Dr Rod Pope
PositionSenior Lecturer in Physiotherapy
Phone/Faxwork02 6933 2877
Rod has spent most of his life and career, to date, in inland Australia . After graduating as a Physiotherapist in 1988, he worked for several years in clinical and occupational rehabilitation physiotherapy in the Riverina region of NSW, where he currently resides with his wife and young family. He was then contracted for 10 years to provide clinical and rehabilitation physiotherapy services at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka. During this time, Rod completed his PhD in the area of exercise-related injury prevention, in which he investigated whether stretching prior to exercise reduced rates of injury in Army recruits and he developed the research basis for fitness screening protocols and standards used currently by the Australian Defence Force to assess the likelihood that applicants will be injured during training or fail to complete training. He also established systems for injury surveillance and prevention at the Army Recruit Training Centre, which were later adopted by the ADF as the basis for its Defence Injury Prevention Program.
In 2000, Rod completed further studies in psychology and, on the basis of his injury prevention work at the Army Recruit Training Centre, was contracted by the Defence Health Service to establish and implement the Australian Defence Injury Prevention Program, across the ADF. Rod continued in this role until March 2006, when he took up an appointment at Charles Sturt University as Senior Research Fellow (Research Development), in the Faculty of Health Studies (now Faculty of Science).
In late 2006 and after some formative work, Rod was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Charles Sturt University Centre for Inland Health. In 2011, he transitioned into the dual roles of Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy in the School of Community Health and Head of Research Professional Development Programs in the University's Research Office. In these roles, Rod has led programs of research in the areas of injury prevention and inland community health. He also continues to practice professionally in the field of occupational health physiotherapy, particularly injury prevention.
Overview of Research & Development Activities, Publications, and Funding
Since commencing at Charles Sturt University in March 2006, Rod has secured, in teams or alone, research funding totaling over 1.8 million dollars to support a range of new research projects and programs, mostly related to inland rural health. In this time, Rod has also continued with research for which funding was previously secured. He has been an author of seven contract research reports related to inland health, six reports of the Defence Science & Technology Organisation, two consultancy reports for the Australian Army, one journal article, two papers presented at international conferences on sports or military medicine, and a range of further papers presented at national military medicine, farm safety and rural health conferences. Rod is active in supporting rural health professionals and rural and military researchers in his areas of interest and expertise, through workshops, mentoring and collegial exchange.
Between 1998 and 2006, Rod secured, in small teams or alone, a total of more than 2.7 million dollars in funding for injury prevention research and development programs and projects, most of which he led while providing contract services to the Australian Department of Defence. In that time, Rod was an author of seven peer-reviewed journal articles and of another 12 research and concept reports for the Department of Defence. He was an invited speaker on military and sports injury prevention at a number of national and international conferences, and presented papers at many national & international conferences on sports, occupational or military injury prevention and injury surveillance.
Injury prevention, injury surveillance & injury risk management
- military non-combat injuries,
- rural community and occupational injuries,
- sports & exercise-related injuries
Inland rural health
- building rural community capacity for self-management of key health determinants
- innovative approaches to enhancing and growing the inland rural health workforce
- rural health promotion, public health and bridging the gap between research & practice
- evidence-based and cost-effective health promotion and care in the rural context
Selected Current Research Projects
- J Coyle, R Pope & A Moran: Greater Southern Area Health Service Allied Health Supervision and Support Project (funded by GSAHS, NSW Health)
- D Maybery, R Pope, G Hodgins: Evaluation of a program to build resilience in 19 small rural communities (funded by the North East Riverina Rural Counselling Service 2007-2009)
- J Coyle & R Pope: Evaluation of three models for rural allied health locum services (funded by NSW Health 2007-2010)
- A Bonner, J Pryor, J Crockett, R Pope, R Beecham: Development of a viable approach to community-based rehabilitation for rural & remote NSW (funded by the NSW Institute for Rural Clinical Services & Teaching)
- M Barclay, C Ambler: A randomised controlled trial of sock and lacing systems to prevent blisters in Australian soldiers (funded by Australian Department of Defence)
- J Ozanne-Smith, R Pope, A McKinnon: Optimising the Utility of Injury Surveillance Systems for Injury Control in Active Populations (funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project Grant and the Australian Department of Defence 2005-2009)
- Herrington V, Bartkowiak-Theron I, Woolston R, Pope R & Crowther A: The NSW Police Force Mental Health Intervention Team - Project Evaluation
Current Research Supervision
Rod is currently principal supervisor for the following postgraduate research projects:
- PhD Project in the area of prevention of fall-related injuries in older rural people of southern NSW (CSU)
- PhD Project in the area of load carriage, training progression and injury prevention in soldiers (UQ)
- PhD Project in the area of creativity and health (CSU)
- Doctor of Health Science Project in the area of injury prevention in military recruits (CSU)
Rod is currently the co-supervisor for the following postgraduate research project:
- PhD Project in the area of injury surveillance systems for injury prevention in active populations (Monash)
- Australian Physiotherapy Association
- Sports Medicine Australia
- Orr R, Pope R, Johnston V & Coyle J (in press). Load carriage and its Force impact. Australian Defence Force Journal
- Allan J, Pope R, Higgs J, O'Meara P & Kent J (in press). Serving inland rural communities through university clinics. Health Education JournalAllan J, O'Meara P, Pope R, Higgs J & Kent J (2010). The role of context in establishing University Clinics. Health and Social Care in the Community, 19, 2, 217-224
- Maybery D, Pope R, Hodgins G & Hitchenor Y (2010). Fostering resilience: Empowering rural communities in the face of hardship. Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 3, 55-69.
- Higgs J, Pope R, Kent J, O'Meara P & Allan J. (2010). University Clinics: Practice and Education Dimensions. In: L McAllister, M Paterson, J Higgs & C Bithnell (Eds) Innovations in Allied Health Fieldwork Education: a critical appraisal. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
- Orr R, Pope R, Johnston V & Coyle J (2010). Load carriage: minimising soldier injuries through physical conditioning - a narrative review. Journal of Military & Veterans' Health, 18, 3, 31-38.
- Oakman T, Byles-Drage H, Pritchard J & Pope R. (2010). Beat the Heat: Don't forget your drink - a Brief Public Education Program. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34, 346-350.
- Maybery D, Pope R, Hodgins G, Hitchenor Y & Shepherd A. (2009). Resilience and wellbeing of small inland communities: community assets as key determinants. Rural Society, 19, 4, 326-339.
- Bonner A, Pryor J, Crockett J, Pope R, Beecham R (2009). A sustainable approach to community based rehabilitation in rural and remote Australia. Proceedings of the 10th National Rural Health Conference, National Rural Health Alliance (http://10thnrhc.ruralhealth.org.au/papers/docs/Bonner_Ann_E2.pdf)
- McKinnon A, Ozanne-Smith J, Pope R (2009). Optimizing the utility of military injury surveillance systems: a qualitative study within the Australian Defence Force. Military Medicine, 174, 5, 470-478.