Meet the NZRA Exec


A/Prof William Levack - NZRA President

Alter Ego: Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Associate Dean Research for the University of Otago in Wellington

Bio: William is Academic Head of the Rehabilitation Teaching & Research Unit at the University of Otago Wellington.  His research interests include goal setting, interprofessional practice, patient engagement in rehabilitation, and self-management of chronic health conditions, with a particular focus on chronic respiratory and neurological rehabilitation.

Theme song: "It must be love" (Madness)


Dr Felicity Bright - NZRA Secretary

Alter Ego: Senior Lecturer, Rehabilitation, Auckland University of Technology 

Bio: Felicity Bright is a speech-language therapist. She is a senior lecturer in Rehabilitation at Auckland University of Technology and is a researcher within the Centre for Person Centred Research. Her research brings together her expertise in rehabilitation and speech-language therapy, exploring engagement, therapeutic relationships and health communication, with a particular focus on enhancing healthcare services for people experiencing communication disability.

Theme song: "Stay Outta My Business" (Tami Neilson)


Dr Debbie Snell - NZRA Treasurer

Alter Ego: Neuropsychologist and consultant clinical psychologist with the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.

Bio: In addition to her clinical work, Debbie is a Senior Research Fellow and Professional Practice Fellow with the University of Otago. Debbie's research focuses on the impacts of psychological factors on outcomes after mild traumatic brain injury and she has worked in specialty concussion clinics for many years. She is currently leading a Health Research Council funded study focusing on developing guidelines for managing psychological difficulties after mild traumatic brain injury in the NZ context.

Theme song:  "Miss Sarajevo" (U2 & Pavarotti)


Dr Rachelle Martin - NZRA Communications

Alter Ego: Rehabilitation & Knowledge Translation Lead, Burwood Academy of Independent Living (BAIL); Professional Practice Fellow, RTRU, Department of Medicine, University of Otago Wellington.

Bio: Rachelle is a 'new and emerging' clinical researcher who worked as a physiotherapist for >20 years, and then decided to do a Masters and PhD in rehabilitation (finishing this in 2018).   She is involved in a range of research projects focusing on outcomes that are prioritised by people living with the experience of disability. At the moment these involve: peer support after SCI, incontinence after stroke, preventing falls in rehabilitation wards, and evaluating the provision of rehabilitation services to people with SCI. Rachelle tends to approach her research through a realist research and evaluation lens.

Theme song: "Beautiful Things" (Gungor)



A/Prof Nicola Kayes - NZRA Ex-president

Alter Ego: Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Director, Centre for Person Centred Research in the School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology

Bio: Nicola is a senior lecturer and researcher passionate about advancing knowledge and practice in rehabilitation. Her specialist research expertise draws insights from the intersection between health psychology and rehabilitation exploring how people think, feel and behave following injury and illness, the role of the rehabilitation practitioner and their way of working as a critical factor in rehabilitation, and whether shifting practice and the way we work with people can optimise outcome.

Theme song: "Romeo and Juliet” (Indigo Girls)


Annie Jones

Alter Ego: Clinical Partner - ACC

Bio: After working for 15 years as a Physiotherapist across a wide variety of setting I specialised in Spinal Cord Injury working at the Burwood Spinal Unit. In 2014 I decided to join ACC. Initially as a Case Manager and then a Rehabilitation Advisor. I now work as a Clinical Partner in which we aim to help ACC align with the Health Sector. This involves relationship management with Allied Health Professional  Groups and Subject Matter  advisory function for the wider ACC. I remain interested in Rehabilitation Research and Practice with a strong interest in person centred approaches, Serious injury, New Technology and Health Policy. I am proud member of rainbow community,  a dog mother and enjoy ocean swimming and lots of coffee!

Theme song: “Take a Chance on Me” (Abba)


Dr Leanne Parker

Alter Ego: Rehabilitation Physician, Southern Rehab and NZALS

Bio: Leanne is a clinician practicing largely in community rehabilitation settings, primarily working in mild to moderate brain injury, pain management, complex trauma and orthopaedic rehabilitation and amputee rehabilitation. She has previously worked in spinal cord injuries rehabilitation in an inpatient setting. When Leanne is not working she enjoys spending time with her children and family, and being in the outdoors, especially the beach and the water. 

Theme song: "The Chain" (Fleetwood Mac)

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