Cancer Nurses Society of Australia | 14th Winter Congress 2011

21 - 23 July 2011 | Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre



International Keynote Speaker

Marilyn Haas

Marilyn Haas

Our international speaker is Marilyn L. Haas from North Carolina. Marilyn received her Baccalaureate in nursing from Valparaiso University. She continued her training and received her Masters in nursing education from the University of Florida and Master of Science in nursing from Clemson University. Her doctorate in nursing and nurse practitioner certificate were achieved at the University of South Carolina. She is nationally certified as an adult nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. As a nurse practitioner Marilyn has a wealth of clinical experience, most particularly in radiation oncology with particular expertise in symptom management across cancer treatment modalities.



National Speakers

Sanchia Aranda

Professor Sanchia Aranda

Prof. Sanchia Aranda took up her position as Director of Cancer Services and Information at the Cancer Institute NSW on February 28th 2011. In this role Sanchia also acts as deputy to the Chief Cancer Officer during periods of leave. Prior to this Sanchia was the Head of Nursing at the University of Melbourne (since 2006) and the Director of Cancer Nursing Research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (since 2001).   She has worked in cancer and palliative care since 1979, predominantly in research and teaching roles since 1989. Sanchia has wide experience in Cancer Control at Australian Government and State Government levels through her roles on the Advisory Council of Cancer Australia and the Victorian Cancer Action Plan Implementation Committee. She is also Chair of the Advisory Committee for the National Centre for Gynaecological Cancers. 

Rochelle Firth

Ms Rochelle Firth

Rochelle Firth was introduced to the specialty of Neuroscience in 1995 when she started working as a new graduate nurse in the Neurosurgery unit, Royal North Shore Hospital. She has completed a Master of Nursing, and was granted the authority to practice as a Nurse Practitioner in 2003. She has been in the position of Nurse Practitioner- Neurosurgery since this time. She held the position of treasurer in the founding executive of the Australian Nurse Practitioner Association and was later awarded a Foundation Fellowship for the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners. Rochelle was on the founding executive of the Brain Tumour Australia group and helped develop and coordinate the first Sydney metropolitan brain tumour support group. She have been an active member of the Cancer Institute, NSW- Neuro-Oncology Group and is a committed advocate for the role of the nurse in the care of patients and families living with the diagnosis of brain tumours.


Louisa Fitz-Gerald

Ms Louisa Fitz-Gerald

Louisa Fitz-Gerald is a lawyer and the coordinator of the Cancer Council’s Legal and Financial Planning Referral Services. Both services began operating in NSW in March 2010, and in 2011 will expand to South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.  As part of the service, Louisa regularly conducts community education sessions on legal and financial issues during and after cancer treatment.  Before joining the Cancer Council, Louisa was a solicitor at the law firm Baker & McKenzie in Sydney, and she still practices law as a volunteer at the Inner City Legal Centre each fortnight.  In 2011 she was named the Australian Young Lawyer of the Year for her work establishing the Cancer Council Legal Referral Service.

Tracy King

Ms Tracy King

Tracy King is a registered nurse with over 18 years experience in the field of malignant haematology and blood and marrow transplantation. Trained in the UK she gained her clinical experience at the Hammersmith hospital BMT unit where she undertook specialist training in advanced haematology nursing.  As a member of the board of directors of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) UK, she further specialised in the care and support of those affected by multiple myeloma. Moving to Australia Tracy continued her specialist interest in myeloma working as support services manager for Myeloma Foundation of Australia and Myeloma CNC RPAH Sydney, a position she set up and sort funding for herself. Recently Tracy was successful in her application for a Cancer Institute Clinical Training Fellowship to undertake some research around the adverse effects of high dose steroids in those undergoing treatment for myeloma. She works with her supervisor Prof Kate White and the Sydney Cancer Nursing Research Unit (CNRU) University of Sydney. Tracy is an active member of a range of professional groups including the Cancer Institute NSWOG Haematology. She is also the co founder and Vice President of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand Nurses Group (HSANZ NG).

Georgina Long

Dr Georgina Long

Dr Georgina Long MB BS PhD FRACP is a clinical researcher and Medical Oncologist at Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA, incorporating Sydney Melanoma Unit) and Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, since 2009. She completed her PhD (University Medal in Chemistry) and post-doctoral studies (Fulbright Fellowship, Scripps Research Institute, USA) in Chemistry prior to studying medicine. She is an investigator on Phase I, II and III clinical trials in adjuvant and metastatic melanoma, and her main research interest is in the molecular biology of melanoma, with a particular focus on clinical and biomarker correlates of melanoma systemic therapy sensitivity and resistance.  She has led the TEAM Study (treat, excise and analyse melanoma) across MIA with the collection of melanoma tissue before and after systemic therapy, including MAPK pathway inhibitors. She is a collaborator with a number of international melanoma centres, exploring differences in outcomes in stage 4 melanoma and has an interest in prognostic variables in stage 4 melanoma.

Russell McGowan

Mr Russell McGowan

Russell McGowan is a bone marrow transplant survivor who has been active in the healthcare consumer movement since the early 1990s. His working life has included teaching, field work, program management and policy development, mainly involving employment, education and training programs for indigenous people. At the national level, Russell is Consumer Commissioner on the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care and sits on the Commonwealth Government’s Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) and the AMC’s Specialist Education Accreditation Committee. At the local level he was convenor of the local Cancer Voices group for many years and graduated to the position of President of the Health Care Consumers Association of the ACT. Through this group he has been active in promoting patient centred care and changing the health workforce to facilitate this. In particular, HCCA has been involved in promoting nurse led walk-in clinics and enhanced roles for nurse practitioners.

Natasha Michael

Dr Natasha Michael

Natasha Michael graduated form the University of Leeds, in the UK and is currently Consultant in Palliative Medicine at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne. Her postgraduate training in palliative medicine included time at Our Lady’s Hospice  Harold’s Cross Dublin, an MSc in Palliative Care and Policy from Kings College, University of London and a Fellowship in Palliative Medicine at the National Cancer Centre in Singapore.  Natasha was previously awarded the Novice Researcher Award by the Palliative Care Research Society in the UK and the Janssen Cilag Bursary in Palliative Medicine in Ireland. She has extensive experience working in palliative medicine across all sites and is currently involved with the recruitment of patients into key national and international clinical trails at the Peter Mac and is developing work on cancer specific Advanced Care Planning. 

She has a longstanding interest in clinical teaching and the use of the humanities in Medicine, bioethics and the integration of the principles of Palliative Medicine into mainstream medical care. Natasha currently oversees an active Palliative Medicine teaching programme at the Peter Mac and is also involved in palliative care education in the Asia Pacific Region

Gillian  Myles

Ms Gillian Myles

Gillian Myles is a Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. She has been working in the Cancer setting for over twenty years during which she has obtained a wealth of experience in cancer nursing, specialising in adolescent and young adult cancer. She has worked in AYA Cancer both in Australia and in the UK where she was involved in the commencement of the first TCT unit in the Middlesex Hospital in London and is the first AYA specific cancer nurse in Queensland. Gillian has been a key member of a number of State and National initiatives including the COSA AYA Fertility guidelines, The National Curriculum Advisory Committee for the Melbourne University AYA post graduate course, involvement in the development of the AYA specific national psycho-social assessment tool as well as her involvement in AYA specific research, among other interests.


Mary  Ryan

Dr Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Gynaecological Oncology at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick she also has an Appointment with the University of Sydney as a Clinical Associate Professor. She completed her PhD titled ‘Living with recurrent ovarian cancer: a narrative analysis’ in 2005 (University of Sydney). Mary is an NHMRC-NICS CA NCGC Fellow, due to graduate in December 2011. Her interests include exploring the experience of illness, designing strategies to minimise the symptom impact of cancer and the associated treatments and improving patient care through evidence implementation.  

Dr Paul Stalley

Dr Paul Stalley has been an orthopaedic surgeon at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for 25 years.
During that time, his interest has been in joint replacement surgery, spinal surgery, and for the last 15 years he hs run the bone and soft tissue sarcoma service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Dr Stalley also has a close relationship with the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick in managing patients with bone and soft tissue sarcoma.

Dr Stalley is currently the Director of the New South Wales Bone Tumour Registry, and is the Program Director for Surgery for the Sydney Local Health Network.

Pauline Tanner

Ms Pauline Tanner

Pauline Tanner is the Gynaecology Cancer Nurse Coordinator for Western Australia.
This is a state-wide service, established in 2006 and includes both clinical and strategic interventions.
She has worked in oncology for over 25 years and has presented at both national and international conferences. She is currently chair of the CNSA Gynae-Oncology Special Interest Group.

Jane Turner

A/Professor Jane Turner

Associate Professor Jane Turner has worked as a consultation-liaison psychiatrist in oncology for over 20 years. She is currently CI on a randomised trial of a brief psychosocial intervention for distressed cancer patients, delivered by novel health professionals who participate in focused training and clinical supervision. This builds on previous research developing and evaluating an educational intervention for oncology nurses to enhance their ability to talk with parents with advanced cancer about the needs of their children.


Andrew Young

Dr Andrew Young

A former strategy consultant with one of the major global consulting firms, Andrew developed strategy, business and marketing skills with a range of large Australian and international companies. Following four years as head of marketing and fundraising at The Smith Family, Andrew was appointed Chief Executive Officer of CanTeen in January 2004, winning the Equity Trustees’ Not-for-Profit CEO First Year Achiever Award in 2005.

Helen Zorbas

Dr Helen Zorbas

Dr Helen Zorbas is CEO of Cancer Australia. Helen has been responsible for directing a number of national cancer control initiatives to improve evidence-based practice, policy and health service delivery, in both the clinical and psycho-social aspects of cancer care. Helen has held a number of positions on key national cancer and Government health committees most notably Chair, BreastScreen Australia Evaluation Advisory Committee; member, NHMRC Health Advisory Committee; Chair, Australian Screening Advisory Committee, Quality Improvement & Workforce Working Group; and Chair, Microwave Cancer Review Committee of the NHMRC. She is currently a member, of the Health Care Committee NHMRC and the Expert Reference Group on Cancer Treatments NHMRC.