The Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) exists to advance research into the causes, prevention and treatment of foot problems.
APERF was established in 1990 in Melbourne, Australia. With the help of generous donations from the podiatry community – podiatrists, medical suppliers and patients, APERF has supported more than 70 research projects in the past 25 years.
We are committed to supporting research that improves outcomes for patients by enhancing the practice of podiatry.
We encourage everyone within the podiatry research community to reach their full potential. We promote the highest standards of research including the application of gold standard methodologies, detailed planning and methodological rigour, world-leading implementation of findings, and relevance to the profession.
We believe all podiatry professionals should have an opportunity to engage in research irrespective of their current standing in the research community. We also believe that research should benefit as many people as possible and that socio-economic disadvantage should not be a barrier to accessing evidence-based healthcare.
We collaborate with the end users of the research, including academia, government, partners, industry, patients, and the profession to ensure the podiatry community can have the greatest impact.
APERF Chair: Dr Shan Bergin
Shan is a podiatrist with 30 years of experience in diabetes-related foot disease and wound care. She works as both a clinician and a researcher in this field and has published in the area of diabetes-related foot ulceration. Shan also works as Unit Advisor for Monash University (Post Graduate Studies in Wound Care) and teaches into the undergraduate program introducing third year students to the High Risk Foot subject at La Trobe University, Australia. Shan has a PhD in Health Services Research from Monash University and works as part of an acute / community health collaborative that aims to improve cross sector integration of healthcare. Shan has been a Trustee of the Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) since 2011, and was elected as Chair in 2020.
Prof Karl Landorf
DipAppSc(Pod), GradCertClinInstr, GradDipEd, PhD,
Karl is an Associate Professor of Podiatry and Deputy Director of Research in the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport at La Trobe University, Australia. His research broadly relates to musculoskeletal disorders of the lower limb. Specifically, his main research areas are plantar heel pain (including medical imaging), foot orthoses, and human movement. He has authored more than 110 peer-reviewed journal articles and 10 book chapters in the fields of podiatry, orthopaedics, movement science, sports medicine, rheumatology, and general medicine. Karl was the Deputy Editor of Journal of Foot and Ankle Research from 2008-2016. Karl has been a Member of the Australian Podiatry Association for more than 30 years, and a Trustee of the Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) since 2006 and served as the Chair of APERF from 2014 to 2019.
Prof Susan Nancarrow
BAppSc(Pod), MAppSc, PhD, GAICD
Susan is Professor of Health Sciences at Southern Cross University, New South Wales. She has nearly 20 years of international experience as a health services researcher with expertise in health workforce reform, service delivery and organisation. In particular, Susan works with health services to help them think differently about how they organise and deliver care to provide solutions to enhance health care from the patient’s perspective. She is especially committed to regional and rural health issues, community health, and capacity building. Recent research projects have explored the use of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to provide telehealth to keep older people independent at home; primary health care integration; the use of social media to engage with health service users; and the recent Victorian Allied Health Workforce Research Project. Susan has been a Trustee of the Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) since 2011.
Prof Hylton Menz
BPod(Hons), PhD, DSc, FFPM, RCPS(Glasg)
Hylton is Professor and National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Fellow in the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport at La Trobe University, Australia. His broad research disciplines are human movement, rehabilitation and rheumatology, with a particular focus on musculoskeletal foot problems in older people. His research extends from laboratory-based biomechanical studies through to analysis of epidemiological datasets and the conduct of clinical trials. Hylton has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and 11 book chapters in the fields of podiatry, orthopaedics, gerontology, rheumatology, neuroscience and general medicine journals. Hylton was the Foundation Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Foot and Ankle Research from 2008-2018 and has been a Trustee of the Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) since 2011.
Dr Anita Raspovic
BAppScPod(Hons), GradCertHigherEd, GradDipPsych, BPsychSc(Hons), PhD
Anita is a registered podiatrist who graduated with Honours from La Trobe University (1992) and went on to complete a Doctor of Philosophy (2006). She has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (2011), a Graduate Diploma in Psychology (2015), obtained 1st Class Honours in Psychology (2018), and she is currently undertaking a Master of Clinical Psychology. Across her career, Anita has undertaken a variety of roles in clinical practice, education, research and project work. She is currently a Senior Lecturer and the Course Co-ordinator for the Discipline of Podiatry at La Trobe University, Australia. Her PhD focused on lower limb biomechanical alterations in diabetes-related neuropathic foot ulceration. Dr Raspovic has published widely in the areas of biomechanics and diabetes. Her primary areas of research include plantar pressure studies that assess offloading strategies for the diabetic foot, psychosocial issues in diabetes-related foot ulceration, and body image. Anita has been a Trustee of the Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) since 2011.
Dr Paul Bennett
DipAppSc(Pod), GradCertPodTher, PostGradDip(ResEval), MPH, PhD, FFPM RCPS(Glasg)
Paul is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Clinical Science and member of the Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation Health Projects domain at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Paul’s research focuses on the safe use of scheduled medicines. In particular, he was recently a co-investigator on a large Category 1 Australian Competitive Grant investigating competence in prescribing medicines across multiple healthcare disciplines through systematic assessment practices. During Paul’s career he has disseminated research findings via a wide range of avenues with in excess of 150 international, national and state conference presentations and a diverse range of peer reviewed journal articles and government reports. His international affiliations have included sabbaticals at the Central Institute of Orthopaedics and Trauma in Moscow and the University of Malaga in Spain. Paul’s longstanding commitment to podiatry research extends back to 1988 when he was the recipient of the Les Gardner Research Award in podiatry. Paul has been an active member of the profession’s state and national registration boards for 15 years and a Trustee of the Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF) since 2011.
Dr Dean Samaras
BPod, MPod, FACPS
Dean is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons (ACPS). He is a registered specialist podiatric surgeon and is endorsed to prescribe scheduled medicines. Dean is also an Adjunct Lecturer at La Trobe University and has published research in prominent peer-reviewed foot and ankle journals. His main research topics have included minimal incision foot surgery, hallux rigidus and soft tissue pathology. Dean’s fellowship training facilitated rotations through rheumatology, radiology, endocrinology, trauma and orthopaedics, paediatrics, high risk foot, and other areas of medicine and surgery. He has operating privileges at several hospitals and consults in metropolitan and regional Victoria. His extensive experience in podiatric medicine and surgery adds an important clinical facet to Australian Podiatry Education and Research Foundation (APERF). Dean has been a member of the Australian Podiatry Association for 15 years and Trustee of APERF since 2017.