If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

My main current research interest is to further identify and define the barriers and facilitators to returning to pre-injury function for those with chronic injuries and disease in the vocational rehabilitation and injury compensation setting.

Field(s) of expertise include designing interventions to help identify barriers and facilitate return to work and function for those with musculoskeletal injury. Historical areas of expertise include higher order cognitive domains such as attentional control, selective attention, and inhibition.

Supervision interests

Current (2016-2017) supervision interests include projects at Honours or PhD level that seek to further understand and identify factors that may be associated with prolonged recovery and return to work following musculoskeletal injury or disease (e.g. cancer, arthritis, etc). The unpredictable duration and nature of recovery from physical (e.g. musculoskeletal) injury or disease challenges vocational rehabilitation sector goals around facilitating functional recovery and return to work for these individuals. If we are to develop more individualised, targeted rehabilitation programs and interventions that have a greater chance of facilitating recovery, we first need toidentify the factors associated with prolonged recovery and work absence, and then work with those that are amenable to change.


I am currently working as a senior research fellow at MUARC (a consultancy role through ISCRR) on a project led by Andrea DeSilva (CEO) and Kate Gibson that involves contributing to the development of evidence 'snapshots' to inform WorkSafe's Strategy 2030.

Another current project, conducted in collaboration with Professor Ian Cameron of the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, and A/Prof Venerina Johnston of University of Queensland, aims to develop and evaluate a prototype App that can be used by the Motor Accident Authority (MAA) in NSW to facilitate recovery and to minimise the risk of prolonged disability for those who have sustained non-catastrophic motor vehicle accident injuries. The project seeks to develop and evaluate the prototype ofa purpose-designed, interactive ‘Fast-Track Recovery’ Application (App). The App will identify, using an e-screening tool, those who have lower levels of self-efficacy around managing their return to health. It will engage, educate and enable the injured client by identifying personal strengths that may aid recovery, and raising awareness of current barriers that may hamper recovery. It will also encourage goal setting, communication and problem solving to overcome barriers.

Background: After completing my PhD in 1999 at Monash, I went on to complete a 2 year post-doctoral position with Professor Kimron Shapiro at the University of Wales in the area of selective attention and cognition. After moving back to Melbourne, Australia in 2002 I was employed by the School of Psychology at Monash as a lecturer. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009. My position involved teaching and postgraduate student supervision within the general domains neuropsychology and neuroscience. Major responsibilities included deputy coordination of the undergraduate Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience (BBNSc) degree, coordination and teaching of units within the degree and within mainstream Psychology, 4th year Psychology coordination responsibilities. Major research achievements included CIA role on a successful ARC Grant worth $150,000 over 3 years (2004-2006): Ageing and the allocation of selective attention over time: behavioural, neurophysiological and neuroanatomical correlates. I also successfully supervised (as main, joint or associate supervisor) over 8 PhD students and 8 Professional Doctorate (Neuropsychology) students during my employment, and 1-3 Honours students each year. 

Another recent project involved implementing a NHMRC-funded project that focused on work-related driving safety culture. The project entitled 'Work-related Road Traffic Injury: Managing the Risk' involves close collaboration with the Chief Investigators, notably Dr Sharon Newnam and Professor Mark Stevenson of MUARC (among others) and was designed to identify the characteristics of organisations with work-related drivers that can help to prevent work-related road traffic injury. The results stand to directly impact the majority of Australian work-force who spend time on our roads for work-related purposes.

Since moving from the School of Psychology at Monash to MUARC I have developed an interest in the broad area of injury outcomes. In particular, I am interested in further identifying and defining the barriers and facilitators to returning to pre-injury function for those with chronic injuries in the injury compensation setting. I intend to pursue this interest in the coming years and look forward to making a major contribution to this field.

External positions

Senior research fellow, IPAR Rehabilitation

1 Mar 2016 → …


  • Rehabilitation/Therapy, Emotional/Social
  • Return to Work
  • Injury outcomes
  • Disability prevention
  • Compensation (injury)
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Screening Tests
  • Chronic Disease Management

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2004 2020

Research Output 1996 2018

Attentional Mechanisms in Autism, ADHD, and Autism-ADHD Using a Local–Global Paradigm

Gargaro, B. A., May, T., Tonge, B. J., Sheppard, D. M., Bradshaw, J. L. & Rinehart, N. J., 1 Dec 2018, In : Journal of Attention Disorders. 22, 14, p. 1320-1332 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Effectiveness of Workplace Interventions in Return-to-Work for Musculoskeletal, Pain-Related and Mental Health Conditions: An Update of the Evidence and Messages for Practitioners

Cullen, K. L., Irvin, A. E., Collie, A., Clay, F., Gensby, U., Jennings, P. A., Hogg-Johnson, S., Kristman, V., Laberge, M., McKenzie, D., Newnam, S., Palagyi, A., Ruseckaite, R., Sheppard, D. M., Shourie, S., Steenstra, I. A., Van Eerd, D. & Amick III, B. C., Mar 2018, In : Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 28, 1, p. 1-15 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

A new approach to managing work-related road traffic injury: The development of a health investment framework

Warmerdam, A., Newnam, S., Sheppard, D., Griffin, M. & Stevenson, M., 18 Aug 2017, In : Traffic Injury Prevention. 18, 6, p. 631-635 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Do management practices support or constrain safe driving behaviour? A multi-level investigation in a sample of occupational drivers

Newnam, S., Warmerdam, A., Sheppard, D., Griffin, M. & Stevenson, M., 1 May 2017, In : Accident Analysis and Prevention. 102, p. 101-109 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Workplace road safety risk management: An investigation into Australian practices

Warmerdam, A., Newnam, S., Sheppard, D., Griffin, M. & Stevenson, M., 2017, In : Accident Analysis and Prevention. 98, p. 64-73 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review