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Our People

NMRC Staff

​Gena Lieschke (Lantry) RN, BHlthSc (Nur),MScMed (Pain Mgmt), PhD

Acting Manager, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Conjoint Senior Lecturer, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, University of Newcastle

Gena plays a key role within the Centre, providing strategic research leadership across the LHD. Gena's research interests are in persistent pain conditions, and the early identification, stratification and management of patients transitioning from acute to chronic pain states.  She is passionate about improving patient and service outcomes through the conduct of practice-based enquiry and the translation of evidence into clinical practice.

Email: Gena.Lieschke@health.nsw.gov.au

Se Ok Ohr RN, B. Nursing, M. Health management, PhD

Clinical Research Fellow, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Conjoint Lecturer, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, University of Newcastle

Se Ok provides support to Nursing and Midwifery clinicians participating in research activity across the LHD and the collective work of the Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre in achieving its strategic research objectives. The NMRC facilitates Nursing and Midwifery research capacity building and knowledge generation, utilisation and dissemination through education and ongoing support and guidance to ensure research outcomes lead to optimal patient care and outcomes. Se Ok has extensive experience in project management, has been successful in securing competitive funding for projects.


Sophie Dilworth RN, PhD

Research Fellow, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Research Officer, Public Health, Maternal Health Team, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, University of Newcastle

Sophie is a post-doctoral researcher and registered nurse. Sophie is currently working with the Hunter New England Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre where her work focuses on research capacity building and optimising clinical research within Hunter New England Local Health District.

Sophie also works with the Population Health Maternal Health Team at the University of Newcastle. This research aims to explore current levels of guideline recommended care for smoking, alcohol consumption and weight gain in pregnancy, health system barriers and to develop evidence-based practice change strategies to reduce modifiable chronic disease risks.

Sophie's clinical and research interests include the psychosocial impacts of cancer and chronic disease, older people, people with dementia and the implementation of evidence to change practice. Sophie’s research has a translational focus using mixed method and qualitative research methodologies applied within the clinical setting.

Email: Sophie.Dilworth@health.nsw.gov.au

Michelle Giles RN, CM, BBus, MIS, PhD

Consultant to the Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Michelle has retired and is working with the Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre as a consultant on various projects. Working with individuals and teams, Michelle supports the development and implementation of practice-based research. Michelle is passionate about linking clinicians with resources and helping them bring their projects to fruition. She has excellent skills in research design and process with a particular focus on implementation.

She has a strong publication record and has been successful in securing competitive funding. Projects Michelle has facilitated have been recognised through awards at a District, State and National level.

Email: Michelle.Giles@health.nsw.gov.au

Maralyn Foureur RN, RM, BA, Grad Dip Clin. Epidem., PhD

Consultant to the Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre

Maralyn has retired and is working with the Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre as a consultant on various projects. Maralyn is an experienced clinician, academic and researcher with over 30 years engagement in health services research. She has experience in a diverse range of quantitative and qualitative research methods from epidemiological studies and clinical trials to ethnography. Her main research focus is on generating evidence of effective care and translating evidence into practice.

Email: Maralyn.Foureur@health.nsw.gov.au

Vicki Parker RN, ICN, AssDNE, BA, MN, PhD

Consultant to the Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre

Vicki has retired and is working with the Centre on a casual basis. She was a Chair in Rural Nursing jointly funded by the University of New England and HNE Health. Her research interests include experiences of illness and health care, nursing workforce, inter-professional practice and patient safety. She has expertise in practice improvement, qualitative methods and mixed methods research. Her role within the Centre involves supporting nurse and midwife researchers and research within clinical practice.  Vicki provides mentoring, critical companionship and research higher degree supervision for aspiring researchers.  She has successfully supported many nurses  and midwives to complete projects and research studies.

Email: Vicki.Parker3@health.nsw.gov.au

Kamana Bantawa MBBS, MSc Pop Health, MSc Health Services Management

Research Officer, Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Kamana is a research officer in the Hunter New England Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, supporting the Centre's research staff, activity and processes as well as being a member of a number of research teams.  She has extensive experience in research project management.  She has skills in preparing research grant submissions, project planning and coordination, data management, ethics submissions and writing publications for peer reviewed journals and project reports.

Email: Kamana.Bantawa@​health.nsw.gov.au

Jean Ball B Math, Grad Dip Med Stats

Research Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Jean is a research officer for the Hunter New England Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre. She has extensive experience in data management, project management, clinical trial management, research and questionnaire design and statistical analysis. She has co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles. She has extensive experience programming in a variety of statistical software, including SAS and Stata. She is proficient in the use of Microsoft products - Excel, Access and Word, using macros to automate tasks. Jean plays an important role in assisting the NMRC to achieve its strategic research objectives.

Laura Graham, B Sp Path (Hons), PhD

Research Assistant, Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Laura is a research assistant at the Hunter New England Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre. Laura is currently supporting the Centre with research grant submissions, literature reviews, project management and coordination, and data collection and analysis. Laura previously worked with the NMRC on the NSW Health TRGS “No CAUTI” project and is experienced in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Email: Laura.Graham1@health.nsw.gov.au

Sylvia Ilievski

Admin Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, HNELHD

Sylvia is the admin support officer for the Hunter New England Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre.  She has worked in HNELHD for 30 years, commencing in the paediatric department not long after the opening of John Hunter Hospital and spent many years in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Sylvia has extensive experience in providing admin support to executive staff, clinicians, nursing and allied health staff.  Sylvia will be the first point of contact for the NMRC and will assist with all enquiries.

Email:  Sylvia.Ilievski@health.nsw.gov.au

NMRC Affiliates

To provide timely and rigorous outcomes for projects, the NMRC collaborates with and engages a number of affiliate researchers. These affiliates are periodically engaged to help support, coordinate or undertake certain aspects of a study, or to assist in any number of the NMRC's research capacity building initiatives. If you have trained in any aspect of the research process and would like to become involved with the NMRC as a research affiliate, please contact at HNELHD-NMRC@health.nsw.gov.au 

Peter Massey RN, GCPH, PhD

CNC and Program Manager Health Protection, HNE Population Health

Peter has worked in public health in rural and regional Australia for more than 30 years and has expertise in immunisation, communicable disease control, zoonoses, public health emergencies and Aboriginal health. Peter brings a strong rural and equity focus to all aspects of public health and experience in research capacity building and community based research. Peter currently has more than 75 publications and is a lead investigator on a number of funded research projects. Peter leads a team of CNCs, Public Health Physicians and other Public Health staff in the control of communicable diseases for the HNE LHD. He has also worked for many years in a number of countries in the Pacific on TB programs, public health research capacity strengthening and disease control. Peter has strengths in mixed methods research, translational research, and has research experience across a range of public health approaches.

Email: Peter.Massey@health.nsw.gov.au

Trent Williams RN, BNurs, PhD

Research Fellow, Clinical Health Services

Conjoint Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle

Trent is a Clinical Nurse Consultant at John Hunter Hospital in the Cardiology Department. Trent completed his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Newcastle in the faculty of Nursing and Midwifery. Trent has a graduate certificate in Cardiology and 20 years of Acute Cardiology experience.  Trent has a keen interest in clinical research and cardiology systems, with a specific interest in the examination of adverse events and quality improvement.   He plays an active role in system development and monitoring of cardiology systems within HNE.  Trent has co- authored papers on STEMI systems and health outcomes of cardiology patients, and has won competitive grants and research awards.

Trent was recently awarded the Hunter New England Health Clinical Health Services Fellowship, where he will set up cardio-oncology clinical systems across the district. Trent has a passionate interest in training the next generation of nurses, and leading clinical system implementation

Email:  Trent.Williams@health.nsw.gov.au

NMRC Partners
The NMRC works in collaboration with senior leaders, clinicians and external partners to advance nursing and midwifery research within the District. The following organisations are key stakeholders in the NMRC.