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

The SpineCare Foundation is offering up to three travel grants for Australian researchers to attend the Steel Conference on Paediatric Spinal Cord Injury/Dysfunction that will be held in Orlando, Florida from 2-5 December 2020.

The purpose of the grant, valued at $2,500, is to support expenses associated with flights to Orlando and accommodation. Conference fees will be waived for grant recipients.

Applicants must be presenting authors and the presented work must be based on Australian data. Successful grant recipients must prepare a short report, outlining key learning outcomes, by 31 January 2021.

To apply for this travel grant please complete the application form. Applications close on 30 September 2020. 

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:

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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.