Executive Team

Janeane Harlum, President

Janeane is a proud Registered Nurse who has over 30 years palliative care experience that has included hospitals, Specialist Palliative Care Units and community settings. She works in NSW in the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) which has the largest population in NSW, is experiencing the highest population growth and is characterised by a diverse CaLD population with over 140 languages /dialects spoken.

Janeane has worked in senior positions for over two decades including CNC, Area Nurse Coordinator, Director Palliative Care, and Service Development Officer and currently as the District Palliative Care Manager and Service Development. She credits her passion for palliative care from her undergraduate experiences with patients and their families, personal experience and from several nurse leaders who taught and role modelled compassion, care and communication. This led Janeane to her very first RN job in a Palliative Care Unit and she has remained in Palliative Care for almost her whole career.

Post graduate study has included a Masters of Clinical Practice; Bachelor Health science; Diploma Applied Science; Grad Cert in Leadership and Management; Oncology Nursing Certificate and Counselling Certificate.

Janeane professional interests all stem from providing the best care possible for patients and their families/carers. With this as her foundation, her particular interests are in service design and development, models of care, consumer participation and developing partnerships. She credits success to working with a team of people who are interdisciplinary, hold similar values, always willing to “think outside the box” and having a team culture of respect.

Several key achievements include the development of a strategic plan for the LHD with respect to Palliative Care and End of Life Care, implementing a governance structure for the palliative care service, and development of a new model of care “The PEACH Programme” for those patients in last week/s of life.

Janeane is also past committee member of PCNSW and is currently on the NSW ACI Palliative Care Network Executive. She has served on several NSW Health committees and is currently on the SPHERE research group and within her own LHD is a chair and co-chair of many committees and working groups.

Away from work Janeane enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, watching movies and horse racing. She is excited to be on the PCNA Committee and looks forward to working with the rest of the members in continuing to promote and progress Palliative Care Nursing.

Joshua Cohen, Vice President

Josh has been a specialist palliative care nurse for more than 10 years. He is currently employed as a palliative care nurse practitioner at Calvary Health Care Kogarah where he brings his passion for end-of-life care into the residential aged care setting.  

Previously, Josh was a member of the hospital palliative care consult team at Concord Hospital and part of an international faculty delivering palliative care teaching in Sri Lanka. Today, Josh is the Chair of Palliative Aged Care Network, NSW and an Honorary Associate at the Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney. He holds a Master in Palliative Care from Flinders University and a Master of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner from the University of Sydney. 

Claudia Virdun, Secretary

Claudia has nursed for 22 years and worked in palliative care for 19 of these in either a clinical, academic or policy focused role. She is currently a Senior Lecturer for the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology Sydney. Prior to this, she led a team at Palliative Care Australia to run the National Standards Assessment Program (NSAP). Clinically, Claudia has worked in large metropolitan tertiary centres (both in Australia and England) and in an Australian rural setting, mostly in Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultancy roles.

Claudia has completed an Honours degree (Nursing), Masters degree and is currently a Phd Candidate with her research focusing on palliative care within the hospital setting. She has completed prior research looking at education models supporting the integration of Palliative Care knowledge into Residential Aged Care Facilities; looking at adult and paediatric palliative care in both practice and philosophy; and nurse competence and how to measure this against variable training settings.

Claudia has also led significant project work including the Rural Palliative Care Project, Aged Care Access Initiative, Aged Care Panel work and supported many other projects through collaborative partnerships. Claudia is passionate about Palliative Care and how such an approach to care enhances the quality of life of those with serious and progressive illness.

Allison Lovell, Treasurer

Allison has been a nurse for close to 20 years, primarily in the acute hospital setting in both Australia and the United Kingdom. After 10 years as a specialist haematology nurse in Queensland’s leading bone marrow transplant unit, she transitioned to specialist palliative care nursing.

Allison has a special interest in improving patient access to palliative care. She is currently employed by the Queensland Department of Health, Clinical Excellence Division to coordinate implementation of Queensland’s first statewide strategy for end of life care.

In 2014 Allison completed a Master of Health Management and in 2018 she became a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

Committee Members

Julianne Brisbane, Committee Member

Julianne is a palliative care nurse practitioner and Practice Lead at Uniting NSW/ACT.  She previously worked in oncology and palliative care at Westmead Hospital in Sydney. In 2012, Julianne transitioned a regional palliative care clinical nurse consultant role working across three local health districts. In the aged care sector, she provides mentoring for all levels of staff and conducts clinical reviews both for people living in residential aged care facilities and for people receiving home and community care packages. 

Julianne is passionate about building community awareness of palliative care and expanding access to best practice palliative care services for all Australians, regardless of their diagnosis or location. She is focused on improving quality of life through reducing symptom burden where possible, and also works with family members and significant others to provide information and support during the palliative care process.

At PCNA, Julianne is a member of both the aged care special interest group and the nurse practitioner special interest group. She holds a Master of Nursing (Chronic Disease and Palliative Care) from the University of Queensland and a Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) from the University of Sydney.

Dr Katrina Recoche, Committee Member

Katrina has interests are in education in palliative care, communication and emotional presence development. Katrina has a long history of supporting palliative care curriculum development across health discipline undergraduate and post graduate curricula. Katrina's primary research is in the area of equity of access to palliative care, particularly for under-served populations.  Katrina is an active supervisor of students at Honours, Masters and PhD levels, and she convenes the Bachelor of Nursing program at Monash University (Peninsula).

Dr Louise Hickman, Committee Member

Dr Louise Hickman is the Director of Palliative Care Programs at the University of Technology Sydney. A registered nurse with extensive clinical and research experience, Louise holds an undergraduate nursing qualification, a Master of Public Health and a Doctor of Philosophy.

Louise’s postgraduate qualifications contributed to her expertise in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research. Her extensive research program includes a longstanding commitment to palliative care, as well as to translational research that connects the acute care, community and residential aged care sectors. She is currently completing a UTS fellowship on the care of vulnerable older populations.

A passionate educator, Louise plays a key role in delivering palliative care education to health care professionals across a range of disciplines. She sits on a range of industry committees and reference groups, appointments that reflect her clinical, research and educational expertise.

Anna Nicholas, Committee Member

Anna has worked for last 21 years in Palliative Care.  In this time, Anna has worked in Clinical, Managerial and Education, although predominantly in NSW and as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in both the Community and the Acute Care Setting.

Since moving to Tasmania, Anna has worked as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Palliative Care at the Royal Hobart Hospital.  This year she has began a project role to improve end of life care in the acute care setting with a focus to develop a state wide end of life care plan.  Anna has a particular interest in dying in the Acute Care setting and how we can improve this experience for both the patients and their families.

Anna will complete her Master’s Degree in Palliative care through Flinders University this November this year.

Kate Weyman, Committee Member

Kate started her nursing career in the 80’s when a nursing heirachy was all the go and Sisters wore increasing larger veils the higher they went in the organisation.  She was drawn to nursing initially out of a curiosity which had the added benefit of accommodation thrown in, albeit in a rather small, starkly furnished room in the ‘nurse’s home’.  As she progressed through her training her passion for Oncology and Haematology nursing grew, and this is where she worked once she became a Registered Nurse.  Over the next few years she developed an interest in person centred care and improving end of life care.  This in turn led her to studying a Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care Nursing and then completing a Masters of Nursing.  She commenced work with the Palliative Care Consult Service in the mid 90’s and continued working with a Consult Service through to 2016.  During this time she had the opportunity to work with Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC), participate in the review of the National Palliative Care Standards as a project board member and to lead several palliative care projects.  Since 2016, she has worked as a Quality Coordinator promoting excellence in care through staff engagement, culture change and understanding what drives safety and quality.  Kate has a strong interest in staff wellbeing and fosters this through facilitating clinical supervision and Meditation based Wellness and Compassion training (MWAC).

Imelda O'Brien, Committee Member

Imelda has been working as a palliative care nurse for the past ten years and is currently undertaking a Masters of Palliative Care through Flinders University. She brings extensive nursing experience from a variety of settings to her current role as a Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Educator.

Her commitment to providing the best possible care to people living with an active, progressive, advanced disease is unwavering. She is equally passionate about empowering and mentoring colleagues to deliver high quality, evidence-based palliative nursing care.

She has been a member of PCNA for many years and feels fortunate to now be part of the PCNA Committee that is dedicated to promoting excellence in palliative care nursing through leadership, representation and professional support.