The KJ McPherson Education and Research Foundation

KJM logoA Trust was founded in 1987 as a memorial to Kenneth James (Jim) McPherson and now operates as a Foundation which commemorates all Queensland Ambulance officers who have given their lives in the call of duty. The Foundation is a not for profit entity working to identify research opportunities for officers of the Queensland Ambulance Service.

The purpose of the Foundation is to promote pre-hospital care research activities that contribute directly to improving patient care. The Foundation achieves this by making a major grant and other grants and awards available to Officers of the Queensland Ambulance Service. The Foundation funds these grants through sponsorships and donations.

The resulting research contributes to quality patient outcomes by improving clinical practice and response systems through research.

In 2005 Major General Professor John Pearn AO, KStJ, RFD accepted the role of Patron of the Foundation. MAJGEN Pearn is a highly respected and high profile practitioner, author and academic, who brings professional credibility to the Foundation and ensures that the Foundation’s objectives remain aligned with the prehospital research agenda.

The Foundation raises money by way of gifts (donations and bequests) and sponsorships. Your donation will help equip Queensland Ambulance Service Paramedics with educational and research skills over and above the already high standards provided by conventional funding.

Your financial support will help Queensland Ambulance Service provide world class outcomes in pre-hospital emergency care by providing the additional funding to place Queensland at the cutting edge of research and education. Core areas such as injury and major trauma, road accidents and cardiac arrest are prime focus areas of research and education.

About Kenneth James McPherson

KJM photoIn 1987 a Queensland Ambulance Officer, aged 27, lost his life in an Aerial Ambulance Crash in Bundaberg. His name was Kenneth James (Jim) McPherson. Jim embodied the qualities of the men and women who are the Paramedics in Queensland Ambulance Service today – compassionate, accountable, respectful, ethical, responsible and sensitive.

Jim demonstrated a strong commitment to training, education and research. The KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation was established in his name to provide opportunities for research and education into pre-hospital care that would provide better patient outcomes.

Eulogy for Kenneth John McPherson - Jim's father and former Deputy Commissioner QAS (1 February 2008)

Our Patron

Major General, Professor John Hemsley PEARN AO, KStJ, RFD

John PearnProfessor Pearn is a prominent Australian who has assisted and supported ambulance clinical services for more than five decades. The Foundation approached Professor Pearn to accept the role of Patron and he graciously accepted.

Professor Pearn is a leader in the field of Paediatrics and Child Health. His research is widely published. Major General John Pearn has served as Surgeon General in the Australian Defence Force and has extensive experience in clinical practice, clinical research, academic systems, military and civilian health services and third world disaster response.

A distinguished practitioner, academic and military doctor –John Pearn achieved first-class honours in medicine and also graduated in science. He joined the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps in 1965.

As a Doctor - Professor Pearn is a senior clinician based at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and a former senior academic in the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland.

He established the first hospital genetics clinics in Queensland at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Royal Women’s Hospital in 1974.

He holds triple higher doctorates in medicine, science and philosophy and is a Fellow of some eleven international professional medical organisations.

Professor Pearn’s clinical interests encompass general paediatrics, medical genetics, clinical toxicology, tropical medicine, accident prevention and safety promotion.

He has a distinguished career in Child Health and this has earned him international acclaim and respect as a World Leading authority in his discipline.

As an Academic – Professor Pearn is a prolific producer of cutting edge research in Child Health, general Medicine and in Medical History. He has published over 700 articles advancing medical science, both singularly and with co-authors and some 60 books and booklets. He is also a mentor to his students.

As a Soldier – Major General Pearn is a former Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force. He has served in Vietnam (1966-67) and Papua New Guinea (1978). He has studied, worked and served in U.N. (with the British Parachute Regiment), in the Arctic Circle and in the post-genocide emergency in Rwanda in 1994 and 1995.

He responded to the Sepik tsunami, which affected New Guinea in July 1998; and subsequently served as the physician and intensivist as a member of the Queensland Health team who responded to the tsunami in Banda Aceh in December 2004.

He has also worked with the World Health Organisation and UNESCO.

Major General Pearn is one of the founders and later President, of both the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Human Genetics.

Professor Pearn gives very generously of his time to volunteer organisations and has been heavily involved in St John Ambulance for many years, firstly as a Medical Officer and later District Surgeon. He served for ten years as the National Director of Training for St John and for 15 years as, the President of St John in Queensland.

Some of John Pearn’s other big passions and interests include:

  • Human Genetics Society of Australia
  • Royal Life Saving Society of Australia
  • Rotary International
  • Scouting Association
  • The Australian Resuscitation Council of Australia

He is Patron of:

  • Australian Water transport Association Queensland and
  • National Patron of the United Nations Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Veterans Association
  • Since 2013 he has served as national president of Scouts Australia

He was awarded:

  • Queensland Father of the year in 1994.
  • University of Queensland Alumnus of the Year in 2004.
  • Queensland Senior Citizen of the year 2005 – for his contribution to the medical profession and the Queensland community.

He has been awarded a string of more than 40 awards, academic medals, campaign medals and service decorations, including that of Officer of the Order of Australia, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St John and the Centenary Medal – for services to the Nation.

Professor Pearn’s commitment to medicine and particularly Pre-Hospital Emergency Care led him to launch the new Australian College of Ambulance Professionals in 2000.

His dedication and commitment to medical services and his willingness to assist and serve has resulted in the Kenneth James McPherson Education and Research Foundation being able to secure him as their active Patron, a service in which he delights.


Research Grants

Each year the KJ McPherson Education and Research Foundation have offered a major research grant of $15,000 to QAS operational staff. The Patron’s Grant will now alternate on a yearly basis between funding a single research proposal over a 24-month period (Patron’s Research Grant), and the new Patron’s Research Scholarship Grant, funding paramedics to undertake foundational research courses within a 12-month period.

Research Grants offered by the KJM Foundation:

For further information on eligibility, suitability, judging criteria and performance criteria please read the Grants Information Table and the Obligations Booklet.

For past recipients and their projects please see this link.

Development Grants

The Foundation provides Development Grants on an annual basis in the following categories:

For further information on eligibility, suitability, judging criteria and performance criteria please read the Grants Information Table and the Obligations Booklet.

General Administration

Grants are announced and arrangements advised for subsequent presentation at the annual Patron’s Grant’s Presentation.

The decision of the Foundation Committee Members shall be final in all matters relating to any grant.

All eligible QAS personnel are strongly encouraged to enter these prestigious and most worthy grants in the spirit of continuing the work carried out by Ambulance Officer Kenneth James McPherson DSM.


The Foundation reserves the right to alter procedures, guidelines or awards described herein at any time, should the need arise. Should it do so, the Foundation will modify these communications media and abide by its published criteria from a period no less than 14 days prior to the deadline for student submissions published annually.

For past recipients and their projects please see this link.

Student & Graduate Grants

Paramedics Australasia Student Scientific Grants

For further information on eligibility, suitability, judging criteria and performance criteria please read the Grants Information Table and the Obligations Booklet.

For past recipients and their topics see this list.

United Voice Graduate of the Year Grant

Information for Paramedic Educators

The KJM Foundation has produced an informative slide presentation which provides an overview of the foundation for sharing with student paramedics.

Current and Past Research Projects


Prior to 1999 Awards were skills based. Recipients were in fact “winners” of competitions relevant to the skills and qualifications of officers at the time.

Over time, the paramedic profession in Queensland has developed to the point where our people are among the world’s best in their profession. We are proud to say that the Foundation continues to play an important part in continuing that development by providing education and research opportunities for Paramedics.

Research conducted to date has led to the implementation of new treatments and equipment to assist Queensland Ambulance Service to continue delivering a high standard of care to its patients.

Award and Grant recipients have researched different aspects of pre-hospital care from the use of certain drugs, new treatments and how to achieve better response times, to being able to report on working in remote areas of the world.

All of these are directly linked to ambulance service, and have contributed to improving patient outcomes.

For information on how to sponsor a grant with the KJM Foundation, see the sponsorship section of this page.

Research areas

The Foundation and Queensland Ambulance Service encourage innovative research into the key areas of clinical, educational and operational systems. For further information, see the KJM Foundation Research Priorities.

For a comprehensive list of past grant recipients and their projects, see Development Grants - Previous Winners and Research Grants - Previous Winners.

Most Recent KJM Foundation Grant Recipients

Patron’s Research Grant
Sponsored by Physio Control ($15,000)

In 2016 Patron's Overseas Short Study Grant ($5,000 ea) was awarded to three recipients in place of the Patron’s Research Grant ($15,000).

The three people awarded this year are: Cameron Anderson, Darren Lawrence and Scott Nash.

Cameron will attend the 20th World Congress for Disaster and Emergency Medicine in Toronto, Canada, in 2017. He intends to present the findings from his research project: Detecting emerging bioevents: an assessment of syndromic surveillance systems in Australian ambulance services.

Darren and Scott will attend the 17th International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare in Orlando, USA, in 2017. The conference will be an opportunity to gather information, ideas and innovative practices to assist in the development of a web-based simulation education resource for the Queensland Ambulance Service.

QAS Research & Development Grant
Sponsored by SDSI ($3,000)

In 2016 the grant was awarded to David Lowe.

David will conduct research into the importance of early community CPR and defibrillation to improve witnessed community cardiac arrest survival. The learnings from this research will be used to develop a community CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) program to improve cardiac arrest survival.

Dr Peter Stephenson Overseas Study Grant
Sponsored by Dr Peter Stephenson – Montserrat Day Hospitals ($5,000)

The grant provides an opportunity for a QAS operational officer to undertake an overseas professional development opportunity with information shared with their peers on return. This grant is sponsored by Dr Peter Stephenson of Montserrat Hospitals.

The successful applicant for this grant was Mindy Thomas.

Mindy will attend the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch Navigator Conference in New Orleans, USA, in 2017, and undertake a study tour of the New Orleans Emergency Response Agencies. The trip will provide insight into hurricane preparedness procedures post-Hurricane Katrina to enable the development of a Cyclone Preparedness Kit for Queensland Ambulance Service Operation Centres.

PA Professional Development Grant
Sponsored by Tynan MacKenzie ($2,000)

This year’s grant was awarded to Scott Jones.

Scott will travel to the USA to attend the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) World Expo in Las Vegas, USA, in 2017 to gain further knowledge on current and future treatments and equipment in order to expand his clinical knowledge. Scott produces The Outback Medic, a monthly electronic magazine for paramedics, and will share his learnings in future editions.

QAS Professional Development Grant
Sponsored by Laerdal ($1,000)

This year’s grant was awarded to Gavin Nichols.

Gavin will attend the Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support course to increase his knowledge and skills in managing pre-hospital patients who have experienced trauma. The course will advance Gavin’s ability to assess and treat trauma patients which will in turn improve patient outcomes.

United Voice Outstanding Student Graduate of the Year Grant
Sponsored by United Voice ($1,000)

This grant encourages new Graduate recruits to strive for excellence in their role, and assists them to enhance their competencies or general ambulance knowledge in their subsequent 12 months of full time service.

This was awarded to Amy Cooper of Charters Towers Station in Townsville LASN.

Amy has transitioned and adapted seamlessly to life in a rural station and community. She has received very positive feedback not only from her QAS peers but other emergency service and healthcare professionals. She took ownership of her learning and consolidation of her graduate year.

PA Scientific Poster Grant
Sponsored by Paramedics Australasia (PA) ($2,000)

The PA Student Scientific Grant was awarded across the university paramedic programs. Successful students were:

  • The PA Best ‘Paper' Prize for 2016 ($600) has been awarded to Emma Dale of CQU
    AMETHOCAINE: (Minims Amethocaine hydrochloride eye drops)
  • The PA Runner-Up Best ‘Paper’ Prize for 2016($400) has been awarded to Kiarne Dippel of CQU
    Sumatriptan Use in a Pre-Hospital Environment – An Analysis & Review
  • The PA Best ‘Poster’ Prize for 2016 ($500 ea) has been awarded to Therese Walsh & Elise Riley Of QUT
    For their joint submission: Crush Injuries: An Educational Overview

PA is the leading representative association for professionals engaged in the delivery of out of hospital emergency medical systems. PA provides a national platform for policies and representation to enhance the quality of out of hospital emergency patient care in Australia.

A Word from Previous Recipients

QAS Research and Development grant 2014
This grant allowed me to travel to multiple locations within Germany where I met with teams conducting various research projects into the prehospital identification of acute stroke. This included the first two mobile computer tomography (CT) capable stroke ambulances worldwide, investigation of prehospital transcranial Doppler ultrasound to detect large vessel occlusions and clinical assessment research. I was also able to spend a week at a leading neurosurgical unit in Ulm, Germany allowing me to observe cutting edge MRI guided neurosurgery, neuroanaesthetic techniques along with the management of critical neurosurgical patients. This opportunity afforded me excellent learning and professional networking opportunities.

KJM Patrons Research Grant 2015
This grant will be used to support my ongoing PhD research project investigating the prehospital identification and triage of hyper-acute stroke patients to reperfusion therapies. With the development of endovascular clot retrieval techniques that have proved to have significant benefits for some acute stroke patients, the need to identify and triage potentially eligible patients to this service will be critical and paramedics can have a significant impact on this. The KJM patrons grant will prove invaluable in my development and execution of this research project.
Wayne Loudon - Intensive Care Paramedic

QAS Professional Development Grant 2015
I am extremely grateful to the KJM Foundation for awarding me the QAS Professional development grant. This grant allowed me to travel to Perth to attend the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators conference. Highlights of this study trip included an opportunity to network with a variety of education professionals from medical and allied health fields and listening to speakers discussing the future of clinical education and assessment. As a Clinical Support Officer, I have been able to implement a number of these strategies in my teaching role and hopefully influence the development and design of future QAS programs and courses.
Dan O’Brien - Clinical Support Officer

2015 QAS Research & Development Grant
Receiving the $3000 grant has enabled me to further develop the rural paramedic practitioner model. I have spoken at conferences and written a paper on the subject. Thorough this work I have developed a network of like-minded paramedics throughout Australia and the world. I hope to be publishing a paper in 2017 and read with interest the development of the model in a number of health and ambulance organisations throughout Australia. Thanks you KJM for providing the financial and logistical support to continue the development of this model.
Greg Reaburn - Rural Paramedic Practitioner

Key dates

  • Call for Grant Applications - 30 March 2018
  • Patron’s Research Grant Phase 1 EOIs due 11 May 2018
  • Invitations to progress EOI to Phase 2 advised by 25 May 2018
  • Nominations for UV Grant due to QASEC: 1 October 2018
  • Nominations for UV Grant due to KJM: 8 October 2018
  • Patron’s Research Grant Phase 2 applications due 1 October 2018
  • Other Grant Nominations & Applications due 1 October 2018
  • KJM Patron’s Day - Tuesday, 23 October 2018
    • Professional Development Symposium - 8:30am to 4.30pm
    • Grants Presentation - 5pm to 6.45pm

Forms and guides

All Grant Applications

Previous Winners

Paramedics Australasia Student Scientific Grants



View past symposium presentations

These video files are password protected. You can access them by clicking on the below links and entering the password. If you are interested in viewing the videos and don’t have a password please contact your university course to request the password.

The password protected files are of interest to QAS personnel and are uninformative for public or research access.


​Mr Russell Bowles
Mr Todd Wehr
Mr Bob Atkinson
Ms Andrea Oliver
Mr Martin Bowles
Ms Prue Sneddon
Mr Wayne Loudon

Support the Foundation

The KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation raises money by way of gifts, bequests, and sponsorships. Your donation will help equip Queensland Ambulance Service Paramedics with educational and research skills over and above the already high standards provided by conventional funding.

Your financial support will help Queensland Ambulance Service provide world class outcomes in pre-hospital emergency care by providing the additional funding to place Queensland at the cutting edge of research and education. Core areas such as injury and major trauma, road accidents and cardiac arrest are prime focus areas of research and education.

Queensland Ambulance Service employees are able to support the Foundation through fortnightly payroll contributions.

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Foundation has continued to look for appropriate ways to support paramedics, and the Ambulance Service since inception in 1987. We have sought to ensure that the Foundation's progress has emulated the rapid improvement in pre-hospital care, and paramedic practice.

From our early competition and skills based Awards, we have now progressed to focus on education and research, always ensuring close alignment with the aims and aspirations of the Queensland Ambulance Service.

This commitment will be ongoing and will build on an already impressive list of completed projects.


The Foundation is pleased to offer you the opportunity to become a Foundation Sponsor or donor. Your sponsorship will contribute to the important work undertaken by the recipients of the Foundations’ research and professional development grants program and provide significant benefit to the patients and communities serviced by Queensland Ambulance Service.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1987 by members of the QATB and the McPherson family as a memorial to Kenneth James (Jim) McPherson, a paramedic who lost his life in the line of duty. Originally set up as a Trust to fund skills competitions the organisation made the transition to a Foundation to better support the growing skills and professional base of paramedics.

The Foundation was established to provide Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) personnel with seeding grants to conduct research and engage in professional development opportunities. The key objective of the Foundation and the purpose of the awards is to improve patient care through research and development projects. Professor Major General John Pearn AO, KStJ, RFD is the Foundation Patron.

Foundation activities

Each year, the Foundation hosts an annual Patron’s Day which includes an all day Clinical Symposium followed by the Patron’s Dinner. The Symposium contributes to the clinical knowledge and experience for paramedics as a forum of information sharing and professional development. The Patron’s Dinner is an important formal event promoting the Foundation and its research contribution. At this event the Foundation Patron will announce the recipients of the major grant and annual awards.

You can financially support the Foundation in the following ways:

  • Foundation Partner - $20,000 to 60,000 pa for 5 yrs;
  • Grant Sponsors - $4,000 to $19,000 pa for 5 yrs;
  • Foundation Sponsor - $1,000 to $3,500 pa;
  • Friend of the Foundation – making a donation of less than $1,000.

Businesses or organisations are invited to sponsor the Foundation over three years. To secure this sponsorship the Foundation is seeking a funding commitment at various levels adjusted annually for CPI.

Acceptance of a partnership arrangement with the KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation means that your organisation and KJM would establish a strong partnership relationship. The Foundation would be happy to discuss the sponsorship benefits and leveraging opportunities this would afford your company.

In this way businesses and the Foundation will develop ongoing relationships with valuable mutual benefits which will assist in improving ambulance patient care.

For further discussions on how to progress this proposal, please contact Terry Beitz (Secretary) on


Donations and other forms of bequests are essential to maintain the momentum of the Foundation.

Regular donations are received from Service Clubs, RSL Clubs, Business houses and Staff via fortnightly donations. We are however, in urgent need of further help, and are looking for your support.

We would like to acknowledge the Local Ambulance Committees for their ongoing support to the Foundation.

For direct deposits donations the Foundation bank details are as follows:

Bank: Queensland Police Credit Union
Account Name: KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation
BSB: 704-052
Account Number: 1026322 (note 1026322S1 for people transferring from a QPCU account)

For a cheque or money order donations, please fill in the KJM Donation Form and post to:

KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation
GPO Box 1425


You can provide a significant, lasting contribution to the KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation and touch the lives of many people by leaving a bequest in your Will to the Foundation.

The KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation advises that you seek professional legal advice before creating your Will.

Please contact us to discuss these arrangements further.

An example of the wording used to make a bequest in the will to the Foundation is noted below:

“I ______________, give to the KJ McPherson Education and Research Foundation the sum of $ ______________ and / or a ______ % share of my Estate free of all duties and I declare that the receipt of the President, Secretary or other officer of the Foundation will be a complete discharge to my Executors and Trustees for the money paid in accordance with this bequest.”

Payroll Giving (QAS Employees)

Employees of the Queensland Ambulance Service are able to join the payroll giving program. Regular donations through the Kenneth James McPherson Foundation Payroll Giving program is easy to implement and manage, and help us to continue our vital work researching and improving patient care.

For staff donations through payroll deduction, please download the form in the KJM Brochure and send to your local payroll office or to

News and Events

KJM Patron's Day

KJM Patron’s Day is an annual event including a Professional Development Symposium and a Grants Presentation function. These are significant paramedic professional events in the ambulance calendar.

The overall aim of KJM Patron’s Day is to promote research and evidence based best practice in ambulance services.

The Professional Development Symposium is primarily designed for executives, paramedic managers and educators. Participants are exposed to presentations on current best practice and evidence with a focus on ambulance clinical and operational practice presented by relevant experts and Queensland paramedics.

The Symposium aims to promote the value of quality research in providing best practice pre hospital care to ambulance managers.

The Symposium is supported by the Patron of the KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation, Major General Professor John Pearn AO, RFD, KStJ, who is an internationally recognised surgeon, author and teacher. MAJGEN Pearn has served as past Surgeon-General of the Australian Defence Force. Other eminent medical professionals and paramedic practitioners are also presenting papers.

The Grants Presentation function is held where the Patron’s Research Grant of $15,000 is awarded along with other awards.

The Grants Presentation function is an important event following the Professional Development Symposium promoting the Foundation and its research contribution. It is designed to recognise and reflect on the contribution of research and professional development to future challenges of ambulance service provision in Queensland, to celebrate the respect the service has won as a best practice organisation and to present this year’s grants.

At the Grants Presentation function the Foundation Patron will announce the recipient of the Patron’s Research Grant ($15,000) and the Annual KJ McPherson Education & Research Foundation grants (totalling $14,000).

These grants are provided by the Foundation and provide opportunities for uniformed QAS personnel to undertake research in line with the QAS and the Foundations goals.

Make your booking for the KJM Professional Development Symposium and/or the KJM Grants Presentation function by contacting the foundation at

KJM Newsletters

Contact the Foundation

The Foundation can be contacted at:

Phone: 07 3635 3368

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Last updated 23 May 2018