Our people

Dr John Ellingham

Medical Director

Dr John Ellingham is a VMO (Visiting Medical Officer) medical specialist Anaesthetist. He works in private and public practice, is Canberra based, and was one of the founders of the first private practice group in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory).  John is a Monash University medical graduate and has trained and worked in Anaesthesia and Critical Care in Australia (including Royal Prince Alfred, Royal North Shore, and Westmead Children’s Hospitals).  Overseas he has worked in the United States (as a staff specialist at Duke University) and (as a Cardiothoracic Fellow) in South Korea.

Major subspecialty interests are preoperative assessment using information systems, medical simulation (including the use of Augmented and Virtual Reality environments, retrieval medicine and anaesthesia for cardiothoracic surgery.  Supporting these interests John has post graduate qualifications in Clinical Ultrasound and Information Technology.

Over a decade John completed more than 600 missions for the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Medical Retrieval Helicopter as a flight doctor.  He is a Navy Reserve Officer, has participated in exercises at sea, and is a military veteran having completed several operational deployments to the Middle East.

He has been a training supervisor and regional representative for ANZCA (The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists) with a long-term interest in education. Day to day he is involved in teaching for the ANU (Australian National University) and has been an examiner for the ANU Medical School.

John’s focus is squarely on what clinicians do every day. In this role John has been an invited and keynote speaker at many conferences. As a previous ACT Health Directorate advisor to the coroner, he has a unique and always educational perspective on things medical.


Simulation Trainer

Justin has transitioned into training having been a police officer for over 21 years serving in both the United Kingdom and Australia.

During his emergency service career, Justin was often first at an incident scene providing first aid and trauma care to members of the public and colleagues. Also working alongside paramedics, firefighters, SES and medical professionals, Justin has been involved in significant physical and mental trauma including road traffic collisions, assaults, homicides, shootings, stabbings, non-suspicious deaths (including overdoses and suicides), child abuse, sex offences and sex offender management.

Justin has been a training coordinator for officer safety and tactics and a qualified child interviewer. Justin also spent several years as a forensic liaison officer during post-mortem examinations, working with pathologists to identify causes of death. Justin also spent time as a family liaison officer, working with families impacted by homicide investigations. Justin considers his listening skills, empathy and compassion as some of his superpowers.

Justin is qualified with several advanced diplomas in work health & safety, leadership & management and public safety as well as diplomas in security & risk management and business. He is currently studying part-time for a diploma in emergency care to enhance his knowledge and skills further.

Justin relocated to Gladstone with his family and joins Real Response with a passion and energy to share his knowledge and experiences gained to better equip learners with confidence not just around first aid, but also incident scenes, people and environmental appreciation and management.

Justin enjoys watching TV, Formula 1, NRL, cricket, fitness, camping (caravanning ), DIY, gardening, fishing (even more so when he catches something) and wine.

Prof Bob Stone

XR and Human Factors Special Advisor

Robert (Bob) Stone is an independent consultant in Human-Centred Design, XR and related interactive technologies, with a career spanning over 40 years in both commercial and academic organisations.  Bob is the UK’s foremost authority on VR, AR and MR, having been active in the field since 1987, when he became the first European to experience the revolutionary VIEW VR system at NASA Ames in California.  Whilst at the UK’s National Advanced Robotics Research Centre, he established the world’s first collaborative industrial VR initiative.  In that same year, 1993, he helped establish the North of England Wolfson Centre for Minimally Invasive Therapy, where, courtesy of his academic background in Applied Psychology and Human Factors, he was responsible for the design of the world’s first laparoscopic cholecystectomy simulator MISTVR, which became the European de facto psychomotor skills trainer for well over a decade.


Bob’s Human Factors efforts were also instrumental in the development of a prototype mastoidectomy simulator, funded by the EU as part of a project called IERAPSI.  Between 1997 and 2005, he held the position of Director of Virtual Reality Studies for the North of England Wolfson Centre for Minimally Invasive Therapy (Manchester Royal Infirmary).    From 1999 to 2002, Bob sat on a working party on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons’ Joint Committee on Higher Surgical Training (JCHST) investigating the assessment of surgical training and competence.  In January 2000, he passed the Royal College of Surgeons of England’s Basic Surgical Skills course. 


Between 2005 and 2007, whilst holding a Chair in Interactive Multimedia Systems at the University of Birmingham, Bob was a Human Factors consultant to the US Office of Naval Research-funded Pulse!! Virtual Healthcare Project (collaborating with Texas A&M University Corpus Christi).  He has also acted in the role of ergonomics consultant to a MedLINK/DoH-sponsored project addressing the development of a new generation of endoscopic surgical support robots.  In 2003, decided to become an academic with the goal of introducing real-world lessons learned, stakeholder experiences and the importance of “impact” into VR research and teaching.  Today, and as a result of participating in the UK’s Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre (for which he was Research Director for five years), he works closely with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and various hospital trusts, researching the use of VR for post-operative restoration (exploiting virtual scenes of nature) and rehabilitation programmes for military and civilian patients in Intensive Care and a unique Mixed Reality solution for the training of future defence medics deployed as part of Medical Emergency Response Teams.  


Amongst his many awards, in 2011, Bob was awarded the MoD Chief Scientific Advisor’s Commendation for his contributions to Defence Science & Technology, the highest award given to an individual by that Governmental Department.  In July 2017, Bob and his previous University team were awarded the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network Innovative Team of the Year Award, in recognition of their achievements in the Virtual healthcare arena.  In March 2018, Bob was awarded the Inaugural West Midlands Tech Awards for Innovation in Medicine and Health, and he and his team were awarded the 2020 Innovation Award from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors for their Mixed Reality research in defence medicine.


There are several components that make Real Response stand out from the competition. Our simulation based first aid training methods are an obvious feature that is transforming first aid training methods in Australia. Another reason for our success is the determination to bridge the gap between basic knowledge assimilation and genuine first aid response capability. Underlying all our success and achievements however, are Real Response’s greatest resource of all; our highly trained, expert, and committed Real Response staff and instructors.

Students of any subject will agree that even the most interesting and exciting subject matter can become as dry as a dog biscuit when knowledge is imparted by an unenthusiastic tutor and delivered in monotone mumbles. On the other hand, boring material can be made interesting if the teacher is animated and enthusiastic. So, you can imagine the effect of life-changing first aid and CPR skills taught by industry experts using enhanced simulation training techniques. Our course participants become enlivened, engaged and excited to share their training journey, and confident to put practice into reality should they ever face a genuine emergency.

At Real Response, we believe in developing the maximum potential of course participants. Our success isn’t by chance, and we hand pick our staff according to their high attainments, intelligence, experience, personality and ability to impart knowledge that stands the test of time. Our instructors are humble as well as capable, so without naming names (check out our profiles page), here is a small sample of the expertise on your side when learning first aid skills delivered by the experts at Real Response.

  • Advanced Life Support Paramedic and Underwater Medic
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • Combat Paramedic
  • Fireman
  • Clinical Instructor and Personal Trainer
  • Community First Aid Response
  • Senior Medical Advisor
  • Paediatric Nurse
  • Teacher and Instructor
  • Lecturer and Ambulance Paramedic
  • First Aid Instructor

As you can imagine from the above list, our courses provide a comprehensive approach to first aid training. Real Response instructors are multi-skilled individuals who appreciate the increased emergency response capability of teamwork. That’s one reason we apply enhanced simulation training techniques in our courses. With simulation training, formerly only used in military, paramedic, police and medical training, our students are absorbed into realistic life-and-death situations requiring a timely emergency response.

Our style is catching on, with Real Response simulation training spreading from Melbourne to Sydney, and employers couldn’t be happier. At last, they have genuinely trained first aiders on standby, ready to act at a moment’s notice to save lives. Even introductory course attainments at Real Response can make a huge difference in emergency response, while also developing character and confidence in our course participants. For example, Provide First Aid (HLTAID011), one of our foundational courses, imparts knowledge and skills that include:

  • Provide CPR to an adult, child and infant
  • Airway management and artificial respiration
  • Automatic External Defibrillation (AED)
  • Respiratory emergencies including anaphylaxis
  • Management of bleeding plus bandaging
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Head and spinal injuries
  • Strokes, diabetes and seizures

There are a lot of skills learnt in only 1 or 2 days of training, providing an indication of just how easy the techniques are to learn when knowledge is imparted by Real Response staff and instructors. With Real Response, the attainments remain fresh until time for renewal of qualifications, providing a consistently high level of emergency response.

We offer accredited training all over Australia through private and public courses and online via Zoom. Our head office is in Melbourne at 117 Wellington Street, St Kilda, VIC, 3182. Additionally, we have staffed offices in Sydney (135-153 New South Head Road, Edgecliff, NSW, 2027), Geelong (185 Malop Street, Geelong, VIC, 3220), and Gladstone (114b Hanson Rd, Gladstone Central QLD 4680). We offer private training all around Australia, and public courses are available at our offices in St Kilda, Geelong, and Gladstone, as well as at Adelaide University in SA, Harris Park and Redfern NSW, and Chisholm ACT. We are constantly expanding our course locations, with more locations coming soon.