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The team

  • FN 

     Professor Fiona Newall

     PhD, MN, BSc, RN

     Donald Ratcliffe and Phyllis McLeod Director of Nursing Research 

     Fiona completed her undergraduate nursing training at Curtin University in Western Australia. In 1998, Fiona moved to Victoria and commenced working in the field of paediatric thrombosis and anticoagulation. Fiona completed her PhD (2009)   and Master of Nursing (Research, 2005) at the   University of Melbourne, both research projects exploring questions identified from her clinical practice.Fiona has published extensively within her field of clinical and research practice, and is   internationally recognised as a Clinical Researcher. In addition to her position as Director of Nursing   Research at RCH, Fiona continues to work clinically within her field of paediatric anticoagulant management. Fiona has honorary appointments   with the Departments of Nursing and Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne, The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the School of   Nursing and Midwifery at Queens University, Belfast. 

     Associate Professor Sharon Kinney

     PhD, MN, PICU Nursing Cert, Cardiothoracic Cert

     Nurse Consultant

     Sharon has dual roles with the Nursing Research Department at RCH and the Department of Nursing at The University of Melbourne. She worked for many years in paediatric critical care and has held clinical and educational appointments within   the area. A pivotal aspect of her work has   focused on translating research evidence into practice, with a key goal of improving the safety and quality of care of hospitalised children. She is the Nurse Lead of the Victorian Children's Tool for   Observation and Response (ViCTOR) program of work which is funded by the Victorian   Paediatric Clinical Network and Safer Care Victoria. The ViCTOR team have developed and implemented standardised tools and processes to support   clinicians to better recognise and manage patients in both the neonatal and paediatric sector across Victoria. In her university appointment   she coordinates the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice program and oversees the Graduate Certificate   programs in paediatrics, paediatric intensive care and neonatal intensive care.


     Dr. Jenny O'Neill

     PhD, MN, GradCertNICU, RN, RM

     Nurse Consultant



     Stacey Richards

     MN, BSc

     Nurse Consultant

     Stacey joined the RCH team as a graduate nurse after completing her Bachelor of Nursing at the Australian Catholic University. She worked across the surgical wards at RCH specialising in orthopaedics, burns, trauma, plastics and general   surgery. After completing her Masters of Nursing   (Paediatrics) at Monash University, Stacey has worked in several clinical, education and facilitation roles across RCH and the University of Melbourne. Throughout this time she has actively   contributed to advancing nursing outcomes through evidence based practice and research initiatives.   Stacey has extensive experience in the development of evidence based clinical guidelines and research supervision of Masters of Nursing   Science completing clinically based research projects. 


     Bianca Devsam

     MN, GradCertNICU, RN, RM

     Nurse Consultant

     Bianca completed her undergraduate nursing and midwifery training at the University of Queensland. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist on the Butterfly Ward (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), and has completed her Postgraduate Certificate in   Nursing Practice (Neonatal Intensive Care) and   her Masters of Advanced Nursing Practice (Minor Thesis) at the University of Melbourne. 
     In 2016, Bianca participated in the RCH BEST Practice Program, which were the beginnings of her research journey. She investigated nursing assessment of pain in neonates, and instigated a hospital-wide change in the pain assessment tool   utilised in neonates. In 2020, Bianca was   awarded the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship (DEMNDS) which she will be using to develop an evidence-based clinical guideline for pain management in neonates.


     Meaghan Hawley


     Administrative Assistant (Thurs, Fri)

     Meaghan completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, USA, in 2007. She began working two days a week (Mondays and Thursdays) at The Royal Children’s Hospital late in 2013, in her current role as   Administrative Assistant to the Nursing Research   Department. 

    Sage Hay

     Sage Hay

     Nursing Research Fellow


     Sage joined the RCH team as a graduate nurse after completing her Bachelor of Nursing at Monash University. Sage has also complete her Postgraduate certificate (paediatrics) at the University of Melbourne and next year she will embark on her Masters. Sage has worked primarily within   Cardiology and at present is working in the cardiology department as a clinical nurse consultant and in the nursing research team as a fellow. She has a keen interest in qualitative research and improving health education and promoting a positive hospital experience for both children and   families. The research project Sage is working on as part of her fellowship is a qualitative study looking at both parent and nursing experiences in procedural holding. 

     PhD Canidates  


     Emma Jeffs

     Exploring the role of morbidity and mortality conferences in paediatric acute careThe aim is to explore and describe acceptance and delivery of immunisation in specialist schools for young people with disability in Victoria, Australia using a socio-ecological framework.Supported by: An   Australian Government Research Training Stipend with top-up funding from Developmental Disability and Rehabilitation Research Group Gallie Trust, The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, A grant from DHHS Immunisation Victoria 

     University of Melbourne Department of Nursing

     MCRI Emergency Research Group 

     Nursing Research Supervisors: Sharon Kinney and Fiona Newall 


     Mercy Thomas 


     Jessica Taranto 

    Honorary Team Members

     Dr. Naomi Brockenshire 

     PhD, PGDip (Mental Health), MNsc, MA, DipArts, BSc

     Dr. Sacha Petersen

     PhD, MadvNursPrac, PGdipACN, BN, RN

     Dr. Sally Lima

     PhD, MSN, Grad Dip Adv Nsg, RN 

     Dr. Stephen McKeever 

     R.G.N, RN (Child), Dip.Trop.Nurse, ENB 415, BSc.(Hons), Ph.D.