on brain function. He was a member of the Consensus Group at the past 2 International Conferences on Concussion in Sport and is currently a member of advisory groups to a range of sporting organisations (including AFL, Australian Rugby Union, World Rugby, National Rugby League and the IOC). In addition, Michael has worked with a range of sports including Australian Rules Football, netball, cricket, rugby league, track and field, cycling, swimming, gymnastics, boxing and volleyball from recreational through to elite levels. He currently works with the Hawthorn AFL Football Club.  He also has honorary research positions at La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre (La Trobe University) and the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (Federation University).   

DR MICHAEL MAKDISSI

Speaking Topics: 5th Concussion Consensus Statement Review; Return To Play Following Multiple Concussions – When Enough Is Enough. 

Michael currently works as a research fellow at the Melbourne Brain Centre (Florey Institute of Neurosciences and Mental Health), where he is looking at acute and long term effects of concussion on brain function. He was a member of the Consensus Group at the past 2 International Conferences on Concussion in Sport and is currently a member of advisory groups to a range of sporting organisations (including AFL, Australian Rugby Union, World Rugby, National Rugby League and the IOC). In addition, Michael has worked with a range of sports including Australian Rules Football, netball, cricket, rugby league, track and field, cycling, swimming, gymnastics, boxing and volleyball from recreational through to elite levels. He currently works with the Hawthorn AFL Football Club.

He also has honorary research positions at La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre (La Trobe University) and the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (Federation University).

 

  PROF JIŘÍ DVOŘÁK     Speaking Topics:   Return To Play - The Role of Team Medical Staff; Rule Changes to Direct Return To Play.    Jiří Dvořák is a Professor at the University of Zurich and is a Senior Consultant in Neurology at the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich. He is a Senior Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Deputy Editor of SPINE, is widely published with 425 original articles and 48 books in different languages.  His current research activities are focused on the prevention of injuries and their consequences as well as on head and neck injuries.  From 1994 to 2016 he was the Chief Medical Officer of FIFA and Chairman of the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC). He currently sits on the IOC Medical and Science Committee and is a member of the WADA Health, Medicine and Science Committee. Prof Dvořák was also appointed as Senior Advisor to co-chair the NCYSS (National Council of Youth Sports Safety).   

PROF JIŘÍ DVOŘÁK

Speaking Topics: Return To Play - The Role of Team Medical Staff; Rule Changes to Direct Return To Play. 

Jiří Dvořák is a Professor at the University of Zurich and is a Senior Consultant in Neurology at the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich. He is a Senior Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Deputy Editor of SPINE, is widely published with 425 original articles and 48 books in different languages.

His current research activities are focused on the prevention of injuries and their consequences as well as on head and neck injuries.

From 1994 to 2016 he was the Chief Medical Officer of FIFA and Chairman of the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC). He currently sits on the IOC Medical and Science Committee and is a member of the WADA Health, Medicine and Science Committee. Prof Dvořák was also appointed as Senior Advisor to co-chair the NCYSS (National Council of Youth Sports Safety).

 

  DR JOHN SAMPSON    Speaking Topic :  Building Training Load Tolerance - Reconditioning In Return To Play   John is a Sports Scientist and has been a Senior Lecturer at The University of Wollongong for the past 9 years. Prior to moving to Australia he worked with Premier League Football and Super League Rugby clubs in the UK as a sports performance consultant.  His primary research interests revolve around injury prevention and training load optimisation with current projects extending across professional Rugby League (NRL), American College Football, Community Sport and within the Australian Military training regime.   John will be speaking on building training load tolerance and reconditioning for return to play.    

DR JOHN SAMPSON

Speaking Topic: Building Training Load Tolerance - Reconditioning In Return To Play

John is a Sports Scientist and has been a Senior Lecturer at The University of Wollongong for the past 9 years. Prior to moving to Australia he worked with Premier League Football and Super League Rugby clubs in the UK as a sports performance consultant.

His primary research interests revolve around injury prevention and training load optimisation with current projects extending across professional Rugby League (NRL), American College Football, Community Sport and within the Australian Military training regime. 

John will be speaking on building training load tolerance and reconditioning for return to play. 

 

 
  MATT WHALAN    Speaking Topic :  Creating A Player Welfare Culture   Matt is a physiotherapist and is currently completing his PhD in injury prevention in football at The University of Wollongong, and is head of Physiotherapy and Medical Services at Wollongong Wolves FC.  He has also worked with a range of other sporting codes including NSW County Cricket, South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL) and Gold Cost Suns (AFL).    Matt will be opening the conference, and speaking on creating a player welfare culture.    

MATT WHALAN

Speaking Topic: Creating A Player Welfare Culture

Matt is a physiotherapist and is currently completing his PhD in injury prevention in football at The University of Wollongong, and is head of Physiotherapy and Medical Services at Wollongong Wolves FC.

He has also worked with a range of other sporting codes including NSW County Cricket, South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL) and Gold Cost Suns (AFL).  

Matt will be opening the conference, and speaking on creating a player welfare culture. 

 

  SHARON KEARNEY    Speaking Topic :  Managing Return To Play In Athletes With Recurring Injuries   Sharon is a sports physiotherapist, and was recently appointed as the NetballSmart Programme Manager.  She was the Silver Ferns physiotherapist from 1993 to 1995 and again from 2002 to 2015 where she attended six world championships and two Commonwealth Games.  She has written and researched a wide variety of articles relating to netball injuries prevention and performance enhancement. Sharon will be speaking on managing return to play in athletes with recurring injuries.

SHARON KEARNEY

Speaking Topic: Managing Return To Play In Athletes With Recurring Injuries

Sharon is a sports physiotherapist, and was recently appointed as the NetballSmart Programme Manager.

She was the Silver Ferns physiotherapist from 1993 to 1995 and again from 2002 to 2015 where she attended six world championships and two Commonwealth Games.

She has written and researched a wide variety of articles relating to netball injuries prevention and performance enhancement. Sharon will be speaking on managing return to play in athletes with recurring injuries.

  DR STEPHEN KARA    Speaking Topic :  The Role Of Therapeutic Exercise In Return To Play From Concussion   Stephen is a Sports Doctor based at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists in their dedicated concussion clinic He has a background in general practice and completed his Diploma in Sports Medicine in 1998. For the past 15 years he has worked in rugby medicine with provincial teams, national teams and Super rugby side The Blues. His previous appointments include Counties-Manukau, Auckland, NZ Under 19 and Maori All Black rugby teams. He has been tournament medical officer for Rugby World Cup 2011 and is an educator for World Rugby in Pitchside Immediate Care.  His interest in concussion was generated from his time involved in contact sports, and has led to an education role with NZ rugby for community based rugby and referees.  Stephen will be speaking on the role of therapeutic exercise in return to play from concussion.

DR STEPHEN KARA

Speaking Topic: The Role Of Therapeutic Exercise In Return To Play From Concussion

Stephen is a Sports Doctor based at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists in their dedicated concussion clinic He has a background in general practice and completed his Diploma in Sports Medicine in 1998. For the past 15 years he has worked in rugby medicine with provincial teams, national teams and Super rugby side The Blues. His previous appointments include Counties-Manukau, Auckland, NZ Under 19 and Maori All Black rugby teams. He has been tournament medical officer for Rugby World Cup 2011 and is an educator for World Rugby in Pitchside Immediate Care.

His interest in concussion was generated from his time involved in contact sports, and has led to an education role with NZ rugby for community based rugby and referees.

Stephen will be speaking on the role of therapeutic exercise in return to play from concussion.

 
  DR SARAH BEABLE  Speaking Topic:   Psychological Aspects of Return to Play   Sarah is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists. She was one of the doctors with the NZ team at the Rio Olympics 2016, following her involvement as part of the medical team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She has also been selected as part of the health team to attend the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.  Her past team experience also includes working with a variety of teams including the Silver Ferns, Capital Pulse Netball, Wellington Phoenix Football, Counties Manukau Rugby, as well as a wide range of endurance sports and events.   Sarah recently published research on Depression and Associated Life Stress in Elite Athletes and speaks regularly at conferences on this topic. 

DR SARAH BEABLE

Speaking Topic:
Psychological Aspects of Return to Play

Sarah is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists. She was one of the doctors with the NZ team at the Rio Olympics 2016, following her involvement as part of the medical team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She has also been selected as part of the health team to attend the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Her past team experience also includes working with a variety of teams including the Silver Ferns, Capital Pulse Netball, Wellington Phoenix Football, Counties Manukau Rugby, as well as a wide range of endurance sports and events. 

Sarah recently published research on Depression and Associated Life Stress in Elite Athletes and speaks regularly at conferences on this topic. 

  DR BRUCE HAMILTON  Speaking Topic:   The Role Of Imaging In Return To Play   Bruce is the director of Performance and Health at High Performance Sport NZ and Medical Lead with the NZOC.   He has worked in the high-performance sport systems in Australia, the United Kingdom and Qatar. In these roles, he was responsible for developing multi/inter-disciplinary sports medicine programmes as well as providing individual care to elite athletes.  He was also Sports Physician for the Australian Institute of Sport, Medical Coordinator for Athletics Australia, Team Doctor for Triathlon Australia and Chief Medical Officer for UK Athletics.   Bruce has supported 3 Commonwealth Games (representing 3 countries) and 3 Olympic Games in a medical capacity.  

DR BRUCE HAMILTON

Speaking Topic:
The Role Of Imaging In Return To Play

Bruce is the director of Performance and Health at High Performance Sport NZ and Medical Lead with the NZOC.
 
He has worked in the high-performance sport systems in Australia, the United Kingdom and Qatar. In these roles, he was responsible for developing multi/inter-disciplinary sports medicine programmes as well as providing individual care to elite athletes.

He was also Sports Physician for the Australian Institute of Sport, Medical Coordinator for Athletics Australia, Team Doctor for Triathlon Australia and Chief Medical Officer for UK Athletics. 

Bruce has supported 3 Commonwealth Games (representing 3 countries) and 3 Olympic Games in a medical capacity.
 

  DR DAN EXETER    Speaking Topic:   Criteria versus Time - A Review of Return to Play Decision Making   Dan is a Sport and Exercise Physician based at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists and the HPSNZ Training Centre. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, Medical Director for Athletics New Zealand (High Performance) and was one of the doctors with the NZ team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  Dan has previously worked with Hawthorn AFL team, a role which culminated in an AFL (Australian Rules) Premiership in 2013. He has worked for Counties Manukau and the Chiefs, and as a tournament physician at the ASB Classic.  Dan has active research interests in the areas of injury prevention and cardiac screening of athletes. He is a reviewer for Heart journal. Dan is also interested in physician-performed ultrasound.

DR DAN EXETER

Speaking Topic: Criteria versus Time - A Review of Return to Play Decision Making

Dan is a Sport and Exercise Physician based at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists and the HPSNZ Training Centre. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, Medical Director for Athletics New Zealand (High Performance) and was one of the doctors with the NZ team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Dan has previously worked with Hawthorn AFL team, a role which culminated in an AFL (Australian Rules) Premiership in 2013. He has worked for Counties Manukau and the Chiefs, and as a tournament physician at the ASB Classic.

Dan has active research interests in the areas of injury prevention and cardiac screening of athletes. He is a reviewer for Heart journal. Dan is also interested in physician-performed ultrasound.

 
  DR MARK FULCHER  Speaking Topic:   Long Term Consequences of Injury & Returning To Play   Mark is a Sport and Exercise Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists. Mark has worked extensively in sports medicine and is especially interested in injury prevention and the treatment of concussion. He works closely with ACC and is part of their Sports Collaboration Group which recently released the Concussion Service Guidelines for medical providers in NZ.  He is the Medical Director at New Zealand Football and is currently the doctor for the All Whites and Football Ferns (New Zealand Women’s Team) joining the latter for their Rio 2016 Olympic Campaign, and was formerly the Medical Director of the ITU World Championship Triathlon event.  Mark continues to be involved with Sports Medicine education contributing regularly as a guest speaker/lecturer at universities and sports medicine meetings around the country. 

DR MARK FULCHER

Speaking Topic: 
Long Term Consequences of Injury & Returning To Play

Mark is a Sport and Exercise Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists. Mark has worked extensively in sports medicine and is especially interested in injury prevention and the treatment of concussion. He works closely with ACC and is part of their Sports Collaboration Group which recently released the Concussion Service Guidelines for medical providers in NZ.

He is the Medical Director at New Zealand Football and is currently the doctor for the All Whites and Football Ferns (New Zealand Women’s Team) joining the latter for their Rio 2016 Olympic Campaign, and was formerly the Medical Director of the ITU World Championship Triathlon event.

Mark continues to be involved with Sports Medicine education contributing regularly as a guest speaker/lecturer at universities and sports medicine meetings around the country. 

  MR SIMON YOUNG  Speaking Topic:   Science, Surgical Decision Making & Return To Play   Simon is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee and shoulder conditions.  He is a Senior Lecturer in Orthopaedics at Auckland University, and is a consultant at North Shore Hospital.  He maintains a keen research interest, currently completing his doctoral thesis on prevention of infection in knee surgery.  He is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on orthopaedic surgery.  Sion underwent training in New Zealand, and went on to work in the USA, completing a Sports Medicine fellowship at Stanford University. While at Stanford he served as Team Physician at the Stanford Sports Medicine Clinic, providing orthopaedic care to the San Francisco 49ers NFL team and Stanford College Football team and was an attending physician at the Rose Bowl.   

MR SIMON YOUNG

Speaking Topic:
Science, Surgical Decision Making & Return To Play

Simon is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee and shoulder conditions.  He is a Senior Lecturer in Orthopaedics at Auckland University, and is a consultant at North Shore Hospital.

He maintains a keen research interest, currently completing his doctoral thesis on prevention of infection in knee surgery.  He is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on orthopaedic surgery.

Sion underwent training in New Zealand, and went on to work in the USA, completing a Sports Medicine fellowship at Stanford University. While at Stanford he served as Team Physician at the Stanford Sports Medicine Clinic, providing orthopaedic care to the San Francisco 49ers NFL team and Stanford College Football team and was an attending physician at the Rose Bowl. 
 

  FIONA MATHER  Speaking Topic:   Rehabilitation And Return To Play - A Synchronised Approach (Physio, Player, Coach & Conditioner)    Fiona is the Head of Performance Therapies at High Performance Sport NZ. Fiona has an extensive international track record working in elite sporting environments, beginning her career as a performance physiotherapist in professional rugby working with Saracens, Glasgow Warriors and Rehabilitation Physiotherapist to The Scottish Rugby Union.   Following the completion of her MSc from University College London, she worked as the Head of Physiotherapy at the Sport Scotland Institute of Sport in 2003.  Fiona has experienced numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Games most recently working on behalf of the British Olympic Association at London 2012 and as Chief Physiotherapist to Team GB in Sochi 2014.   

FIONA MATHER

Speaking Topic:
Rehabilitation And Return To Play - A Synchronised Approach (Physio, Player, Coach & Conditioner) 

Fiona is the Head of Performance Therapies at High Performance Sport NZ. Fiona has an extensive international track record working in elite sporting environments, beginning her career as a performance physiotherapist in professional rugby working with Saracens, Glasgow Warriors and Rehabilitation Physiotherapist to The Scottish Rugby Union. 

Following the completion of her MSc from University College London, she worked as the Head of Physiotherapy at the Sport Scotland Institute of Sport in 2003.

Fiona has experienced numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Games most recently working on behalf of the British Olympic Association at London 2012 and as Chief Physiotherapist to Team GB in Sochi 2014.

 

 
  DR JAMES McGARVEY    Speaking Topic:   Return To Play Without Surgery - Is It Possible?    James is a Sport and Exercise Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists. He has trained and worked at leading sports medicine practices in Melbourne, Adelaide and Christchurch and Auckland.   James is a sports medicine reviewer for the British Medical Journal and is co-author of the sports medicine research review, which regularly updates New Zealand subscribers on sports medicine research.   He has an interest in rugby medicine, first looking after Counties Manukau in 2005 with continuous professional involvement since then including back to back titles with the Chiefs in 2012 and 2013.  He was the doctor for the New Zealand sevens rugby program through to the Rio Olympics in 2016. He has previously been tournament physician for the Heineken Open tennis tournament, and he is one of the regular match doctors at Eden park.

DR JAMES McGARVEY

Speaking Topic: Return To Play Without Surgery - Is It Possible? 

James is a Sport and Exercise Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists. He has trained and worked at leading sports medicine practices in Melbourne, Adelaide and Christchurch and Auckland.
 
James is a sports medicine reviewer for the British Medical Journal and is co-author of the sports medicine research review, which regularly updates New Zealand subscribers on sports medicine research. 

He has an interest in rugby medicine, first looking after Counties Manukau in 2005 with continuous professional involvement since then including back to back titles with the Chiefs in 2012 and 2013.

He was the doctor for the New Zealand sevens rugby program through to the Rio Olympics in 2016. He has previously been tournament physician for the Heineken Open tennis tournament, and he is one of the regular match doctors at Eden park.

  DR CHRIS HANNA    Speaking Topic:   Secondary Prevention For Muscle & Tendon Injuries   Chris is a Sport and Exercise Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists and has been involved with a number of elite sporting teams across a variety of codes.  He has attended Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and been the medical director for NZ Shooting, NZ Bowls, and NZ Bike. He has also looked after the Marist Brothers, Auckland Development and Auckland NPC rugby teams, Warriors Development and the Warriors NRL, and the Kiwi Rugby League teams.   Chris has completed a Masters in Medical Science focusing on groin pain, and the specialist training programme for the Australasian College of Sports Physicians. 

DR CHRIS HANNA

Speaking Topic: Secondary Prevention For Muscle & Tendon Injuries

Chris is a Sport and Exercise Physician at Axis Sports Medicine Specialists and has been involved with a number of elite sporting teams across a variety of codes.

He has attended Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and been the medical director for NZ Shooting, NZ Bowls, and NZ Bike. He has also looked after the Marist Brothers, Auckland Development and Auckland NPC rugby teams, Warriors Development and the Warriors NRL, and the Kiwi Rugby League teams. 

Chris has completed a Masters in Medical Science focusing on groin pain, and the specialist training programme for the Australasian College of Sports Physicians. 

  MR MICHAEL ROSENFELDT  Speaking Topic:    Return To Play In The Younger Athlete   Michael is an orthopaedic surgeon working at Eastwood Orthopaedic Clinic, Unisports and Middlemore Hospital.   After completing orthopaedic training in New Zealand, Michael spent several years in Europe, specialising in knee and shoulder surgery.  In 2014, Michael was awarded the Asia-Pacific Knee, Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Society Travelling Fellowship to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.  Michael has a keen interest in sport and has a great experience, both in New Zealand and overseas, in the care of elite athletes. He has a special interest in ACL and multi-ligament injuries of the knee. Since 2012, he has been the consultant orthopaedic surgeon for the New Zealand Breakers basketball team.      

MR MICHAEL ROSENFELDT

Speaking Topic:  
Return To Play In The Younger Athlete

Michael is an orthopaedic surgeon working at Eastwood Orthopaedic Clinic, Unisports and Middlemore Hospital.
 
After completing orthopaedic training in New Zealand, Michael spent several years in Europe, specialising in knee and shoulder surgery.

In 2014, Michael was awarded the Asia-Pacific Knee, Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Society Travelling Fellowship to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Michael has a keen interest in sport and has a great experience, both in New Zealand and overseas, in the care of elite athletes. He has a special interest in ACL and multi-ligament injuries of the knee. Since 2012, he has been the consultant orthopaedic surgeon for the New Zealand Breakers basketball team. 
 

 

 
  MS KATHERINE FORCH    Speaking Topic: Vestibular Treatments for Concussion   Katherine is an AUT trained physiotherapist working with the Axis Sports Medicine sports concussion service and in private practice in South Auckland.  She has a special interest in the field of vestibular rehabilitation and has completed the Herdmann competencies in 2012 with teaching staff from the Mayo Clinic and Emory University, USA.  Katherine has extensive sports experience, having worked with rugby 7s and 15s at club and representative levels and has combined these skills to be a sports specific vestibular therapist. Katherine has active research interests in the incidence of traumatic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in contact sports, as well as the relationship between baseline vestibular function and injury occurrence.  

MS KATHERINE FORCH

Speaking Topic: Vestibular Treatments for Concussion

Katherine is an AUT trained physiotherapist working with the Axis Sports Medicine sports concussion service and in private practice in South Auckland.

She has a special interest in the field of vestibular rehabilitation and has completed the Herdmann competencies in 2012 with teaching staff from the Mayo Clinic and Emory University, USA.

Katherine has extensive sports experience, having worked with rugby 7s and 15s at club and representative levels and has combined these skills to be a sports specific vestibular therapist. Katherine has active research interests in the incidence of traumatic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in contact sports, as well as the relationship between baseline vestibular function and injury occurrence.