INVITED SPEAKERS

International 

Professor Linda S. Franck holds the Jack and Elaine Koehn Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Nursing and co-directs the ACTIONS fellowship program. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and is an affiliate member of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. From 2015-2020 she served as Co-Principal Investigator and Director of Postnatal Research for the California Preterm Birth Initiative.

Linda has extensive experience in leading interdisciplinary teams to conduct clinical research to improve the quality and safety of hospital care for infants and children. She has a particular interest in improving the patient and family experience of health care and has pioneered interventions to engage patients, families and communities in healthcare delivery and research co-design. Linda received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of San Francisco and her master’s and PhD degrees from UCSF. She rejoined the UCSF faculty in 2010, after a decade at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, where she served as the first Chair of Children’s Nursing Research in the UK. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and of the American Academy of Nursing. In 2020, she was inducted into the Sigma Nursing Researcher Hall of Fame and named the UCSF School of Nursing Research Mentor of the Year.

Dr Barbara Cormack is a New Zealand paediatric dietitian and researcher at the forefront of neonatal nutrition innovation and improvement, for which she is internationally recognised. She has a Master of Health Sciences Degree, a PhD in Perinatal Science, and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland. Barbara was awarded the Dietitians NZ Award of Excellence for her work in obtaining prescribing rights for dietitians and was a founding member of the Australasian Neonatal Dietitians’ Network. Currently working in Starship Child Health as a specialist neonatal dietitian and Clinical Lead of the team of Starship Dietitians she has advocated for improved nutrition research to increase the knowledge base on which paediatric and neonatal clinical nutrition is based. Her realisation of the gaps in evidence around neonatal nutrition led Barbara to her PhD at the Liggins Institute where her research centres on how nutrition affects the growth, development and the long-term health of preterm babies.

National 

Dr Alyce Wilson is a Public Health Physician and Senior Research Fellow working in global maternal, child and adolescent health at the Burnet Institute. She is an Australian medical doctor with postgraduate qualifications in public health and obstetrics and gynaecology. Alyce is a fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and has recently completed a PhD examining the quality of maternal and child care in Papua New Guinea. Further to her role at Burnet, Alyce is a Senior Medical Advisor with the Victorian Department of Health and lectures science, medical and public health students at the University of Melbourne. 

Angie Canning
is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist and Allied Health Research Officer at Gold Coast University Hospital.  She has over 24 years' experience as a paediatric speech pathologist working with infants and children who have complex feeding, swallowing and communication difficulties.  Angie has a special interest in neonatal care and is the lead author of two recent publications regarding oral feeding on non-invasive respiratory supports. 


Dr Stephen McKeever is a lecturer within University of Melbourne’s Department of Nursing. Most of his clinical experience has focused on caring for critically ill children and their families. This experience has been gained across the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

In August 2012, Stephen graduated with a PhD from The University of Melbourne. His doctoral thesis examined electroencephalograph changes occurring in children during anaesthesia. Since this time Stephen has supervised doctoral, and master’s, students in various aspects of children’s pain management and family interactions. 

Since January 2020 Stephen has been Journal of Child Health Care's Editor in Chief. This journal is an international, interdisciplinary and peer reviewed journal. It focuses on issues related to health and healthcare of neonates, children, young people, and their families.

Professor Denise Harrison (RN, RM, PhD) is a Professor of Nursing at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and holds honorary appointments at the University of Ottawa, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital. She is the ACNN Professional Officer. She leads the Be Sweet to Babies program of research which focuses on improving pain management for neonates, infants and young children in partnership with parents, clinicians, interdisciplinary researchers and trainees. This work includes advocating for ethical conduct of neonatal pain studies, as well as knowledge translation studies, and using social media as a medium for knowledge dissemination. 

Professor Christine Duffield's career spans over 40 years working in Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Australia as a clinician, educator, manager and researcher. She is Emeritus Professor at Edith Cowan University, Perth and the University of Technology Sydney. She is a highly accomplished researcher and is one of the top 10 most-cited nursing and midwifery professors in Australia and New Zealand. Christine was named in Mendeley’s top 100,000 cited researchers in the world. She is an experienced Board Director and is currently serving as the President/Chair of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN). Christine led the first study in Australia which examined the relationship between nursing numbers, the mix of staff and patient and staff outcomes. 

Professor Lynn Gillam is an experienced clinical ethicist, originally trained in philosophy (MA, Oxon, as a Rhodes Scholar) and bioethics (PhD).  Lynn is the Academic Director of the Children’s Bioethics Centre at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. She is also Professor in Health Ethics at the University of Melbourne, in the Department of Paediatrics.

Lynn provides clinical ethics case consultation, policy advice and leads research in paediatric clinical ethics. In 2018, Lynn was awarded the RCH Chairman’s Medal, in recognition of this work. She also teaches ethics in the MD course, and other health professional degree courses at the University of Melbourne, and supervises research students at Honours, Masters and PhD levels.  In 2019, Lynn was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to medical education in the field of bioethics.

Jenny Bowen is a Senior Staff Specialist in Neonatology at Royal North Shore Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. In addition to her specialist training as a Paediatrician, she also trained in developmental care of neonates with Berry Brazelton and Heidilise Als in Boston in the 1980s. Over the past 30 years, she has worked as a Neonatologist caring for babies in the RNSH NICU and as the Director of the RNSH Neonatal Follow-up Program. Jenny has particular interests in improving neurodevelopmental outcomes of babies in the NICU and assessing long term developmental outcomes for high risk neonates.  She has more than 50 publications in this area and was awarded a Doctor of Medicine research degree from the University of Sydney on “Obstetric and Neonatal Factors Associated with Adverse Health and Developmental Outcomes in Children”.

Dr Nicholas Williams MBBS, FRACP, CCPU, Neonatal Staff Specialist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA). Nicholas completed General Paediatric training through the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network before moving to Vancouver, Canada, to complete a 2 year neonatal fellowship at the British Columbia Women and Children’s Hospital. During his time in Vancouver, he led a project which redeveloped the provincial guidelines on the perinatal management of an expected preterm birth, focusing on the shared decision making between perinatal health care providers and parents to initiate intensive or comfort care from birth. Nicholas was appointed as a staff specialist at RPA in 2021. He has continued his work from Canada and is currently leading a research project to redevelop the existing NSW and ACT guidelines on the perinatal management of extremely preterm births and effectively implement this across the state.  He is also involved in Newborn Resuscitation education, and is the current co-chair of the NSW Health (NICUS) Early care of the extremely preterm infant (ePREM) Quality Improvement Group.

Jane is a Health Service Improvement Coach. With so many years in healthcare she is now uncomfortable to disclose it (but more than 30!) her experience comprises a career split neatly into half as a clinician and half in health administration, governance, facilitation and coaching. 

Jane keenly searches for solutions for healthcare OUTSIDE of healthcare and her current areas of interest include: neuroleadership (leading with the brain in mind), positive / strength based psychology, understanding complex systems and human factors and gently putting the “care” back into healthcare (or keeping the care in healthcare, if you are lucky enough to be working in a happy culture). Jane’s application of neuroscience and mindfulness at work combined with pragmatic tried and true strategies, aims to motivate and energise  healthcare providers to work with their own strengths, emotions and behaviour and thereby to influence their local culture - managing the safety and reliability of their care and its focus on the patient—whilst caring for themselves.