ASORC 2024 Rehabilitation Counsellors Virtual Conference Wrap Up

ASORC 2024 Rehabilitation Counsellors Virtual Conference Wrap Up

On Wednesday 15 May, ASORC hosted its annual Rehabilitation Counsellors Virtual Conference, where more than 180 guests heard from 16 presenters over eight hours.

Each year, ASORC grants prizes to registrants for their participation throughout the day. ASORC congratulates the following winners:

  • Prize 1: Free Registration to the 2025 ASORC Conference
    • Jo Muirhead
  • Prize 2: Book Voucher
    • Rebecca Bamman
  • Prize 3: Free Registration to 3 x ASORC Webinars
    • Rebecca Harnett
    • Dominique Higgins

 ASORC proudly thanks our sponsors for this year.

Gold Sponsor Rehabilitation Management

Rehab Management was launched in 1998 and has an exceptional 24-year track record in the provision of return-to-work services, injury management and safety & wellbeing solutions to our private and public sector clients. Rehab Management under the leadership of its founder Marcella Romero is now one of the top occupational rehabilitation specialist companies in Australia. Over the last 10 years, our focus on innovation has resulted in Rehab Management being bestowed multiple awards for its pioneering services and our client centric approach has led to 100% government tender success and renewal.

Rehab Management at the heart is a people business, with our clients at the centre. Our multidisciplinary teams deliver a wide range of client centric tailored, services founded on the belief that every individual deserves the very best care and support after an accident or illness.

Silver Sponsor WorkCover WA

WorkCover WA is the government agency responsible for regulating and administrating the workers’ compensation scheme in Western Australia under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.

The scheme ensures workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness are compensated for lost earnings, medical expenses, and other associated costs, and assists injured workers to achieve a safe and sustained return to work.



 Australian Government Priorities in Allied Health – Presented by Amber Shuhyta

This opening presentation outlined key pieces of work underway by the Australian Government, including improving access to allied health services and better support for the allied health workforce.

Emerging Occupations in Australia: How Change is Driving the Future of Work – Presented by Dr Jason Brown

In a rapidly changing world, it is important for practitioners to be aware of emerging occupations and more broadly to keep up with changes in the labour market. This presentation provided an overview of what we mean by emerging occupations, a list of new occupations in Australia, followed by some provocations about change, skills, and the future of work.

Listening to the Workers’ Voice: Reimagining workers’ compensation claims systems in Australia – Presented by Dr Elizabeth Pritchard

This presentation provided an overview of study methods and initial findings from the 3-year ARC funded Workers’ Voice Study that aims to reimagine a different future workers’ compensation, by co-designing a new approach with injured workers and their support people.

Top Ten Tips in Ten: Certification in Forensic Vocational Assessment – Presented by Dr Margaret Black and Jessica Cucchiaro

Insights into the last three years of work, in Forensic Vocational Assessment in Australia were provided by Dr Margarat Black and Jessica Cucchiaro. They also outlined what certification will look like.

The Social Environment and its Influence on Adjustment to Chronic Pain – Presented by Professor Toby Newton-John

The biopsychosocial model has been widely accepted in mainstream healthcare, and chronic pain management in particular, the focus is rarely on the social elements of the model. This presentation covered key findings from literature, with a particular focus on the role of the partner in the adjustment process.

Introduction to the Work Ability Index: A Guide for Rehabilitation Practitioners – Presented by Dr James Athanasou

The purpose of this presentation was to introduce the Work Ability Index to a rehabilitation audience. It included a summary of the data from 29 previous studies of 31,472 participants. The conceptual nature of work ability is reviewed with questions raised about the validity of the scoring of the assessment.

Top Tips in Ten: Working with Neurodiverse Clients – Presented by Alexa Locke

ASORC Director Alexa Locke gives some practical advice for consideration when working with Neurodiverse clients, and how Neurodiversity could be approached by Rehabilitation Counsellors.

Labour Market Survey Application for Primary Care and Forensic Practice – Presented by Dr Mary Barros-Bailey

Labour market survey is a technique used by Rehabilitation Counsellors to take a small sample of information about the demands of a job or occupation to match to the abilities of an individual. This presentation by internationally recognised expert Dr Barros-Bailey covered labour market survey methodology and practice, offering case study examples.

The PGAP and Vocational Rehabilitation Treatment Package for Improving Vocational Participation following Acquired Brain Injury: An Observational Study to Assess Feasibility, Acceptability and Effectiveness – Presented by Dr John Baranoff and Kelly Alderson

Rehabilitation Counsellors have an important role in assisting the rehabilitation of individuals with ABI. This study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a treatment package delivered by Rehabilitation Counsellors. The treatment package combined PGAP with vocational rehabilitation and the presentation covered the observational study and outcomes.  

What Every Rehabilitation Counsellor Should Know About Occupational Identity – Presented by Dr Ross Girdler

Dr Girdler presented the findings of his research into occupational identity, how it acts as a barrier to occupational change, and how Rehabilitation Counsellors can use this knowledge to facilitate change more effectively.

Labour Market Outlook: Now and Into the Future – Presented by Cliff Bingham

The presentation provided analysis of how the labour market has responded during the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook over the next five years, including the skills required to meet future workforce demand.

Top Ten Tips in Ten: Chronic Pain Edition – Presented by Renee Rankin

This presentation covered the psychological impacts and consequences of stigma for people living with chronic pain and suggested practical considerations for Rehabilitation Counsellors, as well as highlighting some of the outcomes from the National Pain Survey.

Being a Rehabilitation Counsellor and Pushing the Boundaries for the Public Good – Presented by Dr Coralie Wales OAM

This thought-provoking closing presentation asked what has shaped the traditional role of Rehabilitation Counsellors and what value a Rehabilitation Counsellor provides. The presentation asked how health and social care operate and the value proposition for the public good.



If you were a registrant of the Conference, you have access to recordings of the full-day through your event registration link. If you have misplaced your details please contact

Did you miss out?
Recording of the Conference is available for purchase here.



ASORC values your feedback. If you haven’t already done so, there is still time to complete the Conference Feedback Survey here. The survey is open until Midnight (AEST) Sunday 2 June. Have your say and go into the draw to win free registration to the 2025 Conference!