Can you tell us a bit about your professional background?
I studied Medicine at Flinders University in South Australia prior to moving to Melbourne to complete my postgraduate training. My gynaecology training was primarily at the Mercy Hospital for Women with subsequent fellowship years in paediatric and adolescent gynaecology and advanced laparoscopy. Seeing many of my patients experience fertility challenges led to me pursing this area further. Along the way I completed Masters in Public Health and Reproductive Medicine. I’ve been in private practice for 15 years, am a consultant gynaecologist with Melbourne IVF and enjoy teaching and mentoring junior staff through the Royal Women’s Hospital.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, on a personal level? (Hobbies / family etc)
I live with my partner, our tween and teen, an over enthusiastic Schnauzer and a somewhat aloof cat. Our kids were conceived using donor sperm, a commonality shared with many of my patients. Weekends are spent alternating between footy and dance mum roles – you would be surprised how useful my surgical skills are to both. I love trawling the Vic Market for fresh produce and often spend my free time having a big cook up or entertaining. I’m an avid supporter of the arts since realising years ago that I’m a much better audience member than performer.
What areas of women’s health do you specialise in / what areas are you particularly passionate about?
I have a particular interest in donor conception and subfertility related to gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids. I work collaboratively with patients to optimise their fertility through attention to general health and lifestyle. I’m passionate about educating people about their fertility to allow them to make informed decisions both for now and the future. I appreciate the diversity in family creation and welcome people of all sexualities and gender to my practice.
What made you decide to become part of the Maven Centre team?
The Maven Centre has all my favourite practitioners in one clinic. I’ve shared patients with many of them for years and years and really can’t wait to be part of this incredibly passionate, experienced, and talented team. This will not only benefit our patients but also us as professionals. The possibility for truly collaborative care in one setting with like-minded practitioners is exciting.
What do you hope to achieve by being a part of Maven Centre?
I hope to work collaboratively with others in a safe, supportive environment for both patients and our team. In addition to the convenience of having practitioners from all walks of women’s health care under one roof, I am hoping it enables effective communication and collaboration between the team for a truly multidisciplinary approach.
What can patients expect when they come to see you?
I often say that being a fertility specialist and gynaecologist is a little like being a detective. I’ll spend time getting to know you and your story in order to determine the relevant investigations and best treatment. Rarely is anything in fertility absolute and I enjoy working with collaboratively with you to ensure you understand the options most appropriate to your situation to allow you to make an informed decision. The first visit usually involves lots of chatting to enable me to arrange relevant investigations. In the review appointment we look at the results and plan a way forward. I encourage conversation and questions to ensure you remain fully informed about your treatment and progress. Fertility treatments such as donor conception, insemination and IVF will be provided in conjunction with Melbourne IVF.
Can you discuss a particularly rewarding or memorable experience you’ve had working with a patient? What did you learn from that experience?
It is impossible to pick one! I’m constantly learning from and astounded by my patients. There is nothing more rewarding (and tear jerking) than to meet a baby that you’ve guided their parent/s through creating. However, it is equally moving to witness the strength of a patient for whom treatment has not been successful. I often see patients at their most stressed and vulnerable and it is a privilege to support and guide them along the way.
Finally, what do you hope patients take away from their interactions with you and the Maven Centre?
I hope my patients feel more knowledgeable and empowered to make decisions about their gynaecological and fertility health.
How do you work to empower women to take charge of their own health and wellbeing?
Education and advocacy. It is crucial, particularly in the current world climate of constant threats to women’s reproductive health and rights, that we speak for those who may not be able to for themselves.