Do you have a question you cant find the answer to? Why not try an expert. The National Institute of First Aid Trainers is pleased to facilitate an Ask an Expert panel for all first aid educators (members and non-members).
This panel have many years of experience in their relevant fields and are happy to help with any questions you may have. If they cant give you a definitive answer, they will certainly point you in the right direction to access further resources. Try and provide as much information as possible and give examples where appropriate.
Please note that where there are questions around regulatory issues, the advice should be taken as general and specific advice should be sought from the relevant authority. We will always provide information on where the information has been (or can be) sourced if necessary.
Depending on the query, we may simply direct you to an information source which provides a clear answer to your question or to our ‘previously asked questions’ page if the query has already been answered.
All the panel members work full time in their respective fields and we utilise their knowledge for specific questions which need expert advice.
The National Institute of First Aid Trainers is always looking to expand the ask an expert panel and we are happy to hear from those who feel their skills and experience would benefit first aid educators by becoming an ‘ask an expert’ panel member.
The National Institute of First Aid Trainers does not receive endorsement from any of the organisaions shown below. The organisations shown are providing an avenue, facilitated by The National Institute of First Aid Trainers, for trainers to submit questions to the relevant persons. Members of this panel do not receive any payment for their service.
Dr Natalie Hood
Australian Resuscitation Council
Prof Paul Middleton
Take Heart Australia
Chair, First Aid Industry Reference Committee
Maria Said RN
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia
Sarah Hunstead RN
Chris Bertolo RN
Australian Emergency Law
Debbie Walley RN
Director – NIFAT
Dr Ken Winkel
Australian Venom Research Unit
Dr Natalie Hood
- Paediatric Emergency Physician, Monash Children’s Hospital Melbourne.
- National Medical Advisor to Surf Life Saving Australia
- Member of the International Lifesaving Federation’s Medical Committee
- Convenor of the First Aid Subcommittee, Australian Resuscitation Council
- Member ILCOR First Aid Task Force
- Olympian, Finalist Women’s Kayak 4, 1996 Atlanta
- Mum of 3 super active kids (that keeps me at my busiest)
Prof Paul Middleton
Clinical Associate Professor Paul Middleton is a specialist in prehospital and emergency medicine, and has worked in critical care retrieval in helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and ground ambulances.
He is Chair of the Australian Resuscitation Council NSW branch, was the convenor of the first Resus At The Park conference in May 2014, and also recently launched Take Heart Australia, a public health advocacy and educational organisation designed to include all Australians in a mission to increase survival from sudden cardiac arrest.
Paul has taught hundreds of doctors and nurses how to treat serious illness and injury in adults and children, and is Director of the Australian Institute for Clinical Education, which develops clinical educational courses for the health industry. He is the lead author of What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick (2010) published by Allen and Unwin, and is the principal of SavingLittleLives, a company founded to teach parents and other carers how to recognise sick and injured children.
Paul is Clinical Associate Professor in the Discipline of Emergency Medicine at the University of Sydney; Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Conjoint Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of the UK College of Emergency Medicine and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, and has published clinical research on non-invasive assessment of illness, pre-hospital research and clinical trials, epidemiology, health economics and critical patient transport. He is the Chair and Principal Investigator of the new Distributed Research in Emergency and Acute Medicine (DREAM) Collaboration.
Former roles include Medical Director of the Ambulance Service of NSW, inaugural Director of the Ambulance Research Institute and Chief Medical Officer to St John Ambulance, Australia.
Peter LeCornu was elected as the inaugural chair of the First Aid Industry Reference Committee in early 2016. The First Aid Industry Reference Committee provides advice to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee on the needs of industry in relation to first aid units of competency.
Peter LeCornu was the Chief Executive Officer of the National Office of St John Ambulance Australia from 2009 to 2015. St John is the largest provider of first aid services at public events in Australia as well as the largest provider of first aid training to the Australian community. Prior to being CEO, he was the National Training Manager for St John Ambulance Australia. He continues to provide advice to St John Ambulance Australia on training.
Peter LeCornu has been employed in vocational education and training for more than 35 years, initially at the Canberra Institute of Technology and then at St John Ambulance Australia. He has been actively involved in the consultation processes around many training packages in business, information technology, community services and health.
Michael Eburn is a Barrister and Associate Professor at the ANU College of Law. He has served as a volunteer with St John Ambulance (NSW) and as both a full time and honorary ambulance officer with NSW Ambulance. He also worked as a legal officer with NSW Health prior to joining the University sector. He is the author of Emergency Law (4th ed 2013, Federation Press) as well as numerous papers on the law and the emergency services. Answers to questions will be posted on his public blog – Australian Emergency Law – https://emergencylaw.wordpress.com/
Chris Bertolo RN BNurs, GradCertICU – Nurse Educator
Chris has 17 years experience in emergency pre-hospital care and over a decade of experience in adult tertiary intensive care. He is dedicated to clinical education and is widely involved in clinical teaching and assessment – from teaching basic frontline first aid to assessing students in post-graduate critical care courses.
Chris maintains an active professional interest in most aspects of critical care, and has presented at state and national conferences on a range of subjects, most recently about neurological assessment and pre-hospital management of burns.
Simulation is a favourite tool that Chris uses whenever bedside teaching is not possible. Chris enjoys spending time outdoors with his young family.
Sarah Hunstead RN (B Nurs) MN
Sarah has over 10 years experience in Paediatric Emergency Nursing. She has worked in various roles in the Emergency Department from Clinical Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Unit Manager, and has a passion for all things paediatrics.
With a love of lifelong learning, Sarah has a Masters Degree in Clinical Practice, and has also lectured undergraduate nursing students in paediatrics at The University of Technology, Sydney.
CPR KiDS is Sarah’s First Aid training company, and she has made it her mission to empower parents with lifesaving skills of Paediatric BLS and First Aid.
In 2013 Sarah released her first book A life. A finger. A pea up a nose. A practical guide to baby and child first aid. And yes, the title was inspired by her second daughter who decided it would be a good idea to put a pea in her nostril.
Sarah lives in Sydney with her husband and 2 little girls. If you have any questions on paediatrics, Sarah can help you!
Janelle McAlpine MMRes B.A (Human Bioscience) B.Mid, Registered Midwife
Janelle holds dual degrees in Midwifery and Human Bioscience, is in the completion stages of a Master of Medical Research and has completed further qualifications in pathology and fitness.
Currently employed as a Birth Suite Midwife and Research Associate at Griffith University and the newly opened Gold Coast University Hospital, Janelle’s expertise extends beyond the clinical setting into the fields of education, research and evidence based practice. This experience is reflected in her work as a scientific writer with the Joanna Briggs Institute, as an educator in Anatomy and Physiology with Southern Cross University, her role as an Academic Officer with Australian Correspondence Schools, and her current research activity with the Griffith University pregnancy research team and the GCUH/GU midwifery research team.
Janelle has built on this foundation with her work as an instructional designer with Mediasphere, designing and delivering health related education packages in e-Learning.
As an experienced educator Janelle aims to provide up-to-date and evidence based information for application in the maternity and newborn environments.
Janelle is the mother of three grown children and spends her spare time producing e-books for beginners in the fields of anatomy and physiology, writing research articles and ballroom dancing.
If you have any questions relating to these fields, Janelle is happy to answer them with the most recent evidence and experience available.
Angela McGregor is the owner and principle consultant for RTO Consulting offering consulting services nationally. This service was established in 1999 when Angela identified a need to assist RTOs with compliance issues and the establishment of new RTOs. Angela has successfully set up her own RTO in January 2003, which she sold in July of 2012.
As a practitioner dedicated to sharing knowledge, Angela has consulted through many forums pertaining to compliance issues and improvement strategies for training and assessment services.
Angela holds a number of qualifications including:
• Diploma of Quality Auditing
• Diploma of VET registration and management
• Diploma of Business
• Diploma of TAA
• Bachelor Business majoring in Marketing
RTO Consulting employees a small team of administration staff to support Angela delivery of services to clients.
Andy set up his first aid training company in 2008, initially as a partner in training until he took the step of becoming an RTO in 2010. Andy worked for the National Health Service (UK) in a metropolitan Emergency Department until he moved to Australia in 2007. Initially he was a ‘one man band’, but over the past 8 years has successfully grown his company and now manages a group of dedicated trainers and support staff with training partners across Australia.
Andy lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and two children, enjoys boating, fishing, playing the drums and time with his young family.
Andy is happy to answer general first aid training questions including sourcing of information, professional development or becoming a first aid trainer.
Deborah Walley RN
Deborah is a Registered Nurse with a passion for clinical education, in both the VET and tertiary arenas, specialising in advanced clinical practice, clinical skills education, first aid, simulation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation both in the UK and WA.
Deborah has over 25 years of clinical experience in Critical Care, Emergency Department and Pre Hospital Care environments. She has held numerous positions in clinical education specialising in advanced clinical practice, clinical skills education, simulation, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation both in the UK and WA.
Deborah’s expertise includes providing leadership, expertise and support in all areas of RTO compliance, governance and education, ensuring the highest quality teaching and learning outcomes for first aid, paramedicine, critical care and emergency education.
Deborah is also an ARC ALS instructor, course director and a subject matter expert for Skillsiq for both the ambulance and paramedic industry reference committee and the first aid industry reference committee.
Deborah is happy to answer questions on –
- First Aid
- RTO Compliance
- Training and assessment
- Clinical matters
- Training packages
Maria Said RN
Maria Said has been a member of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) since 1993. She became national President of the organisation in 1999. Her role was initially voluntary however in 2004 she became a paid employee of the organisation.
Since that time, as an advocate for individuals who live with the risk of anaphylaxis, she has presented on the recognition, management and emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. She shares information on the mission of the organisation, the consumer perspective and, allergic disease including food allergy and anaphylaxis, to teaching & health professionals, the food industry, federal and state government departments and the Australian community.
Maria is a member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and holds a position on several working parties. She has co authored several publications in medical and food industry journals. Maria is a member of the International Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Alliance Committee and a committee member of the European Academy of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Patient Organisation Committee. Maria has been invited to present at international allergy and food labelling meetings in the US, Canada and Europe. Maria is on the review panel for articles submitted to the British Medical Journal.
As president of A&AA, Maria forwarded statements to NSW, WA and Victorian Coroners after the deaths of children and young people from food anaphylaxis. Of the deaths in recent years, those of 6 young people (aged 4-20 years) have resulted in Coronial Inquests (over a 9 year period). Maria has been called to assist State Coroners as an expert witness in 5 of the 6 inquests. The unfolding of these stories and investigations has resulted in change throughout the country.
Maria is co-chair of the National Allergy Strategy alongside Associate Professor Richard Loh (ASCIA immediate past President) which was launched in Sydney in August 2015.
Maria is a registered nurse with experience in emergency and paediatric nursing.
Dr Ken Winkel
Dr Ken Winkel, a leading Australian toxinologist, is the Director of the Australian Venom Research Unit (AVRU), and Senior Research Fellow, at the University of Melbourne. He is also affiliated with the Nossal Institute of Global Health and is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (ACTM). He is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne (PhD, Walter and Elisa Hall Institute), the University of Queensland (MBBS) (BMedSci, Tropical Health Program, QIMR) and the Swiss Tropical Institute (Master of International Health Advanced module, Basel).
He has worked in Brazil, PNG, Canada, and the USA and is a Past President of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (ACTM). He is the Chair of the ACTM Special Interest Group in Toxinology. He was officially appointed Director of the AVRU in 1999, on the retirement of the Foundation Director, and doyen of Australian toxinology, Professor Struan Sutherland.
Dr Winkel is a CSL IH Group consultant on venoms and envenomation, and is part of the team behind the 24 hour medical advisory service provided by AVRU to doctors, poisons information centres and paramedical personnel. He is also a member of the Queensland Government Marine Stinger Advisory Committee Research Working Group.
Dr Winkel is also active in teaching, lecturing to medical and science students and graduates, and has presented more than 100 papers and posters at Australian and international meetings and published more than 70 papers on venoms and related areas, including in the Lancet. His Unit is particularly involved in envenomation research in the Asia-Pacific and he is a co-editor of the first book on Venomous Bites and Stings in PNG.
His work, including the development of the www.avru.org website, has attracted more than $1m in funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. In 2008 every Australian school received a copy of the AVRU’s children book on venomous bites and stings – Venom Patrol.