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College of Nursing & Midwifery

Health Workforce Wellbeing and Demography Research Group

  • Associate Professor Maree Duddle

    Maree is the Associate Dean Academic. Maree has worked at five universities in her 20-year academic career. In her academic roles Maree has held several leadership positions, been actively involved in curriculum development and renewal and has taught undergraduate, postgraduate and graduate entry students in nursing, midwifery, paramedicine and health management. Maree has also worked in the aged care industry as an Organisational Development and Research Consultant. Maree has a long-standing interest in workplace culture and as part of her PhD developed and tested a tool to measure the relational environment of the workplace. Maree has research interests in collegiality, professional relationships as well as issues at the interface of nursing and the law.

    Associate Professor Haakan Strand

    Haakan has a research interest in the implementation of the Nurse Practitioner role along with other Advanced Practice roles and how these can impact on future work force planning. Along with the Nurse Practitioner role there is an interest in the area of chronic disease management. Additional research interest is in the area of education and preparation of a future work force. At this stage Haakan is principal advisor for two HDR students, studying for PhD.

    Associate Professor Brian Phillips

    Brian joined CDU as Clinical Placement Manager (Academic) in 2007. He has held a teaching-focused role since 2014. Brian has an extensive clinical background in mental health, practising in a wide variety of clinical settings including crisis teams. In more recent years he has extended his interests to professional regulation and Higher Education teaching practice.

    Dr Margaret (Meg) Yen

    Margaret’s career in nursing began with a hospital-based nurse training program. She has since worked in a range of clinical roles in Australia and the UK, and management roles in community health and aged care in Australia.  She has degrees in nursing, education and management and has held academic positions in nursing and health services management. Her research interests include manager/leader influence on workplace learning in nursing contexts. This focus is reflected in her PhD that explored nurse managers’ learning facilitation roles in the acute care sector.

    Ms Saskia Maes (Honours/HDR Member)

    Saskia has over 10 years’ experience in nursing through various specialities, from Oncology, Plastic reconstruction, ENT, Maxillofacial, and Ophthalmology and currently working on the State Major Trauma Unit. Saskia has held positions as a Registered Nurse at The Mount Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital, and soon found her passion and interest in academia where here career commenced with Charles Darwin University in 2012, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Edith Cowan College and finally back to Charles Darwin University.

    Ms Nicole Norman (Honours/HDR Member)

    Nicole is a registered nurse and nursing lecturer. Her specialty is emergency nursing. Nicole is interested in contextualisation of learning to bridge the theory to clinical practice gap for nursing students. More specifically, her work examines innovative use of technology in nursing education. Nicole has presented her work at multiple conferences including: Primary Healthcare: Interviews with professionals at the annual ADMA conference, and Breaking Silos: Transforming organisational culture through innovation-based group coaching and mentoring at the annual Blackboard conference.

    Ms Sarah Mills (Honours/HDR Member)

    Sarah is a scholarly teaching fellow.  She trained as a Registered Nurse in the UK and has extensive clinical experience in critical care and remote area nursing. She holds a Master of Advanced Practice Nursing, and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) with CDU. Her research interests focus on the effect of workplace culture on patient outcomes. She is currently writing a systematic review about the impact of missed nursing care on patient outcomes.

    Ms Minakshi Pearce (Honours/HDR Member)

    Minakshi (Min) is a lecturer in nursing specialising in public health. In addition to teaching, she is interested in patient safety, transition to professional practice and self-care in nursing at the level of both students and registered healthcare providers. Min is currently undertaking inquiry into the transition to professional practice for new graduate nurses and midwives. Min holds a Master of International Public Health, a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education.

    Ms Donna Diffley (Honours/HDR Member)

    Donna is a scholarly teaching fellow. She has coordinated and taught units in the Undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing program. Her teaching is supported by ten years’ experience as a Registered nurse and Clinical Nurse Educator in Ireland and Australia. Donna graduated as a Registered Nurse in 2010 and completed a Certificate in Perioperative Nursing in 2011 through Sligo University Hospital and the Centre of Nursing and Midwifery Education Sligo Ireland. She has also completed post basic study in areas of Simulation in Nursing Education. Donna’s areas of research interest include resilience in nursing, the wellbeing of nursing students and simulation in nursing education.

    Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes (Affiliated Member)

    Sue is a registered nurse, having commenced her career working with children and young adults with intellectual and physical impairments. Since then she has had many different experiences, lecturing, being a research assistant, managing an emergency department in NSW, working as a consultant and then moving to the NT to be the Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Top End Health Service. She is now the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for NT Health, an Adjunct Professor with CDU, a Fellow and Board Director of the Australian College of Nursing.

    Adjunct Senior Lecturer Jaya Thomas (Affiliated Member)

    Jaya is currently Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Top End Health Service and holds an adjunct appointment as Senior Lecturer in Nursing with CDU. Throughout her career, she has established strong partnerships with key stakeholders and education partners and has also represented Top End Health Service at National levels. Jaya has also won numerous awards in recognition of her contribution to nursing, patient care and quality improvements. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nursing and a Master of Education (Global Learning) in addition to a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in Education all from CDU. 

  • A longitudinal study of the workforce profile of Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners (AHW/P) in Australia

    In 2007, a now seminal workforce study of nurses and midwives was undertaken in Australia and internationally led by Prof Catherine Turner. The e-Cohort study recruited >10K participants across Australia, NZ and the UK utilising a prospective cohort methodology measuring health and workforce outcomes. This study was supported by national grants, collaborations from industry and government, and yielded a wealth of data spanning >5 years used to inform workforce planning. The original data is archived in the Australian National Data Archive for longitudinal studies ( This project aims to replicate the methods used for the original study and apply this to the AHP's and AHW's cohort. There is evidence that shows a declining AHW/P workforce across the nation with a marked decline in the NT. This grant will support a pilot study located in the NT.

    Aboriginal Health Workers (AHW) Workforce in NT

    Healthcare outcomes for Indigenous people in the NT remain well below national standards across a range of indicators including quality of life, life expectancy and a range of social determinants. Indigenous Australians experience a burden of disease that is 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. Endemic factors impacting outcomes include social and economic disadvantage; and cultural, climatic and demographic factors. With 30% of the NT identifying as Indigenous and 70% of that population living in remote and very remote areas, the gap is significant as is the need to address it. The existing AHW workforce is ageing, declining and is not being replaced at a sufficient rate to respond to the health needs of this vulnerable population. The outcomes of this multi-phase project will offer demonstrable health outcomes to Indigenous and remote populations through coordinated PHC models with AHW/P led care at the centre.


Research scholarships

Domestic students

International students