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The Gender Service team

  • The RCH Gender Service provide holistic family centered care. Specialty teams involved include: medicine (adolescent medicine, endocrinology, gynaecology, general surgery), nursing, psychology, child and adolescent psychiatry, speech pathology, clinical ethics and legal services.

    Medical

    Associate Professor Michelle Telfer MBBS (Hons.) FRACP

    Gender Service -  Michelle Telfer

    Paediatrician and Head of Department of Adolescent Medicine

    As Director of the RCH Gender Service, Michelle has been instrumental in its development and expansion since 2012. She is a strong advocate for legal change and improved access to medical and mental health care for transgender and gender diverse children and adolescents in Australia.

    Dr Debi Feldman MBBS (Hons) FRACP

    Debi Feldmen

    Paediatrician

    Debi joined the RCH Gender Service in 2013. Debi also has degrees in Law and Arts and an interest in Bioethics, and enjoys the opportunity to work with this remarkable group of children and young people.

    Dr Ken Pang MBBS (Hons), BMedSc, FRACP, Cert Child and Adol Psych, PhD

    Gender Service - Ken Pang

    Paediatrician

    Ken joined the Gender Service in December 2015, and brings to the role a strong clinical focus on child and adolescent mental health and extensive research experience. Ken is excited to assist and learn from children, adolescent and families dealing with gender issues, and is leading the service's research efforts which are described here

    Renata Kukuruzovic MBBS, FRACP, PhD

    Paediatrician

    Renata is an experienced general paediatrician who joined the Gender Service after having worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in inpatient and outpatient settings. Renata’s special interest areas include Aboriginal child health (she also works in the Wadja clinic at RCH) and the community sector to help improve health services and access for children who come from disadvantaged settings. Renata endeavours to provide holistic care to the children and families with whom she is involved.

    Donna Eade (BHScNsg, GCertSexHlth, GDipAHlthWelf, MPH)

    Donna smallest

    Clinical Nurse Consultant, Gender Service

    Donna has a strong background in adolescent health and sexual health and extensive experience in working with marginalised and disadvantaged youth. In April 2015, Donna joined the Gender Service to establish the role of Clinical Nurse Consultant, a role unique within Australia. Donna aspires to advance her nursing role into one that produces the best health outcomes for the young gender diverse patients who are referred to the RCH. Donna is the recipient of the 2015 - 2016 Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship which she is using to develop the clinical component of her role so to produce the best outcomes for our patients and their families.

    Mental health

    Associate Prof Campbell Paul (FRANZCP, Cert Child Aldol Psych)

    Gender Service - Campbell Paul

    Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Gender Service

    Associate Prof. Campbell Paul is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist who has been at the Royal Children's Hospital for many years, in psychiatry and infant mental health. Over the last 15 years he has worked with many children and young people experiencing gender dysphoria, and their families, and he was involved in the establishment of the original RCH Gender Service.

    Dr Tiba Maloof BSc (Med) MB BS MPM FRANZCP

    Gender Service - Tiba Maloof

    Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

    Tiba developed an interest in the mental health of transgender youth after first working in the area in 2012. She also has a particular interest in autism and the mental health of infants and young children. She enjoys learning more every day from the young people she works with, and is excited about being part of a team which delivers world standard care to this important population. 

    Dr Catherine Mollica (D. Psych., Clinical Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology)

    Gender Service - Catherine Mollica

    Clinical Psychologist

    Catherine has extensive experience in the field of child and adolescent mental health, including supporting young people who face challenges with their identity, body image and self-esteem. She takes a broad approach to maximising people’s wellbeing in all aspects of their lives and values the importance of educating and empowering parents. Catherine has expertise in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders and autism spectrum disorders and recognises the need for greater awareness and community supports regarding gender identity issues.

    Dr Zeffie Poulakis D.Psych MAPS (CClin) MACPA

    Gender Service - Zeffie Poulakis

    Psychologist

    Zeffie is a clinical psychologist who, following completion of her undergraduate studies in psychology, commenced a research career at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She subsequently undertook training in clinical, child, adolescent and family psychology, and has been practicing as a psychologist for over a decade. Following clinical roles in public child and adolescent services and private practice, Zeffie is now part of the team at the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service where she works as a senior clinical psychologist. She is also the Director of the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program at the Royal Children's Hospital's Centre for Community Child Health, and Research Officer with the Child Health Services Research Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

    Dr Carmen Pace, DipYthWrk, BA (Hons), MPsych (Clin Child), PhD, MACPA

    Carmen

    Clinical Psychologist

    Carmen is a clinical psychologist with broad experience working with children, adolescents and their families across both outpatient and inpatient settings. She also has a strong research background and combines her clinical work with a role at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, specialising in the transfer of research knowledge into clinical and community settings. Carmen is passionate about improving quality of life and wellbeing for all young people, and feels especially privileged to have the opportunity to work with gender diverse young people in her role in the Gender Service.

    Dr Tram Nguyen MBBS MPM FRANZCP

    Tran Nguyen

    Psychiatrist

    Tram has had a breath of experience working with young people and their families.  She is a strong advocate for those who are vulnerable and marginalised. She is excited and privileged by the opportunity to work with young gender diverse people and their families through their journey at the Gender Service.  

    Tim Cronin BPsySc (Hons),  MPsych (Clinical), MAPS

    Psychologist

    Tim is a psychologist with training in clinical psychology and a background in research in LGBTIQA+ mental health.  Tim is experienced in working with children, adolescents, adults and families/carers in public and community mental health settings.  He is interested in advocating for and improving the well-being of gender diverse people, and does so by working clinically with gender diverse people and their families and carers, as well as researching factors associated with mental health in this population.    

    Dr Mikaela Smee  D.Psych (Clin.) MACPA

    Clinical Psychologist

    Mikaela is a clinical psychologist who is experienced in assessment and providing individual and group therapy across inpatient and outpatient settings.  Mikaela has extensive experience working in schools providing clinical consultation and developing school-wide approaches for wellbeing and learning.  Mikaela completed her clinical doctoral dissertation investigation the mental health experiences of trans and gender diverse Australians and is privileged to use that knowledge to support young people and their families through the Gender Service.   

    Medical endocrinology

    Dr Michele O’Connell MB BCh BAO (Hons), MRCPI, FRACP, MD

    Endo - OConnell Michelle

    Paediatric Endocrinologist

    Clinical Lead Endocrinology and Diabetes

    Michele is a Paediatric Endocrinologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital who has been involved in the care of transgender adolescents since late 2011. Together with the Adolescent Medicine paediatricians, Michele has helped to develop the Gender Service’s information statements and guidelines for use of hormonal therapies in transgender youth. As part of her ongoing role with the Gender Service, Michele is keen to assess outcomes of youth seen at our clinic, to optimise care pathways.

    Professor Garry Warne AM MBBS FRACP

    RCHI_-_Warne_Gary

    Garry Warne was a consultant paediatric endocrinologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne for 34 years, from 1977 until 2012, including 19 years (1980-1999) as Director of Endocrinology and Diabetes. Throughout his career, he carried out basic and clinical research into disorders of sex development and co-edited a textbook on intersex disorders in 2011. In 1998 Professor Warne was appointed the founding director of Royal Children’s Hospital International, an externally funded department which provided major capacity building projects in collaboration with hospitals in India, Indonesia and Vietnam. With Professor Campbell Paul, he co-founded the Gender Dysphoria service at RCH in 2003. Garry retired in January 2012.

    Research

    Dr Michelle Tollit PhD, MEdPsych, BPsych (Hons)

    Adolescent medicine - Michelle Tollit

    Evaluator co-ordinator

    With over 12 years of research experience, Michelle has strong research interests in adolescent health and wellbeing. In 2015, Michelle began collaborating with the RCH Gender Service to undertake research and evaluation which aims to better understand the health profile of children and adolescents with gender concerns, including outcomes of treatment provision. Michelle is keen to continue to expand this research and to embed a clinical evaluation within the Gender Service in the future.

    Janet Bryson (Bachelor of Psychological Science, majoring in Nutrition)

    Adolescent medicine - Janet Bryson

     Project Assistant

    Janet's original focus in her studies was on body positivity and diet culture, but she soon discovered that she wanted to celebrate all forms of diversity, and advocate for all people to live authentically in their bodies, happily and healthily. By contributing to research at RCH, she hopes to help improve experiences for patients both in and outside of the hospital, and for the wider trans and gender diverse community.

    Administration 

    Shantelle Hendy (BBusiness)

    Administrator Coordinator Department of Adolescent Medicine

    Shantelle has worked as the Admin Co-ordinator for the Gender Service since its expansion in 2013. She is passionate about helping young children and adolescents on their journey to finding their true self and is dedicated to supporting the team that help patients on this journey.   

    Corinne Meunier

    Administrator Assistant Department of Adolescent Medicine

    Corinne has worked in the Gender Service since 2017.  She is passionate about the work she does in the service and is committed to helping patients and families,  providing as much assistance and support as she can.