Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP)

News and events

ACRISP at the AIPN 2017

The Australasian Injury Prevention Network (AIPN) Conference is now over, and the many inspirational international scholars have headed home, but you can relive all the highlights here:

For the full Twitter storify, please click here.

One of the conference highlights was Himalaya Singh, Prasanna Gamage, and Dulan Kodikara all being shortlisted for Best Abstract, Rapid Oral Presentation, Student, with Himalaya Singh being the proud winner. Congratulations Himalaya!

Published 23/11/2017

ACRISP co-hosted the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference

The Australian Injury Prevention Network (AIPN), and ACRISP were pleased to jointly host the premier injury prevention conference for Australia and the Asia Pacific, the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference. It was held at the Mercure Hotel and Convention Centre, Ballarat, Victoria, 13 – 15 November 2017.

With a theme of “Take Action”, the Conference was a multi-disciplinary event which featured representatives from all facets of injury prevention including research, teaching, practice and policy. Themes covered topics such as child and family safety, road and transport safety, falls and ageing, water safety (including drowning), burns prevention, injury in a global perspective, rural and remote injury prevention, sports injury prevention and treatment, workplace safety, injury amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and more.

The conference attracted over 200 delegates from around Australia and the Asia Pacific, including health professionals, researchers, local, state and Australian government officers, students, professionals and practitioners. Delegates shared knowledge, formed and extended their networks and explored local attractions.

Published 17/11/2017

2017 ASICS Sports Medicine Australia Conference

Many of the ACRISP team recently attended the 2017 ASICS SMA conference in Langkawi, Malaysia.

PhD work was presented in a pre-conference award showcase session by Sally Bromley, talking on perceived exertion in combat sports and Nim Perera on injuries in women’s cricket.

During the program, Dr Lauren Fortington presented on rugby injuries and defibrillators in community sports and Prof Caroline Finch shared results from a study on ACL injuries in youth athletes.

Our adjunct research team from La Trobe University and the Australian Institute of Sport were also in strong attendance.

The hot and humid weather didn’t stop the team enjoying some of the sights (beautiful beaches), sounds (monkeys) and, most impressive, the tastes of Malaysia (delicious fish). New and ongoing connections with colleagues from New Zealand, South Africa and America were furthered with plans for collaborative work discussed in a number of meetings. Prof Caroline Finch was also kept busy with her role as Board Member of SMA.

Published 08/11/2017

Professor Finch at the annual IOC Research Centres' Meeting

Recently Professor Finch travelled to Seoul, South Korea for the annual meetings of the IOC Research Centres. Whilst there, she networked and attended meetings with researchers from IOC Research Centres from around the globe. This included the newest IOC Research Centre, the United States Coalition for the Prevention of Illness and Injury in Sport.

Please visit the official Olympic site here, for more information on the newest addition.

Published 12/10/2017.

Siobhán O’Connor, Australian Government Endeavour Executive Fellow

ACRISP were very excited to welcome Dr Siobhán O’Connor, from Dublin City University and Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland. Dr O'Connor was awarded a prestigious Endeavour Executive Fellowship for 2017. The fellowship supported Siobhán during her research visit to FedUni’s Ballarat campus to undertake a program of research work with Dr Lauren Fortington and Professor Caroline Finch.

Siobhán has a background in athletic therapy and training and her research interests include the epidemiology of sport and recreation injuries in children and adolescents and risk factors for injury. Her PhD was completed at Dublin City University in 2014 on the topic "The pre-participation screening, epidemiology of injuries and the risk factors for injury in school aged and collegiate Gaelic Footballers and Hurlers." Siobhán is the course director of the BSc. in Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland and lectures on the BSc. in Sports Science and Exercise Physiology in Athlone Institute of Technology. She is also the Vice President of the professional organisation for Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland.

Dr O'Connor was with the team in Ballarat from September to November, 2017.

Published 23/11/2017.

Strong showing for ACRISP students at the FedUni HDR Conference

ACRISP had a strong showing at the FedUni Conference which was held at Mt Helen on 27 July 2017. Seven ACRISP students presented at the conference, with a further two attending in support.

The day offered a fantastic opportunity for the students to showcase their work, whilst also being able to attend presentations from other students across aqll faculties and focus areas.

Dulan Kodikara was awarded and honourable mention for his poster presentation "Cricket injury surveillance studies: a straight drive through knowledge gaps".

Breanne Kunstler also won an honourable mention for her oral presentation entitled "Pushing the snowball back uphill: exploring non-treatment physical activity promotion by physiotherapists".

The conference is held by FedUni every year, and offers a unique opportunity for PhD students to practice their presentation skills.

More information on HDR programs run by FedUni can be found on the Research Degrees webpage.

Published 09/08/2017.

Sports medicine graduate presented with prestigious award

Federation University Australia graduate Dr James O’Brien has been awarded the Editor’s Choice Award in the Inaugural 2017 BJSM PhD Academy Awards.

“James was ACRISP’s first PhD graduate at FedUni and is now working at the Red Bull Soccer Academy in Salzburg, Austria,” Professor Finch said. “He was an outstanding student and thoroughly deserves this award.”

Dr O’Brien said the primary aim of his research was to identify barriers to implementing successful injury prevention exercise programs. “Injuries in football are common and have many negative impacts,” Dr O’Brien said. “The benefits of injury prevention programs for football have been established in large scale randomised trials. Unfortunately, the reasons for low adoption and compliance are poorly understood and have received little research attention. My PhD aimed to address this gap by evaluating barriers and facilitators to implementation of these programs under real world conditions."

More details of James's award, and his full interview, can be found on the BMJ website here.

Published 09/08/2017.

Hospital-treated injury trends

The Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP) were pleased to welcome Dr. Janneke Berecki-Gisolf to Ballarat.

Dr Berecki-Gisolf delivered a presentation which addressed issues and underlying injury trends for Victoria. The Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU)'s data request services and role in injury prevention were also discussed.

In Victoria, injury-related hospital admissions have increased between 2006/7 and 2015/16. This could signify an alarming injury trend. Alternatively, there is a range of other factors that could increase the observed number of injury admissions over time. These include population ageing and increased frailty in the oldest age groups. Hospital admission policy changes can also affect observed trends, by introducing artefact. Furthermore, any particular cause or setting (such as transport injury, falls, work-related injury) can increase disproportionally and impact on the overall trends.

Dr. Janneke Berecki-Gisolf is a Senior Research Fellow at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), and Director of the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU). Janneke's research interests include injury epidemiology, data linkage, injury outcomes and chronic disease.

Published 08/08/2017.

Sports injury data keynote address in Korea

Professor Caroline Finch spent the Easter weekend  with research collaborators in Seoul, Korea. She was the international keynote speaker at the Inaugural Annual Yonsei Institute of Sports Science and Exercise Medicine (YISSEM) Symposium on "Evidence-based prevention and protection of athletic health". The topic of her keynote address was "The value of routinely collected injury data for driving sports injury prevention" in which she drew on her extensive sports injury surveillance research history.  Like ACRISP, YISSEM is one of only 9 research centres/institutes worldwide to be recognised by the International Olympic Committee as a Centre for Research Excellence in Injury Prevention and Health Promotion for Athletes.

Published 12/04/2017.

ACRISP proud to support the IOC World Conference

ACRISP was proud to be a patron of the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport, which was  held in Monaco from the 16-18 March 2017. The IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in sport was the premier international conference for those interested in clinical aspects of sports and exercise medicine.

Dr Alex Donaldson delivering a talk by Professor Caroline Finch, entitled "Tools for improving message uptake and sustainability", can be viewed via this link.

Dr Lauren Fortington was one of the many researchers representing ACRISP at the conference. Pictured right captivating her audience with a poster presentation entitled "The Women's Injury Surveillance EXtension for Australian Football".

Published 18/09/2017.

ACRISP receives the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence

The ACRISP team were very proud to receive the Vice-Chancellor's Award for demonstrating excellence in research for 2016. The award caps off a fantastic year of hard work and collaborations for the team.

For more information and a complete list of recipients, visit

Published 16/12/2016.

Sports injury research showcased to the world

Prof Caroline Finch, Dr Lauren Fortington, and Mr Himalaya Singh have recently attended and presented at the Safety2016 Conference in Tampere Finland. Senior Research Fellow, Dr Lauren Fortington presented a poster entitled “Multiple injuries in team ball sports - how are data collected and analysed? A systematic review”. PhD Scholar, Himalaya Singh delivered a talk entitled “Application of spatial epidemiological approaches to injury research: A systematic review” and also presented a poster entitled “Geospatial analysis of sports and leisure injuries in Victoria, Australia”. Professor Caroline Finch delivered a Plenary Address in the closing session of the conference called “Solutions for Active People”. This followed her three previous talks delivered across the program: “The population-level impact of exercise training programs to prevent sports injuries – A controlled ecological evaluation based on reductions in hospital-treated injuries”; Exercise training to prevent sports injuries: results from a clustered randomised controlled trial”; and “Challenges in the implementation of concussion guidelines in community sport”.

Before the main conference, Prof Finch was also a speaker at the International Collaborative Effort on Injury Statistics and Methodology meeting held in Helsinki and talked about “A systems approach towards the development of an injury surveillance and incident reporting system for led outdoor activities”. To wrap up the sequence of meetings, Prof Finch was also an invited speaker at a post-conference sports injury seminar organised by the UKK Institute, a private sports medicine research institute in Helsinki, where she talked about “The value of routine data collected in hospitals for driving sports injury prevention”.

The team have all come back with good feedback on ACRISP research, new research connections and possible collaborators, and ideas for future research.

Supporting our athletes in Rio

ACRISP PhD scholar Mr Prasanna Gamage provided medical support as a volunteer at the Rio 2016 games. Prasanna reported that being in the athletes medical post, and seeing what went on behind the scenes at the Olympics, was an amazing experience.

One highlight was being the sideline doctor on the court for two Australian basketball matches, including the Australia vs. USA match. It was exciting enough watching from far away in Australia, we can't imagine what the atmosphere courtside would have been like.

Rugby Union injury prevention in Cape Town

Professor Finch was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town for the first two weeks in July. This Fellowship was funded by the South African National Research Foundation, with additional support from South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Players’ Fund. The main purpose of this fellowship was to meet with key rugby union injury prevention researchers and to initiate some joint collaborations.
She participated in staff forums and several PhD student project review sessions in her field of expertise, and delivered three presentations on subsequent injuries, rugby union research, and implementing sports injury prevention.

As the formal guest of SARU, she attended an international rugby union game and a schoolboy rugby match so as to better understand the context for rugby union safety in South Africa. Professor Finch also met with the BokSmart team (pictured).

Prof Caroline Finch recipient of American Public Health Association Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2015, Professor Caroline Finch was the proud recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association (APHA) in the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services (ICEHS) Section. During her trip to the US to receive the award, she was able to visit with many leading injury prevention researchers, including Professor Steve Marshall from the Centre for Disease Control, and Associate Professor Dawn Comstock from the Colorado School of Public Health (pictured). She also delivered talks and visited with researchers at Columbia University in New York, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy in Baltimore.