STaRR Mentor Network

Mentoring is a fundamental part of the STaRR Emerging Researcher Training program. Our STaRR Mentor Network comprises over 40 health service and academic researchers who volunteer their time to provide one-on-one support and guidance to a STaRR Emerging Researcher as they participate in the 8-week training program. 

Our mentors are mainly from western Victoria, with some mentors from metropolitan Melbourne, and other areas who have an interest in rural health or are connected to the STaRR program in other ways. 

Meet our Mentors

Alesha Sayner 

Alesha Sayner, Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation lead, Grampians Health/Research Translation Coordinator, Western Alliance. Alesha is a pelvic health physiotherapist and PhD candidate with an interest in regional health services research, qualitative research methods and research translation.  

Affiliations: Grampians Health, Western Alliance, Deakin Rural Health, University of Canberra 

Email: alesha.sayner@gh.org.au  

X: @aleshasayner 

LinkedIn profile: click here

Anna Wong Shee 

A/Prof Anna Wong Shee is the Director of Research – Community and Aged Care, a co-funded position with Grampians Health and Deakin Rural Health. She is a registered physiotherapist with over 20 years of experience in Australia and the USA. Her research interests include health professional research capacity and capability building, health service models of care, and health economic evaluation. 

Email: anna.wongshee@gh.org.au  

Deakin University profile: click here. 

Deakin Rural Health website: click here.

Bindu Joseph 

Dr Bindu Joseph is the postgraduate coordinator of mental health and senior lecturer at Federation University. Bindu has a strong education and mental health research background. Her research interests include mental health workforce research, CALD mental health, and qualitative and mixed-method research approaches.

Email: b.joseph@federation.edu.au 

Federation University profile: click here.

ORCID: click here.

Carolyn Johnstone 

Dr Carolyn Johnstone is a senior lecturer in Social Science at Federation University, where she chairs the Human Research Ethics Committee. She is is interested in how international organizations, governments and NGOs work in partnership, using adult education as a policy lever to address challenges in the globalised world including conflict, sustainable development and human security. She is a champion for individual transformation through education. Research interests include: adult education and work-based learning; refugees and vulnerable groups; the professional identities of teachers. 

Email: c.johnstone@federation.edu.au  

Federation University profile: click here.

ResearchGate profile: click here.

ORCID: click here.

Debbie Pu 

Debbie is a speech pathologist by training and is currently a researcher in the School of Primary and Allied Health Care at Monash University. Debbie began her research journey as a clinical researcher in the fields of swallowing and voice disorders, and has since expanded into the broader field of public health, with a focus on virtual and innovative care for older adults. 

Monash University profile: click here.

Denise Jones 

Dr Denise Jones holds the position of Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation Lead at Barwon and South West Healthcare. She is an Adjunct Research Fellow at La Trobe University with research focusing on hip-related pain and physical activity. Denise is a physiotherapist by background with 30 years of clinical experience and more than 15 years involvement as an undergraduate and postgraduate educator in both clinical and university settings. She is committed to driving opportunities to promote and develop the diverse research being undertaken by Allied Health Practitioners in the region. 

 La Trobe University profile: click here.

Emma West 

Emma is a Research Fellow with IMPACT, Deakin University and Program Officer for Research Capability Building at Western Alliance. Her research interests focus on the nexus between physical and mental health. She is also involved in research capacity building within health services and is passionate about supporting health professionals to engage in research. 

Email: emma.west@deakin.edu.au  

ResearchGate profile: click here.

Google Scholar profile: click here.

Gloria Leung 

Dr Gloria Leung is a Research Fellow working in the Institute for Health Transformation (GLOBE domain) at Deakin University. She currently works in public health nutrition, on community development projects that aim to improve the health of children in rural communities. She also has experience in running clinical trials, previously managing a weight management strategy for night shift workers, as well as qualitative research methods. Her research interests include settings-based interventions, shift worker health and implementation science. 

Email: g.leung@deakin.edu.au  

Hannah Beks 

Hannah Beks is a Research Fellow and Registered Nurse with Deakin Rural Health. Her research interests span nurse-led models of care and research, program and service evaluation, and health policy. 

Email: hannah.beks@deakin.edu.au 

 LinkedIn profile: click here.

Google Scholar profile: click here.

Deakin University profile: click here.

Jane Jacobs 

Dr Jane Jacobs is a Research Fellow and Data Manager at the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition at Deakin University. She has a background in Physiotherapy and postgraduate qualifications in Epidemiology and Public Health. Her research focuses on optimising community-based childhood obesity prevention interventions, and investigating the role of the food retail and physical activity built environments in driving healthy behaviours. Much of her research focuses on rural populations, and those from lower socio-economic areas. 

Email: Jane.jacobs@deakin.edu.au  

Deakin University profile: click here.

Jonathan Rawstorn 

Dr Jonathan Rawstorn is a Research Fellow at Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition. Jonathan’s research explores how digital technologies improve the accessibility and utilisation of exercise and lifestyle behaviour change interventions for people with long-term health conditions. His interests include behavioural measurement; intervention design, validation, and evaluation; and translating research into the real world. 

Email: jonathan.rawstorn@deakin.edu.au   

Deakin University profile: click here.

LinkedIn profile: click here.

Liam Johnson 

Dr Liam Johnson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Melbourne, and Senior Lecturer at Australian Catholic University, in Melbourne, Australia. I am passionate about supporting people with brain injuries to be physically active and to engage in exercise. My research interests include exercise testing and prescription, neurorehabilitation, physical activity, environmental enrichment, and guideline development and implementation. Outside of work, I run, gym and play Hockey, I am a race director at my local parkrun, and coach my son’s futsal team. 

Email: Liam.Johnson@acu.edu.au 

 X: @liamgjohnson 

UniMelb profile: click here.

LinkedIn profile: click here.

Michael Field 

Dr. Michael Field is Western Alliance Research Translation Coordinator for the Geelong-Colac region. Michael’s research experience spans clinical trials, cross-sectional studies and cohorts, and his research interests include surgery, rural health and food allergy. He also maintains part-time clinical practice in surgical assisting. 

Google Scholar: view profile 

Nadine Glanville 

Dr Nadine Glanville is the Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN) Research Coordinator for Echuca Regional Health. She completed her Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology through Deakin University and worked in clinical settings for more than 18 years within both primary health and mental health organisations. Nadine is now employed by the University of Melbourne and the University of South Australia in both research and teaching capacities. Her research interests include maternity care and rural health workforce issues. 

Email: nglanville@erh.org.au  

Nathalie Davis 

Nathalie has worked in a broad spectrum of roles related to health and medical research, public health and health promotion. She is passionate about health equity and reducing health disparity existing between metro and rural population. After a PhD in cellular biology and physiology, Nathalie worked in a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland. A move to Australia shifted her career to public health and epidemiology, health promotion, and primary prevention programs. Her current work aims to improve cancer service access and allows her to do some translational research. 

Olivia Dean 

A/Prof Olivia Dean lead TRIALS, a research group within the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT) at Deakin University. She is also the Co-Chair of the Community and Research Network (CARN), a community-based network of health-related stakeholders.

A/Prof Dean holds honourary appointments with Barwon Health and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and is a Highly Cited Researcher, representing the top 1% of researchers globally. She is passionate about providing novel treatments to people with mental illness and understanding how treatments may benefit individuals. She is committed to translating her research to clinical practice, treatment guidelines and community forums. 

Email: o.dean@deakin.edu.au  

IMPACT TRIALS website: click here.

CARN website: click here.

Olivia King 

Dr Olivia King is Manager, Research Capability Building with Western Alliance. She is an Adjunct Research Associate with Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education and is an Affiliate Senior Lecturer with Deakin Rural Health. She is passionate about building research capability and culture in rural and regional health settings. Her research interests include health professions education, allied health workforce, sociology of the professions, and qualitative research methods.  

Email: olivia.king@barwonhealth.org.au 

LinkedIn profile: click here.

Monash University profile: click here.

Paul Lightfoot 

Paul has been conducting clinical trials for 28 years and epilepsy trials for 21 years. He has been involved in the pivotal trials for all new drug treatments for epilepsy in the last 2 decades. He is currently the Operations Lead for the Australian Epilepsy Project at the Florey having previously been in Senior roles at Barwon Health, Austin Health, Melbourne University, Monash Health, Western Health and the Royal Brompton Hospital (UK). 

Email: paul.lightfoot@florey.edu.au  

The Epilepsy Project website: click here.

Sangeeta Rathi 

Dr Sangeeta Rathi is a physiotherapist with more than 18 years of clinical experience and currently works as the ‘Research Lead’ at St John of God Health Care. She is also an adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. Sangeeta completed her PhD in 2017 and has authored a number of research papers. She has also worked as an academic and researcher at La Trobe and Monash Universities. She is passionate about building research capacity and promoting a culture of evidence-based practice and research translation in the allied health workforce, specifically in the private health care sector. 

Email: sangeeta.rathi@sjog.org.au