Professor Linda Johnston, PhD FEANS FCAHS FAAN, Dean and Professor Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, past-Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities Programs in Nursing and past Co-Chair of the Joint Provincial Nursing Committee. Linda is a Visiting Professor at Soochow University and Zhejiang University, China, and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the European Academy of Nursing Science, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.  Linda's research interests include identifying the impact of global health initiatives in neonatal care. Her policy interests include the development of clinical academic career pathways and the advancement of the nursing profession in low- and middle- income countries.


Professor Alicia Spittle, is a paediatric physiotherapist and international leader in early detection of motor impairments and early intervention for infants at high risk of developmental impairments. Alicia works clinically in the neonatal intensive care unit and follow-up clinic at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne and as a lecturer in Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. Alicia leads the motor team within the Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) group Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, along with holding a clinical appointment at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. Alicia is leading a team of researchers trialling a new app designed to help earlier identify babies at high risk of cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental impairments.

Dr Calum Roberts
is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics, Monash University, and is a Consultant Neonatologist at Monash Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. He is the current recipient of an NHMRC Early Leadership Grant, and the lead for lung and resuscitation research at Monash Newborn. Calum's research interests are neonatal resuscitation and respiratory management. His currently active clinical trials include the SURFSUP Trial of supraglottic airway surfactant treatment (ACTRN12620001184965), the FONDUE Trial comparing face mask or nasal mask as first mode of respiratory for very preterm infants (ACTRN12620001086954), and the PinC Trial of physiologically-based cord clamping for infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (NL69575.078.19).

A/Professor Campbell Paul is a Consultant Infant and Child Psychiatrist at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and Honorary Principal Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. With colleagues at the University of Melbourne, Paul has established and delivered postgraduate courses in Infant and Parent Mental Health since 1992. Paul has a special interest in the understanding of the inner world of the baby, particularly as it informs therapeutic work with infants and their parents and has found the NBO (Newborn Behavioural Observations) to be a powerful intervention to enhance the early parent-infant relationship. Paul is a master trainer and Director of NBO Australia, the national NBO training program for professionals based at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Professor Catherine Chamberlain is a Palawa Trawlwoolway woman (Tasmania), Director of Onemda Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing and Head of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.  A Registered Midwife and Public Health researcher, her research aims to identify perinatal opportunities to improve health equity across the lifecourse. She is inaugural Editor-In-Chief of First Nations Health and Wellbeing Lowitja Journal and Principal Investigator for two large multidisciplinary projects – Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future – which aims to co-design support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents experiencing complex trauma; and Replanting the Birthing Trees, which aims to transform intergenerational cycles of trauma to cycles of nurturing and recovery.  

Professor David Tingay is a clinical neonatologist and respiratory physiologist at the Melbourne Children’s Campus whose work aims at improving the respiratory outcomes of newborn infants. He is an internationally recognised expert in the physiology of the diseased neonatal lung, particularly the use of advanced modes of mechanical ventilation and imaging regional lung mechanics. He currently co-leads the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Neonatal Research Program. This is an interconnected program of molecular science, translational model, clinical trial and engineering research in lung physiology, lung injury, advanced modes of mechanical ventilation, lung recruitment and lung imaging. His research aims to develop new respiratory support strategies that improve clinical outcomes by focusing less on the mode of support and more on optimizing a strategy for each baby. Prof Tingay is the Coordinating Principal Investigator (CPI) for the multi-center, International POLAR clinical trial. 

Professor Denise Harrison is Professor of Nursing at the University of Melbourne. Denise's
program of research titled Be Sweet to Babies, focuses on pain management for neonates and infants in partnership with their families and clinicians. To produce ‘usable evidence’ with the aim of increasing use of effective pain management strategies, her team co-produced a series of publicly accessible videos in multiple languages for parents demonstrating use of breastfeeding, skin-skin and sucrose during heel lancing and venipuncture (CLICK HERE), a series of vaccination videos showing breastfeeding and sucrose during vaccination (CLICK HERE) and a clinician-targeted video focusing on best ergonomics for heel lances whilst being held by parents (CLICK HERE). Denise was the inaugural Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and University of Ottawa Nursing Research Chair for ten years. She moved back to her Melbourne home in January 2020 to take up her position at The University of Melbourne.

Professor Jeanie Cheong is a Neonatal Paediatrician based at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. She is an international leader in the field of long-term outcomes of high-risk preterm infants, and has expertise in neonatal neurology and neuroimaging.

She is the Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Newborn Medicine, and heads the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study, the longest running epidemiological program of research on outcomes following extremely preterm birth. Her other leadership roles include Co-Group Leader, Victorian Infant Brain Studies and Lead, High-Risk Infant Flagship, both at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Dr Jennifer Dawson works at the Newborn Research Centre, Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Her current project is 'Clinical Trial Coordinator PLUSS trial. PLUSS is a multicentre randomised controlled trial of surfactant plus budesonide to improve survival free of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely preterm infants.  She trained as a nurse in Canberra and as a midwife in Scotland. She completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2010. Her research has led to over 100 peer-reviewed publications with many incorporated into national and international guidelines for neonatal delivery room management of newly born infants. She is a member of the ILCOR Neonatal Life Support Task Force.

Dr Joy Olsen is an occupational therapist in neonatal services at the Women’s and a postdoctoral researcher within the Victorian Infant Brain Studies team. Her research focuses on early neurodevelopment, intervention and follow-up for infants born preterm.

Karrie Long is a visionary nursing leader with nearly 20 years’ experience driving health delivery innovation to ensure safer and more effective patient care. As Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, she provides professional leadership, advice and direction to the sector, drawing on a unique set of skills acquired across all aspects and levels of nursing, including regional and metropolitan health settings and academia. 

Dr Michael Loftus is a Research Fellow within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. His research focuses on the intersections between climate change and human health – both the health impacts wrought by climate change, as well as the large carbon footprint of healthcare. Michael is also a Consultant Physician in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Alfred Hospital and undertook his PhD on “Antimicrobial resistance in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories”.

Associate Professor Rosemarie Boland is a postdoctoral researcher, senior lecturer, neonatal nurse and midwife with a nursing career spanning 30 years. She completed her PhD in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne in 2014, investigating risk factors for mortality in very preterm babies born in non-tertiary maternity hospitals in Victoria. She is now leading a five-year postdoctoral program of research aimed at improving outcomes for these babies, supported by a Career Development Award from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.