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NHET-Sim Executive Committee

The NHET-Sim Executive Committee is made up of the following members:

Prof Debra Nestel – Chair

A/Prof Margaret Bearman – Deputy Chair

Prof Jennene Greenhill – Flinders University representative

A/Prof Marcus Watson – Queensland Health/University of Queensland representative

Prof Peter Brooks – AusSETT representative

Mr Brad Beach – Federation Training representative

Dr Marino Festa – NSW representative

Prof Leonie Watterson – NSW representative

Ms Clare Byrne – NHET-Sim Monash Project Team Manager


Professor Debra Nestel (Chair)

Professor of Simulation Education 
in Healthcare, HealthPEER  and School of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

Debra Nestel is Professor of Simulation Education in Healthcare, HealthPEER and School of Rural Health, Monash University, Australia. Over the last 30 years, she has worked at the University of Hong Kong and Imperial College London. Her research interests include the role of simulation in supporting learning. Debra pioneered the concept of patient-focused simulation with her colleague Roger Kneebone. The approach has been adopted internationally for teaching, learning and assessing procedural skills in medical education.

Debra has extensive experience of working with simulated patients to support the development of communication and other professional skills. This experience includes scenario development, training methods for role portrayal and feedback to learners. A thread through much of her work is the need for authentic simulation. In simulated patient methodology this means offering authentic patient perspectives.

A focus of her current simulation-based research is finding ways to make high quality simulation-based education accessible to the health workforce through the concept of ‘Distributed Simulation’.

Debra uses qualitative research methods and has expertise in Program evaluation. Social learning and instructional design theories underpin her educational Program design.

Debra holds an honorary professorial appointment at the University of Melbourne where she is director of the Masters of Surgical Education offered with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. She remains a consultant to Imperial College where she contributes to various research and educational Programs. In 2012-2013, Debra was the Chair of the Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare (ASSH), the health Division of Simulation Australia. Debra is currently a Board Member of Simulation Australia.

Debra has published over 130 peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters in the field of clinical communication and simulation-based education.

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Associate Professor Margaret Bearman (Deputy Chair)

Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Monash University

Dr Margaret Bearman convenes the Graduate Certificate of Clinical Simulation for Health Professions Education and Educational Research (HealthPEER), within the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. She began her career within health informatics with an interest in computer-mediated learning development and her doctorate investigated the use of virtual patient methodologies to teach communication skills to medical students. In the last seven years she has focused on health professional education and educational research. Recently completed simulation-related projects include: the development of a Program teaching non-technical skills via simulation for surgical trainees; and the evaluation of current and future use of simulation across Australian medical curricula.

Margaret has extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and has published in the leading health professional education journals of Academic Medicine, Medical Education and Advances in Health Sciences Education. She was a key researcher on the national Australian Medical Education Study, which received widespread media coverage in 2010. Her research interests include: qualitative understandings of simulation use and experiences within health professional education; underperformance in clinical environments; and assessing teaching quality. Her current research projects include an Office of Learning and Teaching funded project investigating educational-decision making.

Margaret has worked collaboratively with a range of disciplines, including medicine, psychology, pharmacy, nutrition and dietetics, physiotherapy, paramedics and nursing. She has used a range of different simulation modalities in her career including: virtual patients, on-line role-play, manikins and simulated patients.

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Professor Jennene Greenhill (Flinders University Representative)

Associate Dean, Flinders Innovations in Clinical Education Director, Flinders University Rural Clinical School

Jennene is currently Associate Dean, Flinders Innovations in Clinical Education and Director of Flinders University Rural Clinical School and Coordinator of the Masters in Clinical Education Program. Her PhD from the University of Queensland Business School was a longitudinal study of organizational change and inertia in health services, using complexity theory. Jennene also has a BA in Sociology and a Master of Social Planning and Development with a dissertation on institutional reform in mental health services. She has had an interesting and diverse career spanning 20+ years, with experience at senior levels in clinical, management, simulation education and research, in acute and community-based health services.

As Director of the Rural Clinical School she has the pleasure of working with rural clinicians, GPs, specialists, nurses and allied health professionals, who are highly skilled and incredibly versatile, as well as passionate about education. They are the life blood of rural health and need to be supported to attract a new generation of rural clinicians.

Jennene has put clinical simulation at the forefront of Programs to reverse the rural workforce drought through innovation, community engaged education and research. She has two PhD students undertaking simulation research and enjoys the privilege of sharing the transition from student to clinician to clinical teacher. She leads the Flinders Sim-u-net team who design and deliver a widely disseminated Program of simulation education from Adelaide to Darwin across rural South Australia and the NT. In 2011, the team was recognised winning two ALTC awards for their simulation education Programs. Jennene strongly believes that symbiotic partnerships are the key to success and she truly appreciates the enormous commitment from staff, students and communities.

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Associate Professor Marcus Watson (Queensland Health and University of Queensland Representative)

Executive Director of the Queensland Health Clinical Skills Development Service
Associate Professor of Medical Education
Honorary Associate Professor in Psychology

Associate Prof Marcus Watson is the Executive Director of the Queensland Health Clinical Skills Development Service. The service supports the delivery of simulations Program at over 30 sites, as well as an extensive clinical e-learning development and delivery capacity. The Clinical Skills Development Service has trained several hundred clinicians in the use of simulations and debriefing and over 60 specialised simulation educators and coordinators. The service is currently the largest provider of healthcare simulations training in Australia.

The role of the Executive Director involves working strategically with state, national and international organisations to conduct healthcare education and research. As part of this position Marcus is a member of a range of national and international boards and committees covering models of care, education, disaster management and healthcare facilities development. He has extensive experience in the development and delivery of simulation across healthcare and defence including postgraduate Programs in simulation and the AusSETT Program.

Marcus holds appointments at Schools of Medicine and Psychology at the University of Queensland. He is a named research on grants worth over $3m. His research works on the development of systematic approaches to the integration of simulations to address individuals’, teams’ and systems’ performance. Marcus’ research covers the use of simulations for the design and evaluation of technology to support clinical decision-making and the development of an evidence-based training and assessment Programs. He has won national awards for innovations and the Jerome Ely Award for the Best Paper in Human Factors. In August 2014, Marcus was elected as the Chair of the Board for Simulation Australia, the peak body for simulation in Australia.

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Mr Brad Beach – Manager Innovation and International Programs (Federation Training)

Brad has over 14 years’ experience within the vocational education sector and is responsible for Federation Training (formerly GippsTAFE’s) international and e-learning activities. In this role he has lead Federation Training to develop a reputation as one of Australia’s leading providers of e-learning as recognised by many authors such as Dr John Mitchell and Professor Victor Cullen.

Brad was an Australian Flexible Learning Leader in 2001 and a mentor to the 2003 Flexible Learning Leaders. He is considered to be an expert in the application of innovative uses of technology to enhance distance education Programs. In addition to receiving the “Victorian Outstanding Teacher/Trainer of the Year” award in 2004 he is often called upon to provide e-learning consultancy services across Australia and internationally, including New Zealand and the USA. Brad is a highly sought after conference presenter and has given presentations across Australasia and more recently he presented at the 6th Commonwealth of Learning Global Conference in Kochi India 2010, on behalf of the Victorian State Training Authority, Skills Victoria.

A recipient of a citation of excellence from the Australian College of Educators Brad has a unique insight into the mechanics of embedding e-learning practices given he has been a solely online teacher, a team leader of e-learning Programs and now a manager of a Virtual Campus providing over $7 million a year in the e-learning space.

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Professor Peter Michael Brooks (AusSETT representative)

Director, Australian Health Workforce Institute Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Health Sciences The University of Melbourne

Peter is currently Director of the Australian Health Workforce Institute (AHWI) at The University of Melbourne. He has held previous posts as Executive Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Queensland; Professor of Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney (University of New South Wales) and was the Foundation Professor of Rheumatology at the Royal North Shore Hospital and the University of Sydney. He completed his medical training at Monash University in Melbourne and then studied rheumatology under Professor Watson Buchanan in Glasgow.

As a rheumatologist, with a key research interest in the treatment and epidemiology of rheumatic diseases, he has over 400 peer reviewed publications. However, he also has a major interest in development of postgraduate clinical training. More recently he has developed an interest in health workforce, inter-professional learning and simulation as a learning technology. As the Director of AHWI he is developing an evidence base for Health Workforce policy and innovation.

Peter sits on or has been a member of a number of Boards including: Queensland Institute for Medical Research, PriMed – medical education, Mater Medical Research Institute, International Steering Committee Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2012, Epworth Hospital Board 2008-, Gallipoli Foundation, Executive Committee OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Arthritis Clinical Trials) and International Editorial Advisory Board of the British Medical Journal.

He has extensive experience in running academic units, Department of Rheumatology Royal North Shore Hospital, Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and the Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Queensland (budget of $160 million per annum). He also has extensive experience in trial design, research methodology and innovation in healthcare, particularly new models of care and new health workers i.e. physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Peter has had a broad experience at dealing with Government and non-Government agencies at a State, Federal and international level.

Peter’s interest in simulation has led to his appointment as Convenor of SimHealth 2011 /2012 – the major scientific conference of the Australian Society of Simulation in Health.

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Dr Marino Festa (NSW representative)

Professor Leonie Watterson (NSW representative)

Clinical Associate Professor Leonie Watterson MBBS FANZCA MClinEd

Leonie-WattersonLeonie is an anaesthetist by training and has worked in educational leadership roles for 16 years with a strong focus in simulation. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery, Masters of Clinical Education and Fellowship of Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA). She has held the appointment of Director of Simulation at the Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre, Royal North Shore since 2000 and is a Clinical Associate Professor with the Sydney Medical School. She is a clinical anaesthetist with a number of appointments including Royal North Shore Hospital where she is a senior staff specialist.

Leonie has extensive experience developing curricula, teaching and leading educational projects in the field of health professional education and instructor development. She has led a number of innovative national and local projects including the HWA funded EdWISE program which delivers remote control hands-on simulation training to distant sites; the Commonwealth Government’s Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) Stream 1 simulation project for rural specialists and the NSW Health Education and Training Institute’s (HETI) Conversations in Clinical Supervision course and train the trainer program, funded under the HWA Clinical Supervision Support program. She is also one of the original development team of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetist’s training course entitled ‘Effective Management of Anaesthesia Emergencies’. She has considerable experience training inter-professional teams particularly nurses and doctors and her content expertise covers a wide range of clinical and professional skills relevant to health professionals.

Leonie is an active contributor to leadership groups. She was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare (ASSH), sitting on its executive committee for five years and convening ASSH’s Sim-health conference for four years. Other simulation focussed committee roles include: Chair, Simulation Specialist Group, ANZCA (2007-9); Health Workforce Australia (HWA) Simulation Learning Environments (SLE) Reference Group (2009-present); HETI SLE Advisory Group (2012-present); AUSSETT Advisory Committee 2012 and the NHET Advisory Committee (2012). In 2011 she was awarded the Simulation Achievement Award by Simulation Australia, for substantial and on-going leadership within the simulation community within Australia.

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NHET-Sim Monash Project Team Manager: Ms Clare Byrne

Clare commenced in the role of NHET-Sim Monash Project Team Manager (previously Senior Project Officer) in July 2013. Throughout her career as a physiotherapist she has had the opportunity to work across a broad range of settings including acute, rehabilitation, community health, aged care and community health in both the public and private sector. She has been involved in student supervision in a variety of settings and continues to maintain a clinical caseload. She has been involved in projects within Southern Health examining Clinical Supervision of Allied Health Professionals, Credentialing and Defining the Scope of Clinical Practice as well as maximising occupancy rates. She completed her Masters of Public Health at La Trobe University in 2012. Clare achieved PRINCE2 certification in February 2013.

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Terms of Reference

Executive Committee Terms of Reference