Celebrating our women who #ChooseToChallenge

Our Network is full of incredible and influential women striving to do bigger and better things for patients and their families. This International Women's Day, we spoke to five women who are choosing to challenge not just in their professional careers but in the area of research. Their work is shaping healthcare for those they care for, empowering those around them and strengthening the workforce for future generations.

Professor Sandra Cooper

Professor Sandra Cooper is a neuroscientist, and the Scientific Director of Kids Neuroscience Centre. She leads a team of researchers who focus on gene discovery and genomics and the Disease Mechanisms and Therapies group focused on elucidating the mechanism of disease with a view to developing evidence-based therapies. She is currently building a national collaborative infrastructure to bring RNA Diagnostics into clinical practice. Professor Cooper is linking the translational researchers, diagnostic genomic pathology and clinical genetics – in order to devise an evidence-based national strategy. Read more.

Victoria Sinka

Victoria Sinka is a Research Assistant in the ARDAC Kidney Health Study at the Centre for Kidney Research, based in Kids Research, SCHN. Victoria is of Aboriginal, Australian Southsea Islander and Maltese descent. We like to acknowledge her Pitjantjatjara , Australian Southsea Islander and Maltese ancestors, especially this International Women’s Day. Read more.

Professor Tracey O'Brien

As a children’s cancer specialist leading an incredible and internationally recognised team of clinicians and researchers, Director of the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, Professor Tracey O’Brien has made a career of pushing boundaries. Prof O’Brien is acutely aware of the value of women in health care and the oncology field, and acknowledges that ‘women bring a richness to thinking and decision making that is incredibly valuable to medical research and care.’ Prof O’Brien is known not only for challenging the status quo when it comes to delivering the best care and most advanced treatments for children with cancer, but also seeking people who will challenge her to be give the best of herself. Read more.

Professor Nadia Badawi

Professor Nadia Badawi AM is the Co-Head of the Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Professor Badawi has worked with critically ill babies and their families for more than 20 years and has committed her career to changing the narrative both for the families and the women she works with. As a leader in neonatal care and cerebral palsy, Professor Badawi has seen the survival rate for critically ill babies rise from 80% to 96%, an achievement that she attributes not only to improved research and equipment, but also to the fantastic collaboration between doctors, nurses and families. Read more.

Professor Kristine Macartney

Professor Kristine Macartney is the Director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) within Kids Research at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. As Director, Kristine leads a team of close to 80 experts and postgraduate students in public health, infectious diseases, epidemiology, social sciences and clinical research. Read more.