The HabITec Leadership Advisory Group


Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM AM MD LLB


Dinesh made headlines with his triumph of qualifying and registering as the first doctor with tetraplegia in Queensland.

Dr Palipana is considered to be one of the best interns to have ever graduated from Griffith’s School of Medicine and now works as a senior resident doctor (emergency medicine) at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service. He has completed an Advanced Clerkship in Radiology at the Harvard University and is also a qualified lawyer, having earned a Bachelor of Laws (LLB). 

A lecturer at Griffith School of Medicine, he is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland and Adjunct Member of the Griffith Centre of biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering (GCORE). Dinesh has research interests in spinal cord injury, particularly with novel rehabilitation techniques.  His role as a Chief Investigator of the BioSpine Research Group, a key Griffith University-led Flagship Program, has led him to contribute significantly to scientific and technological advances in treating spinal cord injury and restoring function to people with paralysis.

Along with his collaborators, Professor David Lloyd and Dr Claudio Pizzolato, the BioSpine team use Brain-Computer-Interfaces and Human-Machine-Interfaces as assistive devices for neurorehabilitation. As one of only a few people in the world undertaking such important research and development, the team have developed some of the most promising advances in human history for spinal cord injury, including the Personalised Digital Twin for Thought-driven Electromechanical Assistive Neurorehabilitation Devices Program – an exciting project which uses the Restorative Therapies Rehabilitation Bike, to completely transform the way spinal injury patients are rehabilitated, along with a range of other applications.

In addition to his busy career and research, Dinesh is a co-founder of Doctors with Disabilities Australia, is team doctor for the Gold Coast Titans physical disability rugby league team, a member of multiple committees for disability advocacy, and has spoken in world-renowned forums such as TEDx.

His national and global impact has seen him recognised with numerous awards, including ‘Change Making’ in National Awards for Disability Leadership (2019), Junior Doctor of the Year (2019), Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to medicine (2019), The Henry Viscardi Achievement Award (2019), an Aspire Award for his contribution to Medicine and Research (2020) and more recently Queensland Australian of the Year (2021). Throughout COVID-19, Dinesh advocated for equitable treatment for people with disabilities, including as a witness to the Disability Royal Commission.

Dinesh Palipana