Cerebral Conversations

From the great minds at Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA), Cerebral Conversations tackles the biggest issues impacting people living with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities. We’re going all in on early intervention, advocacy, research, inclusion and a whole lot more, to untangle the curliest of ideas with the people who understand them best. Join our special guests and hosts for eye-opening, norm-challenging conversations. Listen to the powerful and poignant journeys of Australians living with cerebral palsy who are breaking all the boundaries. Be part of CPA’s Cerebral Conversations and find out what happens when great minds think differently.

Cerebral Conversations | Season 1

Episode 4 | Changing brains and minds | Iona Novak & Tracey Spicer on Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the secret ingredient for better brain power – and better outcomes for children with disability. Professor Iona Novak, CPA’s Chair of Allied Health, co-founder of the CPA Research Institute and renowned journalist, author and broadcaster Tracey Spicer go deep into our grey (and white) matter to explore the brain’s ability to create new neural pathways and what that means for a child’s critical early years of neurological development. How can we rewire our brains by learning new skills? Why are some pathways a bit overgrown and others rather well-trodden? Can teenagers and adults harness neuroplasticity, and how is it relevant for people without disability?

Episode 3 | Early diganosis and meeting Eve | Nadia Badawi’s story

Early in her career, Professor Nadia Badawi. realised that working with newborns was an opportunity to change the entire course of a person’s life, not to mention having a huge impact for their family and the wider community. That realisation has taken her on an incredible path, becoming a leading voice in neonatal intensive care. Nadia also shares her perspective of the remarkable story of meeting baby Eve Darcy six years ago. This story was told by Eve’s dad, Joe Darcy, in episode two. Through early diagnosis of cerebral palsy and early intervention baby Eve’s life was transformed from a bleak outlook into the “little blonde cannonball” she is today.

Episode 2 | Riding rollercoasters and harbouring hope | Joe Darcy’s story

In the first hours and days of baby Eve’s life, her parents Joe and Hiam heard the toughest news and words every new parent dreads: complications, NICU, brain damage… Through all the ups and downs of those rollercoaster days, Joe never gave up hope and baby Eve is now a skateboarding six year old who’s defied all the medical odds. Joe shares his memories of Eve’s first days, how he kept hope alive, and how trusting your gut can make a truly life-changing difference.

Episode 1 | Early Days | Nadia Badawi & Tracey Spicer on Neonatology

One in ten Australian babies spend time in a newborn intensive care unit, and it’s already an incredible group of people who are improving outcomes for those infants. However, the greatest success will come when we all get involved. Join Professor Nadia Badawi and Tracey Spicer as they discuss the often challenging, but always inspiring, world of newborn intensive care. Hear how Nadia thinks differently about what is possible for babies born with cerebral palsy. Tracey asks how our understanding of CP has changed over the years and critically, what does that mean for the future? Could a global pandemic really offer silver linings to those living with disability? And what’s changed to make the idea of a cure for CP no longer seem so fantastical?

Episode 0 | An overview and Acknowledgement of Country

Movements like #metoo and #blacklivesmatter have had a huge impact on changing expectations, attitude and culture. The 2020 Paralympians are leading a worldwide campaign to change attitudes towards disability – #Wethe15 (representing the 15% (1.2billion) of people around the world living with disability). And companies like Nike and Ikea are starting to include accessible design in their everyday products. So with disability as one of the last bastions of discrimination, and an environment ripe for change, CPA is launching a series of conversations that tackle some of the biggest disability issues like ableism, accessibility, advocacy, inclusion, innovation, research and a whole lot more. Listen to Episode 0 now to get a taste of what happens when great minds think differently.

In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.
We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.