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About Us


Adjunct Associate Professor Nicola Cunningham
B.Med, MForensMed, MHlth&MedLaw, FFCFM (RCPA), FACEM

Nicola is a Melbourne-based specialist with dual fellowships in Emergency Medicine and Clinical Forensic Medicine. She also holds a Master of Forensic Medicine, and a Master of Health and Medical Law. Her clinical roles provide insight into community and hospital medicine, and the interface between these areas, as well as a unique perspective on the medico-legal aspects of clinical practice gained by managing a wide variety of emergency and forensic cases. Nicola sits on a number of patient safety committees and utilises her expertise in safety systems, cognitive interviewing, human factors in clinical settings, and incident review methodologies, to increase the capacity of the Victorian health system to apply and share lessons from clinical incidents, to improve the quality and safety of care.


Nicola is frequently called upon to give expert witness testimony in court on forensic matters, and to provide expert medicolegal opinion for interstate jurisdictions on matters relating to forensic and/or emergency medicine. She teaches medical and nursing professionals across a number of health services on issues relating to emergency medicine, forensic medicine, coronial investigations, regulation in health care, and how to apply expertise (and recognise its limits), write medicolegal reports, and give evidence in court.


Nicola co-led the establishment of the Clinical Communiqué in 2014, and the Future Leaders Communiqué in 2016. She is a current editor for the Clinical Communiqué, the Future Leaders Communiqué, and the Residential Aged Care Communiqué (established in 2006).


Nicola continues to combine active clinical work with leadership, teaching, research, and advocacy in the fields of clinical forensic medicine, emergency medicine, medical ethics and law, and patient safety.


Professor Joseph Ibrahim

Joseph is a senior academic with professorial appointments at two universities and is a practising Senior Consultant Specialist in Geriatric Medicine with over 30 years clinical experience, and 20 years as a clinical director in three different public hospital services. Joseph has close links with clinicians, researchers, stakeholders and policy makers situated in the aged care sector locally and at a national level.


Joseph has a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (1994), a Doctorate of Philosophy in Epidemiology and Health Services Research (investigating the relationship between quality of care and performance indicators, Monash University, 1999), Fellowship of the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (2000) and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (Monash University, 2001).

In 2006, Joseph founded and continues as the editor of the Residential Aged Care Communiqué. Joseph co-led the establishment of the Clinical Communiqué in 2014 (formerly known as the Coronial Communiqué, 2003-2010), and the Future Leaders Communiqué in 2016.


Joseph’s research addresses the important forensic aspects of aged care including prevention of premature injury and death, elder abuse, violence and restrictive practice. The research also focusses on respecting the rights and choices of older people examining the issues of consent, end-of-life care and ‘dignity of risk’.


Joseph led the first comprehensive national study of injury-related deaths among nursing home residents in the world. This was considered one of the Top 10 influential research studies in 2017 published in the Medical Journal of Australia.


Joseph has provided expert evidence to the Australian Law Reform Commission into Elder Abuse, the Carnell and Paterson Report, the Commonwealth Senate Inquiry for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices, the House of Representatives Inquiry, and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. As well as, in criminal and coroners’ court cases into elder abuse and premature deaths.


Joseph’s research and advocacy have been the subject of national commercial and public television interviews or feature news stories, national and state commercial and public broadcast radio interviews, and international and national print and on-line media articles. Joseph was one of three people recognized by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend's ‘People Who Mattered 2019: Health’.


Dr Brendan Morrissey

Brendan is an Emergency Physician and Acting Deputy Director of Emergency Medicine at a major metropolitan hospital. He is committed to improving patient and clinician safety. He has been a Supervisor of Intern Training since 2019, working with a team of medical educators to support and train junior doctors. He a faculty member of a peer-led intervention program designed to promote a culture of safety for patients and staff within the hospital.


Brendan has a passion for medical education, with a focus on the education and training of junior doctors. He regularly facilitates educational sessions for junior doctors, and assists in curriculum oversight and supervision for a number of junior doctor cohorts. He works as a course facilitator on a number of national educational simulation courses, including Advanced & Complex Medical Emergencies, Advanced Paediatric Life Support, and Emergency Trauma Management. He is a faculty member of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine OSCE Examination Preparation Program. He has previously worked as a Visiting Clinical Lecturer at Divine Word University & Modilon General Hospital, Papua New Guinea (2013).


Brendan has experience in forensic medicine, having worked for a number of years as a Forensic Medical Officer. Brendan has been involved with the Communiqués since 2019 and is a consultant editor for the Future Leaders Communiqué and the Clinical Communiqué.

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