For practice nurses, general practitioners and community pharmacists
The SPHERE Advisory Circles meet on an as-needed basis to provide discipline-based advice and input into SPHERE research studies relevant to primary care.
If you are a practice nurse, general practitioner, or community pharmacist and you're interested in finding out more or joining one of the circles, contact:
Practice nurses: Jessica.email@example.com
General practitioners: Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org
Community pharmacists: Anisa.Assifi@monash.edu
Practice Nurse Advisory Circle
Meghan works at Directions health service, a not-for-profit General Practice with a focus on addiction, and at Women’s Health Service in Canberra, with a focus on primary care for vulnerable women. Meghan started working in primary care nursing in 2008, and quickly developed a passion for this area of nursing. She has worked in a variety of settings including Defence, Drug and Alcohol, Sexual Health services and General Practice. Her passion for improving access to primary care for vulnerable populations drives her work. Her involvement with the development of the Nurse Led Clinic “Teen Clinic” in General Practice has been a huge learning curve and allowed her to see the impact welcoming, accessible care can have on health literacy, and facilitating young people to make informed health care decisions can be life changing.
Jennifer works as a Practice Nurse at Clarence Medical Centre (a rural GP practice) where she conducts nurse-led women's health clinics, and as a Women's Health Nurse at the Lismore Women's Health & Resource Centre. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Sydney, and in 2013 obtained further postgraduate qualifications in Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Women’s Health Nursing. Jennifer is passionate about women's health and advocating for person-centred holistic healthcare.
Michelle is a Nurse Practitioner in Hobart, Tasmania, currently working at the Royal Hobart Hospital Emergency Department and General Practice, Your Health Hub. She has completed a Doctorate and Master of Science Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) at the University of Colorado with an emphasis in adult primary health care. Her expertise as a Nurse Practitioner started in the United States working in General Medicine, Women’s Health and Endocrinology practices. In the ED setting, one of Michelle’s meta-specialities is women’s health issues, including acute presentations < 20 weeks gestations, PV bleeding and STI complications. In the General Practice setting she runs a women's health clinic, from adolescence to post-menopausal issues.
Noeline is a Practice Nurse at Medical Professionals Dapto NSW, and also works casually at Sexual Health Services Illawarra and Shoalhaven Local health District. Before returning to General Practice she was a Clinical Nurse Specialist for 10 years working in Sexual health for Targeted Clinical Services with a focus on sexual, women’s and youth health. She has a strong social justice focus recognising everyone has the right to access safe and inclusive care utilising best practice principles. Noeline was able to advocate for equity in care through working in Sexual health, Alcohol and other Drugs in South West Sydney and now again in General Practice. While working in sexual health she was involved in commencing a service for the Transgender community of Illawarra Shoalhaven, provided education to numerous services including GP’s relating to sexual health, women’s health including contraceptive options and youth with a focus on consent and sexual identity. Noeline’s proudest accomplishment was as a PFLAG Rep. for South Coast representing the LGBTQIA community in the Same Sex marriage debate and winning!
Kristy is a newly graduated Enrolled Nurse working within General Practice on the Gold Coast, QLD. Kristy has a strong interest in women’s general, reproductive and sexual health stemming from her personal experiences with endometriosis, fertility and domestic violence. She hopes to use her personal and clinical knowledge to advocate for and educate women of all ages to make health a priority and to encourage discussion around important issues regarding health and lifestyle.
Kodie has previously worked in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identified General Practice, where she realised her passion for womens’ health and upskilled to provide services specific to this population. Once her youngest child had graduated from High School, she relocated to a remote community in the Northern Territory under the Womens’ Health Portfolio and continued to combine her passion for Aboriginal Health and Womens’ Health. Kodie has since returned to the Hunter Valley in NSW where she divides her work time between Family Planning NSW and as CNS at HNE Sexual Health Clinic. She understands the barriers to access womens’ health services in rural and remote areas of the country and advocates the role nurses can play in supporting this gap in health care provision through improved access to training and ongoing support.
General Practitioner Advisory Circle
DR HEATHER MCNAMEE
Heather completed GP and family planning training in the UK in 1996 before immigrating to Australia. She became an HIV s100 prescriber in 2007.
Heather established a women’s health general practice in Brisbane in 2000, and a sexual and reproductive special interest general practice in Cairns in 2013, offering a range of services including telehealth medical abortion for regional and rural women.
Heather currently works as a Visiting Medical Officer at Cairns Sexual Health Service and as a GP at Headspace Cairns.
DR CIARA FLYNN
Ciara graduated from University College Cork Medical School, Ireland, in 2008 and worked in Emergency medicine prior to training as a GP in Ireland and is a fellow Ad Eundem Gradum of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She works in General Practice on the Mornington Peninsula and has a special interest in women's health. She is an affiliate of Peninsula Health's shared care maternity program and is a trained LARC /IUD inserter and MTOP provider.
DR MELANIE DORRINGTON
Melanie graduated from the University of Sydney in 2008 and has worked in Canberra and surrounding regions since where she completed her hospital and GP training. She has a specialist interest in women’s health and has completed her Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health, as well as training for Implanon and IUD insertions as well as providing MTOPs. She is currently a GP in rural NSW as well as at the Women’s Health Service in the ACT, and is filling in as a temporary GP Policy Advisor for ACT Health. She has also worked at Sexual Health & Family Planning ACT (SHFPACT).
DR LISA BROWN
Melissa (Lisa) is a GP at Thirroul Medical Practice in the Wollongong area. She graduated from the University of Sydney in 2005 and has previously worked as a clinical skills lecturer at the University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine, a medical educator with GP Synergy, and a GP with the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service and the Illawarra Women's Health Centre. Her passion and focus now is on women's sexual and reproductive health, providing affordable and easily accessible medical terminations, IUD insertions and contraceptive advice in a primary care setting.
Community Pharmacist Advisory Circle
DR SAFEERA HUSSAINY
Safeera is a registered pharmacist and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Department of General Practice, Monash University. Safeera is recognised as the national pharmacy expert in emergency contraception (EC). In 2015, she was elected Executive Council member by the membership of International Pharmaceutical Federation’s (FIP) Academic Pharmacy Section, the premier organisation representing pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists worldwide. Her research is focused on defining and optimising pharmacists’ performance as key health care providers of EC. It has influenced policy and practice, twice prompting major revisions to the national pharmacy EC clinical guideline, resulting in a measured improvement in pharmacists’ practices. Safeera is also an Australian Government Office for Teaching and Learning awardee for her path-breaking work in pharmacy communication studies, and has authored a national education module on contraception and women’s health for pharmacists that has had over 2000 completions since release.
DR ROSA BALEATO
Rosa is a registered consultant pharmacist. Prior to commencing a career in pharmacy, she completed a biotechnology degree with honours, and has a PhD in molecular biology. She worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle before completing a Masters of Pharmacy in 2009. Rosa has worked in community pharmacy and now works as a General Practice pharmacist in Newcastle, and as a medicines information pharmacist for NSW Health.
Olivia is a registered pharmacist practising in Canberra, ACT. Olivia graduated with a Master of Pharmacy in 2016 and has since completed a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice, specialising in Mental Health and Palliative Care. She is also a qualified Diabetes Educator currently working towards credentialing. Olivia is the Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) ACT Branch Committee, current PSA ACT Early Career Pharmacist Working Group Chair, and sits on the Pharmaceutical Defence Limited NSW/ACT Local Advisory Committee. Olivia is a passionate and enthusiastic early career pharmacist who advocates for the best patient care possible.
Alicia is an early career pharmacist who graduated from the University of Canberra in 2018. She is currently working at Capital Chemist Wanniassa in the ACT, an extended-hours pharmacy, which is open almost every day of the year, so she deals with regular requests for emergency contraception. She is passionate about providing sensitive, clear, evidence-based advice about contraception and general women's health. She has published research into gender balance in pharmacy leadership and advocates for improved representation of women and gender-diverse people in these roles. She is currently undertaking additional qualifications in Alcohol and Other Drugs and hopes to use this knowledge to better serve members of the community struggling with addiction. She hopes to improve knowledge among the general public about the different contraception options and pathways through the health system to allow people to make more informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
DR COURTNEY IERANO
Dr. Courtney Ierano is an early-career pharmacist-researcher with a strong passion for infectious diseases, sexual health, antimicrobial stewardship, and women's health. She is a Research Fellow with the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship (NCAS) at the University of Melbourne who has published her work in leading academic journals and also written open-access public commentaries for the healthcare workforce and the community. Courtney is also undertaking the first SHPA Infectious Diseases Advanced Training Residency with Alfred Health and is expected to complete the novel program in March 2022. Courtney is interested in knowledge translation and implementation science to optimise patient care and safety. She hopes to support SPHERE to improve the general publics’ knowledge and conceptions regarding contraception and sexual and reproductive health.