Vale Bob Elvey

Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) Honoured Member Robert Elvey passed away on 17 April 2013 after a period of illness.

Bob pioneered the development and refinement of the clinical examination and management of neural tissue pain disorders, his work subsequently inspiring other physiotherapists to engage in further research in this field. He disseminated the findings derived from his clinical work to the physiotherapy profession and the wider medical community through numerous scientific papers, book chapters, and keynote presentations at many national and international conferences.

He will be greatly missed by the Australian physiotherapy community.

Career achievements:

- In 1984 Bob was appointed President of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMT, which is now called the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists), a position he held until 1992. In recognition of his service, he was awarded life membership of IFOMT in 2000.

- From 1990, he taught in and coordinated the postgraduate musculoskeletal program at Curtin University, Western Australia. His efforts in developing and expanding the program raised the standard of postgraduate musculoskeletal education and its international reputation. Bob’s profile and standing resulted in invitations to conduct manual therapy postgraduate short courses and workshops around the world.

- In 1997 Bob was awarded life membership of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia, of which he was chairman from 1984 to 1992. Bob also sat on the advisory board for both the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy and Manual Therapy.

- In 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Australian College of Physiotherapists.

- In 2011 Bob was awarded an APA Honoured Membership.

Mentorship and guidance:

Beside the deserved recognition afforded him for his knowledge and expert clinical skills, Bob garnered acclaim for his abilities as a mentor and educator. Bob profoundly influenced and supported many physiotherapists around Australia and abroad through his commitment to the advancement of clinical excellence and maintenance of high professional standards.

A note from Bob Elvey:

Bob wrote this letter in response to his APA Honoured Membership award in 2011. 

'Having been retired for a number of years, I was becoming distant to the current status of physiotherapy and physiotherapy practice. However, an event early in the year left me requiring an extensive rehabilitation program which in turn gave me a close insight into contemporary physiotherapy. As result I have been comprehensively impressed by the high level of professionalism and the high level of physiotherapy practice demonstrated by both physiotherapists and students. I have also been impressed by the high esteem physiotherapists and the profession enjoys within allied health care and impressed by the acceptance and the contribution of physiotherapy in various areas of heathcare as being so important.

While education may well play the major role, in my observations, the role of the APA must also be recognised. The APA, since its very beginnings, has promoted high standards of physiotherapy practice and professionalism. Within its vision today, it continues to do so with its promotion of physiotherapy excellence.

I have always felt very proud of the profession and very proud to be a member of the APA. My recent observations have revitalised and enhanced these feelings. I now feel especially proud to have been granted honoured membership of the APA. Thank you so much.'