Beyond burns

Dale Forbes1, Anne Darton2

1 NSW Department of Family & Community Services, Level 6, 12 Help Street, Chatswood, NSW, 2067,
2 NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, Statewide Burn Injury Service Level 6, Clinical Services Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, Pacific Highway, St. Leonards, NSW, 2065

A severe burn injury can have a devastating and crippling effect on an individual’s life. Burn injuries can affect a person’s psychosocial well-being as well as their physical bodies. The challenges facing burn survivors are numerous and can often take many years to overcome. Some of these include: anxiety, depression, altered body image and social adjustment. The availability and accessibility of burns support services is limited in availability and accessibility in Australia.

This presentation highlights an innovative and collaborative model that seeks to support the Australian and New Zealand burn community through a number of initiatives.

Primarily focused on improving long term psychosocial outcomes for burn survivors, Beyond Burns provides a place for burn survivors to come together and share stories of strength, resilience and hope with one another. Beyond Burns employs an innovative approach that seeks to maximise potential, realise aspirations and is underpinned by the principle that individuals and communities can do much better if provided with the right opportunities to create their own cycle of advantage.

The secondary function of Beyond Burns is in providing a hub for burn related information by connecting services to burn survivors through an online directory and by collating burn prevention and education information from various stakeholders.

Beyond Burns is currently expanding and developing its online presence whilst establishing and strengthening collaborative partnerships across government, non-government, corporate, philanthropy and the wider community.

Key Words

Burn, survivor, support


Dale Forbes is an Aboriginal man from Rural NSW. Dale has a lived experience as a Burn Survivor in addition to growing up in Out of Home Care. Dale has been heavily involved in volunteering and charitable work in burns sector over the years. Dale is currently finishing a Bachelor of Social Work while working as a Community Development Officer with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Dale has been a driving force behind the Beyond Burns project from the initial conception through to the design and development and has a deep commitment to collaborative consumer centered approaches.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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