New appointment for disability studies
Dr Patricia O’Brien has been appointed to the position of Chair of Disability Studies and Director of the Centre for Disability Studies at the Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney, located in Ryde, NSW.
Dr O’Brien, an Australian who has spent the past five years as Director of the National Institute for Intellectual Disability at Trinity College in Dublin, will take up the position in December this year. She replaces Foundation Professor Trevor R. Parmenter, who is stepping down after 12+ years as Chair of Developmental Disability.
The Royal Rehabilitation Centre is an affiliated teaching hospital of the University of Sydney. The position of Chair is a collaboration between University of Sydney Medical School, the Centre for Disability Studies and the Royal Rehabilitation Centre.
“We are delighted that Dr O’Brien is returning to Australia to take on the role,” said the Dean of Sydney Medical School, Professor Bruce Robinson. “She has a distinguished career in disability research and education and will provide much needed leadership in this important area.”
“But I’d also like to acknowledge and thank Professor Trevor Parmenter for his contribution and dedication over an extended period,” he said. “His dedication and hard work in establishing the Chair more than a decade ago, has given us a very sound foundation in teaching and research.”
The Centre for Disability Studies has recently expanded is mission to include the wider population of people with a disability, while continuing to have a strong interest in developmental disabilities. Its focus remains on health and community services. It also conducts a health clinic in developmental disability through the Royal Rehabilitation Centre’s Outpatients Department.
Dr O’Brien’s appointment was jointly announced by Professor Robinson and Mr Ian Hunt OAM, Chair of the Board of the Centre for Disability Studies. Mr Hunt said he and his Board are extremely delighted that someone of the calibre of Dr O’Brien will be appointed to this conjoint position.