Keynote and Invited Speakers

The 2022 Conference Planning Committee (CPC) looks forward to announcing the keynote speakers shortly. But for now they are pleased to advise that Professor Miranda Rose has accepted the invitation to present the Elizabeth Usher Memorial Award lecture at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2022.

Keynote speaker

Dr Joanne (Jo) Watson

This is a photograph of Dr Joanne (Jo) Watson, a keynote speaker.Dr Joanne (Jo) Watson, PhD has practiced as a speech pathologist, researcher, and lecturer in the disability sector for 30 years. Jo has an extensive national and international profile, having lived, practiced, taught, and engaged in research while in Hong Kong, China, Australia, and the USA. She brings to her work invaluable experience as a daughter and sister of two wonderful women with disability.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology from La Trobe University in 1991, she practiced in Tasmania, Victoria, Hong Kong, China, and the USA. In 2001 Jo returned to Melbourne to take up a position at Scope Australia, then called the Spastic Society of Victoria. While at Scope Jo undertook a PhD through Deakin University graduating in 2016. In 2015, Jo jointly founded and established Deakin’s Post graduate program in disability and inclusion, which she now directs as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health at Deakin University.

Jo’s research is focused on supporting people with intellectual disability and complex communication support needs to live self-determined lives and is fueled by a steadfast commitment to equality. Jo is unwavering in her conviction that human communication is central to enabling people with disability to achieve their human right of autonomy. She believes that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Australia is a signatory, provides humanity with an unprecedented mechanism with which universal autonomy can be achieved, not only for people who communicate using language, but for people who communicate informally, a group she believes are ‘rarely heard’. Findings from Jo’s research has led to legislative, policy and practice reform for people with intellectual disability and complex communication support needs in Australia and internationally.

Elizabeth Usher Memorial Award Recipient

Professor Miranda Rose

This is a photograph of Professor Miranda Rose, the Elizabeth User Memorial Award RecipientProfessor Miranda Rose is Director, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation at La Trobe University. She leads the Effectiveness of Aphasia Interventions Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists Working Group.

Miranda graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) from Lincoln Institute in 1981 and then worked in Victorian acute and sub-acute hospitals including founding the speech pathology department at Bundoora Extended Care Centre. She obtained a Graduate Diploma in Communication Disorders of Neurological Origin, a Graduate Diploma in Health Research Methodology and a PhD from La Trobe University, using a cognitive neuropsychological approach to investigating the effects of gesture treatments for aphasia.

Miranda commenced her academic career in 1987 and until 2010 taught in the areas of neurological communication disability and clinical education. Since 2011 she has been in research focused positions, including as Associate Pro Vice Chancellor-Research in the College of Science, Health and Engineering at La Trobe University.

Miranda has obtained more than $8M of NHMRC and ARC grant income as Chief Investigator. She led and recently completed the COMPARE randomised controlled trial, one of the largest aphasia rehabilitation trials in the world. Her research focuses on finding effective treatments and management approaches for aphasia across the continuum of care and developing evidence translation tools. She has over 135 publications, has supervised 8 PhD students to completion and currently supervises ten. Miranda is passionate about improving the quality of life for people living with aphasia.