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Queensland’s first quadriplegic doctor to give major address at APP2021

Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM

Advocate for Doctors with Disabilities and Queensland State Recipient of Australian of the Year 2021, Dr. Dinesh Palipana OAM, will share the inspiring story of how he became Queensland’s first quadriplegic medical graduate and medical intern at APP2021.

APP2021, now less than four weeks away, is a COVID-Safe event taking place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on 20-23 May 2021. Australia’s largest pharmacy conference and trade show, APP offers attendees a four-day educational program, exciting social activities and a trade exhibition showcasing the latest products, services and industry information.

Kos Sclavos AM, APP2021 Convenor and former Guild National President, said he was looking forward to joining with other attendees and hearing from Dr. Palipana in person.

“As a medical student, Dr. Palipana suffered a severe spinal injury in a car crash and was told his dream of becoming a doctor was over,” said Mr Sclavos, “Despite facing numerous and challenging barriers, he is now a senior resident at Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland and a doctor for the Gold Coast Titans physical disability rugby league team.”

“His story is truly inspirational,” Mr. Sclavos said, “Dr Palipana is a member of multiple committees for disability advocacy and as co-founder of Doctors with Disabilities Australia, has worked with the Australian Medical Association to create first-of-kind national policies for inclusivity in medical education and employment.”

“Dr. Palipana has also contributed significantly to scientific advances in treating spinal cord injury and restoring function to people with paralysis. His national and global impact has been recognised with numerous awards, including Junior Doctor of the Year and the Order of Australia.”

Mr. Sclavos said Dr. Palipana was part of a speaking line-up that was one of the best he had seen at APP. “Along with Dr. Palipana, attendees to APP2021 will also get the chance to hear from the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, and the Hon Mark Butler MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care as well as Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young.

Mr. Sclavos also said the organisers had moved to ensure attendees could purchase their tickets to APP with certainty.

“We’ve also acted to give attendees certainty around any disruptions to plans that may come out of COVID-19. We’ve done this by making changes to ensure if people can’t travel due to COVID-19, they’re able to get full refunds,” Mr Sclavos said, “Attendees and delegates can make their arrangements with certainty that they will not be out of pocket”.

Dr. Palipana’s message will be delivered as the Alan Russell Oration on Thursday 20 May.

Attendees can book their APP2021 registration at

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