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Meet the team

Our study is led by researchers working in partnership with people who have lived experience of workers’ compensation claims. We aim to also build strong links with members of the worker community who have made a claim to become key advisors, experts, communicators, and advocates. 

Brief profiles of our research team are below.

Professor Alex Collie

Project Leader

About Alex

I am in the School of Public Health at Monash University, a husband and father of two teenagers. I have studied workers’ compensation and motor vehicle crash compensation systems for many years, leading multiple large research projects. I am particularly interested in the experiences of people with injuries and illness in these systems, how those experiences affect injured people’s health and their work, and how we can design systems that support faster recovery and return to work and improved quality of life.

Associate Professor Jason Thompson

Senior Researcher

About Jason

With a background in Psychology and Medicine, my work focuses on translating research into practice across the areas of transportation, heavy-vehicle safety, public health, post-injury rehabilitation, and system design. I have expertise in methods of computational social science for the modelling of urban, social, organisational, safety, rehabilitation, and active transport networks (e.g., cycling/walking) and pioneered their use in areas of traditional medical and transportation research. My work for the Victorian Transport Accident Commission has contributed to saving tens of millions of dollars for the Victorian community since 2010.

Associate Professor Libby Callaway

Senior Researcher

About Libby

I am a registered occupational therapist, and have worked clinically for 30 years in Australia and the USA in injury management and disability care. I work across the Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre and Occupational Therapy Department at Monash University. I also work in my community-based occupational therapy practice, Neuroskills, and am a Board Director with the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA) and The Homer Hack.

Grainne Cruikshank

Lived Experience Investigator

About Grainne

I (pronounced Gron-ya, Gaelic for Grace) have extensive experience in supporting people with significant brain injury. I supported my husband, Peter, who sustained a severe brain injury in a car accident at work two years into our marriage, 33 years ago. Peter passed away in 2019. With over three decades’ experience engaging with external stakeholders, including Workers’ Compensation Schemes, rehabilitation services and various community-based health and disability providers, I now educate, challenge perceptions, and advocate for the rights, needs and choices of injured workers and their families.

Professor Ellen MacEachen

Senior Researcher

About Ellen

I am a Professor and Director in the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo (Canada). My research examines workers’ compensation systems, precarious employment, and the changing nature of work. I am particularly interested in international work disability policy. My edited book, The Science and Politics of Work Disability Prevention, provides an international picture of social security systems, work and health. I work closely with policymakers and community stakeholders, including injured worker advocacy groups.

Associate Professor Genevieve Grant

Senior Researcher

About Genevieve

I am an Associate Professor in the Law Faculty at Monash University. My research explores the way injured people experience legal processes and services. I am also interested in how people make decisions about the help they need navigating claims processes and resolving disputes, and whether that help can be improved. I have a background working as a lawyer with injured people and write and teach about injury compensation systems, access to justice and dispute resolution.


Dr. Elizabeth Pritchard

Research Fellow

About Elizabeth

I am a Research Fellow with the Healthy Working Lives Research Group. I have led several qualitative studies including the Driving Health study, within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. I have been a registered Occupational Therapist for over 28 years specialising in neuro-rehabilitation, completed my PhD in health sciences in 2014 and now contribute my expertise in talking and listening to people’s experiences, in the Workers Voice project.

Vasalia Govender

Lived Experience Advisor

About Vasalia

Tenacity and a sense of justice were born from watching the trials of apartheid saw my passion for social justice and OHS take on the HSR role where it quickly became apparent advocacy and peer support for injured workers was sorely needed. For the last 10 years I have been helping injured workers navigate the system, and get their lives back on track. I am looking forward to supporting injured workers’ voices to be heard even louder through ongoing research and system change.

Branislava Godic

Research Assistant & PhD Candidate

About Branislava

I am a research assistant with years of experience working on projects related to workplace mental health in collaboration with WorkSafe Victoria, for which I have contributed to multiple government reports. I have developed skills in working with qualitative and quantitative data and working on participatory computational modelling projects in compensation schemes.

Kara Tyndall

Communications Manager

About Kara

I am a Communications Manager with the Healthy Working Lives Research Group. I have worked on securing PR and media coverage on several studies within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University that relate to workplace injury and workers compensation schemes. I  also work on translating research into plain-language summaries and distributing key findings via multiple platforms.

Rosemary MacKenzie-Ferguson

Lived Experience Advisor

About Rosemary

My own workplace injury began my journey to understand what workers compensation is and where I fitted into it – injured workers don’t always believe they belong in their own claim. I have sat on workers’ compensation committees, spoken at international events promoting the rights of injured workers, and written training programs for all sections of the workers’ compensation industry. I’ve also proven there are no limits by going from broken to the only Australian recipient of the International Summa Comp Laude Award (2021).

Peter Kirwan

Lived Experience Advisor

About Peter

I work in the Emergency Services sector and have had two (2) workers compensation claims throughout my career, one being a physical injury claim and the other being a psychological injury claim. While my workers’ compensation journey was relatively smooth, I believe there are certainly areas where improvements can be made. I am part of the peer support team at work and also sit as the co-chair of the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority Recovery @ Work reference group.