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The Pulse #7 2022


Dean's Update

As usual I can’t believe that it’s time for another edition of “The Pulse”. It has been a busy month since the last edition. 

Visit to University of Tasmania, Launceston:  Professional Experience Placement (PEP)

View of Launceston  (
View of Launceston | Source:

Nicole Norman, Jo Finn and I met with Associate Professor Annette Marlow and her associate Caroline Beane to gain further insights into how they operationalise PEP.  The information we gleaned from this meeting is informing the review of PEP within the CNM being headed by Jo and Nicole. The review will result in some changes to current operations and the appointment of an academic lead for PEP and Simulated Learning. This person will work closely with the course coordinators and spearhead innovative practices and research in simulated learning. The following image of the Tamar river and the city of Launceston. I have attached the link if anyone is interested in holidaying in Tassie!.

Graduation Alice Springs
Jessica Morrissey and I travelled to Alice Springs to attend the Graduation ceremony, that was held on Thursday 17th June. Angela Bromley and Sue Kildea joined us at the ceremonies held. It was fantastic to see Nursing and Midwifery students graduating at this event. The weather in Alice was beautiful. Lovely warm sunny days and crisp nights. I have attached a photo of me taken by Jess enjoying a cuppa in the Botanical Gardens Café on arrival to Alice and a photo of Jess and myself on the flight from Alice Springs back to Darwin. The big surprise was the flights were on time both ways!

Karen and Jess
Jessica and I very excited that the flight from Alice to Darwin was not only on time it left 10 minutes early!
CoNM Dean
Karen having a cuppa at the Alice Springs Botanical Gardens.

Timor Leste

The VC and a group of senior staff from CDU including myself visited Timor Leste 6-8th June.  A number of business opportunities were identified primarily related to the trades and culinary service areas.  We visited the National University of Timor Leste and the Timor Leste Catholic University (newly established).  Both Universities offer a Bachelor of Nursing that is inclusive of Midwifery although I suspect this aspect of curriculum aligns more closely to obstetric nursing.  CDU is supportive of both Universities’ however the challenge is language. Timor Leste’s national languages are Portuguese and Tetum Prasa. Please see links below to both Universities and a short YouTube on sites to see in Timor Leste.

The photo below was taken when Pete and I were in Timor Leste at Easter on a short vacation. We are standing at the base of the Christo Rei (Jesus) statue that overlooks the city of Dili. I have also included a photo of the very large statue of Pope John Paul 11 that is also located overlooking Dili from the opposite end of the city. Both the statues are worth seeing, as are the World War II caves used by the Japanese army and later during the Timor Leste war for independence (photo included). 

Statue of Pope John Paul 2nd
Statue of Pope John Paul 2nd
The Japanese Caves
The Japanese Caves of Venilale dugout by Timor Leste locals for the Japanese during WW2.

It is my hope that we can work with the right people in Timor Leste to strengthen our mutual Nursing and Midwifery relationships and gains.

Cyber security training

Cyber security training

I attended a mandatory Cyber Security training workshop recently which was fantastic and very disturbing. The good news is I now have a new language and the bad news is I am terrified of inadvertently exposing CDU and myself to cyber-attacks. The take home message for me was to be very careful when creating passwords as hackers can get into your computers very quickly. The presenter showed us some software that decrypts passwords.  He demonstrated an example of hacking into a training computer and then accessing passwords to accounts. It took less than 5 seconds!

So, when you are asked to create a new password the words of wisdom that I gained from this workshop are:

  • Use over 10 characters – more is better as it is harder to break the code
  • Include upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers
  • Don’t place the number and/or symbols in the middle or at the end of the password
  • Don’t use the same password adding an extra character at the end when you change passwords
  • Don’t store passwords on your computer or phone unless you have installed and are using software that prevents cyber-attack such as KeePass, iPass and Passportal. I have to say it’s a pain setting these up but worth the effort.

For example:  IWalked2theFront#doorat9yesterday (please note this is not my password for anything)

Enjoying my time out in the NT.

Hilary’s Hillbillies win Gold at the local Pub trivia night.
Hilary’s Hillbillies win Gold at the local Pub trivia night.

My husband Pete and I have been busy having a wow of time enjoying the many restaurants which we seem to be at very often and sightseeing.  The following photo is an example of a regular meeting I have with Susan Hudson and Bianca Rance at my local pub, The Beachfront Hotel, Nightcliff. Suffice to say that one night we were asked if we would like to join the Trivia game. We played and came third. After our initial success we have made it a regular weekly event.  To increase our success, we have recruited a number of additional team members including the University Secretary, Hilary Winchester, the VC and his wife, David from events and his mum and dad. Expanding the team realised gold! Our challenge now is defending our title! I must confess that Bianca is the star followed by David.  I should also confess that the Trivia MC when announcing our brilliant win offered solace to other teams stating we were so successful because we were as old as the other contestants’ grandparents, how rude!


everyone I would like to recognise a couple of people who have been doing a fabulous job not only in their usual day-to work but just going doing that extra that’s makes a difference to.

  • Kate Morrissey who keeps us all in line and is always on top of everything
  • Jo Finn and Nicole Norman who have accepted the dubious task of reviewing the PEP and Simulated learning processes
  • Jessica Morrissey who has been sick but keeps on going ensuring that our relationships with partners is strengthened and new relationships forged and sustained

Concluding remarks

It’s the end of Semester 1 and I know you are all busy finalising grades and thinking about Sem 2.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you all and what a pleasure it is to work with everyone.

Professor Karen Francis
College of Nursing & Midwifery

College Updates

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre

New staff

The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre is excited to welcome Stephanie Gorman to the team! Steph Gorman is an early career public health practitioner. Steph graduated with a public health degree at the University of Canberra in 2020. Most recently, Steph has worked on chronic disease and Indigenous health projects with the National Centre of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. Steph is currently undertaking a Master of Research with Dr Sarah Ireland, Professor Sue Kildea and Associate Professor Elaine Läwurrpa Maypilama.

We officially welcome Elfreda Tanna to the team also. Freda has completed her Business Traineeship and has been offered a full-time role as Administration Assistant to the Centre. Elfreda is a proud First Nations woman – her mother is Aboriginal and South Sea Islander from Hervey Bay and her father is Torres Strait Islander from Badu Island. She is a valued team member who is studying a Certificate IV in Business. She is excited to continue to learn, develop her administration skills and ultimately pursue a career in business. Congratulations, Freda!

Molly new staff

Birthing on Country CRE Seminar Series

Our next Birthing on Country seminar is near with special guest speaker, Kristie Watego!
Join us Tuesday 28th June at 1:30pm to hear about Kristie's focus on ‘harnessing early intervention and prevention’ to support Mob to grow a Strong Black Deadly Family
Register here:
Email to join our mailing list to keep up to date with future events and seminars.


Congratulations to Sarah Maidment who got 50/50 on her recent psychology assessment!

Congratulations to Mpho Dube, Lecturer in Midwifery based at Casuarina Campus, who was announced as providing the Best and Most Engaging Presentation at the recent HDR Conference.

Reflections from the CDU HDR Conference at Darwin

research students

Most of the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students from the College of Nursing and Midwifery attended the CDU HDR conference held in Darwin in early June. We had a chance to present our research, participate in insightful keynote sessions and panel discussions, and mix with other academics.  For most of us, those days spent in Darwin provided us with an opportunity to meet our fellow PhD students from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and Darwin in person for the first time. Through attending the conference and sharing many meals, laughs and conversations we formed a bond forged in our common purpose. It was a coming together of women researchers with different professional and cultural backgrounds, all working independently yet together on improving women’s health and privileging their voices and experiences. We feel invigorated, enlightened, and re-energised to focus on our research, but with a stronger network, and we are looking forward to the next time and leave you with our reflections below:

 “Mpho and Kobi won the awards for most engaging presentation, it made our whole team really proud” - Jenne Roberts

“For me it was exciting to see everyone and attend the presentations. It was a surprise and a privilege to win the Award.”- Mpho Dube

Really good to engage with fellow students from our Brisbane campus. Aside the main conference, we had lots of fun and I met some really great people” - Isabella Garti

“It was a great to meet, connect and network with my HDR peers from the Molly Centre and the college and beyond, and be a part of something bigger than just the research that I am working on” - Anvitaa Chadha

" Coming from the Clinical sector it was an amazing 3 day experience to interact with fellow students and the CDU faculty. It was a great opportunity & platform to meet, greet and listen to the HDR students about their study, challenges and achievements. A big shout out to say thank you to the HDR CDU TEAM for bringing all the HDR Students together. Looking forward to another opportunity to meet everyone next year."- Jessy Thambiraj

Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program National Support Service

New Staff at the ANFPP:

The ANFPP is excited to welcome our four new team members:

  • Professor Roianne West - Professor of Workplace Strategy
  • Professor Juanita Sherwood - Curriculum Writer & First Nations Leadership
  • Associate Professor Cameron Hurst - Biostatistician & Epidemiologist
  • Sheringa Minniecon - Program Administrator

Each new team member brings an exciting set of skills and we cannot wait to see where they push the ANFPP into the future.

Growth and Empowerment Measure Tool - Workshop in Cairns, June 2022

In June 2022, our National Support Service team members - Nikki McGrady, Nickita Wiley and Caitlin Wharton - travelled to Cairns in June to co-facilitate the Growth and Empowerment Measure Tool training for our Family Partnership Workers. Along with Associate Professor Melissa Haswell from University of Sydney, the team spent three days going through extensive training with our Family Partnership Workers to ensure we have successful implementation of the tool across the program. 
We hope to be able to bring forth valuable data on how our Home Visiting Teams are making monumental change within their clients and communities. 

Click the link to learn more about the tool and it's applications:


HDR Conference

Congratulations to Mpho Dube and Kobi Schutz, Lecturer in Midwifery based at Casuarina Campus, who was announced as providing the Best and Most Engaging Presentation at the recent HDR Conference. 

This is based on the audience votes. After each presentation, the audience voted for the two best presentations, and Mpho & Kobi got the most votes.


Some photos from the Conference can be viewedhere:

The Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia

The Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia
Photo by CDU

The Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Tat Thanh Nguyen, visited Charles Darwin University last week to meet some of our Vietnamese students and talk about our plans for future collaboration with Vietnam.

CDU is proud to have a diverse group of international students, including many from Vietnam. We value our relationship with Vietnamese universities and look forward to attracting more Vietnamese students to CDU and the Northern Territory.


New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship for 2023.

The NCP Scholarships 2023 are open to eligible Australian undergraduates currently studying at Australian universities.

The scholarship provides funding to students to go to one, or several, of 40 countries in the Indo-Pacific region for up to 18 months to participate in:

  • study +
  • internship+
  • language study

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region and is intended to be transformational, deepening Australia's relationships in the region, both at the individual level and through expanding university, business and other links.

More information about the Scholarship can be found at The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program | Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (

Expressions of Interest (see attached form) must be submitted to by Monday 11 July 2022.

Student Digital Experience (SDX) - ePortfolio (PebblePad)
SDX has just shared some information about the ePortfolio (PebblePad) project in CDU Waterhole. For your information, please view the links below.

What does PebblePad bring to CDU?
PebblePad brings a range of tools to help learners plan, record, reflect on, and evidence their learning, and brings their learning stories together in interactive presentations. For lecturers and supervisors there are tools for guiding and scaffolding learning activities and providing learners with learning packages that they can own, add to, and refer back to in the future.

Training resources: 

NTEU Joan Hardy Scholarship for post-graduate nursing research – Call for applications 2022 
The NTEU is again offering this scholarship in 2022. The application deadline is Friday 26 August 2022. A decision will be made in November 2022. 

The Joan Hardy Scholarship is available for any student undertaking a study of nurses, nursing culture or practices, or historical aspects of nursing as a lay or professional practice. The student need not therefore be or have been a nurse and can be undertaking the study in disciplines/schools other than nursing. A sum of $5000 will be paid in two instalments: half on the awarding of the Scholarship; and the remainder on evidence of submission of the thesis.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in an academic award of an Australian public university and expect to submit the thesis within one year of being awarded the Scholarship. This scholarship recognises the contribution the late Joan Hardy made to higher education and higher education unionism in over 30 years of activism. For more information go to: 

Funding and Research

Prof Dan Bressington was awarded $50,000 funding from the Northern WA and Northern Territory Drought Hub for a project led by Prof Mitchell Byrne in the CHHS entitled:  “Developing Psychological Resilience to the Impact of Drought “.

Our recently published research papers

Ho, KHM., Yang, C., Leung, AKY., Bressington, D., Chien, WT., Cheng, Q., Cheung, DSK. (2022). Peer Support and Mental Health of Migrant Domestic Workers: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 7617. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19137617.

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre


Ireland, S., Roe, Y., Moore, S., Maypilama, E.L., Bukulatjpi, D.Y., Bukulatjpi, E.D. & Kildea, S. (2022). Birthing on Country for the best start in life: returning childbirth services to Yolŋu mothers, babies and communities in North East Arnhem, Northern Territory, Medical Journal of Australia. (Early view).

Armstrong, E., Gapany, D., Maypilama, Ḻ., Bukulatjpi, D., Fasoli, I., Ireland, S., & Lowell, A. (2022). Räl-manapanmirr ga dhä-manapanmirr – Collaborating and connecting: Creating an educational process and multimedia resources to facilitate intercultural communication. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

McLachlan, H.L., Newton, M., McLardie-Hore, F.E., McCalman, P., Jackomos, M., Bundle, G., Kildea, S., Chamberlain, C., Browne, J., Ryan, J., Freemantle, J., Shafiei, T., Jacobs, S.E., Oats, J., Blow, N., Ferguson, K., Gold, L., Watkins, J., Dell, M., Read, K., Hyde, R., Matthews, R., & Forster, D.A. (2022). Translating evidence into practice: Implementing culturally safe continuity of midwifery care for First Nations women in three maternity services in Victoria, Australia. EClinical Medicine. (Available online 3 May 2022).

Anderson, L.A., Kildea, S., Lee, N., Kynoch, K., & Gao, Y. (2022). A comparison of the time of hand expressing of human milk with breast massage to standard care for mothers of preterm infants: An exploratory pilot using a randomized controlled trial design, Journal of Human Lactation, May 2022.

Roe, Y. et al. (2022) “Even though you hate everything that's going on, you know they are safer at home.” The role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in methamphetamine use harm reduction and their own support needs. Drug and Alcohol Review (Accepted 2 May 2022). Doi: 10.1111/dar.13481 

Grants awarded

Australian Government: Department of Health: Indigenous Australians Health Program: 4-H3Q6H72, Healthy Mums Healthy Bubs Djäkamirr Program, $6,093,087, 2021-2025, 5 years.  Prof Yvette Roe, Prof Sue Kildea, A/Prof Elaine Läwurrpa Maypilama, A/Prof Anne Lowell, A/Prof Yu Gao, Dr Christine Connors, Dr Sarah Ireland & A/Prof Suzanne Moore.


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