SpineCare Foundation

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

The Foundation’s initiatives include:

  • Coordinating educational activities to share knowledge about spinal cord injury and dysfunction in children.
  • Awarding tertiary scholarships for students who use wheelchairs.
  • Funding Masters, PhD and postdoctoral research projects to increase the body of knowledge on paediatric spinal cord injury and dysfunction.

SpineCare Top 40 – An Informative 2021 Podcast Series

SpineCare is developing a podcast series to cover topics of high importance to kids and families (and their broader communities) impacted by childhood acquired spinal cord injury and dysfunction.

This project is in response to consumer feedback and will commemorate 40 years since SpineCare’s inception as the Children’s Spinal Research Foundation in 1981. The series is due to launch July 2021.

You are invited to have your say about what you most want to hear about. 

Tell us today!


If you wish to participate in the series, contact Isabel on 0439 166 268 or via Isabel.chapman@northcott.com.au

Funding Research

SpineCare is currently supporting two PhD projects in partnership with Western Sydney University;

  1. Using proven cognitive strategies to improve outcomes for children with spinal cord injury or disease.
  2. Transitioning children with spinal cord injury or disease to adult services using a peer support model.

The Consumer Voice

In 2020, SpineCare partnered with Ability Forum to gain insights into the consumer experience and opinion, to inform the development of engaging resources, educational material and other activity for the benefit of children with spinal disease or disorders.

Insights are being utilised in current projects and future planning.

Travel Grants for Australian researchers

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

Please continue to check this space for similar opportunities.

Scholarships for Tertiary Education

Congratulations to the five students awarded the Gregory and Dolores Farrell Scholarship and the four students awarded the Thomas K.F. Taylor Scholarship for the 2021 academic year.

Students are studying in the fields of Communications, Human Science, Law, Business, Advanced Science, Psychology and Human Movement, Medicine, Research Physiotherapy and Secondary Education.

We wish them the best in pursuit of their studies.

Thinking of study in 2022?

If you are planning on attending University in 2022 and use a wheelchair for mobility, please check back here for updates on the next scholarship round.

Applications forms will be available soon.

Find out more about the scholarships here and enjoy reaching about previously awarded recipients here.

Application close: 5pm Monday 22 November 2021

Applicants progressing to the next stage must attend an interview at the Northcott Head Offices (North Parramatta) or via video link on Wednesday 1 December 2021.

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

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 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. 

Learn more about the journey to development of the comics 

Please get in touch with us to request one or both 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.