A/Professor in Cancer Nursing
Queensland University of Technology
Principal Research Fellow
Natalie is a researcher in cancer nursing, based at Queensland University of Technology, with strong links to Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH). Her research focuses on optimising outcomes of children diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening conditions, with a particular interest in supportive care, equity of access to care and communication.
Natalie was the first nurse in Australia to be awarded NHMRC Investigator Fellowship, and is building a program of research, currently with 9 projects in various stages of development. As well as managing all aspects of these projects, she supervises 6 PhD students, has substantial reviewing commitments, and is also continually seeking funding for new ideas and developing publications.
Natalie remembers her first foray into paediatric cancer care as a student nurse on the children’s cancer ward at Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane.
“The enormity of what a childhood cancer diagnosis meant for families and their vulnerability stayed with me and I knew this was what I wanted to do.”
Natalie spent many years as paediatric cancer nurse, however it was her time as a community-based palliative care nurse that solidified her desire to explore location and equity of access to care, specifically in the paediatric oncology field.
“When I started my PhD on telehealth, the whole concept was limited by the technology available. Now, many of the technological limitations have been overcome, so we need research to show how we can provide certain aspects of care, safely and effectively to patients in their own home, or at their regional centres. Without this evidence, change won’t happen.”
With a Masters of Public Health adding further perspective to managing health at a wider level, Natalie’s research is focussed on developing practical solutions to influence system change. She works closely with her nursing colleagues at QCH, encouraging them to develop their ideas and empowering them to be active participants in influencing change and improvement.
“My research is still in its formative stages, but I strongly believe that we hold pieces of the puzzle – how to provide the right care, the right information, the right strategies to make change happen–and if we can put those puzzle pieces together, we will make a difference to our patients and families and health systems in the future. “
Below are the different health professionals and researchers we have shone a light on during September
- ANZCHOG Chair (Professor Nick Gottardo)
- Paediatric Oncologist (Dr Tristan Pettit)
- Clinical Research Nurse (Reg Gayaman)
- Clinical Nurse Consultant (Helen Starosta)
- Consumer (Anne Kay)
- Pharmacist (Hayley Vasileff)
- Research Scientist (Dr Raelene Endersby)
- Senior Research Fellow (Dr Jennifer Cohen)
- Psycho-oncology clinician & researcher (Associate Professor Maria McCarthy)
- Social Worker (Tanya Alestalo)
- ANZCHOG Chief Executive Officer (Robyn Strong)