The Practice Development Unit supports the organisation in advancing person-centred care and workplace cultures.

Research undertaken by the Practice Development Unit aims to provide an evidence-base to inform organisational development with regards to the working environment. Research activities include:

  • Undertaking the evaluation of staff well-being and development programs
  • Leading research projects related to staff health, safety and well-being
  • Working collaboratively with researchers from leading Australian Universities and other area health services
  • Producing high-quality reports and peer-reviewed publications

The Practice Development Unit also provides support and advice to Network staff with regards to undertaking research and evaluation projects. 


Current Research Projects:

  • Evaluation of a Vicarious Trauma Management Program for staff working in the custodial and forensic environments: a pilot study

    Aim: Custodial and forensic mental health based staff may experience vicarious trauma as a result of chronic and cumulative exposure to traumatic material in their professional role. This study aims to determine the incidence of vicarious trauma in custodial and forensic mental health staff. The study further aims to evaluate a vicarious trauma management program: the Vicarious Trauma in the Workplace (VTinW) Program.
  • Forensic Mental Health Nurses’ experience of participating in a clinical supervision program

    Aim: Clinical supervision provides a framework for formal facilitated reflection on professional practice within the provisions of a supportive supervisor-supervisee relationship. The research aims to describe the experience of Forensic Mental Health Nurses participating in a clinical supervision program.
  • Forensic Mental Health Nurse exposure to workplace trauma and its impact for individuals and organisations: a study of a high-security in-patient facility

    Aim: Workplace trauma for Forensic Mental Health Nurses (FMHNs) includes exposure to traumatic events (both directly and observed) and to traumatic material (both in written and auditory format) in their professional role. The research aims to explore the incidence and impact of FMHN exposure to workplace trauma on an organisational and individual level.


Claire Newman

Senior Research Officer

Phone: 02 9700 3831 Email: