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 - click here to view current scholarship opportunities
  • Funding public health Masters, PhD and postdoctoral research projects to increase the body of knowledge on paediatric spinal injury and disease

Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarship

The Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarships are administered by The SpineCare Foundation and is now 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.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 28 January, 2020.

Students who are completing year 12 at the end of 2019 are eligible to apply if they plan on attending university in 2020. Students who are part of the way through a tertiary course are also eligible to apply.

In 2020, five Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarships of up to $5,000 each will be offered to students in NSW. Those proceeding to a higher degree are also eligible, as are students who have been accepted for post-graduate study in Australia and overseas. 

You can read the Recipient Guidelines and apply here.

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:

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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.