Occupational violence & personal safety training

Guardian occupational violence & personal safety training

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in the workplace and should never have to face violence or aggression while on the job. But, sometimes everyday situations can escalate out of our control and it’s important to know how to deal with them.

Guardian Personal Safety Training equips everyone with the skills and knowledge to deal with aggressive or potentially violent clients, customers or colleagues.

Through our specialised training, we create peace of mind for employers and employees, allowing them to operate safely and confidently every day.

Welcome to Guardian Personal Safety Training, where safety doesn’t happen by accident.

Online Training Available Now!

Do you know what to do if a customer, client or patient gets angry or aggressive? We provide online training for medical staff, paramedics, retail staff and library staff exploring prevention strategies, how to de-escalate situations and what to do if an incident occurs. Whether you work in a medical environment, supermarket, clothing store, cafe, pharmacy, bank, library or elsewhere, our courses will support you and your employees with strategies to keep you all safe at work.

We have owner/manager’s toolkits available. Click the link below for more information.

What we do

We offer both virtual training or face-to-face workshops.

Our one or two day courses cover the following important topics:

  • Understanding escalation, effective communication, mental state assessment and de-escalation techniques. How your behaviour and attitudes affect others and your body’s physiological response to stress.
  • Preparedness for work and the relationship between factors such as fatigue, personal and professional relationships and attitude to violence and aggression.
  • Scene assessment, approach and safety.
  • Physical techniques to control aggression. How to achieve physical disengagement from an aggressive person as a last resort and promptly retreat to a safe distance.
  • Debriefing a violent incident, documentation, reporting and the possibility of post-traumatic stress disorder.

We also offer extended courses, customised courses and annual re-familiarisation sessions upon request.

Each of our courses include theory and practical sessions with scenario based exercises that extend beyond the workplace.

Who is it for?

Our courses are tailor made for those whose employment requires them to interact with customers or clients. This could be anyone from a healthcare worker operating in their client’s home environment to a customer service manager.

Why we do it

In our years with the South Australian Ambulance Service, we have seen first-hand the impact violence and aggression in the workplace can have, both on individuals and families. If we are able to arm people with techniques for dealing with these situations, we can all help to prevent future incidents.

Who are we

Stephen J Tebbett

Co-Director and Principal Instructor

Steve brings 15 years as a Rescue and Retrieval Paramedic for the South Australian Ambulance Service’s elite Special Operations Team. His roles have covered Helicopter Search and Rescue, Emergency Medical Retrieval, Wilderness and Structural Vertical Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue and Tactical Emergency Medical Support for the SA Police.

Steve has comprehensive experience in operational safety, including writing the operational safety training program for SA Ambulance Service. His skillset includes over 20 years of martial arts across various disciplines. Today, Steve remains an active instructor for the SAAS as well as lecturing for Flinders University.

Steve’s most recent endeavours have involved applying for the position of Army Combat Paramedic with the Australian Defense Force, only to further enhance his skills in situational awareness and personal safety.

Born in Sri Lanka, Steve was raised in Australia and completed a Bachelor Degree in Exercise and Sports Science at the University of South Australia. He then studied Paramedicine at Flinders University and undertook clinical training to become an Intensive Care Paramedic.

Steve is a family man; married and father of two. When he is not busy working and training, he tries to maximize his time with his young family. His other interests include fitness training and snowboarding.


  • Retrieval & Critical Care Training, Flinders Medical Centre ICU, 2009
  • Special Operations Team Selection & Training, South Australian Ambulance Service, 2008
  • Intensive Care Paramedic Training, Flinders University, 2007
  • Dip.App.Sc, Paramedicine, Flinders University, 2003
  • B.App.Sc., Exercise & Sports Science, University of South Australia, 1998

Simon Leonard

Co-Director and Principal Instructor

Simon has been an Intensive Care Paramedic with the South Australian Ambulance Service since 2003, delivering pre-hospital emergency medical care and assisting development of the Service’s personal safety training programmes.

In addition to on-road training of other paramedics, Simon is also employed by Flinders University as a personal safety lecturer and tutor.

He is a successful martial artist of over 20 years, achieving black belts in a number of disciplines and operating his own martial arts school in Adelaide.

Simon was born in Rosebud, Victoria and completed two bachelor degrees at the University of South Australia after relocating to Adelaide. His intensive studies within the SAAS have seen him inducted into the elite Special Operations Team as a Rescue Paramedic.

Simon recently celebrated his marriage to fellow paramedic Shana, who is also an instructor at Guardian Personal Safety Training. His favourite pastimes include working out and acting.


  • Intensive Care Paramedic Training, South Australian Ambulance Service, 2009.
  • Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, Parasol Pty Ltd, 2005.
  • Bachelor degree in Psychology, University of South Australia, 2004.
  • Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance Studies), Flinders University, 2003.
  • Bachelor degree in Computer and Information Science, University of South Australia, 1996.

Dr. Dan Pronk


Dan entered into the Australian Army in 2001 on a scholarship to study medicine. Upon graduation he completed his internship and first year residency in civilian hospitals before posting to his first Army unit and quickly moving into Special Operations following successful completion of the Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment selection course. Dan spent the last five years of his service working between the SAS and the 2nd Commando Regiment and saw operational service in Timor Leste and Afghanistan. Dan was awarded the Commendation for Distinguished Service for his leadership in action during his second of four operational tours of Afghanistan.

Following leaving the army in 2014 Dan has held positions as a remote mine site doctor, a ship’s doctor, the Deputy Medical Superintendent of a regional hospital, and the Medical Director of the South Australian Prison Health Service. He co-owns and serves as the Medical Director for the private medical company TacMed Australia. He currently works part time in the Emergency Department of a regional hospital in between remote medical support tasks including support of reality TV shows including SAS Australia.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Exercise Science, A Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, A Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, a Master of Business Administration, and an Associate Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators. He is an instructor on the Royal Australian College of Surgeons’ Early Management of Severe Trauma course, a board member of the Australian Tactical Medical Association, and a former Independent Medical Advisor to the Department of Home Affairs. Dan regularly presents to corporate, military, and government groups on leadership under adversity, resilience, and social psychological theory. He has co-authored a book on resilience titled The Resilience Shield, which uses the evidence base from both the scientific literature, as well as Resilience Shield’s own government grant supported research project, to present resilience as a multifactorial, dynamic, and modifiable construct. He lives in Adelaide, is married to a very tolerant wife and is the proud father of three boys.

James E P Gardiner


James commenced working in the paramedic profession in 1998 and imparts more than 24 years of paramedic, clinical education, and senior management experience to the Guardian team.  Through his roles with SA Ambulance Service and St. John Ambulance Australia (NT) Inc., he has honed clinical and operational management skills and experience, currently overseeing day to day operations as the State Duty Manager for SAAS.

In addition to frontline and management work in statutory ambulance services, he also represents the paramedic profession in special interest areas such as professional standards for the Australasian College of Paramedicine.  His skill set includes project management, policy and procedure development, investigation and root cause analysis and systems review.

Leading new initiatives in the paramedic profession has been a key success for James, having guided the pilot program for Extended Cara Paramedic with SA Ambulance Service, as well as the Critical Response Unit for St John NT.

Outside of current roles, James has a firm family background.  His wife runs a highly successful landscape design business and he has three high school aged sons.  He is actively engaged in his local community as a volunteer with the SA Country Fire Service of 28 years and coaches youth basketball. When not working as a paramedic and training, he enjoys an active lifestyle of mountain bike riding, running and travelling.


  • Australasian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS), Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, 2016
  • Certificate IV Training and Assessment TAE40110, Liv Training, 2013
  • Professional Management Program, University of Adelaide, 2012
  • Clinical LEADS Program – SA Health, Melbourne Business School, 2008
  • Dip Government, Locher Human Resources, 2007
  • Intensive Care Paramedic Training, SA Ambulance Service, 2005
  • Dip.App.Sc, Ambulance Studies, SA Ambulance Service, 2000

Jarrod Macfarlane

Casual Trainer

Jarrod brings 13 years of military and police experience to the Guardian PST team.

Jarrod joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2006 where he was trained in small arms, defensive tactics, security and boarding operations.  He was deployed operationally under Australia’s Border Security Operation and the Middle Eastern Area of Operations.

In 2011, Jarrod transferred to active reserves and pursued a career within the South Australia Police (SAPol).  He currently maintains his defence service with the Australian Army as a combat engineer.

Since joining SAPol in 2011, Jarrod has worked General Patrols both regionally and within the metropolitan area.  In 2013, he became an Operational Safety Trainer for SAPol and performed this role full time from 2014 – 2016.  He continues with the instruction of Operational Safety in conjunction with General Duties.

In 2018 Jarrod celebrated his marriage and moved into their first home.  His interests include diving, fitness training and travelling.


  • Certificate IV, Training and Assessment
  • Diploma of Policing
  • Certificate III in Fitness

Josh Murray

Casual Trainer

Josh brings 11 years of teaching and education experience to the Guardian team.  He is currently working in a Middle School setting preparing Primary School students for transition into High School.  He has a passion for neuroscience learning methodologies and physical education practices, positively coaching sporting teams to success.

Since beginning his teaching career in 2009, specializing in Physical Education and English, Josh has worked with a wide variety of age groups and is looking to develop his leadership capabilities in Assistant Principal and School Counselor roles.

Josh is a keen practitioner of martial arts, training for over 12 years of his life obtaining high ranks in a variety of different styles.  Josh has owned and ran a successful martial arts business over the past three years, enjoying seeing students gain confidence and discipline whilst achieving personal goals.

Outside of work and training, Josh celebrated his marriage in 2018 and loves to travel, having been to South America, Asia, Europe and Hawaii.


  • Bachelor of Education, University of South Australia (Specialising in Physical Education), 2009
  • Neuroscience and Wellbeing Training, Pearson Education, 2015 and 2016


“I cannot express enough how impressed I am with the experience. One of the most impressive aspects of this personal safety training program was Guardian's ability to adapt the material to suit our renewable energy industry. They took the time to understand the unique challenges and risks we face in our line of work, and incorporated that knowledge into the training materials. This level of customisation made the training not only informative but also highly engaging and relatable.”
Leo Holmes, HSQ Manager,
“Guardian Personal Safety Training understood the sensitivities of our students. The company invested a lot of time into building relationships with the students and the teacher (me), to ensure they were covering topics that were relevant to the student’s daily lives. ”
Tamika Green, Assistant Middle School Manager, Playford International College, Elizabeth, SA
“Throughout this whole process the team were in constant contact with us. They would check on how we were coping and if any new circumstances had arisen they would be able to help us through.”
Foster Carer Couple
“Thank you for all your work and support with this family.  They could not speak more highly of you both!”
Department of Child Protection Government
“The trainers were highly knowledgeable and skilled in delivering the content in a way that resonated with all who attended. Their expertise was evident as they seamlessly connected the theoretical concepts to practical applications within our industry. It was refreshing to have instructors who genuinely understood our work environment and provided valuable insights and strategies for enhancing personal safety. They used a variety of interactive techniques, such as role-playing exercises and group activities, which not only kept everyone engaged but also facilitated a deeper understanding of the material.”
Leo Holmes, HSQ Manager, RES Australia
“The workshop has given me confidence and techniques to enable me to ensure my safety in these environments, and was done in a fun and interactive way that solidified my learning.”
Doctor at our 2018 EMSA workshop
“The trainers were very relatable as they had experience in the workforce. We really enjoyed this programme which was tailored for paramedics. It was great to have paramedics present at the course as it made it more realistic and relatable.”
St John NT
“Working for the RFDS presents unique personal safety challenges which presents frequent very real risks for our staff. Simon and Steve provided targeted training for our staff that was not only situationally relevant to this unique environment, increased the skill and confidence of our staff to assess and manage aggressive patients, but was also fun and fostered great staff relationships. Both Simon and Steve are knowledgeable, engaging and enthusiastic communicators. One of the best courses I have ever attended.”
Christine Wilson RN/RM, Manager, Clinical Education and Development, Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations
“Guardian Personal Safety Training provided a very hands-on and practical experience for our staff. They took the time, and put in the effort, to understand what our company does, what our current processes are, and then provided safety training specific to our staff's every day role. The training has made our sleep technicians more aware and think of safety in a different light.”
Donna, Manager, CLM Sleep Co
“The Guardian personal safety training program was an eye opening experience. Specifically industry focused it provided real insight and solutions to the everyday challenges we face. The facilitators were extremely knowledgeable and personable. As such the critical thinking skills, interventions and techniques learnt were able to be effectively used by all participants regardless of gender, size or age. It was undoubtedly the best PST program I have attended in 25 years’ service across the military and emergency services sectors.”
Pete, Regional Manager, Ambulance Operations - Northern Region St John Ambulance Australia (NT) Inc
“I particularly enjoyed the session that Steve and Simon took. Whilst the session was only an hour, the background understanding that you were able to provide from an ambulance specific view was excellent and the techniques you were able to have us practice were practical and easy to remember (and fun). Look forward to learning more in the future.”
Tony Oxford, Ambulance Victoria
“I had the pleasure of doing a brief workshop with Guardian Personal Safety at the recent ROAR Conference in Alice Springs. This training is vital for the safety of all first responders, it’s delivered professionally and easily integrated into operational practice through quick drills & easy to remember self protection techniques. If your staff have any possible risk to their personal safety in their duties, then this program is a must, I highly recommend GPS.”
Paul Bellman, ICP-CRU, St John NT