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NetworkZ Team

The NetworkZ team is a large group of multiprofessional people with a shared interest in patient safety and simulation-based education. Our team continues to grow with more Faculty Instructors training throughout the country from all the disciplines. You will be seeing some of these people at your DHB as we work with you to roll out NetworkZ.

The main faculty are:

Professor Jennifer Weller - Project Director

Jennifer has expertise in medical education, an international reputation in simulation-based education, and has established an online master’s programme in clinical education. She is head of the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education at the University of Auckland and a specialist anaesthetist at Auckland City Hospital.

Professor Ian Civil - Professor of Surgery, Trauma and Vascular Surgeon

Ian is a past President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons with extensive involvement in postgraduate teaching and is Clinical Leader for the Health Quality and Safety Commission's Safe Surgery NZ programme.

Dr Jane Torrie - Director, Simulation Centre for Patient Safety, UoA and Senior Consultant Anaesthetist

Jane has extensive experience and research on teamwork with multi-disciplinary healthcare teams. Jane will coordinate the development and testing of new scenarios in orthopaedic, urology, plastics, and ENT surgical teams, develop the resource package for delivering scenarios and assist with production of supporting educational materials.

Professor Alan Merry - Professor of Anaesthesia

Alan works with senior management and senior clinicians in DHBs and stakeholders including the Health Safety and Quality Commission (HQSC), ACC and the Ministry of Health, medical and nursing colleges and patient advocacy groups to embed the concept of ongoing simulation-based training for teams to improve patient safety.


Kaylene Henderson - Programme Manager

Kaylene has had a long involvement with simulation planning and training and recently worked with Prof. Weller on a nationwide project for the HQSC Safe Surgery NZ programme. Her role includes project management, course development and training. This includes Instructor Training and ongoing support and coordinating the cohort implementation at DHBs.


 Dr Jenny Sinclair - Research Fellow

Jenny has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and experience conducting and writing research reports for academic audiences and health services. Jenny has a PhD in applied psychology, considering the role of social norms and social networks in pro-environmental behaviours. Her previous work experience includes research, evaluation in health and social programmes and workforce development in the health sector.

 Professor Sandy Garden - Specialist Anaesthetist 

Sandy is a specialist anaesthetist at Wellington Hospital and an adjunct Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University. Sandy has more than 20 years involvement in the use of simulation in patient safety education.



 Stephanie Beckett - Simulation Technician

Stephanie has joined the team as a Simulation Technician with education, logistics and convening as her strong interests. Stephanie is a Registered Anaesthetic Technician who brings with her 10 years of experience working at various hospitals across the country. She was first introduced to simulation training by the military during her years as a Medic in the Royal New Zealand Navy.


 Pete Higgins - Simulation Technician

Originally from Portsmouth in the UK and has worked in operating theatres for 18 years in various roles. Training as an Operating Department Practitioner in 2009, specialising in scrub and anaesthetics. In 2015 Pete moved to New Zealand and became a Registered Anaesthetic Technician. First exposed to simulation while studying at the University of Portsmouth and immediately saw the immense value in it, particularly as a practical learner. Pete’s main interests are in the education, moulage and technical aspects of the role.



Sumudu Weerakoon - Project Administrator 

Sumudu joined the team recently and brings 10+ years administration experience with her. In her previous role she worked as an Executive Assistant to CEO in an Ethnic Centred Primary Health Care. Her role involves facilitating administrative services to the team and she act as the point of admin contact for Networkz courses. 



Jacinta Morrison - Simulation Assistant

Jacinta has years of clinical OR nursing experience and an enthusiasm for improving patient safety. As a Team Leader in a busy OR department she is at home co-ordinating complex multi-disciplinary events. She has a diverse role in the team that exemplifies her experience offering technical support.





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