To help us better meet the challenges faced by people living with chronic pain, we have an International Advisory Panel. People on our panel help us by being our brains trust.


Prof. Gillian Bendelow (UK)

Before entering higher education as a mature student, Gillian Bendelow worked in London's East End as a ward sister and community psychiatric nurse. She completed her doctoral research in 1992 on the sociology of pain, under the supervision of Professor Ann Oakley with the help of an ESRC studentship award. As a medical sociologist who has made significant research contributions to the fields of chronic illness, pain and ‘contested’ conditions; health promotion and lay concepts of health and illness, she became Professor of Sociology at the University of Sussex in 2006. She is a Trustee of the Foundation for Sociology of Health and Illness, a co-convenor of the British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Group and a member of the BSA Executive Council (2001-present).


Dr David Butler (Australia)


David Butler is a physiotherapy graduate of the University of Queensland (1978). He also has a graduate diploma in advanced manipulative therapy (1985), a masters degree by research from the University of South Australia (1996) and is currently completing the Doctor of Education Programme at Flinders’ University where he is studying the integration of biopsychosocial management into manual therapy. David is a clinician, an international freelance educator and an adjunct lecturer at the University of South Australia and Latrobe University in Melbourne . His professional interests focus around the integration of neurobiology into clinical decision making and public and professional education in pain management. He is the author of the texts “Mobilisation of the Nervous System” (1991), ”The Sensitive Nervous System” (2000) and a co-author of “Explain Pain” (2003).



Associate Professor David Champion (Australia)


David has a longstanding commitment to paediatric pain research, being the founder of the team in 1988. He is the Founder and Director of the Pain Research Unit, Departments of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick as well as a Visiting (Consultant) Physician, Paediatric Rheumatology, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick and Conjoint Associate Professor University of New South Wales. He has served as Councillor for Pain in Childhood, a Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain (1990-94), and was a member of the Scientific Program Committee for the Third International Symposium on Paediatric Pain (1994). David also represented paediatrics and musculoskeletal medicine on the Scientific Program Committee for the Eighth World Congress of Pain (1993-96). He was Co-convener, and Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee, Sixth International Symposium on Paediatric Pain, Sydney 2003.




Dr Stephanie Davies (Australia)

Dr Stephanie Davies is the Head of Service, Pain Medicine Unit, Fremantle Hospital, Perth WA. She also has a private practice based at Arthritis Foundation WA. She is a Adjunct Assoc. Professor at the School of Physiotherapy at Curtin University and senior lecturer at UWA. Her interests are in combining self-management options with medical options. She  worked with the team at Fremantle to introduce the Self-Training Educative Pain Sessions (STEPS), an 8 hour pre-clinic patient group educative program that aims to increase the patient’s knowledge and skills of a broad range of pain management strategies. She has developed interactive web-based technologies to access evidence at the point-of-care ( and to enable real-time analysis of patient outcomes by health professionals & researchers (


Dr Ruth Dubin (Canada)

Dr Ruth Dubin has practiced family medicine in Kingston, Ontario, Canada since 1987. In 2006 she was one of the founding physicians of Kingston Family Team, and sat on their Board of Directors until recently, leading initiatives in collaborative inter-professional care, and chronic disease prevention and management. Ruth also teach medical students and family medicine residents at Queen’s University and is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Medicine at Queen’s.  A member of the Canadian Pain Society since 2005, her major interests include the psychosocial determinants of function in chronic pain, complementary therapies, addiction and pain, and improving education of medical students and residents in chronic non cancer pain.


Ms Pam Garton (Australia)

Pam Garton is Managing Director of Abilita Services Pty Ltd.  She is an Occupational Therapist whose focus has been the implementation of best practice in the prevention and management of persistent pain and disability within work rehabilitation. Pam led research and development of the Abilita Program, now available to the injury management industry across Australia. This includes an online assessment, and individual and group coaching courses, integrated into work rehabilitation to assist people learn strategies for improved self-management of pain and disability. Pam was awarded Honorary Membership of the Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association in 2009 for her contribution over 7 years.


Ms Renee Goossens (Australia)

Renee trained as a teacher at Westminster College, Oxford specialising in caring for those with emotional and physical disabilities. She then worked in a Clinic at Oxford in Child Guidance, then as a research assistant at the renowned Park Hospital for Children suffering neurological disorders (Oxford). On returning to Australian in 1967 she taught in a variety of disciplines for children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness, as well as epilepsy and severe emotional disturbances. Offered a position in the evenings lecturing in French at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, she continued her teaching day work until the lecturing became full time when she joined the Australian Opera as it was then called, coaching opera singers in French repertoire as well as students from the Conservatorium Diploma Classes and the Opera School. Moving to the metropolitan suburb of Willoughby in NSW she joined committees in Local Government as Community Representative in Access + Aged Care, and was then invited to be Patron of the Concourse project (2 theatres, a library and extensive outdoor facilities). This involved her in the Cultural Events Committee. She continues to be involved lecturing to groups on Access and making the most of life from a wheelchair and as a sufferer of chronic pain. Following the publication of her second book, Pain Management, Enhancing your life to the Fullest – published by Rockpool in Australia and Anshan in the UK, Professor Michael Cousins invited her to represent patients in the Pain Summit to be held at Parliament House, Canberra under the auspices of Chronic Pain Australia of which she remains a keen supporter.


Prof. Lous Heshusius (Canada)

Lous Heshusius was born in the Netherlands where she became a teacher. She then studied in the United States where she received her PhD at Indiana University. She held professorships at the University of Northern Iowa, and at York University, Toronto. She has widely published including three books about critical special education and qualitative research methodology. She received a life time achievement award for her work in Disability Studies.  In 1996 she had a near fatal car accident and now lives in the 'land of pain' with various levels of daily neck and head pain. She now writes in her home about chronic pain during her "good hours" and in 2009 published Inside Chronic Pain. An Intimate and Critical Account, both a memoir of what severe pain does to a life, and a critical analysis of the medical and support systems --or lack thereof -- people living with pain encounter. She is working on a follow project that emphasizes the need for explanatory models of chronic pain (and therefore of pain management and self-help programs) to reach beyond the medical and psychological spheres, that is, including but also going beyond the individual-healthcare professional-treatment relationship. She is convinced that the many societal forces that are, in fact, disease factors --given chronic pain is so strongly shaped by stress --must be incorporated into our formal models of chronic pain for examination for how they directly impact pain or how they stand in the way of bringing about pain relief, and what can be done about it.


Mr Gerard McEwen (Australia)

Gerard suffers from several forms of chronic pain, the most severe being neuropathy resulting from a disc injury to his neck. As a consequence he is on a disability pension. He is a patient at the Pain Management Unit at Flinders Medical Centre and an active member of the Health Consumers' Alliance of S.A. He has served as a consumer representative on several bodies including the Generational Health Review (working party on systems) conducted in SA. He has also assisted a number of chronic pain sufferers with their WorkCover claims and engaged with fellow diabetics on the subject of diabetes related neuropathic pain.  He is on the South Australian Ministerial Advisory Board on Ageing - pain management is an important issue in aged care. He is also experienced in dealing with the media and still have some contacts nationally and locally.


Dr Kay Price (Australia)

Dr Price's expertise is in applying critical analytical approaches to complex questions, integrating biomedical, political and social understandings and interrogating findings from different theoretical perspectives to advance thinking and progress health care and health outcomes of people living life with chronic conditions. Her interest in the area of chronic pain is how people live and deal with the complexities of chronic pain and implications for their associated everyday decision-making.







Mr Luke Rickards (Australia)

Luke Rickards is an osteopath practicing in Adelaide. He is a current board member on the Osteopathy Board of Australia and has previously held positions on the Chiropractors & Osteopaths Board of South Australia and the Australian Osteopathic Council. Luke has published peer-reviewed papers on manual and movement therapy treatments for chronic pain conditions and is a reviewer for the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. He has a particular interest in use of pain physiology education and movement therapy concepts for patient self-management.


Prof. Jenny Strong (Australia)

Jenny Strong completed her Bachelors degree and Masters degree in Occupational Therapy, and her PhD in Psychology at The University of Queensland. Jenny’s initial clinical experiences were working with adult patients with burn injuries, arthritis, general medical conditions and neurological conditions. It was while she was working in the RBWH KennethJamison Neurosurgical Unit that she was captivated by the huge burden which chronic pain conditions placed upon individuals. As she worked with severely injured patients aftersustaining major trauma in motor vehicle accidents, she kept returning to the  impact which an invisible condition like chronic pain can have upon a person’s life. Hence, she moved her research Masters topic from memory impairment after traumatic brain injury to treatment efficacy for patients with chronic back pain. Her pain research efforts continue to this day. After working clinically in Royal Hobart Hospital and Royal Brisbane Hospital, Jenny commenced working at The University of Queensland in 1985. Jenny has published over 130 papers. Her two books are on pain, with the most recent co- edited textbook, Pain A Textbook for therapists, having sold over 5000 copies. Jenny is on the Advisory Board for Chronic Pain Australia, and is a former Queensland Director of the Australian Pain Society. Jenny held Executive positions for the Occupational Therapy Association for many years, and for 9 years was the Deputy Chair of the Occupational Therapists Board of Queensland.


Assoc. Prof. Michele Sterling (Australia)

Michelle has published over 66 research articles and book chapters about chronic pain. She is currently an Associate Director, Centre for National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD), The University of Qld and also holds the position of Associate Professor, School of Medicine (80%), School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (20%), The University of Qld. She is a NHMRC Research Fellow (CDA), Schools of Medicine and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Qld. Michelle is a peer reviewer for more than a dozen Journals including Pain and the Journal of Rheumatology.


Dr Barbara True

Barbara True MD(USA), FRACP, is an adult rheumatologist in Adelaide SA with a special interest in chronic pain and fatigue. She uses narrative practice as a vehicle of delivery for evidence-based medicine and she is an advocate of non-violent communication.


Dr Senani Wijesena

Dr Senani Wijesena is an Integrative Medicine practitioner specialising in Nutritional Medicine. She has worked as a general practitioner since 1996 and has extensive experience with diagnosing and managing chronic diseases such as autoimmune disease, chronic inflammatory conditions, allergy, hormonal imbalance, metabolic syndrome and cancer. She integrates traditional western medicine with natural treatments and uses diet, nutritional supplements and herbs in the management and correction of body dysfunction. Dr Senani Wijesena is currently undertaking a post graduate masters degree in nutritional medicine and also has had training in psychiatry. She graduated from Newcastle university in 1992 and now runs a private practice in Cammeray in Sydney, NSW.


Dr John Quintner

Dr John Quintner is a Consultant Physician in Rheumatology and Pain Medicine who has recently retired from the Pain Medicine Unit, Fremantle Hospital, WA. Over the last 25 years, he has published widely in the field of diffuse chronic pain syndromes. He has supported Chronic Pain Australia over many years and was a serving board member until 2010.