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The Pulse #11 2022


Dean’s Update

Farewell and thank you

This is my last Pulse before returning to Victoria. While I will continue to work for CDU and specifically the College of Nursing and Midwifery my contribution will be on a Part-Time basis.  I want to thank everyone for their comradery and ongoing contributions that support the CNM and  importantly our students. 

It has been my very great pleasure to have had the opportunity to join the team. Together we have re-shaped, reimagined and set a course that will realise a new future for Nursing and Midwifery at CDU.

Returning to the normality of Christmas at Woodside Beach Victoria

I am saddened now that the time for me to return home has arrived.  I am however very excited about returning home, seeing friends and family, and getting ready for Christmas. The grand kids are already telling me how many sleeps there are until Santa and his reindeers arrive.  Of course, they continually update me on what is on their Christmas list and assure me they have been very good so Santa should be pleased!    


Oh, how I love the festive season.  I love getting ready and I especially look forward to seeing the grandchildren open their gifts.  My house is generally very tidy but Christmas day it turns into disarray with discarded wrapping, gift cards, ribbon, bows and toys everywhere. Our dogs and cats love to snatch the ribbons off presents, from the kids or off the floor. They secret their bounty which entertains them and us for hours.

We generally walk down to the beach, that is 400 meters from our home, and have an early morning swim. This feature of our very long Christmas day occurs after the presents have been opened. Of course, it could be at 5 am or earlier depending on when the kids wake up, and more importantly when their parents allow them to see what Santa has left.  


Christmas day for us involves playing with the kids who always want to play with their newtoys.  Of course, all adults, especially nanny, are obliged to play whatever new board games the kids have received.  Hopefully this year it might be something that nanny can excel in, rather than need remedial assistance to learn the rules!


Next, it’s time to eat too much, celebrate, have a nap and get ready to do it all again!

Our pets really enjoy Christmas lunch. There is always food dropped on the floor by mistake or purposively that are very much appreciated by our dogs Misty and Norman.  Dinner scraps are collected and offered to the chickens who go crazy snatching morsels from the delights offered. The cats, Mittens and Pippa, however, are very civilised requiring their offerings to be sliced, diced and presented in the appropriate bowls in places where the dogs can’t reach.  If you think it sounds like bedlam you would be correct!

Saying goodbye, leaving in a car, towing a caravan with two dogs

We are currently packing up the last of belongings. Some household goods are being sent by courier and the rest packed into the car and caravan.  As I write this final report I am reminded of the movie ‘National Lampoons Vacation’. If you haven’t seen this movie watch it and think about my homeward bound journey!

Nonetheless of my premonitions of major and minor catastrophises, I am looking forward to the trip home. We have allowed three weeks to drive home but who knows it could be less or take longer.  The floods across NSW and Victoria have already required us to reconsider the route we will take home. All I can hope is that central Australia and South Australia don’t flood as this appears to be the only option available currently.


Final remarks
I wish you all the very best and hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that 2023 is a great year.

Professor Karen Francis
Dean College of Nursing and Midwifery.

College Updates

Congratulations to Professor Benjamin Tan who has been appointed to a honorary professorial position as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Nursing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship For Domestic Students

Commencing in 2023, the successful applicant will be paid an annual stipend of $40,000 - over $10,000 more than a standard Research Training Program (RTP) stipend. Each scholarship lasts three years but could be extended to 3.5 years. A tuition waiver will also be granted for the normal candidature period.

To be eligible for this scholarship, prospective applicants should be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and meet the entry requirements for PhD as defined by CDU admission guidelines

For more information please view here.

Professional Staff Conference and Learning & Teaching Week (3-7 Oct)

The Conference is for professional staff provides an opportunity for them to come together from across the university and network, learn and develop. 


Some other photos can be viewed here.

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre

Welcome to the team

Dr Jyai Allen will be joining us for a 6 month contract to work with Prof Sue Kildea on preparing toolkits for the Birthing on Country project. She is based in Brisbane and will work 4 days a week (Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri). Jyai is a PhD qualified midwife, academic, and maternity care researcher with clinical expertise in midwifery continuity of care and midwifery-led settings. She has research expertise in mixed methods, service redesign, implementation and evaluation. Most recently Jyai provided research consultancy to the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer to assist in the development of a co-designed statewide normal birth strategy and implementation plan. For the next 6 months, she will be codesigning and developing a national toolkit for Birthing on Country that can be locally adapted. Additionally, Jyai will be assist with writing the outputs of the Best Start to Life Gathering 2022, including the conference report.

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre & Congress Alukura

Best Start to Life Gathering


The Best Start to Life Gathering occurred 10th – 12th of October 2022, on Arrernte Country in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), co-hosted by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) and the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre. Congress is one of the most experienced Aboriginal health organisations in the country, a national leader in primary health care, and home to Congress Alukura women’s health service.

The Gathering provided an opportunity for over 250 delegates from across Australia to showcase new research and ideas, and to network and invest in a shared vision to address inequities in birthing services for First Nations mothers and babies through Birthing on Country services and facilities.

Delegates discussed that while women are not always able to birth on their traditional lands, system-wide reform, aimed at transferring funding and control of maternity services from mainstream services into First Nations hands, and a First Nations workforce that can drive a strengths-based service, will provide birthing services that are clinically and culturally safe.

A key outcome of the Gathering will be a strategic roadmap for the redesign of maternity services for future generations. 

Professor of Indigenous Health, Yvette Roe, and Professor of Midwifery, Sue Kildea, from Charles Darwin University, have published a guest editorial which provides further information about this important work.

(L-R Prof Sue Kildea, Prof Yvette Roe, Prof Roianne West, Dr Donna Ah Chee, Commissioner June Oscar AO, Senator the Hon. Malarndirri McCarthy, Dr Josie Douglas)
(L-R Prof Sue Kildea, Prof Yvette Roe, Prof Roianne West, Dr Donna Ah Chee, Commissioner June Oscar AO, Senator the Hon. Malarndirri McCarthy, Dr Josie Douglas)

Women and Birth are thrilled to be releasing a Special Issue next week to coincide with the important Best Start to Life Conference happening in Alice Springs.
Edited by Yvette Roe and Sue Kildea there will be 10 wonderful papers with open access. Read more here:


Maternity services redesigned for First Nations women:

CRANA plus, Healthy mums and babies:

Galwiin'ku Project Engagament Materials & HDR Recruitment

Our recently published research papers

Mental Health and Supportive Care Research Group (MHSCRG) Publications

[1] Wang HY, Tan, JYB., Wang T, Liu XL, Bressington D, Zheng SL, Huang HQ. Feasibility and potential effects of breathing exercise for chronic pain management in breast cancer survivors: study protocol of a phase II randomized controlled trial. BMJ Open. Accepted. [SCI, 5-Year IF as of 2021=3.591]  

[2] Zhou, H.J., Wang T, Xu Y. Z., Chen Y. N., Deng L. J., Wang C, Chen J. X., Tan J. Yu,. Effects of exercise interventions on cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients: An overview of systematic reviews Supportive Care in Cancer. Accepted. [SCI, 5-Year IF as of 2021=3.677] 

[3] Wang HY., Wang T., Tan, JYB., Bresstington D., Zheng SL., Liu XL., Huang HQ. Development and validation of an evidence-based breathing exercise intervention protocol for chronic pain management in breast cancer survivors. Pain Management Nursing. Accepted. [SCI, 5-Year IF as of 2021=2.453] 

[4] Wang T, Huang YY, Liu XL, Molassiotis A, Yao LQ, Zheng SL, Tan JY, Huang HQ. Prevalence and correlates of joint pain among Chinese breast cancer survivors receiving aromatase inhibitor treatment. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2022 Sep 6:1 [SCI, 5-Year IF as of 2021=3.677] 

[5] Yao LQ, Kwok SW, Tan JY, Wang T, Liu XL, Bressington D, Chen SL, Huang HQ. The effect of an evidence-based Tai chi intervention on the fatigue-sleep disturbance-depression symptom cluster in breast cancer patients: A preliminary randomised controlled trial. European Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2022 Sep 28:102202. [SCI, 5-Year IF as of 2021=2.398] 

[6] Tan, J.Y., Wang, T., Zhao, I., Polotan, M.J. and Eliseeva, S., 2022. An Evidence-Based Somatic Acupressure Intervention Protocol for Managing the Breast Cancer Fatigue-Sleep Disturbance-Depression Symptom Cluster: Development and Validation following the Medical Research Council Framework. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(19), p.11934. [SCI, 5-Year IF as of 2021=4.798] 

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre

Butler, D., Clifford-Motopi, A., Mathew, S., Nelson, C., Brown, R., Gardner, K., Turner, L., Coombe, L., Roe, Y., Gao, Y. & Ward, J. (2022). Study protocol: Primary healthcare transformation through patient-centred medical homes – Improving access, relational care and outcomes in an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, a mixed methods prospective cohort study, BMJ Open, 12(9), 1-10. Doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061037

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