The Collaborative Evaluation Unit (CEU) Team

Associate Professor Joanne Porter


Joanne is the Director of the Collaborative Evaluation Unit (CEU). She has guided the development of the CEU, managed a number of evaluations, and worked with industry partners including Gippsland Primary Health Network, Latrobe City Council, GippSport and Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENS).

Joanne is an experienced emergency nurse having worked in metropolitan, rural and remote emergency care centres. Joanne is a Fellow with the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia (CENA) and is a board member on the Victorian branch of CENA. She brings with her a career of clinical, research and leadership expertise.

Dr Michael Barbagallo

Deputy Director

Michael’s research interests include bioscience education, learning and teaching and reflective practices in health care.

He has extensive research experience in data collection and analysis techniques along with multiple publications in peer reviewed journals.

Michael is an active member of the CEU, working on a number of evaluations and with industry partners including Latrobe City Council and Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLEN).

Valerie Prokopiv

Research Fellow

Valerie has extensive local knowledge and networks within Latrobe and is vital to community engagement success. She has a high level of administrative experience and is proficient at report writing and distribution. She has experience in marketing and public relations, development of web and print content including editing and finance management.

Val has extensive expertise as a research assistant working on a number of projects with Federation University on the Hazelwood Health study, and RMIT working with the Centre for People, Organisations and Work as a field researcher.

Dr Vaughan Reimers

Vaughan’s expertise lies in the field of marketing, covering a wide range of areas including retailing, sports marketing, permission email marketing, green marketing, demarketing (eg. smoking cessation) and marketing in the educational sector.

He has significant expertise and extensive experience in conducting studies that focus on stakeholder needs, studies requiring large samples, survey design, sample selection and research software such as Survey Monkey.

Vaughan is regularly employed/engaged by external stakeholders to help 'translate' complex academic concepts and content into a 'language' that practitioners can understand and implement.

Michelle James

Michelle completed her Bachelor of Psychology with honours from Monash University in 2017, specialising in addiction research.

She conducted a qualitative study of alcohol and other drug use among young people in collaboration with Turning Point alcohol and drug centre in Fitzroy, which she presented she presented at the International Conference for Undergraduate Research.

Michelle has extensive knowledge of research procedures including quantitative and qualitative research methodology, sample selection, critical analysis, comprehensive report writing and compliance with confidentiality and informed consent requirements.

Elissa Dabkowski

Elissa worked as a private practice physiotherapist in the Gippsland community for 14 years after completing her degree at Latrobe University Bundoora. Elissa decided to change careers to become a registered nurse, with the view of becoming a midwife. Having finished her nursing degree with a GPA of 7.0, Elissa was awarded the Federation University Medal in 2018 for outstanding academic excellence.

Elissa discovered a love for research, which led her to successfully complete a Bachelor of Honours in nursing, in which she achieved first class honours.