Memo from Maureen Williams
2004 – Beginning of SEPA Australia – Melbourne
12 years ago Karen Ginn was already a member of ASSET (American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists) when Professor Sonnabend suggested that I also join with the intention of establishing a similar group in Australia. I attended ASSET meetings in Seattle and Santa Barbara and then in Washington in 2004. This was also the first meeting of ICSET (International Congress of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists). Mary Mitchell attended this meeting with me.
At this meeting, I met with Greg Hoy, then president of SESA (Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Australia), and discussed the possibility of Australian therapists establishing a specialised group and attending the next SESA meeting in November 2004 in Victoria. This occurred and we had the use of the SESA venue in the Yarra Valley for an inaugural administrative meeting and paper presentations.
16 physiotherapists attended and of these several continue to be active members of SEPA; Simon Balster, John Breckenridge. Mary Mitchell. Lyn Watson and Joel Werman. Karen and I as co-convenors had prepared objectives and criteria for membership. These were accepted and further modified by email contact in 2005.
2006 – South Australia Conference
The next meeting was held in Victor Harbour South Australia in 2006. At the SESA AGM, the surgeons emphasised their support for SEPA and our continued attendance at SESA conferences. (The possibility of a combined session was raised and this did occur at the conference in Sydney in 2010)
2008 – Perth Conference
The 2008 conference was held in Perth. SEPA has no members in Western Australia. 9 members from NSW and Victoria attended. At this meeting I reported on the 2007 ICSET meeting in Brazil which was attended by Karen, John Breckenridge and myself. Karen and I were committee members of ICSET for this meeting and Karen continues in this important role. SEPA members were encouraged to attend the 2010 meeting in Edinburgh.
At the 2008 meeting, it was decided that SEPA should become “financial” to enable the setting up of a web site. With the help of my accountant, SEPA was officially incorporated and registered for GST and ABN.
2009 – Sydney Seminar
Funds were to be raised by an open seminar day and this was organised for September 2009 in Sydney. The subject was “Rotator Cuff Update’; evidence, research, and experience.” Professor Sonnabend and Jeff Hughes lectured on pathology and the latest approaches to reconstruction. Joel Werman, Karen Ginn ,and Rodd Whitely conducted successful workshops. Deborah Taylor and Sarah Walmsley assisted with the organisation and John Breckenridge assumed responsibility for setting up the SEPA website.
2010 – Sydney Conference
In 2010 at the next SESA conference in Sydney, we finally realised our plan to have a combined SEPA/ SESA session. This was well received and has continued at the 2012 and 2014 SESA conferences in Brisbane and Melbourne.
At the 2010 SEPA AGM Karen and I stood down as co-convenors and it was decided that these roles should held by members in the conference states.
2011 Brisbane seminar
As the 2009 open seminar had been successful, it was decided these should be biennial. The 2011 seminar was organised in Brisbane by Mary Mitchell.
2012 Brisbane Conference
At the 2012 AGM in Brisbane it was decided that physiotherapists attending the international conferences of ICSET should receive financial assistance for attendance and this did occur for the 2013 meeting in Japan.
2013 Melbourne seminar
Organised by Lyn Watson and Simon Balster.
2014 Melbourne Conference
At the 2014 SEPA AGM it was agreed that SEPA funds would be used to set up a research grant (via application) for future research projects by interested members.
Joel Werman was elected as convenor to organise the next seminar to be held in Sydney in 2015 and the next combined SESA/ SEPA meeting in Adelaide in 2016.
It is very pleasing to me that SEPA has a current membership of 40 and continues to grow every year. I believe that the well attended open seminars in Australia play an important educational role for our membership and attendance by SEPA members at the ICSET conferences is to be encouraged to maintain our international presence.