• Location: University of Canberra Public Hospital, Group Room 1 and 2, 20 Guraguma Street, Bruce ACT 2617

The aim of this symposium is to improve practice across sports medicine and sport science in the prevention, diagnosis and management of elite athletes.

As girls and young women become more empowered through sports, it is important to advance research on how sex differences affect their performance and overall sports experience. Most of our present understanding of sports injuries, workloads and performance comes from male studies. However, due to biological and physiological differences the available evidence may not be directly transferable to inform specific issues that make female athletes unique.

There is an emerging body of evidence specific to injuries, illness and their prevention, workloads and performance in female athletes. A better understanding of health issues specific to female athletes is imperative to make evidence-informed clinical decisions and establish best practice in the prevention of injuries and illness in this population.

This two-day symposium will feature both international and local researchers covering a range of topics including workloads, performance, injuries and illnesses in female athletes.

Interdisciplinary perspectives will inform discussions into unique health issues in female athletes plus strategies to prevent and treat clinical issues, injuries and illnesses that can limit female athletes’ performance. Learn practical tips and future directions for protecting the health of the female athlete.

Aside from being a fantastic learning opportunity, this symposium will be an excellent platform for networking with other researchers and clinicians in both the ACT and abroad.

Friday 3rd May 2019

5:00pm – 5:20pmRegistration Opens
5:20pm – 5:30pmWelcome AddressDr Gordon Waddington
5:30pm – 5:50pmOpeningKate Palmer – CEO Sport Australia
5:50pm – 6:50pmKeynote: Prevention of Harassment and Abuse in SportAssociate Clinical Professor Margo Mountjoy
6:50pm – 6:20pmCall to Arms: Why We Need to do More Studies on Female AthletesProfessor Louise Burke OAM
6:20pm – 7:50pmInjury and Illness in Combat SportsDr Sally Bromley
7:50pm – 9:00pmDrinks and Nibbles Networking Session


Saturday 4th May 2019

8:30am – 8:40amWelcome and Opening Address
8:40am – 9:40amKeynote: Risk Factors and Prevention of Lower Limb Injuries in Female AthletesProfessor Grethe Myklebust
9:40am – 10:10amPelvic Floor and IncontinenceDr Irmina Nahon
10:10am – 10:50amMorning Tea and Networking
10:50am – 11:20amUpdate on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)Associate Clinical Professor Margo Mountjoy
11:20am – 11:50amPerspectives of a Sports Dietitian – Differences in Working with Male and Female AthletesAssociate Professor Kate Pumpa
11:50am – 12:20pmThe Journey of an Athlete, Coach and MotherHeather Garriock
12:25pm – 12:30pmWellness EmpowermentEbony Anderson
12:30pm – 1:30pmLunch and Networking
1:30pm – 2:00pmFemale Athletes in Health: Do we Need to Widen the Lens?Dr Michael Drew
2:00pm – 2:30pmStrength and Conditioning in the Female AthleteAssociate Professor Nick Ball
2:30pm – 3:00pmScreening Protocols – How do you Determine Return to Play?Professor Grethe Myklebust
3:00pm – 3:30pm Afternoon Tea and Networking
3:30pm – 4:00pmConcussion in Female AthletesDr Warren McDonald
4:00pm – 4:30pmAWSM Australian Women in Sports MediaBridget Tilley
4:30pm – 5:00pmImprecise Biology in a High Precision Environment – Challenges for Gender Diverse Inclusion in SportDr David Hughes
5.00pm – 5.15pmQ&A Session and Close


Grethe Myklebust (PhD) is a professor at the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre. She is also authorized as Specialist in Sports Physiotherapy by the Norwegian Physiotherapy Federation and as Sports Medicine Physical Therapist by the Norwegian Society of Sports Physiotherapy. She is the past vice president of the Norwegian Society of Sports Physiotherapy, and has also been a member of the Medical Commission in the International Handball Federation (IHF) for two years. She is in charge of the master study in Sports Physiotherapy at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo. Grethe’s main research area is related to handball and soccer injuries, especially shoulder, knee- and ankle injuries, and injury prevention. She has competitive experience at top national level in team handball.

Professor Mountjoy received her medical education and her family medicine training at McMaster University, Canada.  She obtained her sports medicine specialty degree from CASEM in Ottawa, Canada and has worked as a community sports medicine physician in the Health & Performance Centre at the University of Guelph since 1988 where she has focussed her practice on promoting elite athlete care and physical activity promotion in the general population. In addition, Margo has acted as the national team physician for Synchro Canada for 20 years as well as for the National Endurance Training Centre Athletes (middle and long distance track athletes) and the National Triathlon & Wrestling team training centres.

Margo is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Family Medicine in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University where she teaches sports medicine and is the Regional Assistant Dean of Waterloo Regional Campus.

Margo is a member of the FINA Executive Board and holds the portfolio of Sports Medicine.  She is also the Chair of the ASOIF Medical Consultative Group and a member of the IOC Medical Commission Games Group, and the WADA Health Medicine and Research Committee. She is a member of the TUE committees of the Olympic Games (International Testing Agency), the CCES (Canadian NADO) as well as the USADA and World Rugby Anti-Doping Review Boards. Margo collaborated with the World Health Organization on both the GAPPA (Global Action Plan for the promotion of Physical Activity), as well as the Drowning Prevention initiative. Margo’s areas of research focus on elite athlete health and safety.

Dr Sally Bromley is a strength and conditioning coach and martial artist. She works both with sports and school camps at Sport Australia, and with a range of recreational and elite athletes in private practice. Sal is a strong advocate for female participation in sport and physical activity. Sal’s practices are heavily influenced by her PhD work, which was a marriage of epidemiology and performance enhancement in Australian combat sports.

Associate Professor Kate Pumpa is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Accredited Practicing Sports Dietitian who teaches Exercise Physiology at The University of Canberra. Kate was instrumental in the establishment of the Bachelor of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation degree within the Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, and is the current Performance Dietitian for Rugby Australia’s Wallabies. Kate completed her PhD at the Australian Institute of Sport in 2008 and has since completed research in two distinct areas; nutritional interventions to enhance athletic performance, and the evaluation of different exercise interventions to improve outcomes in cancer patients. She is an assistant editor for the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, and on the editorial board for the Journal of Fitness Research.

Louise is a sports dietitian with over 35 years of experience in the education and counselling of elite athletes.  She was the Head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport throughout its existence from 1990-2018 and remains as Chief of Nutrition Strategy in the restructured AIS.  She holds a Chair in Sports Nutrition in the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University. Louise was the team dietitian for the Australian Olympic Teams for the 1996-2012 Summer Olympic Games.  Her publications include over 300 peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters, and the authorship or editorship of many textbooks on sports nutrition.  Louise was a founding member of the Executive of Sports Dietitians Australia and is Special Projects Editor of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009 for her contribution to sports nutrition.

Dr Michael Drew is the Athlete Availability Program Manager at the Australian Institute of Sport. In this role he oversees the projects at the Australian Institute of Sport which designs, analyses and implements real-world prevention programs in collaboration with Australian National Sporting Organisations. This role is focused on Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes however he also consults to professional sporting teams.

Michael has a PhD in Physiotherapy, a Master of Clinical Epidemiology and is currently studying a MBA specialising in Change Leadership. Michael is a Fellow of the Australian Sports Medicine Federation and a Fellow by Original Contribution to the Australian College of Physiotherapy. He holds adjunct appointments at several universities where he co-supervises PhD and Masters Candidates in the areas of physiotherapy, epidemiology, nutrition, sports science, and medicine. He is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Biostatistics and Epidemiology Workgroup and a research fellow at the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), an IOC Research Centre. In 2018, Dr Drew was nominated for the Frank Fenner Prize for Australian Life Scientist of the Year, Prime Minister’s Science Prizes for his work related to preventative health in sport.

Nick is an Associate Professor in Sports Biomechanics at the University of Canberra. Nick has taught in the areas of sports biomechanics, exercise kinesiology, exercise prescription and strength and conditioning for over 18 years. His research areas are focused on the neuromuscular responses to resistance-based exercise and movement co-ordination.

Alongside his academic roles, Nick has been the Head of Athletic Performance for the UC Capitals WNBL female basketball team for the past 5 years, which has contained Olympians and Commonwealth Games athletes. His role involves overseeing the physical preparation of the athletes including the development and delivery of resistance and on-court conditioning programs, rehabilitation and load monitoring. Prior to this Nick has been strength coach to Paralympians, paddle sport athletes and junior level basketball and rugby athletes in the UK.

Kate Palmer is the CEO of Sport Australia and is passionate about sport and believes unquestionably in the power of sport and physical activity to reflect the very best in our culture to be a powerful vehicle for change. Kate is driven by a shared purpose to contribute to improving health and well-being of Australians and making communities stronger through sport and physical activity.

Kate is a transformational leader who has steered organisations to excel in delivering on strategic outcomes from high performance and growing community participation through to building capability of sport and international sporting success.

Kate spent 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of Netball Australia, was Chair of the Victorian Institute of Sport, a Trustee of the MCG and CEO of Netball Victoria. Kate is a member of Chief Executive Women and has an Honours degree in Sport Science and a Masters in Sport Management.

Dr Irmina Nahon graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Physiotherapy) from the University of Sydney in 1991. She has since developed a strong interest in Pelvic Floor rehabilitation and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Continence and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy from Melbourne University (2000), and a Master of Physiotherapy from the University of South Australia (2003). In November 2011, she was awarded her PhD entitled “Assessment and Management of Male Urinary Incontinence” from the University of Sydney. In 2016 she completed a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education for the University of Canberra.

Irmina works as a pelvic floor physiotherapist in a private practice and is a senior lecturer and Clinical Education Coordinator Physiotherapy at the University of Canberra. She is an active member of the International Continence Society, the Continence Foundation of Australia, and the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s Men’s and Women’s Health group.

Irmina is very passionate about continence promotion, as well as research into the assessment and management of incontinence. She has published 14 peer reviewed articles and presented twice at the International Continence Society meeting, twice at the Australasian Prostate Cancer conference and 5 times at the National Conference on Incontinence. She is also co-author on 2 presentations on the management of constipation in children, at the Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies.

Irmina also regularly presents workshops and training courses to medical and allied health groups as well as many community groups.

Warren has been involved with professional rugby since 1997. He was senior team doctor for the ACT Brumbies from 1999 until 2009 and the Wallabies from 2008 until 2013. He attended the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand as Wallabies team doctor. He was the City Medical Officer for Canberra for Rugby World Cup 2003. He has been Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Rugby Union since 2011. He is a World Rugby Senior Medical Educator. He was chair of the SANZAR medical commission in 2014, and chair of the FORU Sports Science Sports Medicine Advisory Group in 2014 and 2015.

Warren previously worked at the Australian Institute of Sport from 1990 until 2000, and attended two Olympic Games in 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney) as a doctor with the Australian Olympic Team. He has worked and toured with numerous representative sporting teams including water polo, basketball and swimming and has been match day doctor for international cricket matches in Canberra.

Warren runs a private sports medicine practice in Canberra and has lectured to Sports Studies students at the University of Canberra since the early 1990’s and holds the position of adjunct Associate Professor in Sports Medicine at the university. He is also a director of the ACT Physical Activity Foundation whose purpose is to encourage physical activity, particularly in children.

Heather Garriock has played 130 A-internationals for Australia, including three senior World Cups, three Asian Cups and two Olympic Games. She was part of the Asian Cup winning squad of 2010, has scored in multiple World Cups, and also scored in Australia’s first win at a senior women’s tournament (Athens 2004). At club level, she has played in Australia, the USA, Denmark and Sweden, and was awarded the Julie Dolan Medal in 2003. Heather was a player-coach with Sydney University where she won several championships as well as NPL coach of the year in 2014. Heather has also had national team coaching experience being, assistant coach of The Young Matildas and Assistant coach to Alen Stajcic for the Matildas, and has been the coach of Canberra United in the W-League for the past two seasons.

With a career in sport spanning 20 years, Bridget has held roles in senior management across editorial & media production, digital platforms and communications, both in Australia and overseas. Internationally, she has worked for iconic media & sports media organisations including the BBC and ESPN and has held senior editorial positions with the ABC, Seven Network and SBS. She’s currently the Assistant Director of Strategic Communications and Media with Sport Australia, in a wide ranging role for Australia’s key government agency for sport. While Bridget’s passion is sport, she’s a politics, news and entertainment junkie, with a keen interest in emerging technology.

Dr David Hughes is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician with over 25 years of involvement working in community and high performance sport. Dr Hughes has served as team physician to a range of teams including Brumbies Super Rugby, Australian Wallabies, Canberra Raiders Rugby League, Manchester City FC and the Australian Opals Women’s Basketball team. He attended the 2012 London Olympics as team physician for the Opals. He was Medical Director of the Australian Olympic Team for the Rio 2016 Olympics, and will fill this role again for Tokyo 2020.

Dr Hughes has held a number of leadership roles in Australian sports medicine, including President of the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Dr Hughes has a strong interest in improving governance and integrity in sport. He is a member of the Australian Sports Integrity Network. He is the independent integrity officer for the Western Bulldogs AFL team.

Recent research topics include genetic predisposition to bone and tendon injuries, the role of iron supplementation in sport and concussion. Recent publications include the Concussion in Sport Australia Position Statement, a systematic review of biomedical risk factors of Achilles tendinopathy in physically active people and the AIS Position Statement on the Ethics of Genetic Testing & Research in Sport.

Registration is Essential. Early bird discount available now until 31st March 2019

Early Bird Pricing

  • SMA Member – $200
  • Non-Member – $250
  • SMA Student Member – $100
  • Non-Member Student – $120

Standard Pricing (From 1st April 2019)

  • SMA Member – $230
  • Non-Member – $300
  • SMA Student Member – $120
  • Non-Member Student – $140