PhD Students

The Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice is committed to developing the next generation of paramedic PhD scholars, professionalising paramedic care, and building capacity for paramedic researchers internationally. We are committed to pursuing knowledge through research to
help develop contemporary paramedic best-practice nationally and internationally.

PhD Graduates

The following past students have been associated with our Department or supervised by staff from our Department.

GraduandYearThesis Title
Susan Irvine2018Exploration of Self-Regulatory Behaviours of Near-Peer teachers: A Social Cognitive Perspective
Suryanto Suryanto2018Exploring Prehospital Care in Indonesia
Simon Sawyer2018The paramedic response to intimate partner violence
Linda Ross2018Investigating the psychosocial issues impacting older people in the out-of-hospital environment, and building the awareness and capacity of paramedic graduates to recognise and address these issues.
Judith O'Halloran2017Ascertaining the capacity for interpersonal understanding of potential and practicing doctors
Waleed Alshehri2017Workplace violence in the emergency department in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ala’a Oteir2017The Pre-Hospital Management of Suspected Spinal Cord Injury and its Association with Patient Outcomes
Abdulellah Al Thobaity2016Exploring disaster nursing core competencies and roles in Saudi Arabia.
Shane Costello2016Person-centred psychometrics and cognitive style: Moving from variables to a person-centred approach
Bill Lord2011Factors affecting paramedics' assessment and judgement about pain
Erin Smith2009Paramedic perception of risk and willingness to work during disasters: a qualitative and quantitative analysis
Malcolm Boyle2009Trauma triage and error identification in prehospital trauma management
Leanne Boyd2009What is the utility, feasibility, propriety and accuracy of the health promotion
Amee Morgans2006Patient decision making in prehospital health emergencies

Previous Research Graduates

Dr Ziad Nehme

Ziad commenced his academic studies with DCEHPP in 2004, completing the Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic). After gaining a taste for research he went on to undertake a Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic)(Honours) at DCEHPP in 2007. Ziad is now a paramedic and a NHMRC Early Career Fellow with expertise in prehospital emergency care and cardiac arrest research. He holds appointments as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Research and Evaluation, Ambulance Victoria; Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, DCEHPP and Research Fellow at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.  Ziad has over 10 years’ experience as an advanced life support paramedic with Ambulance Victoria, and is the Ambulance representative to the Australian Resuscitation Council (Victoria).

Dr Abdulellah AlThobaity

Abdulellah selected Monash University for his PhD as it has an excellent reputation globally, and it is very well-known in his home country of Saudi Arabia. Monash is ranked very high amongst the world’s universities for paramedic and emergency health research. When selecting a University, the availability of supervisors who are experts in the field of prehospital disaster was of prime importance to Abdulellah.On graduation Abdulellah commented that his experience at Monash University had been one of the best and most rewarding times of his life. These experiences included learning from outstanding supervisors who are experts in different types of research methodologies and who provide endless help and support for international students. Also, Monash provided research students with a series of training courses covering research essentials: how to make publications, and completing research with high integrity. Abdulellah is excited to take all the experiences that he gained from Monash University and put them into practice in his professional context in Saudi Arabia.

Dr Shane Costello

Shane interests are primarily drawn from the study of individual differences (personality and cognitive abilities). This area of research seeks to further our understanding about people, who they are, how they differ from each other and why they do what they do. In addition, Shane was particularly interested in the study of psychometrics, or measurement science, which relates to the design, construction, validation, and evaluation of psychological instruments. He also maintains interests in trauma for emergency services workers and aviation human factors and he uses the learnings from his research in his current role as a Lecturer at Monash University.

DCEHPP PhD Graduates

Dr Simon Sawyer

Simon began working as an Ambulance Officer in 2010 and qualified as an Advanced Life Support paramedic in 2013. He has worked extensively in a rural setting, including single responding. Simon maintains his authority to practice working on road in South West Victoria. Simon joined the DCEHPP as a lecturer in 2016 and has focused on building an engaging foundational program for the first year students. Simon coordinates two clinical units for the first year students.Simon completed his PhD in 2018 on the paramedic response to intimate partner violence. His research interests include training healthcare sectors respond to family violence, paramedic wellbeing and building a resilient paramedic workforce.

Link to Simon’s thesis: The paramedic response to intimate partner violence

Dr Linda Ross

Linda is the Deputy Head of the Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedic Practice and leads the Undergraduate Program. She practiced as an Advanced Life Support Paramedic with Ambulance Victoria for 15 years before becoming a full time academic in 2012. Since joining DCEHPP she has completed a Master’s of Health Professional Education investigating establishing rapport with patients, and most recently a PhD investigating the psychosocial needs of older people and developing paramedic awareness of these issues. She is predominantly involved in educational research with interests and experience including interpersonal communication, service learning, clinical placements, and care of older adults. Linda is also actively involved in facilitating and fostering paramedic led research and events via her roles as a HRD supervisor and position on the ANZCP Research Committee.

Linda’s thesis: Investigating the psychosocial issues impacting older people in the out-of-hospital environment, and building the awareness and capacity of paramedic graduates to recognise and address these issues.

Dr Ala’a Oteir

Ala'a is a passionate academic, researcher, paramedic and physiotherapist. Ala’a is from Jordan, and moved to Australia to commence his PhD, receiving a scholarship from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). His research interest focused on the use of prehospital spinal immobilisation and its association with patient outcomes. During his PhD Ala’a published in the top prehospital emergency journals and presented at several international conferences. One of his papers was selected in the top three papers in the Paramedics Australasia International Conference 2015. Ala’a was actively involved in teaching and research with DCEHPP including teaching research units, participating in practical tutorials, and assessing students in theoretical and practical exams. It is noteworthy that Ala’a is the first paramedic with a PhD degree in Jordan. He is now back in Jordan, re-joined JUST, and is aiming to use his teaching and research experience to improve the paramedics program at JUST as well as the paramedic profession, education and research in Jordan and the Middle East.

Ala’a thesis: The Pre-Hospital Management of Suspected Spinal Cord Injury and its Association with Patient Outcomes.

Abdullah Mohammed Alobaid

Abdullah Mohammed Alobaid

Doctor of Philosophy

Commenced: 2018 (Full time)

Future Saudi female paramedic: barriers and challenges

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP) and Dr. Cameron Gosling (DCEHPP)

Research Setting: EMS, Paramedic, Female, Education.

Clinical/Research Experience:
I have worked as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in Prince Sultan College of Emergency Medical Services at King Saud University in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2014. As a TA, I was teaching and training paramedic students in lab. I was alos a chair of clinical placement department.  I hold a Bachelor of Health Science Paramedic (Flinders University in Australia 2010-2013), Master of Trauma Science  (University of Birmingham in UK 2015-2016) and I am currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice at Monash University. I also worked in the field of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as a volunteer with Saudi Red Crescent Authority.

Contact :

Saeed A. Alqahtani

Doctor of Philosophy

Epidemiology and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) of non-cardiac aetiologies.

Supervisors: Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP), Prof Karen Smith (DCEHPP/AV) and Dr Ziad Nehme (DCEHPP/AV)

Research setting: out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, emergency medical services.

Clinical/research expertise:
I am a full-time PhD candidate with DCEHPP since 2016 and am describing the epidemiology and outcomes of OHCA precipitated by drug overdose, respiratory causes, asphyxiation and exsanguination.


Zainab M. Alqudah

Doctor of Philosophy

Commenced: 2018 (Full time)

Controversies in Prehospital Management of Major Trauma Patients.

Supervisors: Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP), Prof Karen Smith (DCEHPP/AV) and Dr Ziad Nehme (DCEHPP/AV)

Research setting: Trauma interventions, out-of-hospital emergency care, emergency services.

Clinical/research expertise:
I started my academic career by working as a Teacher Assistant (TA) in the paramedic program at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). As a TA, I was teaching and training paramedic students in advanced equipped paramedic lab. Furthermore, I’m a certified paramedic in Jordan and the US, and a certified Critical Care Paramedic. In 2015, I earned a Master's degree in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). During the Masters, I worked on different research projects and learned how to use statistical software (STATA, SPSS) and perform statistical analysis. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Paramedic Science from JUST.I worked as a full-time lecturer at JUST before I started my PhD at Monash University.


Ahmad Alrawashdeh

Doctor of Philosophy
Commenced: July 2016 (Full time)

Emergency medical services delay and diagnostic performance in ST-elevation myocardial infarction

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams, Dr Ziad Nehme, Dr Dion Stub

Previous qualifications: BSN, MSc (Emergency Health Services)

Research setting: Prehospital emergency care, cardiovascular emergencies.

Clinical/research expertise:
I have worked in the health care for 10 years as a critical care nurse and a paramedic educator.
I have interest in clinical research focusing on the outcome of patients with cardiovascular emergencies. My PhD research project aims on identifying factors associating with EMS delay and diagnostic performance in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) which help to assure timely recognition and access to reperfusion treatment.


Talal AlShammari

Doctor of Philosophy

The development of empirically based core competencies for EMS bachelor’s degree graduates in Saudi Arabia.

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP) and Assoc Prof Paul Jennings (DCEHPP/AV).

Research Setting: EMS, Paramedic, Education, competence.

Clinical/research expertise:
I have worked in the field of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for over 15 Years. My experience includes managing EMS departments, providing clinical care in and out of hospital and coordinating disaster management. I have also worked as a Lecturer of Emergency Medical Care. I hold a Bachelor of Health Science Paramedic, Master of Paramedical Science (Critical Care) and I am currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice at Monash University.


Abdullah M Alshamrani

Doctor of Philosophy

Commenced: 2018 (Full time)

Trauma patient outcomes within 30 days of admission in Trauma Centre Hospital, Australia

Supervisors: Prof Brett Anthony Williams (DCEHPP), Associate Supervisor - Ms Linda Jane Ross

Research Setting: Trauma patients’ outcomes, pre-hospital emergency care, emergency medical services.

Clinical/Research Experience:
I have worked as a paramedic over than five years and currently work as a lecture of emergency medical services students at Prince Sultan Military Collage of Health Sciences, Saudi Arabia. I have an Interest in developing the trauma system in Saudi Arabia.

Contact :

Alan Batt

Doctor of Philosophy
Commenced: August 2017 (Part time)

Preaching what we practice? The development of practice informed education for paramedics.

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP), Dr. Walter Tavares

Previous qualifications: DipEMT, CertDisasterMngt, GradCert(Intensive Care Paramedic), MSc(Critical Care)

Research setting: Paramedicine, education, health education

Clinical/research expertise:
I have been a paramedic for over 10 years and currently work as a paramedic educator and researcher. Prior to commencing a PhD, I was a Research Coordinator for an ambulance service in the Middle East, where I led studies on cardiac arrest, trauma, and STEMI care.

I have an interest in developing practice informed education for paramedics and other healthcare professionals. This ultimately will influence the delivery of high-quality, safe patient care. My other research interests include research capacity, literacy, empathy, patient safety and care of older adults.


Emma Bourke-Matas

Doctor of Philosophy
Recognising and responding to clinical deterioration in the prehospital setting

Supervisors: Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles (DCEHPP), Professor Karen Smith (DCEHPP/Ambulance Victoria), Dr Emma Bosley (Queensland Ambulance Service)

Previous Qualifications: Bachelor of Paramedic Science, Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic) (Honours)

Research Setting: Deteriorating patient, paramedic care

Clinical/research expertise:
I am an Advanced Care Paramedic with Queensland Ambulance Service. After completing my Honours through DCEHPP I have enrolled in my PhD in 2018.

As clinicians we know that failure to recognise and respond appropriately to patient deterioration can result in instances of unnecessary harm and avoidable deaths. Deterioration is particularly common in the volatile environment that is prehospital medicine. In collaboration with Ambulance Victoria (AV) and Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) this project aims to investigate recognition and response to patient deterioration among vulnerable cohorts in the prehospital environment.


Pieter Francsois Fouche

Doctor of Philosophy

Rapid Sequence Intubation in Out-of-Hospital Non-Traumatic Brain injuries.

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Paul Jennings (DCEHPP/AV), Prof Karen Smith (DCEHPP/AV), Assoc Prof Malcolm Boyle (Griffith University) and Prof Stephen Bernard (Monash/AV)

Research setting:
Advanced airway interventions, out-of-hospital emergency care, emergency services.

Clinical/research expertise:
I am a full-time paramedic and work in a small rural town in New South Wales. I am a PhD candidate with DCEHPP since 2014 and am investigating rapid sequence intubation (RSI) in non-traumatic brain pathologies. I also have an interest in investigating the value of observational research designs in answering clinical questions.


Paul Gowens

Doctor of Philosophy
SAS response to cardiac arrest Improving outcome for patients: “Dying to get to Hospital”

Supervisors: Prof Karen Smith (DCEHPP/AV), Prof Brett Williams (DCEHPP), Dr Gareth Clegg (ERI)

Qualifications: FCPara, MSc, PGCert, DipIMC RSCEd, MCMI.

Research setting: Deteriorating Patients, out-of-hospital emergency care, out-of-hospital emergency care emergency services.

Clinical/research expertise:
I am a full-time consultant paramedic and work Edinburgh, Scotland. I am a PhD student with DCEHPP since 2017 and am investigating SAS response to cardiac arrest Improving outcome for patients. I also have an interest in investigating the value of using a scientific approach leadership in improving EMS systems at scale.


Justin Hunter

Doctor of Philosophy
Crew Resource Management in Paramedicine.

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP), Michael Porter, M.D.

Previous qualifications: U.S. Paramedic, FP-C (flight paramedic)

Research setting: Paramedicine, paramedicine education

Clinical/research expertise: 
Justin Hunter is a nationally certified paramedic and flight paramedic.  Justin is the Paramedicine Program Director and Assistant Professor with Oklahoma State University – OKC.  He is a current PhD candidate with Monash University with ambitions to move the EMS agenda forward in the United States by researching Crew Resource Management and its effects on paramedicine and paramedicine education. Justin is an active paramedic in a busy 911-system in Norman, OK. Justin is also the founder and President of EMS Success, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to assisting EMTs and paramedics from across world.

Eihab Khasawneh

Doctor of Philosophy

Does math anxiety impact drug calculation ability in paramedicine?

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP) and Dr Cameron Gosling (DCEHPP)

Research Setting: math anxiety, university students, Education, Drug calculation.

I worked as lecturer in paramedic program at Jordan University of science and Technology in Jordan. I got my masters in Emergency health services from UMBC.

I had bachelor degree in nursing from Jordan University of Science and Technology.


Rod Mason

Doctor of Philosophy
Commenced: 2016 (Part-time)

Individual Differences in the Psychological Makeup of Undergraduate Paramedic Students and their Relationship with Resilience

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP), Dr John Roodenburg, Dr Shane Costello.

Previous qualifications: MProfEd&Trng(WVET), GradCertOp&DistLearn, DipTAA, DipTAASys, DipBus(FLM).

Research setting: Undergraduate paramedic students.

Clinical/research expertise:
I am currently employed as a lecturer within the DCEHPP. Previous to this, I have worked in a range of learning and development contexts and was formerly an Advanced Life Support Paramedic.

I have a particular interest in a number of well-established constructs identifying individual psychological differences (i.e. cognitive/thinking style, personality type according to the Big-Five/Five Factor Models, and occupational preference type according to Holland’s interest-based theory), and how these are variously related to resilience in undergraduate paramedic students.


Josephine McGuiness

Doctor of Philosophy

Commenced: 2017 (Part-time)

Identification of Risk Factors associated with early, unplanned hospital readmission of older people who are admitted to hospital following presentation to the Emergency Department.

Supervisors: Dr. Kelly-Ann Bowles (DCEHPP), A/Prof. Julia Morphet (Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery) and Dr. Mehmet Ӧzmen.

Research Setting: Hospital, Emergency, Readmissions, Older People, Community Health.

Clinical/Research Experience:
I have over 20 years experience working as a clinical pharmacist in the community and hospital sectors, working across a broad range of specialties in the UK and Australia. I received by BSc (Hons) in Pharmacy from the University of Brighton, UK (1998) and a Masters of Clinical Pharmacy Degree from Monash University (2004).

I have a background in research and education delivery across both clinical and academic settings. As well as working currently in an advanced practice role in Emergency and Acute Medicine, my previous roles have included working as a Clinical Educator, Project Coordinator, Medication Safety Coordinator and GP practice pharmacist.  Most recently, as lecturer and tutor to Paramedic, Nursing, Biomedicine and Pharmacy undergraduates. My research interests include clinical communication, the hospital and community health interface, as well as the development and implementation of practical, end-user focused innovations to improve patient outcomes and system safety.

Contact :

Ben Meadley

Doctor of Philosophy
Commenced: AUGUST 2017 (Part time)
Physiological and metabolic health of Australian paramedics.

Supervisors: Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles (DCEHPP), Professor Karen Smith (DCEHPP/AV), Associate Professor Maxine Bonham (Nutrition and Dietetics), Dr Joanne Caldwell-Odgers (Physiology), Dr Luke Perraton (Physiotherapy).

Previous qualifications: BAppSci (Human Movement), DipParamediSci (Prehospital Care), GradDip Intensive Care Paramedicine, GradDip EmergHlth (MICA), GradCert EmergHlth (Aeromed Retrieval)

Research setting: Physiology, metabolism, nutrition, wellness, paramedicine

Clinical/research expertise:
I have been a paramedic for over 20 years and currently work as an Intensive Care Flight Paramedic for Ambulance Victoria. I have a background in exercise physiology and paramedicine. Prior to commencing a PhD, I undertook a number of clinical research projects in the areas of clinical care in helicopter emergency services, point-of-care ultrasound and search and rescue.

I have an interest in developing metabolic and physiological testing protocols to identify health risks in paramedics and other emergency services workers. Ultimately, I hope to use this data to develop wellness programs for paramedics to minimise the effects this challenging profession has on overall health and wellbeing.


David Page

Doctor of Philosophy
SEP 2015 (Part time)
Expected competency profiles of entry level paramedics

Supervisors: Professor Brett Williams (DCEHPP), Assoc Prof Paul Jennings (DCEHPP/AV)

Research setting: Paramedic education programs and faculty struggle worldwide to identify education standards and accurately measure entry-level competency of new graduates.

Clinical/research expertise: I am the director of the Prehospital Care Research Forum at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. I have 34 years of active continuous field practice in Emergency Medical Services and continue to work part time as a paramedic for Allina Health in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota.  My master’s degree focused on tracking and setting realistic goals for field and clinical placements.  I am the chair of the assessment and credentialing board for the newly created International Paramedic Registry (IPR).

My PhD will focus on defining a baseline expectation of competency for entry-level prehospital practitioners. I believe common international baseline standards could serve as a baseline for many countries where paramedicine is still being defined. Reliably, accurately and realistically being able to measure achievement of minimum standards is a core interest.


Katie Palmer

Doctor of Philosophy

Commenced: MAY 2016 (Part time)

Chronic Heart failure: Enabling Engagement in Rehabilitation (The CHEER Project)

Supervisors: Dr Kelly Ann Bowles (DCEHPP), Dr Julia Morphet (Nursing and Midwifery), Prof Rebecca Lane (Victoria University).

Research setting: Community, Chronic Heart Failure, Exercise, Rehabilitation, Prescription, Engagement

Clinical/research expertise:
I am a senior clinical physiotherapist working in Community Rehabilitation at Monash. I have extensive experience in Cardiac Rehabilitation and Chronic Heart Failure Rehabilitation, as well as cardiothoracic in the acute hospital setting and physiotherapy throughout the healthcare spectrum.

I have an interest in improving and promoting Chronic Heart Failure rehabilitation, identifying and breaking down barriers to engagement in rehabilitation and exercise for this growing, chronically unwell population. I hope that my research can help to improve the effective delivery of Chronic Heart Failure rehabilitation, with hopes that any positive outcomes can then be translated across Monash Health, Victoria and Australia and across other chronic conditions.


Brendan Shannon

Doctor of Philosophy
Commenced: NOV 2017 (Part time)
What are the societal and cost benefits for health service providers introducing a care diversion program in a community health setting

Supervisors: Dr. Kelly-Ann Bowles (DCEHPP), Dr Cylie Williams (Physiotherapy, Peninsula Health), Dr Nadine Andrews (Central Clinical School, Peninsula Health), Prof Karen Smith (DCEHPP, Ambulance Victoria),

Research setting: Alternative care pathways, non-transport, referral services, extended care paramedics, community care, paramedics, mixed methods research

Clinical/research expertise:
I am a paramedic working with Ambulance Victoria working in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I have experience in curriculum development, continuing professional development and clinical instructing. Working clinically has provided me with the opportunity to find many areas of research needs in the prehospital setting.  The non-transport and referral process of patients with low acuity needs clinically is a challenging area. Throughout my honours degree it became an area of interest and what I felt as an area of research need, particularly regarding alternative care pathways.

My PhD will evaluate the recently created Pre- Hospital Care Diversion program initiated by Peninsula Health that entails sending health care clinicians to client homes when the patient is identified by paramedics, hospital staff or RACF staff as low acuity or high risk of multiple reattendances to ED. The Care Diversion Project team will attend to the patient’s medical needs- intending to reduce ambulance usage and avoiding hospital and ED admission. Our team will evaluate the cost benefit analysis of the Care Diversion Project, the patient outcomes, and the societal impact the program offers to patients.