Principal Investigator

Assoc Prof James Middleton

James is a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, with extensive clinical experience and reasearch expertise in the field of spinal cord injury medicine and rehabilitation, having worked in the acute hospital, sub-acute rehabilitation centre and community outreach services. He is Director of the NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service, Agency for Clinical Innovation. Prior to taking up his current role, he was Medical Director of the Moorong Spinal Unit at the Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney, between 1996 and 2006, providing inpatient rehabilitation to a majority of spinal cord injured clients in NSW. He was also a Staff Specialist at the Royal North Shore Hospital, between 1994 and 2001, after which he became a VMO.

Combining a continuing clinical involvement (currently as the Senior Medical Specialist for the NSW Spinal Outreach Service) with service and academic roles affords Associate Professor Middleton a unique opportunity as a committed clinician-researcher to translate research evidence into practice, service development and quality health system improvements based on the life challenges he sees confronting people with spinal cord injury in clinical practice.

As a strongly committed clinician-researcher, he undertakes collaborative, interdisciplinary research aimed at improving health outcomes, function, independence and quality of life after spinal cord injury.


Chief Investigators

Prof Peter Cameron

Peter Cameron

Professor Peter Cameron is head of the Prehospital, Emergency and Trauma group within the Department. He is also Academic Director of the Emergency and Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Head of the Victorian State Trauma Registry and Associate Director of the National Trauma Research Institute. His main research interests include trauma epidemiology, injury prevention and management, prehospital care and health services and systems research.


Assoc Prof Paul Middleton

Paul Middleton

Associate Professor Paul Middleton has extensive experience conducting research in prehospital and emergency care settings. In his roles as the immediate past Chair of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Clinical Trials Group, Chair of the Australian Resuscitation Council NSW, and the newly appointed Director of Research for the NSW Institute of Trauma and Injury Management, he has the capacity to direct and implement change across NSW prehospital and emergency medicine policy, systems of care and practice.


Professor James Harrison

James Harrison

Professor James Harrison Harrison is an experienced injury epidemiologist and Director of the Research Centre for Injury Studies at Flinders University. Professor Harrison has expertise in the management and analysis of large data collections, development and operation of a multi-site spinal cord injury register (ASCIR) and the development and use of whole-population data linkage facilities, and as Director of the AIHW National Injury Surveillance Unit, a role requiring a focus on providing information for priority-setting and policy development.


Assoc Prof Doug Brown

Doug Brown

Associate Professor Doug Brown is a Physician with more than 28 years of experience in the management of spinal cord injury. He is Director of the Victorian Spinal Cord Service and is recognised internationally for his contribution to the field. He is currently the Associate Editor of Spinal Cord and President Elect of the International Spinal Cord Society. Doug has contributed to significant advances in management of spinal cord injury through a wide range of research interests focused on improving the lives of those suffering spinal cord injuries and has a great deal of experience translating research findings into practice.


Prof Rod McClure

Rod McClure

With a PhD in injury epidemiology and Fellowship in the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Professor Rod McClure will provide the project with a population perspective that is so vital to the project's successfully achieving its aims. Prof McClure will apply experience drawn from 15 years in emergency department medicine, 20 years research in injury outcomes, and 12 years trauma registry research, and 10 years of Chief Investigator status in large cohort studies, to support the highest quality academic excellence in research design, data analysis and interpretation.


David Bowen

David Bowen is the inaugural CEO of the Lifetime Care and Support Authority, and will ensure that the research informs policy and legislation in NSW and more broadly inclusion in the national disability agenda. As a legislative reformer in the area of compensation he will provide knowledge and expertise in the translation of research outputs throughout the model of care through legislation, policy and purchasing decisions.


Dr Nigel Lyons

Nigel Lyons

Dr Nigel Lyons has more than 20 years experience as a clinician and manager in the NSW health system. He was until his recent appointment as the Chief Executive of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, the acting Deputy Director General, Strategy and Resources at the NSW Ministry of Health, with strategic planning responsibility for Statewide and Rural Health Services and Capital Planning, Primary Health, Community Partnerships and Chronic Disease, Finance, Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Inter – government and Funding Strategies and the National Health Reform.


Dr Ruth Marshall

Ruth Marshall

Dr Marshall has extensive clinical experience in acute medical and rehabilitation management, as well as outreach and community follow up of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). She has a particular interest in SCI in indigenous populations in SA and NT. Her expertise will assist with the interpretation of the studies’ findings and their translation and application to other states, through her role as Medical Director of the South Australian Spinal Cord Injury Service and Chair of the Board of Governors for the Australian Spinal Cord Injury Register.


Associate Investigators

Dr Sally McCarthy

Dr Sally McCarthy is the inaugural Medical Director of the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) newly established NSW Emergency Care Institute (ECI), a senior staff specialist and, until recently the Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital. Dr McCarthy is currently President of the  Australasian College of Emergency Medicine and Board member of the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. In her multiple high profile roles Dr McCarthy works to promote best practice care through researching and developing solutions to current and future challenges in emergency care, including new models of care and system improvements.


Ms Jenny Hargreaves

Jenny Hargreaves

Ms Hargreaves is Senior Executive, Hospitals and Performance Group, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. She has responsibility for the Institute’s work to develop, manage and report from its national hospitals data collections. She also manages the Institute’s work to improve the quality and availability of national information on health care safety and quality, and to develop and report health sector performance indicators. She is the AIHW Senior Executive responsible for the National Injury Surveillance Unit, and has contributed to planning the enhanced Australian SCI Register.


Dr Sandra Muecke

Over a number of years, Sandy Muecke has gathered experience across research, clinical, academic and business sectors. She has experience working on a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodology research projects. Sandy completed a PhD in Critical Care Medicine at Flinders University, in Adelaide, South Australia. Aside from her critical care nursing experience in Australia and the UK, Sandy has worked in various capacities within several research teams. In January 2011, Sandy was appointed Senior Research Fellow at NSW Ambulance and has been A/Director, Research, since August 2011. Sandy is the Principal Investigator for NSW Ambulance’s linked dataset (APOStLE) projects. Her research interests include traumatic brain injury, medical device research and development, and knowledge translation.


Dr Karen Smith

Karen Smith

Associate Professor Karen Smith is the Manager of Research and Evaluation at Ambulance Victoria where she has built up an active research programme, which covers all aspects of pre-hospital care. Karen co-founded and is the Principle Investigator on the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) which contains information dating back to 1999, for all patients in Victoria, who suffer cardiac arrest and receive ambulance care (n>60,000 patients). Karen also co-founded the Victorian State Trauma Registry (VSTR) at Monash University and is a current member of the VSTR Steering Committee. Karen is a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC funded Centre for Research Excellence in Resuscitation Outcomes (AUS-ROC) based at Monash University. A/Prof Smith is also a chief investigator on key pre-hospital clinical trials such as the RINSE trial (induced hypothermia during resuscitation of cardiac arrest patients) and the AVOID trial (air versus oxygen in myocardial infarct patients).


Assoc Prof Anthony Walker

Anthony Walker

Associate Professor Walker has worked with Ambulance Victoria for 27 years as an operational Paramedic and MICA Paramedic, and in senior and executive operational, education and clinical governance roles. He is General Manager Regional Services responsible for statewide emergency service delivery across Victoria, managing 3500 paramedics and volunteers. Tony is an academic in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Victoria University. He has key roles as Chair, Australian Resuscitation Council and Deputy Chair, Australian Resuscitation ALS Sub-Committee, and sits on the Ambulance Victoria Medical Advisory Committee and Victorian State Trauma Committee, chairing their Case Review and Trauma Quality Groups.


Mr John Walsh

John is a Partner in the Advisory division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has worked for more than twenty years. John's current major client work is in the areas of social policy and funding of accident compensation, health and disability.
In accident compensation, he is currently actuary to the NSW Lifetime Care and Support Authority, and has conducted major reviews of several of Australia and New Zealand’s accident compensation schemes.
In social policy during the 1990s he advised the Commonwealth on the prevalence, definition and cost of disability, and interactions with accident compensation. He has also advised the NSW government on future demand and funding requirements for disability services, homelessness services and Aboriginal disadvantage, and has been heavily involved in the development of the Stronger Together funding and reform initiatives. He was a member of the Disability Investment Group established in 2008 to study options for increasing the investment opportunities in the disability sector and in 2010 was appointed to the Productivity Commission investigation which recommended the National Disability Insurance Scheme when it reported in July 2011. He continues to work on issues of implementation of the NDIS. In 2001 he was named Australia’s Actuary of the Year, and in 2011 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, and received the Prime Minister's Award for outstanding service to the disability sector.


Dr Stephanie Williams

Stephanie Williams

Dr Williams brings a mix of medical research experience, science communication, education and medical research advocacy skills. She is the former Chief Executive of the Spinal Cord Injury Network and chairs of its Evidence-based Practice Collaborative committee. Stephanie's key initiatives in that role included a scoping study on how best to enhance the current Australian Spinal Cord Injury Register and a position statement on stem cell tourism, which is frequently cited. Dr Williams has assisted in consumer engagement through the Network’s SCI People Committee and extensive links with community groups.