Education and Professional Development Committee

Michelle Carr - Sunshine Coast

AASTN Education and Professional Development Subcommittee Chairperson

Michelle commenced practice as a stomal therapist at a bay side hospital in Brisbane in 1998 before joining the Sunshine Coast team in 2001. She was lucky enough spend 2008 in New Zealand learning about community stomal therapy from the stoma nurses in Otago, giving her a greater understanding of the challenges faced by ostomates on discharge. Her interests include high output stomas and optimising health literacy to improve health outcomes.

(07) 5202 8715

Wound Management/Stomal Therapy Nurse Practitioner
Sunshine Coast University Hospital
Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Louise Walker – Brisbane


Louise started nursing in 1987 as an enrolled nurse at the Concord Repatriation Hospital in New South Wales. There she met Heather Hill (life member AASTN) who inspired her to become a stomal therapist. After completing her degree, Louise commenced practice as a stoma nurse in 2008, working in several public and private hospitals in Brisbane. She has held many positions on the Queensland and National AASTN committees and counts the highlight of her career (so far) as visiting the Cleveland Clinic to work with a team of 25 stoma nurses. She is an avid bowel cancer fund raiser, having raised over $9000 for Bowel Cancer Australia.

(07) 3182 4563

Stomal Therapy/Wound Management Clinical Nurse Consultant
QE II Jubilee Hospital
Coopers Plains, Queensland

Kirsti Dixon

New South Wales

Kirsti first worked in gastroenterology at The Prince Henry Hospital in 1992, before moving to Cooma Hospital in 1994. Discovering that there was no stoma nurse on staff, Kirsti was inspired to continue her education and became a stomal therapist in 2000 and presented at her first conference in Hobart in 2000. She has been an active member on the AASTN education committee as well as serving 2 terms as the AASTN Executive President.

Kirsti is committed to rural and remote nursing after working in this area for over 25 years and while she has not been employed specifically as a stomal therapist, these skills are widely utilised wherever Kirsti has worked. Kirsti moved to the ‘big smoke’ in 2019 and opened a brand new private surgical ward that specialised in general surgery and colorectal at Northern Beaches Hospital.

Kirsti returned to community health as a community nurse, using her stomal therapy skills every day. Recently Kirsti was “headhunted” to work for The Hon Bronnie Taylor, NSW Minister for Women, Regional Health and Mental Health as her Senior Policy Advisor to Regional Health.

The Minister for Regional Health is a newly created position and it is a privilege to be able to provide clinical advice on regional matters.

At the present moment Kirsti is not seeing Stoma patients due to her change in role, however, should matter arise in relation to inequities in the NSWV regional and remote areas please don’t hesitate to contact her on the details below.

Anju Mamachan - Canberra

Australian Capital Territory

Anju is originally from India and has worked in Intensive Care in India and Australia. She moved to Canberra in 2013. A 15-minute chat with STN’s Cheryl and Kellie during her milo break inspired her to become a stomal therapist. Anju completed her Stomal Therapy Course in 2016 since then has covered stomal therapy leave in Canberra Hospital and currently acting in the stoma nurse role for a year. Anju is interested in managing mucocutaneous junction separation and high output stomas. Anju plans to continue her education in Master of Nursing.

02) 5124 0000 | page 50959

Stomal Therapy Clinical Nurse Consultant
Canberra Hospital
Yamba Drive, Garran

Lynda Staruchowicz - Adelaide

South Australia

Lynda has worked at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Stomal Therapy Department for more than 20 years. She has a particular interest in faecal incontinence and was awarded the SA Premiers Prize in 2014 to travel to visit St Marks Hospital in London to work in the continence clinic there. Lynda has a Master of Nursing in Continence Management and a Master of Clinical Science in Evidence Based Health Care. She currently assists the editor of the Journal of Stomal Therapy Australia

Associate Nurse Unit Manager
Stomal Therapy Department
Royal Adelaide Hospital
Port Road, Adelaide

Clea Fisher - Barossa Hills

South Australia

Clea is a recent transplant of four years to the best state of Australia- South Australia.

Working as a Stomal Therapy Nurse for SA Health she is enthusiastically committed to creating a robust community of stomal therapy services in her Barossa Hills Fleurieu Region. Clea is a life long student with a passion for learning. She is really looking forward to participating in her new role in the AASTN as South Australian delegate to the Educational and Professional Development Committee.

Continence and Stomal Therapy Clinical Practice Consultant
Community Health Services
Barossa Hills Fleurieu Region

Teena Carydakis - Launceston


Teena graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing in 1996, completed her Stomal Therapy Certificate in 2005 and went on to complete a Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing. She has 25 years’ experience in acute and high dependency clinical nursing & 18 years’ experience in stomal therapy practice. Teena is interested in leadership in practice, research and workplace mentorship.

(03) 6777 6832 | 0417 395 536

Stomal Therapy Clinical Nurse Consultant
Launceston General Hospital
Charles Street, Launceston

Sonia Hicks – Hobart


Sonia completed her General Nurse Training at the Mersey General Hospital in 1987. Her interest in Stomal Therapy occurred when she did a week’s course at Launceston General Hospital for Registered Nurses on Stomal Therapy Nursing in 1990. She later completed her Stomal Therapy Certificate at the Mayfield Education Centre, Victoria in 1992, as there were no University based courses then. In 1995 she was transferred to Royal Hobart Hospital to work as the Clinical Nurse Consultant – Stomal Therapy, remaining in this position for the last 27 years. Sonia enjoys the challenges of stomal therapy and has met many resilient patients over the years. Sonia has a great working relationship with the Tasmanian Stomal Therapy Nurses.

(03) 6166 8283 | 0408 594 804

Stomal Therapy Clinical Nurse Consultant
Royal Hobart Hospital
Liverpool Street, Hobart

Lorrie Gray - Perth

Western Australia

Lorrie spent 40 years in stomal therapy nurse education and clinical coordination. She is passionate about research and the education of both stoma nurses and ostomates. Lorrie continues as Clinical Coordinator of Curtin University’s Graduate Certificate in Wound, Ostomy & Continence Management as well as a volunteer and secretary of Western Australia Ostomy Association.

Carmen Akaoui - Melbourne


Carmen started nursing in Australia in 1989 at the Royal Children’s Hospital. She worked mostly on the surgical wards covering general surgery, urology, plastics and burns and completed the paediatric nursing course.

She has always been interested in stoma, continence and wound management and served on multiple committees. She moved to stomal therapy in 2010 and completed the stomal therapy course.

Carmen is very passionate about supporting the children and their families and is a good advocate for her clients.

03 9345 5338

The Royal Children’s Hospital 
50 Flemington Road, Parkville, Melbourne

Sandy Hyde-Smith

Western Australia

Sandy has worked as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Stomal Therapy for 17 years. She has worked in Western Australia and Victoria, in both private and government hospitals, and has served on AASTN committees in both states.

While living in Melbourne, she worked at Peter McCallum Cancer Centre, as part of the Stomal Therapy Team, where they ran several nurse led clinics, including PEG’s.

She moved back to Perth in 2021 and is currently working at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, where she is job-sharing the role with Brooke Goldfinch.

Sandy loves working as a Stomal Therapy Nurse and finds it very rewarding. She also loves sharing her knowledge and thinking of creative ways to teach!

08 6457 4368

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Hospital Avenue, Nedlands, Perth

Brooke Goldfinch

Brooke Goldfinch

Western Australia

Brooke has been a Stomal Therapy Nurse for 8 years and has been working as the Clinical Nurse in Stomal Therapy at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital since 2011.

Before her qualification, Brooke has worked at SCGH since 2007, on various Medical and Surgical wards, but decided that Colorectal Nursing was where she wanted to be.

Brooke has been acting in the Clinical Nurse Consultant Role on and off for 3 years, but is now job-sharing the role and thoroughly enjoying it!

Her passion in Stomal Therapy is helping patients to be their best selves and educating the future nurses on the importance and value of good stoma care.

08 6457 6197

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

Hospital Avenue, Nedlands, Perth