Our Team

Our Staff

Executive Team

Ajesh George

Ajesh George

Co-founder and Director of COHORT
Dr Ajesh George (BDS, MPH, PhD) is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University (WSU) and Honorary Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at University of Sydney. He is a Dentist with extensive experience in interdisciplinary oral health care and is a leading expert in Australia in providing oral health training to nurses/midwives and translating oral health guidelines into their practice. Dr George is also the Director and Co-founder of the “Centre for Oral Health Outcomes & Research Translation” (COHORT) which is an innovative partnership between WSU and South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) Oral Health Services bringing together Dentists and non-dental professionals for the first time in Australia. Since his PhD Dr George has been initiating and  leading multidisciplinary teams in developing and implementing innovative models of oral health care in the areas of maternity, paediatrics, aboriginal health,  cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, intellectual disability and palliative care. His work has led to the development of Australia’s first midwifery initiated oral health (MIOH) program which has been recognised nationally. He has also been instrumental in providing oral health training to nursing and midwifery students at WSU- another first in Australia.
Ravi Srinivas

Ravi Srinivas

Co-Founder and Director of Oral Health Services, SWSLHD

Support Staff

Amy Villarosa

Amy Villarosa

Research Officer

Since graduating her Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2013, Amy has gained extensive experience as a research assistant across a variety of qualitative and quantitative research projects. She has been working as the research officer for COHORT since its inception, providing support across the many projects currently being undertaken. Her responsibilities include assisting with grant and ethics applications, literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and writing reports and manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals. With a particular affinity for quantitative research, she completed a Master of Biostatistics in 2018.

Ariana Villarosa

Ariana Villarosa

Research Support Officer

Ariana completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Health Science with Honours and Master of Podiatric Medicine at Western Sydney University in 2016.
She has been involved in a diverse range of research areas. Her honours project focused on developing guidelines in a novel approach to improve the design of foot orthotics (insoles) for people with inflammatory arthritis by using ultrasound as the main metric.

She has been working as a research assistant for four years primarily within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Some of the projects she has been involved in have included evaluating student learning experiences at university, as well as developing interventions pertaining to eating disorders in young people.
As a result, Ariana has a strong interest in translational research, and developing interventions focused on improving the quality and experiences for the broader population.
Ariana is also pursuing a PhD with COHORT.

Rinu Mathew

Rinu Mathew

Research Administrative Assistant
Nidhi Saraswat

Nidhi Saraswat

Research Assistant

Our Research Students

PhD Students

Paula Sanchez

Paula Sanchez

PhD Student
Prakash Poudel

Prakash Poudel

PhD Student
Ariana Villarosa

Ariana Villarosa

PhD Student

Ariana completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Health Science with Honours and Master of Podiatric Medicine at Western Sydney University in 2016.
She has been involved in a diverse range of research areas. Her honours project focused on developing guidelines in a novel approach to improve the design of foot orthotics (insoles) for people with inflammatory arthritis by using ultrasound as the main metric.

She has been working as a research assistant for four years primarily within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Some of the projects she has been involved in have included evaluating student learning experiences at university, as well as developing interventions pertaining to eating disorders in young people.
As a result, Ariana has a strong interest in translational research, and developing interventions focused on improving the quality and experiences for the broader population.
Ariana is also pursuing a PhD with COHORT.

Tiffany Patterson Norrie

Tiffany Patterson Norrie

PhD Student

Tiffany began her research experience as a summer scholar for Assoc. Prof George in 2014 through the Bachelor of Nursing Advanced program at Western Sydney. Since then, Tiffany has gone on to complete her Bachelor of Medical and Health Science degree and develop further experience in qualitative research methods, systematic reviews and administrative tasks working as a Research Assistant across many research groups at the Ingham Institute. Tiffany is in her final year of her Master of Nutrition and Dietetics. At present, Tiffany is working as a research assistant and pursuing a PhD with COHORT.

Nidhi Saraswat

Nidhi Saraswat

PhD Student
Amy Villarosa

Amy Villarosa

PhD Student

Master’s Students

Fakhra Maan

Fakhra Maan

MRes Student

Fakhra completed her Masters of Commerce in Organisation and Management from Australian School of Business at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2010. She has worked in research support roles for multiple health projects at UNSW and is currently employed in School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University.

Her research interest has been in work health and safety practice comparisons of Australian work environment and of those of developing countries. She is aiming to utilize her health research work experience with business studies background and is currently enrolled in Master of Research through SONM. Fakhra’s research question is around experiences of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) of Pakistani and Indian origin, and facilitators and barriers during integration into Australian Healthcare system.

Reecha Acharya

Reecha Acharya

MRes Student

Interns

David George

David George

Summer Scholar, 2017-2019
Joel Woodmass

Joel Woodmass

Research Intern, 2017
Clarity Chua

Clarity Chua

Research Intern, 2018
Boaz Villarosa

Boaz Villarosa

Research Intern, 2018-2019
Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith

Summer Scholar, 2019-2020

Camila Elena Sanchez

Camila Elena Sanchez

Summer Scholar, 2019-2020

Camila Elena Sanchez is currently studying a Master of Teaching (Primary) and was a Summer Scholar for Dr. Ajesh George for the project, ‘Developing and piloting oral health resources for people with cardiovascular disease and stroke’. Through this project, she developed a brochure entitled ‘Heart Disease and Oral Health’ and, if accepted and endorsed, will be available nationwide and will be free to use and distribute. Camila is passionate about both this project any many other aspects of her life and is striving to continue to work on this and many other endeavours in the future.

Our Affiliates

International Affiliates

Dr.Philcy Philip

Dr.Philcy Philip

Baptist Hospital, Bengaluru, India

National Affiliates

Nathan Wilson

Nathan Wilson

Senior Lecturer, Western Sydney University
Kylie Smidt

Kylie Smidt

Quality & Patient Safety Officer, Oral Health Services, SWSLHD
Cynthia Valderrama

Cynthia Valderrama

Senior Oral Health Therapist, SWSLHD

Caleb Ferguson

Senior Research Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery

Doctor Caleb Ferguson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Western Sydney Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre (WSNMRC) and holds a conjoint appointment at Western Sydney University and Western Sydney Local Health District. Dr Ferguson is a Registered Nurse with over a decades clinical experience caring for individuals with stroke, neurological and cardiovascular conditions.

He undertook his PhD at the UTS: Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care which was awarded by UTS in 2015, for his thesis titled: The AFASTER Study: Patient-centered approaches to thromboprophylaxis in individuals with heart failure and concomitant atrial fibrillation. (opens in new window)Opens in a new window His program of research focuses on patient-centred approaches to the management of atrial fibrillation, stroke prevention and digital health. He has previously held appointments as Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer and Director of Postgraduate Nursing Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, where he continues to hold an honorary appointment. Since 2012, he has published over 60 academic works. Including peer reviewed journal articles, editorials, book chapters and scientific abstracts. Dr Ferguson is a Managing Editor of Contemporary Nurse (opens in new window)Opens in a new window and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. (opens in new window)Opens in a new window He also contributes to peer review for the Journal of Advanced Nursing, International Journal of Nursing Studies, International Journal of Cardiology, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes and the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. In 2015, Caleb was awarded a National Stroke Foundation Fostering Future Leader Award. Since 2012 he has been a volunteer StrokeSafe Ambassador for the Stroke Foundation undertaking community advocacy work. He is a member of the Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee and 2017 Stroke Guideline Executive Development Group and the Heart Foundation’s Atrial Fibrillation Guideline Working Group (2016-).

Dr Ferguson is available to supervise higher degree research students. He particularly welcomes interest from high achieving students from the nursing discipline, employees of WSLHD or those with an interest in stroke or cardiovascular care.

Lien Lombardo

Lien Lombardo

Clinical Nurse Consultant-Research Coordinator, SWSLHD
Della Maneze

Della Maneze

Muticultural Health Promotion Officer, SWSLHD
Bronwyn Everett

Bronwyn Everett

Associate Professor, Western Sydney University
Jacqueline Rojo

Jacqueline Rojo

Associate Lecturer, Western Sydney University
Yenna Salamonson

Yenna Salamonson

Professor, Western Sydney University

Yenna Salamonson (BSc, CCU Cert, GradDipN, EdMA, PhD, RN) is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She has over 30 years of her academic career creating a positive learning experience for university students. She was successful in securing a number of educational research grants, including a leadership grant. Yenna has been involved in curriculum development and innovations, particularly in the undergraduate nursing program, championing the introduction of web-based learning delivery in the nursing school. Yenna is committed to the capacity-building of both students and clinicians in the workforce, to promote inclusive and positive workplace culture, which is evidenced by my research focus and outputs. In addition to having supervised 21 research students to completion, she is current supervising 10 research students, including students who are focusing on embedding oral health care into nursing education, as well as improving oral health nursing care within various clinical settings.

Lucie Ramjan

Lucie Ramjan

Associate Professor, Western Sydney University

Lucie Ramjan is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She is a qualitative and mixed method researcher who is committed to educational research and mental health research, particularly in the area of young people and eating disorders. Lucie’s most significant contributions to research have been in the fields of eating disorder research; academic literacy and numeracy; and students, retention, transition and success at University. Lucie’s research methodology strength is qualitative research and participatory action research (engaging people with lived experience in participation in applied clinical studies). Lucie notably led a multidisciplinary collaboration to develop and pilot test the first community mentorship program in NSW for people with anorexia nervosa. Lucie is currently co-supervising doctoral students from COHORT who are passionate about interdisciplinary oral health, in populations including people with eating disorders, Aboriginal pregnant women, and children.

Jed Montayre

Jed Montayre

Senior Lecturer, Western Sydney University

Dr Jed Montayre is a senior lecturer and researcher in the School of Nursing & Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Jed’s research focuses on population ageing, health outcomes of older migrant populations, age-friendly communities and ageing workforce issues. Jed’s reputation and expertise in ageing research resulted to various professional organisations’ national committee appointments. Jed is a New South Wales executive committee member of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG). Jed served as the chairperson of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Nursing Research Section and was an executive committee member of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology. In September 2016, Jed received the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation (NZNO)-Young Nurse of the Year Award, a national award that celebrates the exemplary work of nurses in the younger age group. The award recognised his early-career contribution to gerontology nursing and research. In September 2018, Jed is one of the only 26 nurses selected from applicants all over the world, to participate in the Global Nursing Leadership Institute Policy Programme hosted by International Council of Nurses. Jed has a great interest on oral health outcomes in the ageing population, which includes upskilling the aged care workforce to be responsive to the unique oral health care needs of older adults and improving oral health related outcomes which contributes to older peoples’ health and wellbeing. Jed is an associate editor of Australasian Journal on Ageing.

Hannah Dahlen

Hannah Dahlen

Professor, Western Sydney University

Hannah Dahlen is the Professor of Midwifery, Discipline Leader of Midwifery and Associate Dean (Research and Higher Degree Research) in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She has been a midwife for 30 years and still practices.

Hannah has over 200 published journal articles and book chapters and has strong national and international research partnerships. She has received 20 grants since 2000, including being a CI on three NHMRC grants and an ARC Linkage grant. She has spoken at over 100 national and international conferences in the past 5 years and given invited keynote addresses at most of these.

In 2019 Hannah was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her significant services to midwifery, nursing and medical education and research. In November 2012 Hannah was named in the Sydney Morning Herald’s list of 100 “people who change our city for the better” and named as one of the leading “science and knowledge thinkers” for 2012