WHO WE ARE
THE DANCERS' DIRECTIVE
We are a team of people dedicated to the promotion of the connectivity of spinal cord injuries and dance.
The Dancers' Directive aims to raise money and awareness for spinal cord injuries through a celebration of dance and the arts by hosting an annual gala featuring talent and innovation from across Australia and around the world.
The richness of creativity and passion is on display as we connect disabilities with the arts, drawing upon the desire of the dance community to 'dance for a cause'.
This is dance at it's best.
OUR PARTNER CHARITY
PRINCE OF WALES HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation Ltd (POWHF) is the established health promotion charity supporting The Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH). Since 2004, POWHF has raised more than $30 million in cash and kind to advance the health of Australians by connecting generosity to innovation and excellence in patient care, research, education and health promotion at POWH.
POWHF’s supports priority, high impact activity including breakthrough research, new and refurbished departments, patient care programs, health promotion, lifesaving equipment and landmark facilities.
The POWH houses one of only two acute Spinal Injury Units in NSW. The aim of the unit is to improve the quality of life of spinal injury patients by restoring some element of control and independence in their lives during the long recovery process in hospital. Patients arrive from all over NSW to receive the best treatment in their spinal wards.
As you can imagine, an acute spinal cord injury is a catastrophic event and can change a person's life forever. These injuries can be irreversible and can often impact the lives of the patient's families and friends too. Last year the POWH Spinal Injury Unit had 55 new patients admitted, 50 re-admitted acute patients with an average stay of 42 days and
79 rehab patients who stayed for an average of 28 days.
MEET TOM ELPHICK
Young Australian Tom Elphick was a professional dancer working overseas for an international dance company in 2015. Tragically in May that year he had an accident after diving into the ocean in Portugal which resulted in a spinal cord injury that left him a paraplegic. Doctors told him that there was a chance that he would never walk again. After five weeks in hospital in Lisbon he was repatriated to Sydney where he underwent extensive therapy at Prince of Wales Hospital. With intense rehabilitation and nerve transfer surgery under the care of some of Australia’s leading spinal doctors, he has in fact learned to walk again.
Much of Tom's recovery and rehabilitation has been made possible by funds raised for him through the Dancers' Directive 2015 event, Tom's Gala. Now studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Neuroscience, Tom's gratitude has driven him to join the team at Dancers' Directive. Tom is passionate about raising money to invest back into this unit out of the gratefulness for the care he received and in order to assist in supporting the best facilities, rehab programs and staff training programs possible as research progresses in the area of spinal cord injuries.
Watch an interview with Bloch Australia here.
A PERSONAL MESSAGE
"It’s been over two years since my accident. During this time I have made incredible gains in physical recovery and bodily mobility. I can walk fluently with what is considered normal functioning capacity. I am under no misapprehension that none of this would have been possible without the generous and dedicated support of my medical staff and network of friends, family and the broader dance community. They are the people who have inspired me to continue pushing the bounds of recovery each and every day.
Today I am studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in neuroscience, via the Dean’s Equity Scholarship at the University of New South Wales. I want to leverage my experience through my own injury to help other people affected with spinal cord injuries and to assist in their own journies to recovery.
Not everyone is afforded the same support I was. Sadly, many patients lack access to the help and resources required during one of the most trying and difficult moments in their lives. Dancers’ Directive is all about reaching out to these people, supporting their journeys and ensuring everyone has access to a viable path to recovery."