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.


Natalie Barber

Seminar: Introduction to Good Clinical Practice

Natalie Barber is the Head of Research Governance & Platforms at the Telethon Kids Institute.

After completing a degree in Biological Sciences in the UK, Natalie began her working life within the Pharmaceutical Industry within the disciplines of Data Management, Statistics and Pharmacovigilance.

After 10 years in this sector she moved into the NHS in the UK undertaking various roles within the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Networks. Starting out as Industry Manager, moving into a senior position within the core team as Research Management and Governance Manager to finally as manager of one of the Cancer Research Networks.

Jonathan Carapetis

Seminar: Research Supervision for Students and Supervisors

Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM is Director of the Telethon Kids Institute, a Professor at UWA, and a paediatrician at Perth Children's Hospital.

Amongst his many accolades, in 2013, Professor Carapetis was awarded Honorary Doctor of Science, Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory. He was also named as Northern Territory Australian of the Year in 2008.

Professor Carapetis holds a clinical position with the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and is a Professor at the University of Western Australia, Head of the Telethon Kids Institute Group A Streptococcal and Rheumatic Heart Disease Team, and Co-director of RhEACH (Rheumatic heart disease. Evidence. Advocacy. Communication. Hope)

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 over 40 PhD, Masters, Honours, Clinical Trainees and others in research.

Elizabeth Chester

Seminar: Media and Communication in Research

Elizabeth is Director of Communications & Development at Telethon Kids Institute.

She leads a team of professionals who support the Institute in communications, media, fundraising, events, community involvement and marketing.

The 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.

Elizabeth is a member of the Institute Leadership Team and provides counsel to the Director and senior staff on strategic communication and advocacy issues.

Associate Professor Sunalene Devadason

Seminar: Research Governance

Sunalene Devadason is the Coordinator of Graduate Research at the UWA School of Paediatrics and Child Health (SPACH). She has extensive experience on both sides of research governance process as a reviewer and a researcher.

Dr Fenella Gill

Seminar: Knowledge Translation

Dr Fenella Gill is a Nurse Researcher at Perth Children's Hospital and Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University.

Dr Fenella Gill was awarded a NHMRC TRIP Fellowship 2015-2016 and is leading knowledge translation research on the role of parents in recognising and responding to clinical deterioration.

Sonya Girdler

Seminar: Conducting Systematic Reviews

Sonya Girdler is a Professor of Occupational Therapy and Director of the Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG).

CARG has over 100 members including clinicians, academics, lay-persons, students, and people living with Autism. Members come from various backgrounds including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Speech Pathology and Engineering.  CARG undertakes research in many areas including transition from school, employment and social skills training.

Sonya has published over 60 papers and seven interventions in the field of disability, and supervised 8 PhD students to completion.  She collaborates with the Autism Association of Western Australia, Autism West and other researchers nationally and internationally.

Dr Julie Marsh

Seminars: Introductory Biostatistics, Sample Size Calculations, and Statistical Tips for Interpreting Scientific Claims

Julie is an experienced statistical consultant who has worked in the Pharmaceutical industry for many years before returning to academia. She teaches statistics at UWA and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute.

Dr Shirley McGough

Seminar: Qualitative Research Methods

Shirley McGough is a lecturer for the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine at Curtin University.

Shirley has keen interest in grounded theory qualitative research regarding mental health and nursing, and is a registered nurse and credentialed mental health nurse.

Anne McKenzie

Seminar: Consumer and Community Involvement in Research

McKenzie AM is the Community Engagement Manager at Telethon Kids Institute. She was the former Head of the Consumer and Community Health Research Network which is an enabling platform of the WA Health Translation Network.

Anne is a senior consumer representative for state and national health committees and former Chair of the Health Consumers Council WA. In 1994 Anne established the inaugural role of the Parent Advocate at PMH and has a long history of consumer advocacy with WA health services.

Glenn Pearson

Seminars: Involving Aboriginal People in Research 

Glenn Pearson is the Head of Aboriginal Research, leads the Kulungu Aboriginal Research Development Unit (KARDU), and is a member of the Telethon Kids Institute Leadership team.

Glenn has a state-wide mandate to ensure Telethon Kids Institute's research reflects the needs of Aboriginal families and that research is conducted in accord with Aboriginal community ethical and cultural protocols.

He has 15 years of experience in senior positions within the Australian and State Governments in a range of areas including health, education and child protection including 10 years with the Department of Child Protection and Family Support.

Associate Professor
Sue Skull

Seminars: Critical Appraisal, Data Management, Ethics Processes, Grant Applications, Involving Aboriginal People in Research, Oral Presentation, Research Fundamentals, Scientific Writing, and Survey Design

Associate Professor Sue Skull is based at Perth Children's Hospital, where she is Deputy Director of the Department of Child Health Research, Head of the Research Education Program, and holds positions as a Consultant Paediatrician and Associate Professor, University of WA Division of Paediatrics and Child Health.

A/Prof Skull also trained as a Clinical Epidemiologist at ANU, undertook her PhD at the University of Melbourne, and an Epidemiology Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children Toronto.  She completed her NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Menzies School of Health Research, where she was also Head of the Research Quality Unit and leader of the Research Support and Education Program, working to enhance research capacity for the NT Department of Health, Clinical School and the Menzies School of Health Research.  Sue was the inaugural Head of the Research Education and Training Program, WAHTN.

She remains actively involved in teaching clinical research methods and expanding access to research education for a broad audience.  She enjoys helping others improve and enjoy their research experience.

Dr Michael Wright

Seminar: Involving Aboriginal People in Research

Dr Wright is a Yuat Nyoongar man from the Moora and New Norcia area of Western Australia, north of Perth. He is currently an Early Career Research Fellow with Curtin University and is based at the National Drug Research Institute.

Dr Wright has worked across the spectrum of health as manager, social work practitioner and policy officer and has extensive experience as a researcher in Aboriginal health and mental health.

Nik Zeps

Seminar: How to make Clinical Research Ethical by Design

Professor Zeps is the Group Director of Research for Epworth HealthCare in Melbourne, Australia. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Monash University Eastern Clinical School.

He was a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee from 2006-2012 and the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia from 2009-2015.

He is the Australian representative on the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and is the Co-Chair of the Communication Committee of the ICGC-Precision Medicine initiative.

Prof Nip Zeps received the 2017 biennial Ethics award from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia in recognition of his of his leadership in the development of ethics policies and standards, both within Australia and internationally.

Previous Presenters

Dianne Wynaden

Seminar: Qualitative Research Methods

Dianne is Professor of Mental Health at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University.

She has extensive experience in conducting health services research in the mental health area using a mixture of methodologies.  She is a registered nurse and credentialed mental health nurse.