The conference presentations are now available for download.  Please use the password that was emailed to you by the Conference Secretariat.

Open the program by clicking the button below and then hover over the name of the Presenter. 

Please note not all Presenters have given permission to share their presentations.


 Presentation Download

The 2016 Conference Committee, on behalf of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, invite you to join us at the AHTA 2016 National Conference, Tendons: Moving to Mastery.

The conference will include an exciting line up of expert clinicians and researchers. Cutting edge presentations and diverse workshops will ensure that therapists take home current practical ideas for clinical intervention, research and practice management.

Join us in Sydney, New South Wales from the 26th - 28th August 2016, to learn, be inspired, network with colleagues and enjoy everything Sydney has to offer.


Select a registration type

Full Registration

Full registration includes entry into all conference sessions, entry into the trade exhibition, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, conference satchel, Welcome Reception and Conference Dinner.

Click here to register

AHTA Full Member $799
AHTA Associate Member $799
NZAHT Member $799
Non-Member $999

Day Registration

Day registration includes entry into all conference sessions, entry into the trade exhibition, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea (for the day of registration only), conference satchel. Please note social functions are not included in Day Registrations.

Click here to register

AHTA Full Member $450
AHTA Associate Member $450
NZAHT Member $450
Non-Member $550


To view the draft conference program, please click the button below.



The Conference Organising Committee invites you to submit abstracts for papers on topics which compliment the conference theme, Tendons: Moving to Mastery. You can submit an abstract for a paper or a poster. For more information and guidelines for your submission, please click the Abstract Submission Guidelines button below.

Abstract submission has now closed



Invited International Speaker

Fiona Peck

Fiona is a clinical specialist physiotherapist and has worked at the regional burns and plastic surgery unit at Withington and Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, UK for over 30 years. She has specialised in the treatment of hand trauma since 1985 and over the last 15 years has developed a practitioner led hand service where specialist therapists working in an extended scope capacity manage closed trauma, postoperative and elective cases through to discharge.

Fiona has always had a special interest in tendon injuries and has audited the outcomes of flexor tendon injury through the evolution of rehabilitation for the past 30 years. She has published on this subject and has been fortunate enough to be able to lecture both nationally and internationally.


Fiona will be presenting:

Friday 26th August 2016
Key Note Lecture - 'The rehabilitation of flexor tendon injuries in Zones 1 and 2' at 9.40am
Concurrent Session - 'The rehabilitation of flexor tendon injuries' at 1.45pm and 3.45pm

Saturday 27th August 2016
Key Note Lecture - 'The rehabilitation of extensor tendon injuries of the hand and forearm' at 10.15am

Sunday 28th August 2016
Key Note Lecture - 'The development of a therapy led trauma clinic' at 8.30am

Invited Speakers

Sarah Baxter

Sarah graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) in 2000.

Sarah has been working as a hand therapist since 2002. She has gained extensive clinical experience in treating both adult and paediatric hand conditions through her work in private practice, NSW health and the NHS in England.

For the past 6 years Sarah has been working as a senior hand therapist at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and currently specialises in hand trauma in babies and children. Sarah holds a full membership with the Australian Hand Therapy Association.

Sarah is presenting 'Paediatric Tendon Repairs' with Hannah Munro on Sunday 28th August

Leanne Bisset

Leanne is a Senior Lecturer in musculoskeletal physiotherapy at Griffith University and maintains a part-time clinical load treating tennis elbow. She holds two postgraduate Masters degrees (Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy) and has more than 20 years' clinical experience in musculoskeletal/sports physiotherapy practice. She completed her PhD from the University of Queensland in 2008 and has published widely in the field of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly tennis elbow. In research, Dr Bisset has successfully completed several studies targeting tennis elbow. This work encompasses clinical, imaging and prognostic factors associated with tennis elbow, with current research expanding into basic science studies that explore underlying mechanisms related to tennis elbow. In collaboration, she has successfully completed three clinical trials investigating the effects of physiotherapy and medical interventions for tennis elbow. She has over 35 peer-reviewed publications with more than 1300 citations.

Leanne is presenting 'From bench to bedside, applying the evidence to the patient with lateral epicondylalgia' and the concurrent session 'Management of lateral epicondylalgia: A ‘how to’ session' on Saturday 27th August

Ben Cunningham

Ben is the Hand Therapist at the Collingwood Football Club (AFL) and a director of Action Rehab and manages a team of 11 Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.  Ben has over 19 years' experience providing hand and upper limb therapy, including three years working in the United Kingdom at the Queen Victoria Hospital and eight years as the senior clinician at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

Ben completed postgraduate Masters of Clinical Science (Hand & Upper Limb) through Curtin University in 2006. Ben is currently a Lecturer at Monash University where he has teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate Physiotherapy students.

Ben is a full member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) and has held previous roles on the management committee. Ben is the author of the Fundamentals of Hand Therapy workshops run through the AHTA and runs a series or workshops locally, interstate and internationally. Ben has taught both here in Australia and overseas on the specialist area of hand trauma and biomechanics.

Ben's special interests are in sports biomechanics and hand trauma and through his role at Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre he treats a number of elite athletes including players from the AFL, NRL, A-league, Cricket Australia, Melbourne Victory and Netball Australia.  Ben has led the way in the treatment of complex intra-articular fractures in the wrist, hand, thumb and digits, presenting at national and international conferences.

Ben is presenting the concurrent session 'Wrists' on Saturday 27th August

Erica Elliott

Erica completed her undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy in 2000. The majority of her working career has been in the specialty area of hand therapy. During this time, she has managed a variety of hand and upper limb trauma and conditions, including burns. In 2014, Erica completed her Masters of Health Science degree through Monash University.

Erica’s interest is rehabilitation following major trauma and reconstruction in the hand and upper limb. She and colleagues published in the Journal of Hand Therapy last year, outcomes following extensor tendon repair and rehabilitation using the relative motion orthosis.

Erica is presenting 'Extensor Tendons' on Saturday 27th August

Amy Geach

Amy graduated from the University of Sydney in occupational therapy in 2000, and completed her Masters in Clinical Science (Hand and Upper Limb Therapy) in 2007 from Curtin University in Perth. Since then, she has worked in the field of hand therapy at RPA Hospital and Sydney Hospital. More recently, for the last 10 years, she has owned and operated private practices providing hand therapy and paediatric therapy. Amy is very passionate about ongoing professional development for therapists and delivering support and education for private practice owners. She developed this passion into a new arm of her business, founding Maida Learning in 2013 to provide business education specifically for allied health professionals. Amy is currently researching marketing abilities and attitudes of hand therapists, and is completing her MBA.

Amy is presenting the concurrent session 'Essentials of Private Practice' on Saturday 27th August

Karen Ginn

Associate Professor Ginn teaches functional, applied musculoskeletal anatomy and is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist in part-time private practice.  She is involved in research related to the assessment and treatment of shoulder dysfunction including: clinical trials investigating the efficacy of conservative and surgical treatment for shoulder dysfunction; electromyographic (EMG) studies investigating shoulder muscle activation patterns in normal subjects and patients with shoulder dysfunction; EMG studies evaluating shoulder exercises; studies evaluating the validity and reliability of components of the physical examination of the shoulder; experimental shoulder pain studies; and investigations of shoulder stiffness and cortical changes associated with shoulder pain.

Karen is presenting 'Rotator Cuff Tendons' and the concurrent session 'Rotator Cuff Muscles' on Saturday 27th August.

Ray Jongs

Ray Jongs is a Hand Therapist with a passion for the sciences underlying his practice. He is the lead clinician at the Royal North Shore Hospital, with 16 Years experience in Hand Therapy. His analytical approach to splinting was used in a randomised controlled trial, and he continues to investigate hand therapy techniques through research. He will bring an enthusiastic approach to a thought-provoking session on simple orthoses designs based on torsional springs

Ray is presenting the concurrent session 'Springs and Things: Splinting the PIP Joint' on Friday 26th August

Hannah Munro

Hannah Graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational therapy) in 2005.

Throughout her career she has gained a vast array of experience working in clinical areas with a particular focus on rehabilitation of the hand and upper limb. These clinical areas include hand therapy, rheumatology, burns, neurology, stroke, amputees, lymphoedema, connective tissue disorders and paediatrics.

For the past 3.5 years Hannah has been working as a senior hand therapist at The Children Hospital at Westmead specialising in hand trauma and congenital hand abnormalities in babies and children. She also works privately at Bondi Junction hand Therapy, is a casual lecturer in hand and upper limb rehabilitation at The University of Sydney and has recently been appointed as the senior hand therapist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst.

Hannah is presenting 'Paediatric Tendon Repairs' with Sarah Baxter on Sunday 28th August

Joy Hanna

Joy Hanna has over 20 years experience in hand and upper limb rehabilitation. She graduated from the University of Queensland in 1992 and completed a Master of Science (Hand Therapy) in 2003. Her Masters thesis was in the Management of Extensor Tendon Injuries with Early Active mobilisation.  She has worked both in Australia and the UK within both the public and private sector.  She is currently the Manager of EKCO Hand Therapy in Brisbane. Joy has presented at both national and international conferences in Australia, the UK and the USA and has taught at a number of universities in the field of hand therapy. She is a past president of the Australian Hand Therapy Association.

Joy is presenting the concurrent session 'Tendon Gliding' on Friday 26th August. 

Concurrent Sessions

Friday 26th August 2016

2.00pm & 4.00pm


Fiona Peck - The rehabilitation of flexor tendon injuries
This workshop will explore all aspects of rehabilitation presented in the key note talk in greater depth, including other zones of injury. Factors impacting the implementation of controlled active motion including wound care and dressing techniques will be included along with the management of flexor pollicis longus injuries and injuries in children.

The construction of the Manchester short splint will be discussed in greater detail and the anatomical and biomechanical implications of safe function will be presented.. Various outcomes measures will also be outlined and interactive audience discussion after each part of the workshop will be encouraged.

Joy Hanna - Tendon Gliding
This session will offer strategies on how to promote and optimize tendon gliding post flexor tendon repair.
Limited to 50 participants per session

Ray Jongs - Springs and Things: Spliting the PIP Joint
Dynamic splints are levers that provide a variable force across joints using elastic materials. How do we quantify this force in spring-wire splints? The application of force contributes to the effectiveness of the splint: either the torque generated, or patient adherence. The forces generated by spring-wire splints are subject to engineering principles. This session will present data for force/torque application from common widths of spring-wire, and how this may apply to the PIPj, compared to the DIPj or MCPj. The principles of how these forces are applied will be demonstrated with the construction of various spring-wire splints.
Limited to 60 participants per session

Tim Peltz, Damian Ryan, James Ledgard & Ben Bugden - Tendon Repairs
This session will outline in more detail the bio-mechanics of tendon repairs. Participants will have the opportunity to suture a tendon.
Limited to 30 participants per session

Bronwen Ackerman - Intrinsic/Extrinsic Muscle Balance
This session will outline assessing and retraining the intrinsic and extrinsic muscle balance for musicians’ hand function.
Limited to 40 participants per session

Saturday 27th August 2016


Karen Ginn - Rotator Cuff Muscles
In order to achieve full range movement at the shoulder co-ordinated movement of the scapula with the humerus is required to position the glenoid fossa for optimal articulation with the humeral head throughout range as well as to maintain the mechanical advantage of the scapulohumeral muscles, including the rotator cuff (RC) muscles. It is the role of axioscapular muscles to accurately position the scapula for optimal articular surface and muscle alignment. However, because the mobile scapula provides the origin of important shoulder muscles, including the RC muscles, activation of these muscles has implications for axioscapular muscle function. Contraction of the RC has the potential to move the scapula away from the midline, requiring co-ordinated contraction of axioscapular muscles to maintain the correct scapula position ie to stabilise the scapula, to enable optimal RC function.

Complex, co-ordinated muscle function is the most important requirement to achieve full range movement and maintain functional stability at the shoulder joint. Accurate knowledge of the complexity of these muscle mechanisms is necessary to provide the detailed sound functional anatomical basis to inform the clinical reasoning processes underpinning the choice of exercises to restore normal shoulder function. This workshop will evaluate “RC exercises” commonly used in shoulder rehabilitation in relation to their specificity to restore the mobility and stability roles of the RC and axioscapular muscles.

Ben Cunningham - Wrists
Ben will be taking an in depth look at the stability of the wrist examining the link between the static (ligamentous) and the dynamic (tendons and muscles) stabilisers of the wrist and how their relationship with each other contributes to common conditions such as De Quervain’s, ECU tendonosis, Lateral Epicondylosis and ulnar and radial sided wrist pain.  Ben will present on the anatomy and biomechanics and how this relates to their assessment and treatment.

Leanne Bisset - Elbow Tendinopathy
This session will follow on from this morning’s lecture outlining in more detail the assessment and management of elbow tendinopathy.

Amy Geach - Essentials of Private Practice
This workshop is suitable for therapists thinking of branching into the world of private practice, and also those who may be already working in private practice as a sole practitioner or with a team around them. The workshop will focus on practical business knowledge & skills to ensure you are implementing best business practices into your practice.

This workshop will cover the essential to operating an effective private practice, and will offer simple tips and advice, with practical resources to takeaway and use in your own practice.  The workshop will cover the following themes: financial knowledge, development of systems, marketing and branding, and time management.

Participants in the workshop will:

  • Develop an understanding of the need to possess sound business knowledge and skills in practice
  • Gain an insight into the key areas of business knowledge required to run a thriving practice
  • Learn basic financial techniques when setting fees and analysing statements
  • Learn the steps required for developing systems and processes for delivering effective services
  • Learn practical and cost effective ways to market and promote your services, including the development of strong referral networks.
  • Learn the parameters of branding in healthcare and how they can be implemented easily into practice
  • Gain an understanding of your time management skills and tips for enhancing the productivity of your day.


Rydges World Square

Located in the heart of Sydney, the Rydges World Square will host Australian Hand Therapy Association National Conference 2016.

Walking distance from fantastic restaurants and many of Sydney's main attractions we trust that your experience at the Rydges World Square will be great.


Rydges World Square luxurious guest rooms are well-equipped with flat-screen TVs and free WI-FI. The cosy Rydges Dream Bed with crisp, white linens complemented by custom black bed scarves and pillows will have you sleeping soundly and waking fully refreshed.  

Room types:
Deluxe King Room $199 per night
Family Room $299 per night


Social Events

Welcome Reception

Friday 26th August 2016

5 - 7pm

Join us at Rydges World Square to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. Drinks and nibbles are included in your full registration.


Conference Dinner

Saturday 27th August 2016

7 - 11pm

Surprise Location!

BridgeClimb Sydney

We are thrilled to offer our delegates a special conference rate for BridgeClimb Sydney.

See Sydney at its best - take the Climb of Your Life with BridgeClimb Sydney. From dawn until dusk, the view is always different. Climbs are available at dawn (limited departures), by day, twilight or night. Don’t miss this unforgettable, and uniquely “Sydney” experience. Click the image below to find out more information.

BridgeClimb Special Conference Rate Terms and Conditions

  • The Special Conference Rate is valid for sale from 13 July 2016 – 4 September 2016 for Climbs from 19 August 2016 – 4 September 2016 only (inclusive)
  • Conference delegates must present proof of their conference registration or a conference lanyard at time of check-in. Please note that the full rate apply if this condition is not satisfied.
  • The Special Conference Rate may be extended to family and friends and must be accompanied by a conference delegate on the Climb
  • Refer to for more details on how to prepare for your Climb



We invite you to support the 2016 Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) National Conference.

Sponsoring the AHTA National Conference provides an exciting opportunity for your company or organisation to be part of the unique specialty of hand therapy and their associates in physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Current sponsorship opportunities:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze
  • Trade Display
  • Session
  • Conference Dinner
  • Coffee Cart
  • Conference Lanyards, USBs, Pens & Pads,
  • Satchel Insert

By sponsoring the AHTA National Conference, you are giving your organisation an excellent opportunity to promote your name, support your brands and maintain a high profile within the industry before, during and after the conferene.

Our delegates are keen to improve their skills and knowledge. Aligning your comapny with this powerful education experience demonstrates your commitment to assisting their development.

For more information, and to view our sponsorship prospectus, please contact Emily Adams, AHTA Conference Secretariat on (07) 3368 2422 or email

Thank you to our Conference Sponsors