Message from the ASSH Chair - October 2014

Dear ASSH Members,

As of 20th September 2014, I have handed over the ASSH Chair position to Stephanie O’Regan who assumes this role until September 2016. The change to a 2 year cycle for such positions aligns ASSH with other Simulation Australia specialist communities and the newer Terms of Reference. I wish Stephanie all the best with this role – ASSH is in very capable hands with Stephanie providing leadership of the ASSH executive committee members. I will be continuing in the supportive Immediate Past Chair role for the next 12 months.

As flagged during the ASSH members meeting (at SimHealth 2014), I would describe my term as Chair as one of substantial consolidation of the core elements of the Society’s vision and mission. My Chair report to ASSH members is available by clicking here. One key output from the last 2 years, is the report from the health simulation research summit which Debra Nestel presented at SimHealth and will soon be published. If you would like an interim draft of this report please email who will forward you a copy on behalf of Professor Debra Nestel and the team.

In early July Stephanie, Debra and I represented ASSH at a meeting of the Global Network for Simulation in Healthcare (GNSH) in Edinburgh. Forty one people attended, representing healthcare simulation groups from the USA, Canada, Australia, Korea, Brazil, Sweden, Denmark and Europe in general (SESAM). Leaders from 9 simulation related businesses were invited for the first time which provided different and unique benefits for strategizing outcomes as the group matures. Overall the purpose of the GNSH is:

“To connect all sectors of the healthcare simulation community and to enhance value through shared vision, resources, and tools.”

Deliverables were agreed following discussions of the most ‘pressing issues’ where tangible benefits could be realised globally for both established and emerging simulation groups. Through an iterative process, three workgroups were formed to address the following areas:
Workgroup A
Develop content/ tools to support the business case for simulation
Workgroup B
Develop information and tactics connecting simulation to quality and safety
Workgroup C
Develop a communication and information package and strategy

Work is underway with Stephanie contributing to workgroup A and me contributing to workgroup B. The work will be advanced during a session at the annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in New Orleans in January. Stephanie, Kirsty Freeman and I will be attending the conference (and the GNSH meeting). So stay tuned for further updates about this portfolio of work. I can say that the Australian healthcare simulation voice is well regarded and respected amongst this group, and working with such representatives is truly a privilege.

The success of SimHealth and SimTecT is evident from the feedback Kirsty and the organising committee have received verbally and via social media. Congratulations again to Kirsty Freeman (SimHealth Convener) and Jenny Weller (SimHealth Scientific Convener) for their hard work in leading the respective committees and reviewers to provide a conference which had so much pizazz and buzz. A note from Kirsty about 2015:

“As always we are after your input and the Organising Committee are now calling for EOIs to join the 2015 Scientific Review Committee. In order to lodge your interest we require a short paragraph outlining what you would bring to the role to be emailed to by 7 November 2014.

And so I hand over to Stephanie for the next phase of ASSH’s growth, to continue the leadership the Society offers in Australia and internationally.

Kind regards,


Michelle Kelly

Immediate Past Chair - Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare (ASSH)


Dear fellow ASSH Members,

As Michelle Kelly's time as Chair of ASSH draws to a close I would like to take this opportunity to thank her  for her commitment, energy and wise stewardship over the past year. I follow her with pride (and I'll admit a little trepidation) and hope that I am able fulfil the role as well as she. Be assured that Michelle will remain in advisory role to the chair to ensure that any speed bumps are negotiated safely.

My name is Stephanie O'Regan and I have been a member of ASSH since the society's formation as a special interest group of the Simulation Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), the society now known as Simulation Australia. I have seen ASSH grow from a very small health group to a strong and influential specialist community, providing advice and representation to the Australian government and the international simulation agenda.

As societies like ASSH evolve and grow, challenges are encountered which can either make them stronger or damage core infrastructure and commitment.  ASSH has encountered a number of these challenges over the years and has, I believe, emerged stronger in the process. Michelle Kelly, our retiring chair has spent the last 12 months refining and consolidating ASSH's position both nationally and internationally and has set us on a clear road map for the near future. 

During my acceptance of the role of chair at the recent SimHealth meeting, I borrowed heavily from Tuckmann and spoke of ASSH having been through a "forming, storming and norming" process led ably by our former chairs and I believe Michelle commenced a new phase of "performing" which I plan to continue.  But the performance of ASSH requires not only leadership from the committee but a strong involvement of the ASSH membership in the processes, drivers and direction of ASSH. Over the next few months I will be calling on you to become involved in, or to provide advice to, the portfolios, special interest groups and committees (please see below) which will continue to shape ASSH.  I hope that you will embrace the opportunity to have your say about what will continue to make ASSH the community that you as members want.

As my first official chair duty I have the great pleasure in announcing that Kirsty Freeman has been elected by the committee into the role of Deputy Chair.  Many of you will know Kirsty from her role as Conference Convener for SimHealth in 2014 and again for 2015. The other ASSH Committee members recently elected are Laurea Atkinson, Melanie Barlow, Dylan Campher, Robert O’Brien, Phil Truskett, Tess Vawser and Jennifer Weller. We are your elected representatives so please do not hesitate to contact one of us if you feel there is an issue, concern or idea that needs to be considered by the team.

I look forward to spending the next 2 years in your service.


Stephanie O’Regan
Chair - Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare (ASSH)

***Have a voice & join an ASSH Special Interest Group, Task force or Portfolio***

Communications and Publications
In order to provide the ASSH community with the latest opportunities, news and events we which to develop a regular publication.  This task force will have state based coordinators whose role is to source simulation activities and new items within Australia and internationally and develop the contents for this publication for our membership.  We are seeking the state based representatives for this task force.

Research Documents
Research documents are important for both the ASSH executive committee and the ASSH community. This task force's responsibility is to keep ASSH abreast of current evidence and position papers and as such will gather and recommend documents for SimNET Reference documents, inquiries and position papers. 

Master Classes and Webinars
Master Classes and Webinars are provided several times a year for Simulation Australia membership.  ASSH leads the development of the health offerings in this program.  The aim of this task is to develop an annual program, set dates and locations and secure speakers who meet the membership’s needs.

Student Engagement
Student health practitioners and simulation users are the future simulation leaders.  This task force aims to increase student engagement with Simulation Australia and develop strategies to encourage more student members.

Simulation Week
Simulation Week is one week per year where simulation providers are encouraged to publicise their work with simulation.  This task force will support the health aspects of Simulation Week, lead in coordinating state-based activities and events and support the simulation community in their participation in the event.

If you are interested in joining any of these task forces or portfolios then please email