Speed dating with a twist for researchers

WSLHD clinicians and University of Sydney academics recently got together at Blacktown Hospital to promote collaborative research.

Children are improving their language development thanks to a collaborative project bringing together speech pathologists and preschool teachers.

The project was among those discussed at a recent networking event designed to build on collaboration between Community and Integrated Care clinicians and University of Sydney academics, hosted by the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Allied Health Research Unit.

The networking event culminated with a ‘speed dating’ exercise, where people from across WSLHD and university partners had an opportunity to meet and share points of common interest in 45-second time slots.

WSLHD speech pathologist Heather Faulkner spoke about the innovative research project helping preschool teachers to promote language development.

“Early language support can improve health and wellbeing as a child develops and approaches school age,” Heather said.

WSLHD Allied Health director Jacqueline Dominish, Allied Health Professor Vicki Flood and Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals physiotherapy head Ian Starkey.

The collaborative project is being led by the WSLHD Child and Family Speech Pathology team, working with University of Sydney academics and Cumberland Council. This project was recently supported by a grant from Paediatric Innovation Funding scheme.

Other speakers on the day included Dr Andrew Black discussing the University of Sydney Living Lab vision, and A/Prof Lynda Matthews sharing collaboration experiences in mental health and rehabilitation, particularly among people and families who have experienced workplace trauma.

This is important timing leading up to the Allied Health Research Kickstarter grants, which are currently open.

See the Research and Education website for further details about this opportunity for collaborative research.