The NIDCAP team


Dr Alison Loughran-Fowlds, Senior Staff Specialist Neonatologist and Head of the Grace Development Clinic

Alison is a Senior Staff Specialist Neonatologist in the Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Head of the Grace Development Clinic and co-Director of The Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre. Awarded her PhD in 2011 through the University of New South Wales, Alison also holds a Senior Clinical Lecturer position at the University of Sydney. As Head of the Grace Development Clinic she has, since 2006, led a tenfold increase in infants seen through the clinic after discharge from Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care, so that all at-risk infants undergoing major surgery and/or with complex cardiac conditions have standardised developmental screening and early intervention commenced. Alison’s research interests include following the neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants who have undergone major cardiac and general surgery to further promote best practices and improved health outcomes for these infants and their families; the linkages of inpatient and outpatient developmental strategies; and promotion of NIDCAP. She has further interests in clinical leadership and strategy, through these roles and also through her roles as Acting Head of Department for Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care, and as a Facilitator for the NSW Health Leadership Program, with training and experience in big picture strategy and health systems. She is experienced in bringing multidisciplinary teams together to implement and follow through the implementation of complex plans and policies, including strategic planning.

Associate Professor Kaye Spence AM, Clinical Nurse Consultant in Neonatology

With more than 30 years’ experience Kaye is a leader in neonatal nursing nationally and internationally. She was a founding member and inaugural President of the Australian College of Neonatal Nursing and a founding member of the Council of International Neonatal Nursing serving as secretary. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the NIDCAP Federation International based in Boston, USA. She holds an adjunct position as Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Kaye is a certified NIDCAP Professional completing her training under the Colorado NIDCAP Training Centre in 2013. Within the Grace Centre,where she has worked for several decades, Kaye is a leader and guardian of clinical practice and a clinical researcher. Kaye's research interests include newborn pain, infant feeding, developmental care and other issues facing newborn babies who require surgery, and their families. Kaye is committed to translating evidence into practice and facilitates a Clinical Neonatal Nursing Fellowship for clinical nurses to undertake a research study linking evidence to practice. She is actively involved in evidence based clinical guideline development and has many publications in peer reviewed journals and book chapters.

Clinical staff

Nadine Griffiths, Clinical Nurse Consultant, NIDCAP Certified Professional, NIDCAP Trainer
Nadine has worked in the paediatric health care setting for over 18 years in NSW, QLD and the United Kingdom predominately in the critical care setting. She has worked in the Grace Centre for the past six years as a Nurse Educator and now CNC. Nadine has an interest in promoting staff development in the clinical setting by supporting the development of innovative unit based education initiatives. She received an innovation scholarship from NaMO to develop an e-learning program and in 2015 won the NSW Nursing and Midwifery Innovation in Education Award. She has an interest in supporting the application of neurodevelopment care in the NICU. She recently co-authored a chapter on developmental care for the first Australian and New Zealand Neonatal text book and in 2017 established a Neonatal Neuro-developmental Special Interest group for the Australia College of Neonatal Nursing.

Nicola Whipp, Registered Nurse, NIDCAP Certified Professional

Nicola is a registered nurse and has worked in the Grace Centre for the past four years. Currently performing the role of Clinical Nurse Educator, Catherine provides education and training to current and new staff with an interest in neonatal nursing. Her passion for working with and supporting families led her to explore the principles of NIDCAP. As a trained NIDCAP professional, her interests have expanded to improving neurodevelopmental outcomes for vulnerable neonates through the education of caregivers and staff. Nicola will speak at the 2017 Susan Ryan Seminar focusing on the vulnerable brain.

Jane Pettigrew, Senior Speech Therapist, NIDCAP Certified Professional

Jane has worked in paediatric speech pathology for 26 years in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her specialty is working with infants with feeding difficulties and with children with neurodevelopmental disability in acute and community settings. She provides advice to the Grace Centre and to paediatric feeding and dysphagia services. Jane has been involved in the development of training programs for professionals working with infants with feeding difficulties and children with neurodevelopmental disability in developing countries, as well as presenting at national conferences and contributing to literature in this area. 

Catherine Turner, Registered Nurse, NIDCAP Certified Professional

Catherine is a Registered Nurse and has worked in the Grace Centre for the past four years. Catherine has completed a Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Nursing, and has an interest in improving outcomes of preterm and sick neonates through the application of developmentally supportive care in the NICU. Catherine is a NIDCAP Certified Professional.

Kaye Spence, Clinical Nurse Consultant, NIDCAP Certified Professional

Kristen James Nunez, Nurse Practitioner, NIDCAP Certified Professional

Dr Kim Psaila, NIDCAP Certified Professional, APIB Professional in Training

Bick Pong, Clinical Nurse Specialist, NIDCAP Certified Professional