Committee

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.

Katy Long, Treasurer

Katy is a Chartered Management Accountant, and has worked in a variety of industries in the UK and Australia over the last 20 years, most recently as Financial Controller for a professional services firm. Katy has previously volunteered as Treasurer in a not-for-profit organisation, and is excited to be working with Palliative Care Nurses Australia.

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).

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.

Nikki Johnston OAM, Committee Member

Nikki is a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner with 30 years clinical practice and extensive experience in teaching, leadership and research. Multiple awards won for contribution to nursing research, leadership, teaching, mentoring, and teamwork, including an Order of Australian Medal for contribution to nursing in Australia, and winning the inaugural Australian College of Nursing, Federal Health Minister's trailblazer award for innovation in nursing research.

As well as working at the University of Canberra, Lecturing in Nursing, Nikki works at Next Practice Deakin as a Nurse Practitioner and has been appointed a member of the Professional Services Review Panel by The Minister for Health Hon Greg Hunt.

Nikki believes all Australia’s deserve access to quality care nearing the end of life regardless of their age, diagnosis or where they live.  Nikki’s research team have successfully tested a model integrating specialist palliative care into residential aged care. They have been recognised nationally for their approach that led to reduced avoidable hospital transfer’s and normalising dying while increasing the capacity of staff to care for residents in their last months of life. Nikki represents nursing on the ACT Clinical leadership forum and was a solution focused expert witness for the resent Aged care Royal Commission Quality and Safety. Nikki has now published 11 papers in peer review Journals and is a PhD student researching reliving trauma at end of life.

Nikki is the Public officer and a committee member of Palliative Care Nurses Australia, a member of College of Nursing, a member of the Australia College of Nurse Practitioner, a member of Palliative Care Act and on the Clinical Committee of the VIOLET initiative.

Libby Miller, Committee Member

Libby, (also known as Elizabeth), is currently undertaking a full-time PhD at Federation University Australia, Gippsland campus, under the supervision of Associate Professor Joanne Porter and Dr Michael Barbagallo. Her current research is examining environmental factors - the natural, built, social (behaviour and language), and symbolic environments where people may receive bad news about their life-limiting illness within the palliative care unit. Two publications relating to the examination of the background literature have been published. These works were presented at the recent 2021 Oceanic Palliative Care conference (21OPCC).

Libby completed her nursing (honours) degree in 2019 receiving an H1 distinction for the thesis titled 'The exploration of the role of primary carers who are providing end of life care in the home: A qualitative study of carers in Gippsland, Victoria.' Two articles have been published from the findings of this research project.

Libby completed a Bachelor of Nursing in 2017 with high distinctions and received the University Medal for outstanding achievement.  During that year she participated in a 3-week nursing placement at Scheer Memorial Hospital in Benapa, Nepal, igniting a passion to explore carer roles and the hospital environment for people with palliative and end-of-life needs through an honours research project.  For 18 months during her studies, Libby also provided personal and nursing care to residents living in Dalkeith Hostel, Traralgon, a 54 bed residential aged care facility. As a registered nurse at Latrobe Regional Hospital, Libby gained medical, palliative, surgical and hospital in the home clinical experience.

Before returning to study, Libby worked as a first aid officer and administrator for 10 years in a large regional private school in Gippsland.

Rebecca Palmer, Committee Member

Information coming soon.