Professor Christine Duffield is a Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management in the Faculty of Health at UTS; and is the President of the Australian College of Nursing. Her research focuses on nurse staffing and the use of nurses, nursing leadership and a range of current issues facing the nursing workforce. She led the first study in Australia which examined the relationship between nursing numbers, the mix of staff and patient and staff outcomes. Other funded research projects include defining advanced practice in a range of clinical facilities, the impact of adding nursing support workers, the costs and consequences of nursing turnover, factors impacting on nurse’s health and the role of nurse managers and leaders in ensuring positive patient and staff outcomes.

Dr Jennifer Dawson has been a neonatal nurse for 34 years. She is a post-doc neonatal nurse researcher at The Royal Women's Hospital Melbourne in the Newborn Research Centre. Her research has focused on investigating the physiology of newborns and the changes in oxygenation and heart rate during the first minutes after birth. She has over 100 publications in peer-review journals. Her current role is Clinical Trial Coordinator for the PLUSS trial- Preventing Lung Disease Using Surfactant + Steroid.


Dr Karen Walker, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Sydney, and the Global Women’s Health Program Manager for Australia at The George Institute for Global Health and a Consultant in Neonatal Health with the World Health Organisation.  She is the current President of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN), a board member of WHO Partnership for Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (PMNCH); is working on the revision of the WHO/UNICEF Every Newborn Action Plan and with the WHO on the development of a new Road map - Human Resources for Health: strategies for improving neonatal care capacity in facility settings in low- and middle-income countries. Karen is also passionate about the role of parents and is a board member of the new Global Alliance for Newborn Care (GLANCE) an organisation that aims to create, empower and support a global patient voice in each region of the world.

Associate Professor Jenny Weller-Newton,
Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University. She has been recipient (lead CI) of an ARC Discovery project (2012-2014) which focused on workplace learning in healthcare where she led the development of new conceptual model of workplace learning and a survey tool to measure the clinical workplace learning culture. She also has interests in interprofessional learning, professional practice knowledge, work readiness, reflective practice, curriculum and pedagogical innovations. She has previously undertaken research on telehealth through funded project work for the Dept of Health, Victoria, and also Department of Health, Australian Government.

Dr Margaret Broom, RN, RM, PhD, is the Neonatal Research Nurse at the Canberra Neonatal Intensive Care, and an Adj Associate Professor at the University of Canberra. She is the Chair of the Australian College of Neonatal Nurses Research Special Interest Group. Over the past 10 years Marg has been involved in several research projects aimed to improve parental experience during their baby’s admission to the Canberra Unit. These have include creating a developmentally appropriate family centred NICU design, parental presence at clinical bedside rounds, providing a culturally appropriate environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families. Over the past 2 years Marg has been leading an Experience Based Co-Design Study exploring family and staff experiences to improve the Canberra Hospital palliative care service.

Clinical Professor Adrienne Gordon is a senior staff specialist Neonatologist in the RPA Centre for newborn care and Clinical Professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatology at the University of Sydney. She trained in paediatrics prior to specialising in neonatal/perinatal medicine and is passionate about the public health impact of a healthy start to life and preventing adverse pregnancy outcome, especially stillbirth.  She completed a Master of Public Health and a PhD on risk factors for stillbirth and is a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence. Adrienne currently leads the Public Awareness work within the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence which includes campaign design and evaluation and customisation of a mobile health application for an Australian setting. She is a key member of the Safer Baby Bundle initiative which aims to reduce late pregnancy stillbirth in Australia by 20%.

Dr Atul Malhotra, MD, PhD is a senior neonatologist at Monash Children’s Hospital, and a clinician-scientist at the Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, with the Department of Paediatrics, Monash University in Melbourne. His research interests include neonatal neurodevelopment, neuroprotection and regenerative cell therapies for neonatal conditions. He led a first-in-human study on placental stem cells in neonates and is currently leading another world first study on cord blood stem cells. He is also the co-founder of the global health oriented ONE-Sim program, an interprofessional obstetric and neonatal emergency simulation-based skills training initiative. Twitter handle: @Atul_Monash

Presentation synopsis

1. Fetal growth restriction: pathophysiology and neonatal impact
Fetal growth restriction (also known as IUGR) is an important and serious complication of pregnancy with significant short term and long term implications. In this session, antenatal and postnatal aspects of care and management of the growth restricted infant will be discussed, with particular emphasis on neonatal morbidities.

2. Stem cell therapies for bronchopulmonary dysplasia
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (chronic lung disease of prematurity) is a common complication of prematurity. Despite advances in the care of very premature infants, BPD continues to cause significant impact on the infant, family and community. In this session, recent advances in cell therapies for BPD will be discussed. In particular, world first work from Australia on the use of placental stem cells for BPD will be discussed. 

Dr Calum Roberts, MD, PhD is a Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics, Monash University, and is a Consultant Neonatologist at Monash Children’s Hospital. He is the current recipient of an NHMRC Early Leadership Grant. Calum's research interests are neonatal resuscitation and respiratory management. He is currently studying ways to optimise cardiorespiratory transition at birth and early non-invasive respiratory support.

Dr Eveline Staub is a Neonatologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. Her research activities focus on the development of the kidneys after preterm birth and long-term renal health in former preterm infants. With a background of clinical epidemiology, she is also interested in building evidence for best clinical practice.

Doctor Nicole Highet is the Founder and Executive Director of COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence.  Nicole has a background in clinical psychology, marketing, campaign development, and advocacy.  Following over thirteen years at Beyondblue Nicole founded COPE - the Centre of Perinatal Excellence, in 2013 to provide a dedicated focus on effective and sustainable approaches to best practice in perinatal mental health. 

COPE’s work involves maintaining national momentum, ensuring support for best practice through new National Guidelines and investment into innovative, measurable, and sustainable approaches to best practice implementation including but not limited to electronic approaches to psycho-education, e-screening platforms, online training, e-referral and e-health promotion initiatives.