Professor Karl Landorf steps down as trustee of APERF

Hylton Menz 74x74
By Professor Hylton Menz
Trustee, APERF

What attracted you to joining APERF as a trustee?

I was attracted to joining APERF as trustee because I was a recipient of an APERF grant in 1999 to conduct a trial of foot orthoses for plantar heel pain. Through this experience I could appreciate how critical APERF was in supporting foot and ankle researchers – both experienced researchers conducting cutting edge research, as well as inexperienced researchers just starting out. I cannot emphasise this last point enough; APERF has really helped many inexperienced researchers start their research careers, some of whom have moved into highly influential positions that have greatly helped the podiatry profession.


What did you find the most enjoyable aspects of being a trustee and chair of APERF?

There were three main aspects that were most enjoyable – the positive reaction from applicants when they received a grant, working with the other trustees, who all have tremendous research experience and are highly ethical and caring individuals, and the very kind and selfless individuals in our profession that have donated to or raised money for APERF.


What is the biggest challenge facing APERF?

The biggest challenge by far is the ongoing need for a consistent and healthy funding source to be able to offer grants. Donations are one of the greatest sources of funds, so I encourage those who do donate to keep doing so, and those that don’t, please consider setting up a regular donation to help support APERF funding further research into projects that directly relate to podiatric practice.


Dr Shan Bergin has now taken over the role of chair of APERF. What different skills do you think she brings to the role?

Shan has many great skills and she has the drive to keep APERF moving forward – she is an ideal person to be chair of APERF. Shan is a no-nonsense type of person, which I really admire, and I am impressed with how she just gets on with the job. Importantly, Shan comes from a broader public health background compared to me, so I think this difference will benefit APERF.


Any final reflections or comments?

Yes! Firstly, a big thank you to all podiatrists who have supported APERF over the last three decades (both financial and in-kind support). I cannot thank you enough. Without this support, our profession would not have produced so many studies. The impact of these studies on foot health is irrefutable. This support has brought substantial benefits to people with foot problems. Further, the studies produced from APERF grants have benefited the profession substantially. These studies have contributed to the evidence base of podiatry, which has placed us well by positioning podiatry as a mainstream evidence-based profession that is viewed favourably by the government and other key health institutions. The profession in Australia should be very proud of APERF and how it has contributed to the standing of the profession.


The Australian Podiatry Association and current trustees would like to sincerely thank Professor Landorf for his dedicated service to the profession through his contribution to and leadership of APERF over the past 15 years.


The Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) was established in 1991 and exists to advance research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of foot problems. APERF is a charitable trust that is currently overseen by seven trustees. Since its establishment, APERF has supported 81 research projects and has awarded $495,000 in research grants. For more information about APERF or to make a donation, please visit the website and follow on Twitter @_aperf