Joe Brooks

Joe Brooks is a young podiatrist working in private practice where he enjoys helping people. He is a Hobart boy but moved away and since returned to be closer to his young nieces and nephews.

Joe is a volunteer speaker for beyondblue, a national organisation that works to raise awareness about anxiety and depression, reduce the associated stigma and encourage people to get help.

Joe became a beyondblue speaker because he wants to work towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health, especially in young men. Sharing his own story helps break down misconceptions about mental health and also helps himself and others to accept their condition and get the help they need.

Joe’s interests include eating good food with good people and having a laugh. He is sports mad and lives his life by the motto ‘life is too short for bad coffee’.

Presentation Title: My mental health journey – a Beyond Blue volunteer speech

Rosalie Martin

Rosalie is a criminologist, an accredited facilitator with the Center for Courage & Renewal, and a clinical speech pathologist with more than 30 years experience.

Long lamenting inequity and inadequacy in services to support those with impaired communication and literacy, in 2013 Rosalie founded a charity, Chatter Matters Tasmania (soon to rebrand as language. life.) and began the Just Sentences literacy pilot project and Just Time parent-child attachment programs in Tasmania’s Risdon Prison. To gain better context for bringing speech pathology interventions into prison settings, Rosalie completed Criminology Honours in 2016 and is now preparing to undertake a PhD in Criminology.

Rosalie was awarded 2017 Tasmanian Australian of the Year for the work she began at the prison. She is grateful for the platform this recognition has afforded her to speak, raise awareness, educate and champion the cause of literacy for all; and to promote the value of kind communication in evidence-based service delivery.

More than anything else, Rosalie is aware that nothing worth doing is ever done alone – she has enormous gratitude for the support, direction and opportunity she has received from family, friends and many colleagues.


Ianthe is the Cardiorespiratory Clinical Lead Physiotherapist at the Launceston General Hospital. Originally from Sydney, Ianthe made the excellent decision to move to Tasmania 12 years ago and has never looked back! Following an earlier Master’s degree in Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy and Critical Care, Ianthe is now currently completing her PhD at University of Melbourne investigating the prevention of pulmonary complications following abdominal surgery. Ianthe has recently completed the world’s largest ever Physiotherapy focused randomised controlled multi-centre international trial (LIPPSMAck POP) and is now currently lead investigator on two other randomised controlled trials in post-surgical recovery (ICEAGE and NIPPER PLUS) and an international multicentre observational trial (CHESTY) which has over 35 collaborating centres across 7 countries. When not supervising the physiotherapists in her hospital and conducting her own clinical trials she also runs the Anaesthetics Department research program.

Ianthe’s research has won major awards including the Jill Nosworthy Award for excellence in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy research, the Graeme Duffy Award from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), and Best Paper at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) congress. She has been the first ever non-Physician to win these last two awards.

Ianthe is passionate about clinician-lead research projects. The best research, in her opinion, is run by hospital based clinicians, answering clinically relevant questions that will lead to changes of practice that will directly benefit patients in our own hospitals.

“Anyone can be a researcher! Ask a question about the care you give, if you can’t find an answer already in the literature, work out a way you could answer it yourself. If you’ve asked that question, imagine the countless others like you around the world that have asked the same question and are waiting for the answer. Why wait for someone else to answer it?”

Narelle is a Podiatrist in private practice in Hobart. She has been practicing in the private sector for 27 years – the last 17 years combined with part time research. Narelle first started a Masters at the University of Tasmania in the late 1990’s looking at how foot orthoses and footwear influence motor control – an area she still is interested in today. However, she realised she needed a better background in neurophysiology, thus withdrew from UTas and completed a Graduate Diploma of Science in neurophysiology at the University of Queensland in 2002. After moving back to Hobart to have her first child, she started a practice focusing only on the musculoskeletal aspects of podiatry, and working closely with physiotherapists, sports physicians and rheumatologists. In between children, she started a Masters of Sports Medicine at the University of Melbourne investigating altered motor control in runners with Achilles tendinopathy and the influence of orthoses on motor control in this group. She completed the Masters in 2011. She is currently writing up her PhD thesis where she has looked at the biomechanics of people with patellofemoral osteoarthritis in addition to conducting a pilot RCT investigating the effects of footwear and foot orthoses on pain and function in this group. She holds a NHRMC scholarship for this project. Narelle plans to continue into post-doctoral research with emphasis on clinically relevant interventions for foot/ankle and knee conditions such as osteoarthritis.

If there is any lesson she has learnt from her postgraduate research its KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID! While laboratory measures and gadgets may be interesting, they are more likely to create complications and don’t necessarily inform clinical practice. Simple, clinical measures are under-rated and simple, reliable patient reported outcomes are all that’s needed. Any clinician can be a researcher!

Sari has worked as a psychologist at the Royal Hobart Hospital since 2009. Her role focusses on providing state wide developmental and cognitive follow-up for children born preterm. She also works part-time at the Tasmanian Autism Diagnostic Service. Sari has completed a Masters Degree in Psychology and Specialist Neuropsychologist training in Finland. She has extensive experience in paediatric developmental, cognitive and diagnostic assessments. Sari is a part-time PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania. She commenced her research investigating cognitive outcomes of preterm children in 2011. The main aims of her research project are to identify risk factors for higher cognitive thinking skill difficulties associated with preterm birth and to how to best identify the at-risk preterm children prior to commencement of schooling. The greatest lesson Sari has learned from doing research is “Be prepared”. While you have to be prepared to accept that unexpected things can happen, good initial project planning, data keeping and time management habits can assist the research journey. It is also important to be prepared for the impact doing a research project can have on your family and social life.

Workshop Facilitators

Dr Pieter Van Dam

Workshop 1

Doctor Pieter Van Dam completed his PhD in Leadership Development in Practice in 2015. During the last eight  years Pieter’s career has been focussed on the field of health service improvement and (clinical) leadership development.  Pieter has an extensive clinical and educational background in Nursing and was educated in The Netherlands before moving permanently to Australia in the early 2000’s. He has extensive experience in health service improvement/innovation, leadership and management research. Pieter’s most recent work involves evidence based practice, translational research, clinical redesign and consumers’ perspectives on Digital Health Records. For the last three years Pieter has worked closely with the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) NSW, Teeside University United Kingdom and Ko Awatea New Zealand on a number of national  health service improvement and co-design (research) initiatives. Pieter works conjointly with the THS and UTAS in a full time capacity.

Dr Rosie Nash

Workshop 1

Dr Rosie Nash is a research pathway co-ordinator and a lecturer in Public Health, Faculty of Health, UTAS. Her research aligns to the University’s research theme of Better Health. Her research interests include Competency Based Education, Scholarship of Learning and Teaching, Health Workforce Development, Inter-professional Learning, Assurance of Learning, Representations of Learning (e-Portfolio, Blogs), Pharmacy Practice and Health Literacy and contemporary evaluation methodologies. Dr Nash has managed projects of national significance including Drug Use Evaluation Projects with the National Prescribing Service, offered specialist consultancy services to the pharmacy profession and has facilitated workshops on Assurance of Learning. Dr Nash recently completed a PhD in Pharmacy Education using mixed methods to explore the use of Competency Standards by Health Professionals, Health Professional’s employability and workplace readiness. With a team of UTAS researchers Dr Nash recently employed “ripple mapping” to evaluate the state-wide DHHS communication and health literacy action plan. Dr Nash is currently working collaboratively with Dr Shandell Elmer (School of Health Sciences) on HealthLit4Kids; a program crossing boundaries for positive health literacy outcomes.

Robynne Rankine

Workshop 2

Robynne Rankine works as the THS occupational psychologist and her work promotes psychological well-being in teams. Her educational background includes a MEd in Counselling, a Grad Dip Health Psychology, a BScience in Psychology and has currently completed 5/6 Chapters of her Doctorate in Health Promotion ‘promoting older worker well-being in work teams’.

Robynne facilitates, educates and coaches on improving the psychosocial work environment in the Tasmanian Health Service. Her current focus is on culture improvement activities that address human factors which include supporting teams to develop values and behaviours, manage change – evoke change rather than impose it, neuroscience-based strategies for communicating effectively under pressure, accepting stress happens and learning ways to rewire the brain to become more resilient to stress, and building a healthy team culture in what the healthcare organisation literature call ‘turbulent times’.

Her great passion is positive psychology and life coaching – helping people discover meaning, passion and purpose in their life and work. She is also a practitioner in mindfulness – based resilience, neurogenic yoga for core tension and stress release and breath work that promotes vitality and well-being.

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