Invited Speakers

LIbby BW

Libby Birch

Libby is a highly talented athlete who has quickly carved out a career in AFLW. After a promising Netball career, which included being Captain of Victoria in the National Netball Championships, a member of the VIS, and participating in a number of Australian Netball Squads, Libby has made an exceptional conversion to AFL.

Libby has also been nominated in the AFLW All Australian Squad, and received a NAB Rising Star Nomination. Libby is a driven person who is highly competitive.  Known for her athleticism and ability to break the lines, Libby is focussed on developing all aspects of her game in order to become a well rounded player.

Outside of AFL, Libby is currently studying Physiotherapy and is an Ambassador for School Sports Victoria, AFL Kids, and Rebel Sports, along with engaging in many other programs and initiatives.

Radiology & clinical speakers

Prof Kim Bennell

Kim is a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and academic physiotherapist at the University of Melbourne where she leads the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine. Her research focuses on non surgical management of osteoarthritis.

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Dr Paul Blackman

Paul is a fellow of the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians and has worked in a multidisciplinary practice at Olympic Park Sport Medicine Centre since 1996, where he is a director. He is currently on the ACSEP Examinations and Assessments Committee and previously served on the ACSEP College board. Paul has worked in a diverse range of sports including athletics, AFL, soccer, swimming, judo and weightlifting. He has been the Chief Medical Officer of Athletics Australia since 2016 and is currently preparing for the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, USA and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK. Paul was CMO for Collingwood Football Club for 14 years culminating in the 2010 premiership and medical director at Melbourne Football Club for 4 years.

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Mr Mark Blackney

Mr Mark Blackney is a Melbourne-based orthopaedic surgeon who treats people with disorders of the foot and ankle with minimally-invasive orthopaedic surgery to help provide the best possible care and decrease recovery time.

Mr Mark Blackney has specialised in foot and ankle surgery for over thirty years. A graduate of the university of Melbourne, Mark has received further training at the Mayo Clinic in the USA and also in Europe where he trained under the guidance of the President of the European Foot and Ankle Society.

Mark has been involved in sports medicine at the highest level, including the Australian Tennis Open and Rugby World Cup.

Dr Fiona Bonar

Fiona is a Senior Specialist in Anatomical Pathology at the Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology Practice and has been an Honorary Consultant in Orthopaedic Pathology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney for over 2 decades. Her academic roles include that of  Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame and Clinical Associate professor at Macquarie University Sydney.

Prof R Buchbinder

Rachelle Buchbinder combines rheumatology practice with clinical research. She is an NHMRC Investigator Fellow, Director of the Monash-Cabrini Department Musculoskeletal Health and Clinical Epidemiology at Cabrini Health, and a Professor in the Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.

She is known internationally as a vocal proponent of evidence-based medicine and for her landmark studies, particularly those examining treatments accepted into practice before their proper evaluation. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to epidemiology and rheumatology in 2020. Her book, ‘Hippocrasy, how doctors are betraying their oath’, written with Professor Ian Harris (a Sydney-based orthopaedic surgeon), and with support from a Rockefeller Foundation writing fellowship at the Bellagio Center in Italy, was published at the end of 2021.

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Dr Richard Dallalana

Dr Richard Dallalana specialises in shoulder and elbow surgery with a particular interest in the use of arthroscopic reconstructive techniques and computer assistance in custom shoulder replacement. He hosts an international fellowship program and is an education and design consultant to industry. Richard is the president of the Victorian Shoulder and Elbow Society, and secretary elect of the Australian Shoulder and Elbow Society 2024/5.

Entwistle, Tom

Dr Tom Entwisle

Dr Tom Entwisle is a fellowship-trained musculoskeletal radiologist from Melbourne, Victoria.  He completed his postgraduate radiology training at Austin Health in 2014 and began his sub specialist musculoskeletal fellowship training at Imaging @ Olympic Park in 2015 before being appointed as a consultant there in 2016.  At the start of 2022, Tom relocated his young family to Adelaide to join Dr Shaun Fowler at Fowler Simmons Radiology.

Tom is passionate about musculoskeletal radiology, and its role in assisting clinicians manage acute and chronic conditions in both athletes and non-athletes.  He was the Director of Training at Imaging @ Olympic Park for 5 years, where he supervised and trained numerous radiologists during their fellowship.  Tom is actively involved in academic research, and has presented at local, national and international conferences.  He has a particular interest in imaging of muscle injury in athletes.

Jason, Harvey

Dr Jason Harvey

Dr Jason Harvey is an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in all aspects of hand, wrist and elbow surgery. This includes soft tissue and bony procedures including elbow, wrist and small joint arthroscopy. His key procedures include: – Elbow, Wrist and small joint arthroscopy – Carpal tunnel and trigger release – Hand, wrist and elbow joint replacements – Elbow Fractures – Wrist fractures (distal radius and scaphoid) – Hand fractures – Dupuytrens contracture release – Flexor and extensor tendon surgery – Tennis and golfers elbow – Biceps tendon rupture at elbow.

Mr Harvey trained in Medicine at The University of Sydney and graduated in 1997. After completing his internship in Sydney, he moved to the United States where he undertook general surgery training at Harvard and Harbor-UCLA. He followed this with advanced training in orthopaedic surgery at Harbor-UCLA completing his studies in 2005. Mr Harvey completed a hand and peripheral nerve surgery fellowship in Sydney and was admitted to fellowship of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2007.

A/Prof  Peter Malliaras

Peter is a physiotherapist and researcher from Melbourne, Australia specializing in tendinopathy. In 2006 he completed his PhD in tendinopathy identifying novel risk factors, and since has undertaken post doctoral research in the UK and Australia, and has co-authored over 120 peer review publications. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at Monash University Physiotherapy Department and involved in multiple funded tendinopathy research projects in Australia and internationally. His research focuses on understanding pain and neuromuscular impairments, and clinical trials testing the efficacy of exercise and other interventions in tendinopathy. Peter maintains a strong clinical focus, specializing in difficult tendinopathy cases and regularly consults to elite athletes.

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Dr Andrew Nealon

Dr Andrew Nealon is a physiotherapist with extensive experience in clinical practice and professional sport. He has worked for the NSW Cricket Team, Hampshire County Cricket Club, Chennai Superstars, Liverpool Football Club and Central Coast Mariners Football Club. During much of his career working with professional teams Andrew was also an active researcher and completed his PhD at La Trobe University in December 2017.

The subject of Andrew’s thesis was side strain injury to fast bowlers in first class cricket in Australia and England after his interest was piqued by a spate of side strains at Hampshire. The project was endorsed by Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board. The research was highly collaborative and included over 200 fast bowlers and data collection from over 30 physiotherapists of first class cricket teams in Australia and England over several years. Andrew has co-authored 6 publications on this injury, including a narrative review, a report on incidence rates, description and reliability study of a novel clinical assessment technique, and an investigation of the reliability of MRI reporting parameters and the relationship between MRI findings and recovery time.

Saw, Richard

Dr Richard Saw

Dr Richard Saw is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician based in Canberra. He is the Lead Physician at the Australian Institute of Sport working under AIS CMO David Hughes. Richard has recently been appointed the Chief Medical Officer of Gymnastics Australia. Before moving to the AIS in 2020, Richard consulted at Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre in Melbourne, and has previously worked with Cricket Australia, North Melbourne Football Club and the AFL Umpires. He also worked at the Tokyo Paralympics with the Australian Athletics Team in 2021. Richard is currently completing a PhD on lumbar spine bone stress in athletes through the University of Canberra.

Amir Takla

A/Prof Amir Takla

Mr. Amir Takla was born in Alexandria and educated in Melbourne, Australia. He completed his physiotherapy training at The University of Melbourne in 1997. After completing 12 months of clinical practice, successful entry was gained into The University of Melbourne Masters of Physiotherapy (Manipulative Therapy) program. The clinical masters program focused on advanced clinical reasoning, problem based learning and manipulative techniques. He then joined Ivanhoe Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic as head physiotherapist. In 2007 successful recognition as a Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist by the Australian Physiotherapy Association was gained.

Physiotherapy posts – Head Physiotherapists for the Victorian Men’s Gymnastics program – 1997 – 2007, World Championships team 2003 & 2005, Australian Open – Tennis Sports Physiotherapist 2003 to 2022. Travelling private consultant for many Top 10 tennis players on the ATP/WTA tour. Developed many strategies in management and treatment of players on Tour. Has been involved in development and management of medical service in professional events.

Over the past 15 years, A/Prof Amir and Prof. John O’Donnell, Orthopaedic Surgeon, have developed rehabilitation protocols for the assessment and treatment for Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome (FAIS) and are currently involved in post-graduate research at several universities in Australia. He is also the co-chair of the International society of hip preservation (ISHA) of the physiotherapy subgroup. 6/4/22

Currently, A/Prof Amir Takla practice in Richmond, Ivanhoe and East Melbourne and is a co-director of Australian Sports Physiotherapy Clinic.

Anna Taylor Big

Dr Anna Taylor

Anna is currently undertaking a Musculoskeletal Imaging Fellowship with ‘Imaging at Olympic Park’, Melbourne. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne in 2011 and completed her Radiology training at Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, where she also undertook a Fellowship in Neurological, Musculoskeletal and Cardiothoracic Imaging in 2021, including Cardiac MRI. She has previously participated in a variety of research projects, including studies in the use of fluorescent nerve tracers to delineate peripheral neuroanatomy and the effectiveness of antispasmodics on MRI rectal imaging

Dr Liam West

Dr Liam West completed Medical training and his Sports & Exercise (SEM) Masters in the UK before moving to Melbourne to undertake specialist SEM in 2015. He is a fellow of the Australasian College of Sport & Exercise Physician passing his fellowship exams in 2021. Within elite sport, Liam has worked internationally for the England U16 Football (Soccer) team and the Australian Diamonds Netball team. He has provided medical services at international events including the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 Invictus Games & is travelling to the 2022 Commonwealth Games with Team Australia. He is the current Head Doctor for the Hawthorn Football Club (AFL) & works privately as Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic seeing where he enjoys helping weekend warriors remain physically active. Away from clinical roles, Liam is a Senior Associate Editor for British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) and in 2017 was elected the President of the Victorian Council of Sports Medicine Australia (SMA), serving 2 terms.

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Dr Robert Wright

Dr Robert Wright is internationally recognised as a pioneer in the field of interventional pain management and brings a wealth of experience as an interventionist and pain physician at Sydney Pain Management Centre.

Special Interests:

– Intervertebral disc disorders and the vertebral endplates
– Radiofrequency procedures for the cervical and thoracic spine, major joints and the autonomic system, as well as facial pain and cluster headaches


– Dr Wright completed his core academic training in anaesthesiology and pain medicine in 1991.
– He learned from many of the world-renowned pioneers in pain management such as, Dr Charlie Aprill, Dr Nikolas Bogduk and Dr Rick Derby.
– He entered private practice in 1993, founding a multidisciplinary pain management centre, later known as a regional centre of excellence for advanced interventional pain techniques.
– In 1994, he became an instructor of the Spine Intervention Society (SIS), ultimately attaining Master Instructor level. SIS is an international physician organisation with 3000 physician members in 51 countries, dedicated to the development of the highest standards of practice for interventional pain procedures.
– He has received recognition as a Diplomat of the American Board of Pain Medicine (DAPM) and Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP)
– In 2001 he invented and developed the Dekompressor™ percutaneous disectomy probe – a tool to treat symptomatic disc herniation.
– In 2009 he invented the Nimbus Multi-tined Expandable Electrode, used in radiofrequency procedures.
– Relocating to Australia with his family in 2019, Dr Wright is energetically involved in patient care, research and teaching as he enters the next chapter of his career with Sydney Pain Management Centre.