About me

My journey to becoming a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist.

My journey to becoming a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist was somewhat unusual. My education began in Canberra which is where I grew up. After experiencing childhood pneumonia, I started classical ballet training to improve my fitness. I worked hard, and after auditioning, I was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne to study classical ballet.
As a child, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said I would be a ballerina or a doctor! Perhaps my child illness made me less afraid of hospitals. There are no medical doctors in my family. In any case, I do consider myself to be blessed as I have had the good fortune of experiencing both careers.

My love of obstetrics and gynaecology

My love of obstetrics and gynecology began in my fifth year of study, when I was on rotation at the Mercy Hospital for Women. After being named on the Dean's Honours List in fifth and final year at the University of Melbourne, I went on to complete my residency at Austin Health. I then successfully applied to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecolgists (RANZCOG) training program, commencing at the Mercy Hospital for Women in 1998.
In the ensuing six years, I also spent time at Austin Health, the Northern Hospital and Bendigo Health. All of these experiences were invaluable because they broadened my training.

Pre-term births and my research endeavours

During my training, I have cared for women with all types of pregnancies. What I found challenging to understand, was those women who experienced spontaneous, preterm birth. Why could it not be stopped? Were there any warning signs? Completing a postgraduate doctoral degree (Doctor of Medicine) in 2007 in this area has given rise to ongoing research opportunities with the University of Melbourne's Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Newborn Heatlh. First, I was appointed as an Honorary Fellow in 2006. I am now an Associate Professor (Clinical) in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Newborn Health with the University of Melbourne. Specific research has focused on the exploration and investigation of cervicovaginal fluid for biomarkers that may be predictive of spontaneous preterm birth and preterm, pre-labour rupture of the fetal membranes. I acknowledge the research funding of over $3.2m that has been provided to my work over the past 20 years from the Medical Research Foundation for Women, the Shepherd Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Norman Beischer Medical Research Foundation and Carmentix Pte Ltd (industry-funded grant)/University of Melbourne. I have authored many scientific publications, reviews and abstracts. Ongoing research in this area continuing.

Private Practice

In 2004, I became a Fellow of the RANZCOG after I completed my training. It was then I commenced my private practice. I was appointed as an accredited private practitioner at St Vincent's Private Hospital in Fitzroy and Epworth Freemasons Hospital. In 2005, I established my practice on the ground floor of St Vincent's Private Hospital in Fitzroy, sharing my private rooms with Dr David O'Callaghan. We have been there since then, although much is changing around the practice, as the hospital has major construction underway to expand their services. I manage all types of pregnancies; from straightforward to complex. As a mum I feel a great sense of empathy and connection with the women I care for. I offer Obstetric Care (which is a share-care model with the Embrace midwives/St Vincent's Hospital only). I also offer pre-pregnancy consultations, which may also provide an opportunity for you to meet with me. You can read more about that here.

Reproduction Medicine/Fertility

In 2018 I expanded my practice, working in the area of Reproductive Medicine/Fertility, initially under the supervision of Dr Lynn Burmeister CREI. Helping families in creating new life provides a true sense of wonder.

Mercy Hospital for Women

Concurrently since 2004, I have a public hospital appointment at the Mercy Hospital for Women. This is a tertiary hospital that manages all types of pregnancies, including those that are high-risk. I have had over 20 years experience in managing such pregnancies. During that time, I have supervised and taught many medical students (some who are now obstetric & gynecological specialists), RANZCOG trainees, student midwives and General Practitioners.

The Norman Beischer Medical Research Foundation

In 2018, I was appointed to the Research Committee of the Norman Beischer Medical Research Foundation. The Foundation funds clinically based scientific research in the area of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and newborn health by leading and emerging researchers and uses this research to educate and inform medical practice in Australia and elsewhere. My role is to review these applications for potential funding.

My personal life

Outside of my beloved profession, I am supported by my incredible partner and family. My partner's support allows me to have the most amazing job in the world -delivering babies at any time of day or night. I also have a wonderful network of friends for whom I appreciate very much. I am a firm believer that you should be the best person you can. Eating well, getting plenty of rest (when I can) and exercise are all important to me. I still attend ballet classes (and have a great team supporting me - especially my Osteopath and Podiatrist). My partner and I are also proud supporters of the Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club and over the years have sponsored several players.

Helping families in creating new life provides a true sense of wonder, and giving birth is an incredible and magical moment. I feel so blessed and thankful to be part of something so special. It never gets old. I love my job. It is always filled with new challenges and unique journey - a road on which we travel on together. 

My Qualifications