Senior Staff Biographies
Dr Shamus Shepherd -DEM
I completed my advanced training in Liverpool Hospital, Sydney before moving to Orange in early 2016 and have been the Director since January 2017. I am a keen advocate for point of care ultrasound in Emergency, and run a number of workshops throughout the year for local clinicians. I also have an interest in how human factors and cognitive biases affect our performance as healthcare providers. As the Director, I am keen on ensuring our department is a respectful, professional workplace that provides excellent care to our patients and is a fun place to work. I’m very proud of the team we have assembled in Orange and the innovative, progressive approach we have to the ever increasing challenges of rural emergency medicine..
Dr Colin Dibble
MBChB(Hons) DipIMC FRCSEd FRCEM FACEM
Born and bred in Zimbabwe. qualified from University of Zimbabwe (where I am from originally) in 1994. And after the usual 2 years as intern/JMO went out to the rural areas for 4 years doing everything alone; a tremendous, scary, experience. I also did pre-hospital for the City of Harare Fire & Ambulance service and fixed wing retrieval with MARS (Medical Air Rescue Service).
I moved to UK in 2000 and completed emergency specialist training in the North West region in April 2008. I have instructed on ALS, APLS and ATLS courses. I have a particular interest in Trauma.
I came to Orange in 2013 and from March 2014 to Feb 2016 was Director of Emergency Medicine. I love the country way of life and friendly town and people.
I am married to a Physiotherapist and I have 4 children, a photographer and a keen on-road and off-road cyclist and a Blackbelt Shodan in Goju Ryu Karate (IOGKF). I am a Level 1 Cycling Australia Coach and Commissaire.
Dr Greg Button
BSc BVMS MBBS FACEM
I have been practicing medicine on humans for 16 years (10 years of that in emergency medicine) after 10 years of veterinary medicine (old bumper sticker – “real doctors treat more than one species” - comes to mind). I have been serving in the army for 16 years and in retrieval medicine for 8 years and have an interest in trauma particularly in difficult situations with limited resources. I am now moving into the field of education in emergency medicine and prehospital medicine. Outside of work my interests include my horses, obstacle racing, outdoor (adrenaline inducing) pursuits and farming.
Dr Sally Clunas
I have been working part-time as an ED physician in the department since 2013. I first came to Orange to work as an intern straight after graduating from UNSW. Aside from the cold weather, I loved the town and the hospital and hoped to return eventually. I then did my ED training in Galway, Dublin, Newcastle and Maitland before eventually heading back to Orange.
I enjoy the camaraderie of the ED and the variety of the workload, in particular toxicology. Currently all my non-work time seems to be monopolised by entertaining little children (which is both fun and challenging) and drinking coffee (which is just fun).
Dr Fergal McCourt
MBChB BAO MSc FACEM
Born and bred in Dublin, I moved to Australia to undertake Emergency Medicine training and to be closer to the sun.
I work as an Emergency Physician in both Sydney and Orange and am also a Prehospital and Retrieval Medicine Specialist with Sydney HEMS.
In work I consider myself to be in a privileged position, not only because OHS functions at such a high level but especially because of the people I work with.
Outside of work, I keep fit by kayaking and running and am growing ever more obsessed with motorcycle riding at the track.
Dr Nikki Grant-CoDEMT
Orange has been my home since 2013 – when I decided to make the move from Inner West Sydney for a treechange.
Having grown up in country NSW near Mullumbimby – there was always a calling for me to move back to a regional centre. It was only when I started flying in / flying out doing some VMO work here in Orange & appreciating how much I loved the work here - that I decided that this is where I would settle.
Orange ED is a fantastic place to work. A perfect pace of workload, interesting patient mix – with a good caseload of trauma and colleagues that I love working alongside.
I have a love of rural medicine and have been proud to be part of the team that has developed Orange ED into an accredited training centre for ACEM registrars and am currently the co-DEMT alongside Ruby Hsu.
In my downtime – I get to enjoy my yoga and running – the perfect compliment to a hard day at the office & hanging out with my hubby and 2 cats.
Dr Ruby Hsu -CoDEMT
Born with wanderlust in a small town in Taiwan, I came to Australia for medical school and found myself drawn to Orange as an intern to experience broader general training. Emergency Medicinehas been the one and only choice for me as it is rarely dull and allows me to go places including various tertiary facilities and prehospital services in Australia and UK.
I returned to Orange as I am fond of the people, the humanity and the interesting work at this well-functioned rural centre. To keep me awake, I also work in St George Hospital as an EM physician and as a prehospital and Retrieval Medicine Specialist with Sydney HEMS.
Dr Grant Westcott
BSc MBBS FACEM
Having grown up in the local area and completed three years of junior doctor training in Orange, I happily returned to the area as an Emergency Physician in 2016. The bulk of the last 10 years was spent in Western Australia where I completed specialist training, got married and started a family. Prior to this I did six months of registrar training in Galway, Ireland and also had the unique experience of being a doctor on a couple of cruise ships – a treasury of interesting stories!
The camaraderie and team nature of Emergency Medicine is what keeps it fun, with constant potential for new experiences and learning. I have a keen interest medical education at all levels, and particularly enjoy getting my hands dirty with orthopaedic emergencies.
Outside of work I have three very small children so I’m not sure what my other interests are anymore…. good music, good food, good wine and the great outdoors seem to have been usurped by spaghetti bolognaise and a constant search for playgrounds with coffee.
Dr Clare Richmond
MBBS BSci(Med Sci) DipIMC FACEM
An Emergency Physician with interests in both Pre-Hosptial and Retrieval medicine and Simulation Education. Orange Health Service ED is a department which has a great mix of staff and patients; it's always a welcoming place, either to come to work with a fantastic team, or drop a patient off for continued patient care.
I also work with Sydney HEMS, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Canterbury Hospital. In my spare time I do yoga, run and have a puppy - Archie.
Dr Fiona Stewart
B.Med (Newcastle) Grad Cert Public Health FACEM
After spending all my school years in Orange, I left to go to Uni (Newcastle) as a teenager with a plan never to return... That is until I realised what an amazing town it was, offering everything I could want - good food, wine, coffee, lifestyle and work environment (things I didn't appreciate in my teens). So I returned in 2015 to complete my Emergency training, having spent my earlier post-graduate years in Tamworth and Perth.
I haven't looked back since. I love the variety of Emergency medicine and the team environment (an aspect that is particularly excellent in Orange!). I completed my fellowship in early 2017 and am glad I now have more time for teaching (especially simulation based learning) and even more study (why???) having commenced a Diploma in Medical Toxicology.
In my free time I like to share my business equally between my 4 favourite coffee shops and a couple of wine bars - all within a 5 min walk from my house. By coincidence I also enjoy walking, but love to hit the gym for more of a challenge. Also in my free time, as a bonus for those I work with, I enjoy baking and usually bring some homemade goodies when on a shift. Otherwise all my time is now occupied learning how to be responsible for another human being (having timed parenthood well - commencing one week after I finally completed my fellowship!!).
Dr Mel Berry
B Med B Med Rad B Hlth Sci (Hons) FACEM
I’m one of the newer members of the team becoming a FACEM in August 2017. Graduating from University of Newcastle in 2006. I first discovered Orange Hospital as a bush bursary student in 2003. After 2 weeks I knew wanted to move here one day. Great lifestyle, lovely people, great food and wine.
I spent the majority of my training at RPA in Sydney. We (My husband, me and 2 kids) moved to Orange in 2015, to finish my training. I think the department is the “ finishing school” for advanced trainees, great cases, lots of trauma, lots of procedures and lots of practice with your management skills. I split my time between Orange ED and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, my areas of interest include paediatrics, simulation medicine and I like to work out the complex medical cases . In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with my kids and husband, running, planning our next overseas adventure, and considering whether we should buy acreage.
Dr Johanna Rudd
MBBS MPHTM DCH FACEM
I am the newest member to the Orange Hospital Emergency Consultant group.
I Grew up in Canberra, studied Medicine in Adelaide, and was an Intern at Gosford Hospital.
I started Emergency Medicine Training at Royal North Shore Hospital, but got tired of big city medicine and moved to Darwin in 2017 for something different. In the Northern Territory, I was lucky enough to work as a retrieval doctor for CareFlight in the best job in the world.
I have a secret love for tropical medicine and public health, and after completing a MPH through James Cook University, spent some time working in Papua New Guinea.
I moved to Orange in 2018 as a Senior Registrar and finished my training with the help of the brilliant Emergency Consultants at Orange Hospital. Despite the cold weather and distance to the beach, I love living and working in Orange. I plan to do more retrieval medicine in Western NSW in the coming years, and hopefully more overseas work in the future.
Dr Julian Cochrane
B.Sc MBBS MPHTM FACEM
Born and bred in Orange, I returned to Orange in 2018 after two decades away to be closer to family, and to enjoy a quieter, colder life.
I studied medicine in Canberra, then spent a year practising emergency medicine in Cork, Ireland before moving to Newcastle in Australia with my wife to begin my formal Emergency training. I discovered a love for pre-hospital medicine in Newcastle, and enjoyed three years working for the Hunter Retrieval Service, and Westpac Rescue Helicopter. I also completed my EM training in 2017 and a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. However, two children came along, and with it exhaustion and ill-temper, prompting a move back to Orange to be closer to grandparents (aka. babysitters).
I am a VMO in Orange ED, a consultant with the vCare telemedicine service, and a consultant with the Orange Retrieval Service. I now spend my leisure time (I finally have some!!) riding my bike, hitting golf balls into trees, and ploughing through Netflix series. Life in Orange is good.