President - Creina Mitchell
Vice President - Julian Grant
Treasurer - Virginia Hunter
Secretary - Christine Burrows
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Please contact MCaFHNA
RN, RM, Grad Cert in Child & Family Health, IBCLC, Paediatric nurse and NICU nurse.
Cathryn has spent the last 25 years working with women and children, and is passionate about breastfeeding and supporting families during their transition to the parenting role. I have worked in NSW and the ACT in various roles with more than 12 years on the early postnatal discharge programme.
I was involved in the accreditation of Calvary hospital baby friendly hospital initiative and worked within the patient safety and quality unit of ACT health.
I currently work as a Maternal and Child Health nurse in the ACT including being part of the Canberra Colleges Cares, a specialised programme run in association with the Department of Education empowering young mothers and families who are finishing their education.
I joined the ACT Maternal and Child Health Association last year when it was formed and look forward to working with the National board.
Janice Finlayson is a registered nurse with qualifications in midwifery (NSW), training and assessment (QLD) and Graduate Diploma’s in Community Health (VIC) and Maternal and Child Health (VIC).
She has focused her expertise in bringing innovation into child and family health programs; including writing and coordinating the implementation of the award winning, ‘Health Start – Birth to Five Years’ Program in Far West NSW.
Currently, she is the Senior Child Health Policy and Program Officer in the Child Youth Health Strategy Unit within the Northern Territory Department of Health. Her role is to provide expertise in the development and implementation of the new standardised, systematised and evidence-based well child health program for the NT with key performance measures to include program coverage, compliance with program schedules and protocols, and timeliness of delivery of program services.
Jan has been involved in Queensland Child and Family Health Nurses Association (QCAFHNA) Incorporated since 2009 and currently holds the position of ‘President’.
In 2011, Jan was accepted as one of the Queensland representative on the national board of Maternal Child and Family Health Nurses Australian (MCaFHNA).
I have a strong background in mental health nursing and came into child and family health as Director of Nursing over a decade ago.
I hold a BA (with a psychology major) and a MBA (with a focus on leadership). Most importantly, I have a strong passion for children and families and have found my niche in the workforce. This led me to complete my Graduate Diploma of Nursing (child and family health) a couple of years ago and I try to do some clinical work on a regular basis but I’m happy to admit I’m still on a steep learning curve.
I have a longstanding interest in primary health care, and have had the privilege of enjoying a career in child and family health nursing, working at various times as a clinician, educator and researcher. I have always sought to retain strong links with child and family health nurses in clinical practice, and have been active in the Child and Family Health Nurses Association (NSW) Inc. for the past 20 years.
My particular interest is health policy for children and families and I have represented the views of child and family health nurses on federal and state government committees. My professional doctorate was on the impact of the NSW Government’s Families First Initiative on child and family health nursing services.
I hold the position of Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Health at the University of Technology, Sydney and am a member of the Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health as well as the Centre for Child and Youth – Culture and Wellbeing at UTS.
My teaching is mainly in health promotion and child and family health and I coordinate the Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing at UTS.
Libby Dawson is employed as a Nurse Unit Manager for Child Health and Parenting Service in Tasmania. Libby began her career in 1973 when she began an apprenticeship based nursing system to become a Registered Nurse in 1976. She completed a Bachelor of Health Science (including Family and Child Health Nursing) in 1992 and went on to complete Master Of Health Science (Rural and Remote) in 2001, a Diploma of Business, 2002 and a Graduate Diploma of Infant Mental Health in 2008.
In 1993, she joined the Family and Child Health Service to consolidate her learning, beginning by practising in a rural community and later moving to an urban centre closer to home. She came into the management role in 2000. Being responsible for a small team of Child Health Nurses, the Parenting Centre and c u @ home nurse home-visitor team.
She was a founding member of the Tasmanian College of Family and Child Health Nurses Inc and also the first representative for Tasmania on the National body.
She has been a member of the Editorial board of the Community Paediatric Review Committee since 1998 assisting in writing and editing articles for child health nurses across Australia.
"Recently setting up a home visiting program for first-time mothers aged 15-19 years across Tasmania. This project has combined my passion for a broader health perspective for families and utilised the skills I have been forming over the last few years."
Julian is a lecturer in child and youth health at Flinders University South Australia. Having lived and worked in a range of rural, remote and metropolitan areas in Australia, Julian’s research and practice interests are driven by a social justice agenda of equity in health care for children and families.
Julian’s interests are directed towards understanding how child health professionals work with culture in the everyday work place of child and family health. Julian’s recent research extends into structural and professional frameworks that support refugees who are parenting in a new country of Australia.
Julian is currently working with the Australian refugee foundation and Migrant health to explore how parents who are refugees develop parenting capacity in a new country.
In her spare time Julian and her partner are kept busy with two teenage children, two dogs, three chickens, a vegetable garden, a house renovation, and long walks on the beach!
Gail Clee currently holds the full time position of Clinical Nurse Manager for a team of Child Health Nurses working in the Darwin community within the home and across 3 centres.
Gail has lived in Darwin since 1973, working initially as a midwife. Then she made the decision to move into what happened after birth and that required Child health training, Child Welfare it was called.
Gail had a break from nursing of 4 years apart from some casual night shifts again as a midwife, when my 3 girls were born and growing, but returned to community part time when the youngest was 4 years old.
Gail upgraded her qualifications through Flinders University in SA doing post grad Diploma of Nursing then Masters of Child Youth and Family Health. This has helped my involvement with NT Child and Family Nurses Group and through that the Paediatric and Child Health conference held in Darwin in 2008. This year is first time I have been involved with the national body.
Virginia Hunter, R.N. C.M. C.M’craft. Ba.Adult.Edu. IBCLC.
Clinical Nurse Consultant, Child & Family Health, Central Coast Local Health District.
Child & Family Health Nurse and member of CAFHNA NSW since 1990. Member of the CAFHNA General Committee for the last 12 years.
CAFHNA NSW representative on the MCaFHNA since 2006.
Creina Mitchell is a registered nurse, midwife and maternal and child health nurse. Over the past 25 years she has worked in hospital, local government, state government and academic settings; predominately in areas related to maternal and child health.
Creina was the coordinator of the Child, Family and Community postgraduate nursing stream at La Trobe University, Victoria for over six years before she moved to Queensland in 2009. Currently she holds the position of Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University.
Since her move to Queensland, Creina has worked with other Queenslanders to establish the Queensland Child and Family Health Nurse Association (QCAFHNA), so Queensland has a voice on the National MCaFHNA Board. She continues to contribute to the maternal and child health nursing profession by active involvement in this newly formed state association. She was a member of the National MCaFHNA conference committee and worked with representatives from across Australia to organize the 2011 4th Biennial Conference held in Queensland at the Gold Coast.
Karine Miller is an RN, RM, G.Dip Nursing Education, P.Grad in Clinical Nursing (Midwifery), Child and Community Health Certificate, Mast. of Nursing(Community Practice).
She lives and works in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, WA. She has held the position of Regional Coordinator Community Nursing, Goldfields since 1998. Karine has a team of Community Nurse Managers, Community Nurses and Health workers, who are all dedicated to improving the health of rural people. Karine has always lived and worked in the country. Moving to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in 1986, she held various positions in the hospital, most notably 5 years as the Nurse Educator, prior to moving into a community setting. Karine has worked in various community positions and towns in the Goldfields of WA, and thoroughly enjoys the challenges of her work.
In 2006 she accepted an 18 month secondment to the Child and Adolescent Community Health Policy (Statewide) as a Project Officer to review and implement a new ‘Community Health Policy, Procedure and Guidelines’ manual for WA. She is a committee member with Community Health Nurses WA, and a WA representative on the board of Australian Association for Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses.
Christine Burrows trained as a Nurse and Midwife in Scotland from 1974 - 1979. She has worked as a midwife in Edinburgh, New Zealand and Melbourne.
In 1995 Christine completed a Bachelor of Nursing and qualified as a Child and Family Health Nurse in 1996.
After seven years in clinical practice with the City of Bayside Christine spent three years in management as MCH Coordinator with the City of Stonnington.
For two years during that time she was President of the Southern Region Maternal and Child Health Nurses Group and with the other committee members revived the group and increased attendance at the quarterly meetings.
Currently Christine is employed as a Maternal and Child Health Nurse in Canberra.
After the national conference in Adelaide this year it was realised it was important to have an ACT voice and be part of the National arena, and to this aim helped form the Child and Family Nurses Association ACT (CAFNAACT), hoping to promote the profession in the ACT and have our important work recognised.
And she loves to wear hats!
Leonie Hellwig is a B.Sci, RM, IBCLC and holds a postgraduate certificate in Family Child Health Nursing. She has lived
and worked in Perth for most of her life, except for a five year period in a small country town.
Leonie has worked in a wide variety of settings including prisons, a military base and public and private midwifery.
Since discovering community child health in 2002, she has enjoyed working in clinical and policy roles. Leonie is
currently working as a project officer for the COAG National Partnerships funded Aboriginal Child health Project.
Leonie has served on the Community Health Nurses WA executive as the treasurer and is the current chair, and a WA
representative on the board of Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses Australia.
Alice has been a member of the SACFHNA committee since 2005.
Alice has worked in the area of child and family health nursing for the past 14 years and has fulfilled clinical, project and leadership roles; she currently works as a Clinical Practice Consultant in the southern region of Child and Family Health Service. Alice is passionate about ensuring children and their families are able to access a quality service to ensure that they can develop to their full potential.
Alice enjoys being physically active, gardening and cooking in her spare time, along with spending time with her husband, daughter and son.
Judy Shawyer, is one of the Northern Territory Clinical Nurse Managers, managing a team of Child Health Nurses in Darwin.
Judy has been fortunate to work in several states and territories in Australia, but Darwin has been home for the past 8 years.
As a specialist Child & Family Health Nurse, I enjoy seeing families grow and develop and parent with confidence. And the current partnership model used in the NT enhances parent's ability to fulfil their dreams.
Judy brings to the Board, knowledge and experience from acute Paediatric nursing, Clinical/Academic Educator in Aboriginal Health work, Educator Family Planning, Secondary School Health Promotion Nurse/Educator.
Judy also holds a management certificate which is certainly an adjunct to the role of Child & Family Health in a community setting in NT. Judy manages a busy clinical setting with staff human resources and clients being the core of this setting.
Helen Watson is the Team Leader of Maternal and Child Health and Immunisation Services with a South Eastern
Melbourne Municipality. She is a division 1 Nurse, a midwife with qualifications in Child, Family and Community
Nursing, Business Management immunisation and Lactation. She is currently the VAMCHN president.
Helen has worked in various areas of nursing over her career and is passionate about working with young families as a
Maternal and Child Health nurse. She is a mother with now 4 adult sons and that is important as they have changed her
thinking dramatically over the years. The two roles, nurse and mother are inextricably linked and together form a large
part of her life.
Having the privilege of walking with young families over the years, she has learnt and taken pride in the dynamic
responses to their issues and needs that are possible when MCH nurses work together in partnership with the family.
Even in our current climate of budgetary restraints imagination and flexibility of mind can create opportunities to
support families. Helen recognises the importance of a political voice to advocate for services on behalf of families with
all levels of government. She argues strongly of the importance of a well-educated and respected nursing workforce
that is imperative in sustaining positive outcomes for children and their families.
I am currently employed with Yarra Ranges Council in Victoria in the role of Enhanced Maternal & Child Health Nurse.
I became very interested in the voice of the Maternal & Child Health Nurses at a state level and then later at a National Level. I feel it is very important that Maternal & child Health Nurses across Australia are heard and that their opinions impact policy direction and initiatives for the greater good of the states in which we work and most importantly the families and children with whom we work each day.
I bring to the role of MCaFHNA State Representative considerable experience and expertise in the field of general Nursing, Midwifery and Maternal & Child Health.
I have held the executive office of Secretary of VAMCHN for a number of years and more recently as Vice President and State Representative for MCaFHNA.
I have represented VAMCHN Maternal & Child Health nurses at a state level in the recent Victorian maternal & Child Health Review, the Productivity Commission,organisational change within workplaces, negotiation of Maternal & Child Health Enterprise Agreements, and workcover discussions.
In recent times I have written and compiled a number of submissions for VAMCHN relating to maternal & Child Health and the impact of proposed government changes on the Maternal & Child Health Service in Victoria.
In closing, I look forward to continue to represent Victorian Maternal & Child Health Nurses into the future.
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Louise Wightman, RN, RM Ba Nursing, Master of Learning Management, IBCLC. Louise currently works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Child and Family Health in a regional health service.
Louise has worked as a Nurse, Midwife and Child and Family Health nurse in a variety of regional, rural and remote nursing and community services in QLD and WA before moving to NSW in 2008.
Louise has a keen interest in research related to parenting, education and the health and wellbeing of families and currently holds an adjunct lecturer position at CSU Dubbo, NSW to conduct research.
She has been a member of CAFHNA since 2008 and took position on the NSW committee in 2015 and commenced as board member of MCaFHNA in 2015
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Qualifications : Registered General Nurse , Registered Midwife , Graduate Certificates (Child , Adolescent & Family Health Nursing) (Child & Adolescent Mental Heath Nursing)
After gaining and consolidating Nursing and Midwifery qualifications in Scotland , Lynda returned to Australia in 1994 .
Since 1997 working in the field of Child and Family Health, within a variety of roles including targeted and universal platforms and clinical leadership.
Lynda is passionate in using a strengths based partnership to achieve better health outcomes for children and families. In 2005 Lynda was involved with the conception of SACaFHNA and over the years has held office bearer and committee member roles
Lynda's priorities in her life are her family , maintaining a healthy work life balance and travel
Suzanne is dedicated to improving the health and well being of children and families. She has worked in the WA Goldfields as a school nurse, Child Health Nurse, Community Nurse Specialist and now Staff Development Nurse for Community Health for the region.
Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Nursing, Graduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Family Health Nursing and she is currently working towards a Master of Nursing.
Suzanne has a strong interest in teaching, policy, infant mental health and helping children and families at risk.
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