Giving continuity to the work of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies (CTSS)

We are very pleased to welcome two new staff – Dr Ellie Lawrence-Wood and Ms Jenelle Baur, who have recently joined us from the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies (CTSS).


Phoenix Australia and CTSS have a long history of collaboration. CTSS has been a revered research centre in posttraumatic mental health and veteran and military mental health, and we are excited to integrate the exceptional knowledge and research experience of Ellie and Jenelle, and to enable the continuation of CTSS’ existing longitudinal cohort studies.


Our long-standing collaborations include longitudinal research studies such as the Injury Vulnerability Study for injury patients and the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme for recently transitioned members of the Australian Defence Force.


Professor Alexander (Sandy) McFarlane is also joining us as an honorary Professorial Fellow. Sandy was the Director of CTSS and is one of Australia’s leading researchers in the area of posttraumatic stress, and we will be profiling his contribution to the field in our next newsletter.


Dr Lawrence-Wood and Ms Baur have joined Dr Mark Hinton in our Adelaide office, while continuing their adjunct positions with the University of Adelaide. Their research intersects with much of Phoenix Australia’s research – such as the 28-year-long study following the Ash Wednesday bushfires and their many studies in veteran and military mental health. Their experience and skills will be much valued by the rest of the research team.


Ellie worked with CTSS for eight years, commencing on the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) Prospective Study, a large-scale longitudinal project focussing on the impacts of deployment to the MEAO on the health of ADF personnel, which has recently been continued through the Impact of Combat Study. She was responsible for the Mothers in the MEAO project, aimed at understanding the specific health and psychosocial wellbeing impacts of deployment for Australian mothers who have deployed to the MEAO. She has particular interests in working with combat samples as well as investigating the effects of stress in healthy people.


Ellie is interested to learn more about Phoenix Australia’s training for people working with trauma-affected populations, as she can see the intersection with her volunteer work with the Operation Flinders Foundation, a South Australian based charitable organisation that runs a wilderness adventure program for young people at risk.


Jenelle worked with CTSS for more than 12 years, and before that at the Australasian Centre for Policing Research. Her particular expertise is in the collection, management and analysis of data, which she has utilised in many CTSS research studies. She is looking forward to contributing to future Phoenix Australia research programs, and to working within a large and energetic research team.


We are gratified to enable a continuation of the work that Ellie and Jenelle have done through CTSS, and we are fortunate to be able to benefit in an ongoing way from their exceptional knowledge and expertise. I wholeheartedly welcome them to Phoenix Australia, and look forward to our work together. Professor David Forbes, Director.