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Breast Cancer Education Forum

February 17 • 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Empower yourself with knowledge and join us at our Breast Cancer Education Forum. This forum is thoughtfully designed for  individuals navigating metastatic and palliative care journeys and dedicated carers. However, we also extend a warm invitation to anyone eager to broaden their knowledge and understanding in this critical field.

 🎓 Key Topics & Expert Speakers:

  • Oncology Insights
  • Advancements in Radiotherapy Oncology
  • Surgical Approaches & Innovations
  • Psycho-Oncology Strategies for Well-being

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to gain valuable insights from experts in the field, providing a holistic perspective on breast cancer

📅 Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, 17th February 2024
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm (registration from 9:30 am)
  • Venue: Souths Merewether, 46 Llewellyn Street, Merewether
  • Cost: $10 per person (includes light lunch and refreshments)

 🌸 Why Attend?

  • Expert Insights: Learn from leading specialists in oncology.
  • Support Network: Connect with individuals on similar journeys.
  • Holistic Understanding: Gain a comprehensive view of breast cancer care.
  • Empowerment: Equip yourself with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

Don’t miss out on this chance to enhance your understanding, ask questions, and connect with a community that understands.

Breast Cancer Education Forum

dr. catherine adams

Dr. Catherine Adams is a seasoned Clinical Psychologist with over 18 years of experience, specializing in Psycho-Oncology. Holding a Master’s in Psychology (Clinical) from the University of Newcastle, she is skilled in clinical research, program evaluation, and psychotherapy.

Passionate about patient-centric care, Cath advocates for the patient’s voice in every aspect of their cancer journey and works in both public and private sectors.

Driven by a commitment to holistic patient care, Cath believes in treating not just the disease but the whole person. Her efforts in psychosocial research aim to bridge the gap between a patient’s life and their cancer journey, ensuring comprehensive support.

Currently working with HNECGC and GenesisCare, Cath is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle. Her dedication to behavioural science, clinical psychology, and health psychology is evident in her continuous efforts to build resilience in radiation oncology staff caring for cancer patients.


Cath’s multifaceted expertise and compassionate approach make her a valuable asset, and we are thrilled to have her as one of the guest speakers at our upcoming Breast Cancer Education Forum. Stay tuned for more details on this impactful event!

Dr. Aoife mcgarvey phd bappsc (physiotherapy)

Dr. Aoife McGarvey is a seasoned physiotherapist with an illustrious career spanning over 18 years, marked by unwavering dedication to cancer care and lymphoedema therapy. With over a decade of specialized experience in these domains, Dr. McGarvey has emerged as a beacon of hope for cancer survivors seeking to reclaim their physical well-being post-treatment.

Her academic journey culminated in a Ph.D. in Physiotherapy from the prestigious University of Newcastle, where her groundbreaking thesis titled “Physiotherapy for head and neck cancer” garnered widespread acclaim and earned her the University’s Research Higher Degree Excellence Award. This recognition speaks volumes about her commitment to advancing the field of cancer rehabilitation through rigorous research and evidence-based practices.

Dr. McGarvey’s expertise extends beyond the academic realm; she has led numerous funded clinical trials aimed at optimizing physical recovery outcomes for cancer survivors. Her pioneering work has not only attracted national attention but has also earned her invitations to present at esteemed cancer conferences worldwide, solidifying her reputation as a thought leader in the field.

As the founder of Physio Living, Dr. McGarvey champions proactive management of common physical conditions post-cancer treatment. Her holistic approach emphasizes early screening and personalized interventions tailored to individual needs, facilitating enhanced and expedited recovery from pain and physical limitations.


We are honoured to announce Dr. Aoife McGarvey as one of the distinguished guest speakers at our upcoming Breast Cancer Education Forum. Join us for an enlightening session as she shares her invaluable insights and expertise, empowering attendees on their journey to holistic recovery and well-being. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a renowned expert in cancer rehabilitation. Reserve your spot today and embark on a path to renewed health and vitality.

dr. nick zdenkowski bmed, fracp, phd

Dr Nick Zdenkowski is a Medical Oncologist who is trained in general oncology. He sees patients with a range of different types of cancer, and has a special interest in the care of patients with breast and gastro-intestinal cancer. He values shared decision-making in diagnostic and treatment decisions, to ensure that the preferences of patients and their support people are at the centre of their care. He offers patient-centred, evidence-based treatment which gives the best possible outcome for each individual.

Dr Zdenkowski offers the latest in medical oncology treatments for breast cancer, including chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and hormone-blocking therapies. Patients are seen at the outpatient consulting suites of the Maitland Private Hospital, where chemotherapy and targeted therapies are delivered under his supervision by a team of specialised oncology nurses. Dr Nick Zdenkowski also sees patients at The Clark Suites in Gateshead, and treats patients at the Lake Macquarie Private Hospital Day Oncology Unit.


Dr Nick was awarded his PhD in 2018 from the University of Sydney, which focussed on shared decision-making in cancer care. He completed his Bachelor of Medicine undergraduate training at the University of Newcastle in 2005 before proceeding to Physician training at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, and Medical oncology training in Newcastle culminating in Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2012.

During this time, he also completed a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Newcastle and a Clinical Diploma of Palliative Care with the College of Physicians.


In the rapidly changing world of oncology, keeping up to date with the best medical evidence is vital. Dr Nick Zdenkowski regularly attends national and international conferences to offer the best possible treatments and advice. He also has a strong research interest, having published more than 33 peer-reviewed manuscripts since 2012, and presented his research at national and international scientific meetings. He sits on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Breast Cancer Trials, a national collaborative clinical trials group, and works with that Group as a Medical Advisor.


Dr Zdenkowski also sits on a number of trial and research Steering Committees. He collaborates with researchers in Newcastle, Australia and internationally to improve the lives of all patients with breast cancer.

dr. erica cameron-taylor ba b.med fracgp fahpm, racp

Dr Erica Cameron-Taylor is a Palliative Medicine Specialist

Dr Cameron-Taylor completed her medical degree at the University of Newcastle and completed rural General Practice training. She subsequently undertook advanced training in Palliative Medicine through the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

For the last seven years she has worked as a staff specialist in the Department of Palliative Care at Calvary Mater and has a conjoint appointment at the University of Newcastle. Her particular interests include optimising a patient-centred transition from active to palliative treatment and she has been involved in several clinical trials completed through the PACCSC group. Her work in medical education has been presented at local and international meetings and she is currently team leader for the provision of online spaced education in End-of-Life-Care across the Hunter New England healthcare district.

Erica also provides specialist palliative care to patients at Lake Macquarie and Warners Bay Private Hospitals and attends a regular outpatient clinic for palliative care patients at Cardiff General Practice.

She is also Head of Clinical Co-ordination with CannaPacific   https://www.cannapacific.com.au/


who are a Government Licenced Australian medical Cannabis company based in Newcastle and the Macleay Valley on the mid-north coast of NSW.  She has been actively involved in key cannabis research, including as lead site investigator, for both the PaCCSC and ImPaCCT clinical studies collaboratives.

dr. philippa ell bappsc(mrs)nucmed, mbbs, grad certclinepi, franzcr

Clinical interests in breast, lung, and skin cancers plus palliative care.

Dr Ell completed medical school at University of Notre Dame in Western Australia in 2009.  Since that time she has also completed a Certificate in Clinical Epidemiology at University of Sydney.

She did her specialist training in NSW and during that time spent time at Calvary Mater, Newcastle, St George Public Hospital Kogarah and Prince of Wales Public Hospital in Randwick.

Dr Ell completed a clinical/research fellowship at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney focusing on head and neck and central nervous system (CNS) malignancies.

Dr Ell has an interest in medical education, regularly presenting for HETI’s “Basic Sciences in Oncology” course, presenting at RANZCR’s NSW Radiation Oncology trainee teaching days and giving lectures to medical students.


Professional memberships

·       EviQ Lung Cancer Reference Committee

·       Expert Reference Group, Cancer Australia “Investigating symptoms of lung cancer: a guide for health professionals”.

·       EviQ GI Cancers Reference Committee

·       TROG

·       RANZCR


·       Medical Women’s International Association

dr. shanta velaiutham

Dr. Shanta Velaiutham is a consultant general surgeon with a special interest in oncoplastic and reconstructive breast cancer surgery. In addition to her role here at The Breast Centre, Shanta is also the designated lead surgeon for BreastScreen NSW and a VMO surgeon at Calvary Mater Hospital and Lake Macquarie Private Hospital. She has over 23 years of surgical experience working in Malaysia, Australia and Scotland in providing compassionate care and treating with empathy.

After obtaining her MBBS (Hons) at the University of Malaya, she completed her Master of Surgery, graduating top of her class in both undergraduate and postgraduate surgical training in Malaysia. Shanta then obtained the Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in 2012, and a Graduate Diploma in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery (UEA, UK ) in 2018. She is also a member of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Her passion is global aid work, having volunteered at Halilulik Hospital in West Timor and in Papua New Guinea with the Australian Doctors International. She has recently become a member of the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare.

In addition to breast cancer surgery, she also provides general surgical services including the treatment of gallbladder disease and hernia surgery.


Shanta’s professional affiliations include Member of Breast Surgery International (BSI/ISS), a Member of Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand (BreastSurgANZ), and a Member of Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG), the largest, independent, oncology clinical trials research group in Australia and New Zealand conducting clinical trials for the treatment, prevention and cure of breast cancer. She participates in the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit, which aims to improve the quality of surgical care for patients with early and locally advanced breast cancer in Australia and New Zealand, and also contributes data to the Australian Breast Device Registry for all implant reconstruction cases.


February 17
10:00 am - 2:00 pm


Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation
View Organiser Website


Souths Merewether
46 Llewellyn Street
Merewether, NSW 2291 Australia

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