SpineCare Foundation

The SpineCare Foundation is a division of Northcott committed to funding research and educational initiatives that support children with spinal cord disease or injury and their families.

The Foundation’s initiatives include:

  • Coordinating educational activities to share knowledge about spinal disease and disorders in children
  • Providing support and funding for tertiary scholarships for students who use wheelchairs
  • Funding public health Masters, PhD and postdoctoral research projects to increase the body of knowledge on paediatric spinal injury and diseases.

Travel Grants for Australian researchers

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Steel Conference on Paediatric Spinal Cord Injury/Dysfunction (originally due to be held in Orlando, Florida from 2-5 December 2020) has now been postponed to 8-11 December 2021. Therefore, the SpineCare Foundation has temporarily withdrawn the offer for Travel Grants.

This offer will be re-considered in 2021. Please continue to check this space for updates.

The SpineCare Foundation Scholarship for Tertiary Education

Mid year 2020 – Applications Now Open

A special mid-year offering of SpineCare’s Thomas KF Taylor Tertiary Scholarship is now available. Applications are available to students who use a wheelchair for mobility and who are undertaking an undergraduate or higher degree in NSW, or pursuing post-graduate study at a recognised Australian or international university.

The closing date for applications is: Monday 1 June 2020.  

Successful applicants will progress to interview, scheduled mid- June via video link.  

The Thomas KF Taylor Tertiary scholarship is funded by The SpineCare Foundation in honour of one of SpineCare’s (established in 1981 as the Children’s Spinal Research Foundation) key founding members, Professor Thomas Taylor, who remained an active contributor of The Foundation until his passing in 2016. At this time, SpineCare Directors agreed to establish tertiary scholarships in his name, as a legacy of Professor Taylor’s immense passion for furthering the education of people who used wheelchairs for mobility. 

The aim of the scholarship is to support integration into tertiary education. It is acknowledged that students with a disability may have additional obstacles to overcome in accessing tertiary education, particularly the additional costs involved, which can be considerable and variable according to the degree of disability.

To apply for this scholarship, please review the 2020 recipient guidelines and complete the application form.

If you require any further information, please contact Isabel Chapman:  isabel.chapman@northcott.com.au or 0439 166 268.

Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarship

The Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarships are administered by The SpineCare Foundation and are open to students who:

  • use a wheelchair as a primary form of mobility
  • are Australian citizens and
  • have been accepted into, or are currently enrolled, in a university course in NSW.

Scholarship submissions for 2020 have now closed. Please check back regularly for details of forthcoming scholarship opportunities.

Dom’s story

A series of podcasts to support people with Spinal Cord Injuries

Following on the success of the innovative Jumo Health comics (see below), the SpineCare Foundation identified a need to provide an educational resource for adolescents with Spinal Cord Injuries to support them with the transition from child to adult healthcare services and living an independent adult life.

After some investigation, research showed that podcasts are an effective communication channel for health messages within the 18-25 years age group.

In collaboration with Jumo Health, the SpineCare Foundation produced Dom’s story, which is a series of six podcasts about Domonic Freestone who is a C5-6 quadriplegic. In them, Dom openly talks about how his injury occurred, his initial stages of recovery, health and fitness, mental health, relationships, self care, independence and family matters. He doesn’t shy away from any confronting topics.

“I know I would have found something like this really useful when I was first injured and at other points along the journey of my recovery and transition to my ‘new’ life,” Dom said. “So I’m hoping they will be useful for others out there” he added.

Download and listen to the podcasts by accessing through the links below:




Jumo Health comics

As part of its work, the Foundation published two innovative comics in collaboration with Jumo Health, who provide health resources to children and families.

These fun and educational comics teach children, their families and peers about spinal cord injuries. They also offer medical professionals another resource to share with their patients. 

You can read the comics online now by downloading:

Alternatively you can get in touch with us and order your own printed copies of the comics.

SpineCare History

The SpineCare Foundation was founded as the Children’s Spinal Research Foundation in 1981 to source funds in NSW to support research into diseases and disorders of the spine in children.

In 2011 The Foundation hosted an inaugural Conference of Innovation and Practice in Childhood Spinal Conditions.

The Foundation is now a division of Northcott, providing ongoing industry leadership in spine care.

You can read the SpineCare Foundation’s financial statements on the publications and policies section of our website.