Associate Professor Brett Aimers

Nursing - Brett AimersBrett is the Chief Professional Officer with St John Ambulance Australia; a national leadership role with responsibility for maintenance and enhancement of a patient safety and quality care environment, the development of national guidelines and the provision of national-level advice and guidance relating to practice and training.

He is a Registered Nurse with post-graduate qualifications in critical care, clinical education and management. Since becoming a nurse in 1999, Brett has worked in a variety of environments including respiratory care, adult and paediatric intensive care, clinical education, workforce development and management.

Brett is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing and is an Adjunct Associate Professor with James Cook University where he provides expert advice and Masters level education on emergency management, disaster health and emerging national policy trends.

Brett has an extensive emergency management background which includes policy development, State and National level planning and performing senior operational roles including during the Victorian heatwave emergency, the H1N1 pandemic and the 2011 Queensland floods. Brett played a significant role throughout the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires and was awarded the National Emergency Medal for his efforts in helping to coordinate the whole-of-health response.

He is currently involved in a multi-national project, led by the World Health Organisation, exploring global best practice associated with operating a public health Emergency Operations Centre.

Article by Brett on My Health Career:

Laurie Bickhoff RN

Laurie BickhoffLaurie graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor or Nursing in 2012, and as the nursing student with the highest grade point average, was awarded the Prize for Nursing. She is currently completing an honours research project on demonstrations of moral courage by undergraduate nursing students.

In 2012, Laurie was chosen as one of five participants to be involved in the Australian College of Nursing’s Emerging Nurse Leader program. The 3 year program mentors early career nurses to develop skills in communication, team development, business acumen, lobbying, presentation skills, research skills and project management.

In 2013, Laurie completed the new graduate transition to practice program in the Greater Newcastle Cluster, at the Royal Newcastle Centre and John Hunter Hospital. In 2014 she completed a transition to specialty practice program in cardiology at Belmont District Hospital and John Hunter Hospital.

Laurie has written articles for publications for organisations including the Australian College of Nursing, Nursing Review and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal. She is actively engaged with social media and has presented on this topic at international and national nursing conferences. Laurie has given guest lectures for nursing students at the University of Newcastle and Queensland University of Technology and in 2014 launched her own blog, Defining Nursing.

Laurie’s articles on My Health Career:

Shelley Straw RN

Shelley StrawShelley is a specialist ear nurse and the principal nurse of Crystal Clear Ears, a private clinic devoted to micro-suction aural toilet. This is used for removal of earwax, foreign bodies & Otitis Externa cleaning. Shelley established the business (the first of its kind in Australia) in early 2008 in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, based on similar clinics in New Zealand.

Shelley worked at the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital for over 25 years in management positions including Unit Manager, Deputy Director Nursing, & After Hours coordinator. These roles covered policy development, risk, project & contract management, nursing human resource & financial management, and clinical pathway development amongst others.


  • Div 1 Nurse training Alfred Hospital,
  • BSc Nursing, La Trobe Uni,
  • Cert.Ophthalmic & ENT nursing, RVEEH.
  • Post Grad Cert. Human Resource Management, Swinburne.
  • Affiliations: Member RCNA, ANF, OHNNG.

Articles by Shelley on My Health Career:

Brad Winter RN

Brad WinterBrad graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from the Queensland University of Technology in 2011. He also holds a Bachelor of Business, graduating in 2006 from Latrobe University.

Brad completed a graduate nursing year at the Royal Darwin Hospital in the Northern Territory where he worked in Oncology, Neurology and the Emergency Department. Brad returned to Brisbane in 2013 where he commenced a career in Aged Care Nursing.

Throughout his study, Brad has been interested in the education sector. In 2011 he participated in the High School Visits Program run annually by Health Workforce NT visiting schools in Katherine and Nhulunbuy in the NT. Brad also volunteered as a nurse in a small village in Nepal in his final year of his nursing degree.

Currently Brad works full time as an aged care nurse in central Brisbane with his role encompassing education and staff development. In the future he will also be the author of the blog Bed15, dedicated to nurses talking nursing.

Brad’s articles on My Health Career:

Gail Timms — RN

Gail completed her nursing studies at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. Upon completing her studies, she initially worked as a nurse in the Royal District Nursing Service in Melbourne, and moved on to roles as a Clinical Nurse Co-ordinator and then a Community Liaison Officer over her 20 years in this organisation.

From 1992-1999 Gail was the Clinical Nurse Manager for St Luke’s Nursing Service in Brisbane. She managed and co-ordinated the care of approximately 200-250 clients, families and carers in the Brisbane North Health Region.

In the latter stages of her nursing career, Gail worked part-time for Blue Care as a Clinical Nurse, and also on a casual basis as a Health Assessment Nurse in a Medical Centre. Gail was then employed by Queensland Health Community Nursing as a Discharge Facilitator at Caboolture Hospital then as a Clinical Service Coordinator Community Health North Lakes.

Gail’s passion is in the area of wellness, and she has facilitated several programs in the area of preventative health, these including Fresh Start Quit Smoking Program run By Queensland Cancer Council, Easy Steps Program for 50+ and the Lighten Up to Healthy Lifestyles Choices Program.

Gail currently runs a business called Energisus where she is helping people like you and I achieve optimal level of wellness through different programs, with a vision of making Australia Healthy.

Click here to watch videos about a career in nursing.

Sharon Armstrong – Child Health and Lactation Consultant – IBCLC, RN, MN, Grad Dip Child Health, BSc Public Health (Health Visiting, CCE)

Sharon became a registered nurse in 1992 and qualified as a Child Health Nurse in 1996. She completed a Masters of Nursing in 1998 after writing a thesis on the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In 2010, Sharon passed the International Board of Lactation Consultants Exam. She is also a qualified Childbirth Educator. Throughout her career, Sharon has worked in the area of child health in the Middle East, the UK and Australia.

Sharon is a pioneer in the private sector of health services, and has set up a practice on Brisbane’s north side, which is based around supporting families in improving their physical and emotional health. She personally provides coaching for parents of young children in the areas of sleep, feeding and child behaviour. The practice also offers treatments by massage therapists, chiropractors and an acupuncturist, as well as consultations with a conception coach and a naturopath. Wow!!

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