Dr Kate Gould and Amelia Hicks win the Helen Powell Award for Health and WellbeingIn December 2020, MERRC staff Dr Kate Gould and Amelia Hicks were awarded the Helen Powell Award for Health and Wellbeing, for their work in developing and delivering training on Suicide prevention and risk management, as part of Monash University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

In September 2020, Professor Jennie Ponsford was nominated as the field leader for research in Rehabilitation Therapy by The Australian newspaper (determined by the highest number of citations from papers published in the last five years in the 20 top journals in their field).


MERRC doctoral student, Penny Analytis was awarded a travel bursary from the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Special Interest Group of the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation (NR-SIG-WFNR) to attend their conference in Granada, Spain in June.

In May, MERRC 2018 honours student, Jai Carmichael (pictured right), received the Kevin Walsh award at the ASSBI conference in New Zealand, for best Honours/Masters abstract for his paper: Readiness of community ABI therapists to learn and implement Positive Behaviour Support: A mixed-methods study.

MERRC doctoral student, Penny Analytis was awarded a Conference Travel Grant by Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI) to attend and present at their Annual Conference held in New Zealand in May. Penny presented on the topic of: The Experience of Attending a Camp for Families with a Child with Acquired Brain Injury: Perspectives of Children and Young People with Acquired Brain Injury and their Siblings.

In April Professor Jennie Ponsford and DPsych student Laura Connolly were awarded funding through the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN, now Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health) Strategic Project Grant Scheme for an innovative project investigating in-home light therapy to reduce fatigue, sleepiness and sleep disturbance following TBI and stroke.

In March, Dr Jess Trevena-Peters was the recipient of the Franz Gerstenbrand award by the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation (WFNR) for her work establishing the efficacy of ADL training in PTA. The WFNR stated that ‘the findings of her study ‘Commencing rehabilitation early: activities of daily living retraining during post-traumatic amnesia’ challenge current thinking about the timing of rehabilitation in individuals with post-traumatic amnesia (PTA).

In February, Dr Dana Wong (pictured left) was award the Early Career Teaching Award by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Dana has been driven by learner-centred approaches to training top scientist-practitioners to develop engaging skill-based teaching and assessment techniques (including neuropsychology objective structured clinical examinations; OSCEs), with consistently excellent teaching evaluations across both Monash and La Trobe Universities.


MERRC Honours students Elinor Fraser and Sarah Carrier both received awards for exceptional effort within their year. Elinor Fraser (pictured right), won the Tom Triggs Prize which is awarded to the student with the highest aggregate marks in the BPsych (Hons) cohort. Sarah Carrier won the Ross Day medal for the student who exhibited exceptional achievement in the Psychology honours program.

In November 2018, Professor Jennie Ponsford was presented with the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists (CCN) Award of Distinction. This award recognises the importance of Professor Ponsford’s significant contributions to the CCN, and the field of Neuropsychology. Specifically, this award was in recognition of Professor Ponsford’s past and current activities in mentoring existing and aspiring members of the College, as well as her significant and long term contribution to the field of Neuropsychology.

Gould, K. R. "From victim to survivor to advocate: Neuropsychological intervention to enable recovery from an online dating scam after brain injury." Paper presented at the 41st Annual Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment Conference, Adelaide, Australia (May 3rd – 5th, 2018). Kate Gould won the ASSBI Early Career Clinical Innovation Award this year. This award recognises innovation in the field of brain impairment consistent with the ASSBI mission to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by progressive and non-progressive neurological conditions across the lifespan.

Associate Professor Dean McKenzie was awarded a 25 year service medal at Blackwood Hall, Monash Clayton 9 October 2018 (A/Prof McKenzie – Back left, green hood)

Kate Gould received the 2018 Allan Martin Scholarship from the Summer Foundation, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kew and Robinson Gill Lawyers. The scholarship will sponsor Kate’s project: “CyberABIlity: Understanding, preventing and treating cybercrime after acquired brain injury”. This pioneering exploratory and capacity building evaluation study will form the foundation of both clinical knowledge and practice in this new area of vulnerability to cybercrime after ABI. Understanding, preventing and effectively treating cybercrime has the potential to enhance quality of life for people with ABI.

Kate Gould receiving her scholarship from the Summer Foundation

In August 2018, doctoral student Amelia Hicks, received the Donders-Monash travel award. This provided funding for Ms Hicks to visit the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, where she met with experts in the fields of traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s Disease.


MERRC DPsych student Laura Connolly was awarded the Allen Martin Research Scholarship in late 2017 for her research into the effects of in-home light therapy on fatigue following TBI and stroke.  Fatigue is one of the most common and disabling symptoms following TBI and stroke. This innovative research aims to test the impacts of in-home light therapy to combat symptoms of fatigue, sleepiness and sleep disturbance.

Trevena-Peters, J., McKay,  A., Ponsford, J. Efficacy of activities of daily living retraining  during posttraumatic amnesia: A randomised controlled trial. Paper presented at the 40th Annual Brain Impairment Conference  of the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI).  Melbourne 1-3 June, 2017. Awarded the Luria Prize for the best oral presentation by a doctoral student.

Kempnich, C., Wong, D.,  Georgiou-Karistianis, N., and Stout, J. Feasibility and efficacy of  brief computerized training to improve emotion recognition in premanifest and  early-symptomatic Huntington's disease. Paper presented  at the 40th Annual Brain Impairment Conference of the Australasian Society for  the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI). Melbourne 1-3 June, 2017. Awarded the Mindlink Brightwater award for interdisciplinary  research.

McKay, A., Trevena-Peters,  J., Ponsford, J. Agitation during posttraumatic amnesia: Characteristics,  predictors, and impact on therapy. Poster presented at Epworth Research Week,  5-9 June 2017. Awarded 2017 Allied  Health research poster award.

Professor Jennie Ponsford was awarded Epworth Research Leader of the Year 2017 at Epworth Research Week.

Professor Jennie Ponsford was appointed an Officer of the Order  of Australia (AO) in the 2017  Queen's Birthday Honours List. This award was made in recognition of her  distinguished service to medical research in the field of neuropsychology, and  through seminal advances in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of  patients with traumatic brain injuries.

Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence awarded to Dana Wong.


Purple Unit  Award for Semester 2, 2016 at Monash University for units taught which received  outstanding student evaluations awarded to Jennie  Ponsford and Adam McKay.

The 2016 Australasian  Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI) Clinical Innovation Award  awarded to Dana Wong.

Finalist for the Monash Postgraduate Association  Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year Dana Wong.


The Paul Satz Career Mentoring Award. Awarded to Jennie  Ponsford at the 5th Pacific Rim conference of INS/ASSBI, Sydney, 1-4 July.

Spitz, G., McKenzie, D., Attwood, D., Ponsford, J.  Predicting costs of care following traumatic brain injury. Paper presented at  the 5th INS/ASSBI Pacific Rim Conference, Sydney, 1-4 July, 2015. Awarded  the Nelson Butters Award for the best research presented by a postdoctoral  fellow.

Alway, Y., Gould, K., Johnston, L., McKenzie, D., &  Ponsford, J. Psychiatric disorders in the first 5-years following  traumatic brain injury. Paper presented at the 5th INS/ASSBI Pacific Rim  Conference, Sydney, 1-4 July, 2015. Awarded the Student Liaison Committee Research  Award for best research submission by a student.

Gooden, J. R., Ponsford, J., Charlton, J. L., Bedard, M.,  Marshall, S., Ross, P., Gagnon, S. & Stolwyk, R. Self-Awareness and  self-regulation of on-road driving after traumatic brain injury. Platform paper  presentation at the International Neuropsychological Society Mid-Year Meeting,  Sydney, 2015. Awarded the Student Liaison Committee Research Award for best  research submission by a student.

Dymowski, A.R., Ponsford, J.L., Willmott, C. A comparison  of computerised attention training and  individualised strategy training after traumatic brain  injury: a single-case series. Paper presented at the 5th INS/ASSBI Pacific Rim  Conference. Sydney, 1-4 July, 2015. Awarded the Luria Prize for the best  oral presentation by a doctoral student.

Grima, N. Ponsford, J., St Hilaire, M., Mansfield, D.,  Rajaratnam, S. Circadian Melatonin Rhythms and sleep dysfunction following TBI.  Poster presented at Epworth Research Week, 15-19 June, 2015. Awarded Epworth  Research Institute New Researcher Poster Award.

Best Poster for an Experienced Researcher, ‘The  distribution of positive work and power generation amongst the lower-limb  joints during the stance phase of walking normalises following recovery from  traumatic brain injury.’ Epworth Research Week. Gavin Williams.

Churchill Fellowship Award to travel to Netherlands, France, Switzerland, USA and Canada, to investigate driving simulator use in assessment and rehabilitation of disabled and older drivers. Pam Ross

Rene Stolwyk receiving his scholarship

RACV Sir Edmund Herring Memorial Scholarship. Rene Stolwyk

2015 for 2016-19: NHMRC Early Career Research  Fellowship (for 4 years). Gershon Spitz.

2015 for 2016: NHMRC Translating Research Into  Practice Fellowship. Gavin Williams.


CETBIR Research Fellows Dr Cally Richardson (0.4 EFT)   and Dr Kelly Sinclair (0.4  EFT).

Kelly Sinclair awarded the World Federation of  NeuroRehabilitation’s FRANZ GERSTENBRAND AWARD for a non-pharmacological intervention that  has had an impact on symptoms experienced by people with acquired brain  injury,  for her research evaluating the  efficacy of light therapy for fatigue and sleepiness following TBI. This award  was made at the Eighth World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation, Istanbul,  Turkey, April 8-12, 2014.

Gershon Spitz receiving his Brain Foundation grant

Brain Foundation Grant awarded to Gershon Spitz in the  category of Neurotrauma: Return of memory following traumatic brain injury.  Funded by the Peter Winder Hill Estate and the Bruce Wall Trust, 13 October.

Alway, Y., Ponsford, J., Johnston, L.,Mckay, A., Gould, K.  Posttraumatic stress symptoms following moderate to severe traumatic brain  injury: a prospective study. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Brain  Impairment Conference, Perth, 8-10 May,2014. Awarded the Luria Prize for the  best oral presentation by a doctoral student.

Gooden, J. R., Ponsford, J., Charlton, J. L., Bedard, M.,  Marshall, S., Ross, P., Gagnon, S. & Stolwyk, R. Self-awareness,  self-regulation and return to driving after TBI. Poster presentation at the  11th Conference of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Special Interest Group  of the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation, Limassol, Cyprus, 2014. Award  received in recognition of the best poster presentation.

Gooden, J. R., Ponsford, J., Charlton, J. L., Bedard, M.,  Marshall, S., Ross, P., Gagnon, S. & Stolwyk, R. Self-Awareness of on-road  driving after traumatic brain injury. Platform paper presentation at the CCN  Victoria Postgraduate Research Symposium, Melbourne, 2014. Award received  for best platform paper presentation.

Monash Postgraduate Association Supervisor of the Year. Awarded to Jennie Ponsford.

School of Psychological Sciences Award for Excellence in Research  Leadership. Awarded to Jennie Ponsford.

School of Psychological Sciences Award for Excellence in Doctoral  Teaching. Awarded to Jennie Ponsford.


Jennie Ponsford receiving the Robert Moody Prize

Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished initiatives in Brain  Injury Rehabilitation, Robert Moody Foundation, University of Texas Branch.  Awarded to Jennie Ponsford.

Caroline  Roberts comes 1st in   Honours year in 2013 and was awarded the APS Prize.

Richardson,  C., Ponsford, J., & McKay, A. Self-awareness following traumatic brain  injury. Paper presented at the 36th Annual Brain Injury Impairment  Conference, Tasmania 2-4th May. Awarded the Kevin Walsh Award for  the best submitted abstract by a graduate student.

Best Poster for Novice Researcher ‘Which factors  influence the physical activity levels of people with traumatic brain injury  when they are discharged home from hospital?’ Epworth Research Week. Gavin Williams supervisor of Masters by  Research Megan Hamilton.

Best Paper at ASSBI conference, Hobart 2-4th  May. Which factors influence the physical activity levels of people with  traumatic brain injury when they are discharged home from hospital? Authors  Hamilton, M., Williams, G., Bryant,  A. & Clark, R.


NHMRC Australian Based Health Professional  Research Fellowship – Gavin Williams.

2012-2013: CETBIR funds Research Fellow Dr Kate  Gould (0.4 EFT).


Best Poster for Established Researcher ‘Reduced  ankle power generation at push off leads to slow gait following TBI’. Epworth  Research Week. Gavin Williams.

Dahm, J., Wong, D.,  Schonberger, M., Ponsford, J. Utility of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales  in assessing anxiety and depression following traumatic brain injury. Paper  presented at the Eighth Conference of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation  Special Interest Group of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR),  Rotorua, New Zealand, 11th-12th July 2011. Awarded prize for best datablitz  presentation.

Gould, K., Ponsford, J.,  Johnston, L., Schönberger, M. Psychiatric disorders following traumatic brain  injury. Poster presented at the Eighth Conference of the Neuropsychological  Rehabilitation Special Interest Group of the World Federation for  NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR) , Rotorua, New Zealand , 11th-12th July 2011. Awarded  prize for best poster presentation.

CETBIR funds Research Fellow Dr Michele Grant (0.5 EFT).

Phillip M. Rennick award for best paper by a  postgraduate doctoral student at the mid-year meeting of the International  Neuropsychological Society, Oslo, Norway. Dr  Gershon Spitz.

Best Poster for Established Researcher ‘Mobility  following TBI: relationships with joint power generation and motor skill  level’. Epworth Research Week. Gavin  Williams.