TRAMS: Excellence in Tracheostomy Care

Austin TRAMS


5th International Tracheostomy Symposium 

Melbourne Australia, 11th October 2019

Austin Health, the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative and the Royal Children’s Hospital hosted the 5th International Tracheostomy Symposium on 11 October 2019.  More than 300 patients, family and health professionals attended, with delegates from around the world including across Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK and Ireland, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Qatar.

The meeting highlighted significant improvements in the safety, quality and efficiency of care for tracheostomy patients.  There are approximately 250,000 patients globally with tracheostomies.

Every aspect of the meeting created a meaningful, rich and energised day.

It was a resounding success with clinicians, researchers, patients and families from around the world collaborating to ensure safer tracheostomy everywhere

Keynote speaker, Austin Health Director of ICU Research, Professor Rinaldo Bellomo, stressed the importance of teamwork in tracheostomy care to assist patient recovery and rehabilitation in his keynote address.  During the scientific sessions, Austin Health staff Christine Knee Chong and Jack Ross placed 1st and 2nd for best poster and Charissa Zaga placed 2nd for best oral presentation.

Austin Health patients Gerard Stevenson and his wife Sue, Daisy Xu and her father Geoff, Sally Messer and her mother Jenny, Colin Gray and his wife Jenny, Peter Stickney and his wife Sue all shared their personal stories with attendees.    Gerard  and Sue introduced  keynote speaker Dr Brendan McGrath, UK Lead of the National Tracheostomy Safety Project .  Gerard met Dr McGrath during the 2014 3rd ITS in Melbourne. 

Gerard is a businessman and author and is fully ventilated via tracheostomy since suffering a high level spinal cord injury in 2014.  He discussed the importance of finding community, purpose and striving to stay positive in the face of adversity, themes which he uses to write in his blog:

Daisy was in a motorbike accident in Vietnam in 2017 and broke her spine, becoming quadriplegic.   Within a month of her arrival at Austin Health after her accident, she was able to speak again and was out of ICU and in the Austin Spinal Unit.  With the assistance of music therapist, Dr Jeanette Tamplin, she has learnt to sing and performed live at Friday’s symposium.  Daisy also writes a blog called Mad Grit

Daisy showed it was possible to live life to its fullest regardless of physical limitations.She and Jeanette shone on stage and created a tremendous creative energy.

Click on the photos below to watch the incredibly humbling tracheostomy Patient & Family videos that were played at the 5th ITS 2019 



The 5th ITS 2019 Organising Committee would like to thank all the delegates, speakers, sponsors & most especially Patients & Families, for ensuring that our vision of Innovate, Improve & Inspire came to fruition in a dynamic collaboration 

To see more photos of our 5th ITS 2019, please visit our social media pages (links below):




GTC webinar series

These cover many interesting tracheostomy topics.  Click image below to see details of existing and future webinar series and to register.

 Patient and Family Winter Forum - August 22nd, 2018.  

On 22 August 2018 TRAMS, VRSS (Victorian Respiratory Support Services) and the GTC held a Winter Tracheostomy Patient and Family Forum. It was a wonderful occasion where we received an update on our global tracheostomy community and we had facilitated discussions on developing resilience. We also had winter-warming fun with West African drumming.

Each patient with a tracheostomy and their families and carers received a beautiful hand-made card designed and made by one of our tracheostomy in-patients.

Personal stories were shared and a sense of belonging and connection was created. 


Watch this space for our next Tracheostomy Patient and Family forum 


New resource - Community Tracheostomy Training Program

Click on the picture to access this resource

Colin's Story:                                                

Click on the picture to watch a short film of Colin's story after sustaining a spinal cord injury whilst working on the farm.  Colin's story provides a great example of what the community arm of TRAMS aims to facilitate when a long-term tracheostomy in necessary.                                                  

Stand on the shoulders of giants

An inspirational BLOG by Gerard Stevenson telling his story after sustaining a spinal cord injury on August 24th 2014.