Associate Professor Yvonne Burns AO

Associate Professor Yvonne Burns AO is one of the world’s leading academics in the area of paediatric physiotherapy. As a clinician, researcher and teacher, she has broadened our understanding of child development and worked tirelessly to improve the health and wellbeing of children living with disabilities.

Over the past 43 years, Associate Professor Burns has made an extraordinary contribution to The University of Queensland (UQ) as a teacher and researcher who has educated generations of physiotherapy students. Her involvement at UQ dates back to 1977 when she was initially employed as a Lecturer in Physiotherapy. Associate Professor Burns was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1979 and went on to serve as Head of the Department of Physiotherapy for 11 years, from 1987 to 1998.

After 24 years of dedicated service to the University and its students, Associate Professor Burns retired in 2001. However, since then, she has contributed nearly 20 years of further clinical education and research fellowship to UQ. She continues to generously share her knowledge of child development as a supervisor of Higher Degree and Honours students and by supervising students weekly in the paediatric clinic conducted by the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Associate Professor Burns is a co-founder of the Growth and Development Research Unit at Mater Research and has an outstanding record as a researcher with a special interest in the motor development of infants.

She served as Chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) from 1981 to 1983; and was made an Honoured Member of the APA in 1993. Her contribution to her profession was recognised by the APA, again, in 2001 with the establishment of the national “Yvonne Burns Award for Outstanding Contribution to Paediatric Physiotherapy”.

Associate Professor Burns was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004 “for service in the field of paediatric physiotherapy through teaching, clinical practice and research, and to the community through chaplaincy support roles”.


UQ Fellowship
Associate Professor Yvonne Burns AO