Seminar presenters

The Research Skills Seminar Series have a range of guest presenters that volunteer their time and expertise towards enriching the series. All presenters bring their experiences with research in health to ensure our series covers topics that are important and useful to our audience. 

Our Presenters

 Dr Kenneth Lee  

Dr Kenneth Lee

Senior Lecturer, Pharmacy Practice, University of Western Australia 

Dr Lee is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and a clinician. As a clinician, he works in a large medical centre as the in-house pharmacist, as well as in private consultancy, where he primarily delivers comprehensive medication management review services to domiciliary patients. Dr Lee is passionate about integrating practice, research, and teaching.


  • Research Fundamentals - coming up next on 3 March 2023
  • Using Social Media in Research (2022)
 Michael Dymock  

Michael Dymock

Biostatistician, Telethon Kids Institute

Michael is a biostatistician based at the Telethon Kids Institute. In 2018 he received a first-class Honours degree in Computational Statistics at the University of Western Australia, where he was later employed as a consultant statistician with the Centre for Applied Statistics. His current research interests include Bayesian adaptive trial designs, computational statistics and vaccine safety surveillance.


  • Introductory Biostatistics - coming up next on 17 March 2023
  • Sample size Calculations - 30 June 2023
  • Statistical Tips for Interpreting Scientific Claims - 27 October 2023
 Profile picture of Dr Jane Mugure Githae  

Dr Jane Mugure Githae

Research Fellow, CAHS Research Education Program

Mugure joins us from Kenya where she practiced as a General Surgeon & Honorary Lecturer in General Surgery. She has experience in clinical research, clinical audits and medical education. She is keen to simplify the process of integrating day-to-day clinical work with research.


  • REDCap for Data Capture and Management - 5 May 2023
  • Survey Design and Techniques - 2 June 2023
  • Oral Presentation of Research Results - 25 August 2023
 Profile pic of A/Prof Sunalene Devadason with CAHS logo  

A/Prof Sunalene Devadason

Senior Researcher at Perth Children's Hospital
and Graduate Research Coordinator, UWA Medical School, Division of Paediatrics

Sunalene has extensive experience on both sides of research governance process as a reviewer and a researcher.


  • Getting the most out of Research Supervision - 19 May 2023
 A circular profile photo of Dr Tamika Heiden on colourful semi-arcs.

Dr Tamika Heiden

Founder and Principal, Research Impact Academy, Victoria

The Research Impact Academy is a consulting service supporting researchers since 2014.

Coming from a background in health and medical research, Tamika now helps researchers, research organisations, funding bodies, government agencies, and industry organisations to create, capture, evaluate and communicate research impact.

Since 2018, Tamika has worked with over 600 researchers to perfect their NHMRC impact statements for the Investigator Grants. To date, she has supported researchers in securing more than $100 Million in research funding, with her clients enjoying an average success rate of 30%. Tamika also hosts the annual Research Impact Summit, the first global online and free conference dedicated to research impact. 


  • Research Impact - 26 May 2023
 Professor Sonya Girdler  

Prof Sonya Girdler

Professor of Occupational Therapy and Director of the Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG)
and Director of Program 3 of the ‘Living with Autism’ Cooperative Research Centre

Sonya has published over 100 papers, including publishing more than 20 reviews (Systematic and Scoping), supervised 12 PhD students to completion and has extensive experience in conducting research in health and community settings.


  • Conducting Systematic Reviews - 9 June 2023
 Belinda Frank  

Belinda Frank

Involvement Coordinator, Telethon Kids Institute


Belinda is the Involvement Coordinator at Telethon Kids Institute. She started her consumer advocacy work in 2002, originally as a board member and then state manager for a not for profit organisation. In 2016 she started work at the Telethon Kids Institute as the Consumer Advocate then moving into the Development Team with the establishment of the Consumer and Community Health Research Network.  Belinda currently serves on state and national research committees.


  • Consumer and Community Involvement in Research - 16 June 2023
 Melanie Wright profile pic, SMHS  

Melanie Wright

Director Research at South Metropolitan Health Service,
Notre Dame University, Fremantle, and South Metropolitan Health Service, Murdoch 

Mel has 39 years of healthcare experience and for the past 6 years has led strategic transformation of the research environment in SMHS, achieving significant cultural change, to one where researchers are supported, enabled and empowered to conduct high quality local, state and international research projects. Mel is passionate about project management, research and involving consumers with lived experience in every aspect pf healthcare as equal and active partners,

Mel has over 10 years of healthcare project management experience. Mel is also passionate about teaching, coaching and mentoring staff to achieve their very best.


  • Project Management - 23 June 2023
 Presenter profile picture Natalie Strobel

Dr Natalie Strobel

Senior Research Fellow, Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University

Dr Natalie Strobel is a Senior Research Fellow employed as the team leader on the evidence synthesis stream for the Centre for Improving Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families (ISAC) at the Edith Cowan University. She has been working in health services research and epidemiology to improve service delivery to children, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Dr Strobel has been consulting with WHO on various neonatal guidelines including for preterm and low birth weight infants. Her work has had a strong focus on ensuring projects delivered are needs based and inform policy and practice.


  • Rapid Critical Appraisal of Scientific Literature - 4 August 2023
 profile pic of Cheryl Bridge, TKI  

Cheryl Bridge

Head, Kulunga Aboriginal Unit, Telethon Kids Institute 

As the Head of the Kulunga Aboriginal Unit, Cheryl plays a senior role in the full integration of Aboriginal health research as a core business focus of the Telethon kids Institute. She leads her team in providing support, cultural training and building awareness and understanding of Telethon Kids research involving Aboriginal communities across the state. Cheryl's vision is to see TKI's important research continue to translate into a positive impact for our Aboriginal children and families.


  • Involving Aboriginal Communities in Research - 1 September 2023
Profile pic of Mara West 

Mara West

Operations Manager, Kulunga Aboriginal Unit, Telethon Kids Institute 

Mara is Operations Manager for the metro area in the Kulunga Aboriginal Unit at the Telethon Kids Institute.

She has worked in government and the private sectors in various roles and is passionate about research in Aboriginal health being done in a respectful and safe way.


  • Involving Aboriginal Communities in Research - 1 September 2023
 profile pic of Mel Robinson  

Mel Robinson

Director, Aboriginal Health, Child and Adolescent Health Service

Mel has 32 years’ experience in a range of roles including: as a registered nurse, nurse educator, CEO and policy officer.


  • Involving Aboriginal Communities in Research - 1 September 2023
 Associate Professor Fenella Gill  

A/Prof Fenella Gill

Associate Professor, Nursing Research, Perth Children's Hospital, Child and Adolescent Health Service

Fenella leads research focused on paediatric inpatient and family experiences, safety and outcomes. Fenella’s PhD work resulted in national practice standards for critical care nurse education incorporating the views of health consumers. Fenella was an NHMRC Translating Research into Practice Fellow for post-doctoral research on partnering with parents in the care of their deteriorating child in hospital. Fenella holds an inaugural West Australian Health Translation Network (WAHTN) and Curtin University 2019 Early Career Fellowship in Research Translation and in 2016 Fenella was honoured as a life member of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN).


  • Knowledge Translation - 8 September 2023
 Dr Tegan McNab  

Dr Tegan McNab

Grants & Research Development Manager, Telethon Kids Institute 

Tegan undertook her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Murdoch University. She managed the Western Australian DNA Bank (an NHMRC Enabling Resource) for a number of years before moving into research development roles at both The University of Western Australia and Curtin University. Tegan joined Telethon Kids in early 2019. Tegan has a particular interest in supporting researchers to secure research funding. She is responsible for the Institute's grants research operations.


  • Grant Applications and Finding Funding - 20 October 2023
 Dr Shirley McGough  

Dr Shirley McGough

Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University

Shirley has a wide range of experience conducting health research in the area of mental health using a mix of research designs. She is a registered nurse and a credentialed mental health nurse.


  • Qualitative Research Methods - 24 November 2023
Ashley Schoof from Telethon Kids Institute

Ashley Schoof

Commercialisation Officer, Telethon Kids Institute

As the Commercialisation Officer at the Telethon Kids Institute, Ashley is responsible for the identification, protection and commercialisation of Intellectual Property at Telethon Kids to support the development of new discoveries, preventions and cures.


  • Innovation and Commercialisation - 1 December 2023
 Colourful logo with presenter Helga Mikkelsen profile pic

Helga Mikkelsen

Investment Analyst, Brandon BioCatalyst

Helga Mikkelsen is a WA-based Investment Analyst at Brandon Capital, which manages Australia and New Zealand’s largest large life science investment fund, Brandon BioCatalyst. Following degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Helga completed her PhD in microbiology at the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral research in bacterial genetics at Imperial College London. She has since worked with medical innovation and has managed development of devices and drug treatments in the UK and Australia. Helga is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Director and co-founder of Respirion Pharmaceuticals, which develops an inhaled treatment for chronic lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.


  • Innovation and Commercialisation - 1 December 2023

Our previous presenters

- some seminar recordings are still available to watch via the links below

 Associate Professor Sue Skull

          A/Prof Sue Skull

Medical Lead Quality Improvement, Safety Quality and Performance and Consultant Paediatrician Department of General Paediatrics, Child and Adolescent Health Service 

Sue is a paediatrician, epidemiologist, and public health physician. She is an experienced teacher of research methods and enjoys helping others improve and enjoy their research experience.

Sue was Head of the Research Education Program at PCH up to end 2021.

Presented up to end 2021

 Dr Julie Marsh

Dr Julie Marsh

Senior Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute 

Julie is an experienced statistical consultant who has worked in the Pharmaceutical industry for many years before returning to academia. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute where she specialises in adaptive clinical trials, statistical methods for detecting adverse events following immunisation and the longitudinal analysis of birth cohorts.

Presented up to end 2021

  • Introductory Biostatistics (2021) 
  • Sample Size Calculations (2021)
  • Statistical Tips for Interpreting Scientific Claims (2021)
 Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM  

Prof Jonathan Carapetis AM

Director, Telethon Kids Institute

Professor Jonathan Carapetis is Director of the Telethon Kids Institute and a Professor at UWA. His research interests include rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, other group A streptococcal diseases, vaccine preventable disease, Indigenous child health, youth health and education, and skin sores and scabies. He has supervised 23 PhD, Masters, Honours, Clinical Trainees and others in research.

Presented up to end 2022

 Elizabeth Chester  

Elizabeth Chester

Director of Communications and Development, Telethon Kids Institute

Elizabeth provides counsel to the Director and senior staff on strategic communication and advocacy issues and leads a team of professionals who support the Institute in communications, media, fundraising, events, community involvement and marketing. team plays a vital role in supporting the researchers in translating the outcomes of their work to broader audiences, including families and policy makers. It also supports the researchers in developing and stewarding relationships with corporates and philanthropist committed to making a difference to child health and wellbeing. Elizabeth has extensive experience as a broadcast journalist and producer, and has worked with both Channels 7 and 9, and in the State Government's Media Office. She also ran her own consultancy before formally joining the Institute. In her role, Elizabeth has worked closely with the Institute's Founding Director Professor Fiona Stanley in her advocacy for Australia's children and families.

Presented up to end 2022

 Katherine Coltrona  

Katherine Coltrona

Manager, Research Governance, Telethon Kids Institute

Katherine has 30 years of experience in the health and medical research sector and the biotechnology industry. She spent the first 15 years of her career as a clinical nurse and educator both in Perth and London; followed by the past 15 years within health and medical research support services, including research development, ethics, governance, translation and innovation.

Presented 2022

 Tara McLaren    

Tara McLaren

Head, Research Development, Telethon Kids Institute 

After completing a Bachelor of Psychology at UWA, Tara lived in the UK for nine years where she re-trained as a Primary Teacher, working in both the government and private school systems. Since her return to Australia in 2005, Tara has worked in the Higher Education sector across a number of roles including: Research Development Advisor, Communications Manager, General Manager, Marketing Manager, and most recently as Manager of Impact and Engagement. Tara has a particular interest in supporting researchers secure research funding and to translate their research into outcomes that benefit the community. Tara is responsible for overseeing the Institute’s Research Development team with a focus on planning, coordinating and evaluating the Institute's research funding.

Presented 2022

 Natalie Barber  

Natalie Barber

Natalie was the Head, Research Governance and Platforms, Telethon Kids Institute up to end 2021

Natalie has vast experience in running clinical trials and human research from the Pharmaceutical Industry and the NHS in the UK. She is an experienced teacher of Good Clinical Practice.

Presented 2021











Last Updated: 03/02/2023