Our Vision

To find a cure for spinal cord injury.

Our Mission

To connect the dots with spinal cord injury, enabling clinical research that would otherwise go unfunded.

Our History

In 1994, Neil Sachse founded an organisation to raise funds for research into the treatment of spinal cord injury. Originally known as the Spinal Research Fund of Australia Incorporated, it was renamed the Neil Sachse Foundation to honour Neil’s steadfast and dogmatic contribution to spinal cord injury research.

An on-field collision in an AFL (formally VFL) match in 1975 was to change the life of Neil Sachse forever. Neil was left a quadriplegic from the accident, but the injury and the way he’s handled it in the decades since have made a positive contribution to the lives of many.

In 1995, Neil established what was known as the Neil Sachse Foundation, to find a cure for spinal cord injury.

As the founding Chief Executive Officer, Neil was the driving force behind fundraising that contributed $1.5 million to a ground-breaking research project at Flinders University. This culminated in the opening of the Neil Sachse Foundation Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre. Neil and the Foundation focused on funding a drug which would reduce the swelling that follows a spinal cord injury, at The University of Adelaide School of Medical Sciences. Neil Sachse’s dedication to making a difference has been recognised by many, but two special milestones are worth noting.

In 2009, in recognition of his tireless work and dedication, Neil was awarded the “Premier’s Award for Outstanding Community Achievement in South Australia” at an Awards Ceremony run by the Australia Day Council of SA at Government House.

Neil Sachse was recognised as a State Finalist in the 2014 Australian of The Year Awards – formal recognition for a lifetime of service and dedication to finding a cure for spinal cord injury research.

The Neil Sachse Foundation and its Board of Directors, led by its founder, aimed to find a cure for spinal cord injury – and committed to funding the critical research steps required on the journey to a cure – in particular, research that would otherwise go unfunded. The Foundation believed that research is the ultimate key to making lives better for those affected by spinal cord injury, including their caregivers, family, friends and colleagues.

Click here to view The 7:30 Report’s profile on Neil Sachse.


  • Search for a cure for spinal cord injury
  • Operate as a Centre of Excellence for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Treatment
  • Provide a platform for clinical trials
  • Provide a hub for testing and evaluating spinal cord injury research
  • Investigate and test worldwide technologies through collaboration with other spinal cord injury organisations
  • Coordinate clinical trials with partnership organisations