Associate Professor Catherine Fetherston
RN RM IBCLC BAppSc PostGradDip(Mid) MSc PhD

Head of Nursing, School of Health Professions

About me

My early career, since graduating as a nurse in 1978, was spent working in acute care areas such as coronary care and cardiothoracics and then teaching bioscience and critical care at the WA School of Nursing. Following the birth of my children my professional interests changed direction and I subsequently qualified as a midwife and a lactation consultant in 1992. During the following 15 years I worked across the continuum of midwifery care and lactation consultancy in a variety of clinical, teaching and management roles, whilst also undertaking research into lactation mastitis. These research interests led to a post doctoral appointment as a research fellow with Murdoch University in 2007. Since that time I have undertaken roles within the University as Coordinator of the Master of Midwifery, Academic Chair of Postgraduate Research and Deputy Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery; Associate Dean Learning and Teaching in the School of Health Professions and now Discipline Head of Nursing. These roles have given me a broad range of experience in research, leadership and management in Nursing and Midwifery practice and University environments.

Teaching area

2011 to current: Unit and Short Courses Coordinator and Lecturer for MID631 Clinical Management of Breastfeeding and Human Lactation and MID632 Critical Perspectives on Breastfeeding and Lactation Consultant Practice

2011 and 2012: Coordinator of the Master of Midwifery (specialisation)

2009 to 2011: Unit Coordinator and Lecturer for NUR632 Applied Health Research Methods: From Research to Practice

2009 to 2010: Course Coordinator of Master of Midwifery

2009-2012: Teach research and maternity sessions embedded across units in the Bachelor Of Nursing Program

Research areas

I am active in supervising higher degree research across a broad range of midwifery and nursing areas although my personal area of research interest is in issues affecting women’s and infant’s health, with a particular focus on breastfeeding and lactation.

Awards and grants

Grants/Scholarships/Awards

2015 HWA Simulation Learning Environments Grant $380,780                                     2014 Medela Inc. Sponsored Breastfeeding Research (in kind equipment) $3,500
2004 Employee of the Year (Attadale Private Hospital) $500
2004 Completion Scholarship  (The University of Western Australia) $8,000
2001 Awarded UNICEF paper of the month and the Mary Paton Research Award and for  best research paper in the field of breastfeeding and lactation UNICEF
2000 Mary Paton Research Award (Australian Breastfeeding Association) $2,000
2000 Research Fellowship Award (Nurses Board of Western Australia) $10,000
2000 Western Diagnostic Pathology: Industry Grant (in kind- equipment) $2,000
1999 Sister Francesca Award (Australian College of Midwives – WA Branch) $1,000
1996 Helen Bailey Scholarship (Health Department of Western Australia) $5,000

Events and speaking engagements

2014

  • Jerusalem Summer Lactation Conference,  Keynotes: 1. Hormonal disorders affecting lactation, 2. PREM (Perron Rotary Express Milk) Bank  2013 Report, 3. Understanding Mastitis Current knowledge and new perspectives
  • Health e-learning The International Institute of Human Lactation Inc, on line lecture, also  translated into French:  XL42 Understanding Mastitis: current knowledge and new perspectives
  • iLactation Breastfeeding Conferences, on line lecture: Understanding Mastitis: current knowledge and new perspectives

2013

  • Victorian College of Lactation Consultants Conference: Empowering the Modern Mother Keynotes: 1. Ethical Issues in the Breastfeeding & Bed-Sharing Debate; and 2. Understanding Mastitis from the Inside Out: Prevention and Treatment

2012

  • Community Health Nurses 2012 Australian National Conference Keynote: Ethical Implications in the Breastfeeding and Bedsharing Debate
  • St John of God Health Care Murdoch Lactation Seminar: Low Milk Supply: Hormonal Influences

2011

  • Child and Adolescent Community Health Seminar, WA Health Department: Breastfeeding: how much and how often – the evidence
  • Lactation Advisors Program St John of God Health Care Subiaco: 1. Biochemistry of Human Milk,; 2. Interpreting Breastfeeding Research

2010

  • Preparing Parents for Childbirth and Beyond MU Seminar: Why didn’t they tell me it would be like this?
  • Breastfeeding: what is the evidence based care? MU Seminar: 1. Ethical considerations in breastfeeding research, 2. Breastfeeds – how often and how long?; 3. The evidence for the use of galactogogues
  • Lactation Advisors Program St John of God Health Care: 1.Biochemistry of Human Milk; 2. Interpreting Breastfeeding Research

2009

  • Breastfeeding: Ancient Art, Modern problems MU Seminar: 1.Birth Interventions and Initiation of Breastfeeding; 2. Taking the “ouch” out of Breastfeeding:The when, where and how of lactation aids – simple to complex
  • College of Lactation Consultants Education Meeting, Perth: Clinical decision making, Ethics, Morality and Law
  •  Attadale Hospital Education: Cardiotocograph Monitoring

 2008

  • College of Lactation Consultants WA Education Meeting: Report from the 2008 ISRHML Biennial Conference, the Science of Human Lactation, Foundations of Clinical Practice.
  • Peel Health Campus Breastfeeding: Getting Breastfeeding Started Successfully
  • Writing for Publication Seminar: 1. Authorship; 2. Quantitative Analysis
  • Murdoch University Master of Midwifery Program Launch: Opening Address
  • Peel Health Campus Education Seminar: 1. Consent Issues facing Nurses on the Wards and in the OR: 2.Documentation: Do or Die

2007

  • Keeping Abreast of Legal and Ethical Issues: College of Lactation Consultants WA Education Meeting, Perth.
  • Biochemistry of Human Milk and Interpreting Breastfeeding Research Lactation Advisors Program St John of God Health Care

2005

  • Pathology in Lactation: Lactation Advisors Program, Joondalup Health Campus
  • Biochemistry of Human Milk and Interpreting Breastfeeding Research: Lactation Advisors Program St John of God Health Care
  • Too Little, Too Much: What Role do Hormones Play? College of Lactation Consultants WA Annual National Conference. Love, Lust and Lactation

2004

  • Immunology and Infectious Diseases: Lactation Advisors Program South West District
  • Biochemistry of Human Milk and Interpreting Breastfeeding Research Lactation Advisors Program St John of God Health Care
  • Mastitis, Pathology or Physiology: Breastfeeding: Science and Experience Australian Breastfeeding Association National Seminar tour (Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney):

2003

  • Opening Address: Australian Lactation Consultants’ Association National Conference, Perth.
  • Physiological Changes in the Lactating Breast during Mastitis: International Lactation Consultants’ Association International Conference: Sydney. Plenary Session
  • Infective Mastitis: A Diagnostic Dilemma? Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand WA Annual Meeting, Perth
  • Physiological Changes in the Lactating Breast during Mastitis Rising Stars  Symposium, Post Graduate Education KEMH

2002

The 2002 International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Human Lactation Research and Breastfeeding Management. Orlando, Florida, USA.

  • Research Update from Down Under: Clinical Applications Pre-conference Workshop
  • Breast Defence during Lactation: plenary session
  • Mastitis: Pathology or Physiology? plenary session 2
  • Panel of Experts Session

South Australian College of Lactation Consultants 7th Annual Conference, Adelaide.   

  • Plenary Session 1: Latest Research from the Hartmann Lab.
  •  Plenary Session 2: Mastitis: Pathology or Physiology?
  • Panel of Experts Discussion 

College of Lactation Consultants WA Inc. Education Meeting

  • Breast Defence during Lactation

 

Professional and community service

  • University Service Roles
  • Academic Misconduct Investigator & Arbiter, 2013 to current
  • Chair roles:
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Scholarship Committee, 2009-2010
  • School of Health Professions Learning and Teaching Committee, 2012 – 2014
  • Nursing Discipline Board of Examiners, 2012 – current
  • Nursing Curriculum Renewal Committee 2014
  • Acting Chair role: School Board
  • University Committee Memberships:
  • Academic Courses Committee (2 years, 2013-2014)
  • Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee, Professional rep (3.5 years, 2010-2013)
  • Curriculum Commission ISG curriculum working party (2013),
  • Vice Chancellor’s Awards and Citations Committee, 2014 to current
  • Vice Chancellor’s Medals Committee, 2014
  • School Board (2009 to current), Discipline Committee, Nursing Academic Committee
  • Stakeholder memberships
  • WA Forum on Inter-professional Education in Health, 2014
  • Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia stakeholder forum, 2014
  • ANMAC Midwifery Accreditation Standards: Consultation Stakeholder Group 2013
  •  Stakeholders Breastfeeding Network, 2011 to current,
  • Global Health Alliance WA Research Subcommittee, 2012-2013
  • Key Stakeholders Group “Internet Intervention to sustain breastfeeding duration in regional Western Australia (2011 to current)
  • External Committees
  • Raine Clinician Research Fellowships Committee (nursing rep), 2014- current
  • Organising Committee Member for CLCWA 2010 National Conference “Breastfeeding and Sleep: from confusion to clarity” and Editor for Conference Proceedings booklet, 2010
  • Research Service Roles
  • Associate Section Editor BMC Pregnancy and Birth (from 2014)
  • Editorial Review Board member, Breastfeeding Review Journal (from 2002)
    External Reviewer Notre Dame PhD upgrade School of Nursing and Midwifery (2013)
    External Reviewer ECU PhD upgrade School of Education (2012)
  • Reviewer for the following journals:
  • Journal of Nursing: Research & Reviews (from 2012),
    Contemporary Nurse (from 2011),
    Journal of Human Lactation (from 2001),
    Breastfeeding Medicine (from 2007),
    International Breastfeeding Journal (from 2007),
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology (from 2008),
    British Journal of Nutrition (from 2008)
    World Journal of Pediatrics (from 2013)
  • Invited Peer Reviews: Elsevier publications (2007) and BioMed Central Public Health On line (2006) Reviewer for Health e-Learning on line courses for Lactation Consultants (2005) Reviewer for Grant Application, The Wellcome Trust (2004)
  • Professional Memberships (current): Australian College of Midwives Inc (ACMI), College of Lactation Consultants WA (CLCWA), International College of Lactation Consultants (ILCA), LCs of Australian New Zealand (LCANZ), International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML)
  • Professional Committee Memberships (past): College of Lactation Consultants WA Secretary (2008), Vice President (2007), Education Officer (2005,2006), National Conference organizing committee member  ‘Breastfeeding and Sleep: from confusion to clarity’ (2010); ‘Love, Lust and Lactation’ (2005),  BFHI Accredited Educator 1997-99, Australian Lactation Consultants Association – WA Branch Secretary (1994, 1995), Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative WA Steering Committee – Secretary (1994, 1995)

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Completions

Current supervisions

  • PhD candidate: Caroline Browne: Understanding successful short term international clinical placements for Australian students in Asia: A case study (Principal)
  • PhD candidate: Jenny Wrightson: Influences impacting on low risk women’s decision making regarding induction of labour (Associate supervisor)
  • PhD candidate: Robert Laing: Responding to catastrophe: Learning from perinatal death (Co-supervisor)
  • Masters candidate: Jo Walker:  The experiences of individuals seeking, receiving and using health information to assist in the self-management of thyroid disorders.(Principal)
  • Masters candidate: Raychelle Phoebe: Using narrative inquiry to explore support when establishing breastfeeding (Principal)
  • Masters candidate: Sonya Goltz: People’s experiences post bariatric surgery (Principal)

 

Publications

Chapters

  • Nilson, C., Morrison, P., Fetherston, C., (2016),The Bindjareb Yorgas Health Program,In: Qualitative Research Methods in Consumer Psychology. Ethnography and Cultre, Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, pages 173 to 191.
  • Fetherston, C., (2001),Mamary gland defence: The role of colostrum, milk and involution secretion,In: Advances in Nutritional Research, Klewer Academic/Plenum Publishing Corporation, pages 167 to 200.

Journals

  • Wiffen, J., Fetherston, C., (2016), Relationships between assisted reproductive technologies and initiation of lactation: Preliminary observations, Breastfeeding Review, 24, 1, pages 7 - 13.
  • Batt, S., Geerlings, P., Fetherston, C., (2016), Health characteristics and self-identified health promotion needs of Army personnel in Perth Western Australia, Journal of Military and Veterans' Health, 24, 2, pages 6 - 13.
  • Nilson, C., Kearing-Salmon, K., Morrison, P., Fetherston, C., (2015), An ethnographic action research study to investigate the experiences of Bindjareb women participating in the cooking and nutrition component of an Aboriginal health promotion programme in regional Western Australia, Public Health Nutrition, 18, 18, pages 3394 - 3405.
  • Walker, L., Fetherston, C., McMurray, A., (2015), Perceptions of Interprofessional Education in the Australian Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) Course, Family Medicine, 47, 6, pages 435 - 444.
  • Nilson, C., Kearing, G., Fetherston, C., Morrison, P., (2015), Art from the Heart: Using Art Narrative to Describe the Experiences of a Health Promotion Program in an Australian Aboriginal Community., The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, 10, 3, pages 13 - 32.
  • Wei, L., Fetherston, C., Medigovich, K., (2015), Taoist Tai Chi For Health: The Characteristics and Patterns of Practice of Western Australian Practitioners, Journal of Health Behavior and Public Health, 5, 1, pages 1 - 7.
  • Browne, C., Fetherston, C., Medigovich, K., (2015), International clinical placements for Australian undergraduate nursing students: A systematic synthesis of the literature, Nurse Education Today, 35, 10, pages 1028 - 1036.
  • Nilson, C., Fetherston, C., McMurray, A., (2014), Developing Children's Critical Thinking through Creative Arts Exposure: An Application of Ennis's Super-streamlined Critical Thinking Framework, International Journal of Arts Education, 8, 3, pages 31 - 45.
  • Hopkins, M., Fetherston, C., Morrison, P., (2014), Prevalence and characteristics of aggression and violence experienced by Western Australian nursing students during clinical practice, Contemporary Nurse, 49, 1-2, pages 113 - 121.
  • Nilson, C., Fetherston, C., McMurray, A., (2013), Teachers' and Mothers' Perceptions of Using Creative Arts to Develop Children's Potential for Critical Thinking, International Journal of Arts Education, 7, 1, pages 1 - 16.
  • Walker, L., Fetherston, C., McMurray, A., (2013), Perceived changes in the knowledge and confidence of doctors and midwives to manage obstetric emergencies following completion of an Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics course in Australia, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 53, 6, pages 525 - 531.
  • Nilson, C., Fetherston, C., McMurray, A., Fetherston, T., (2013), Creative Arts: An Essential Element in the Teacher'sToolkit When Developing Critical Thinking in Children, Australian Journal of Teacher Education (Online), 38, 7, pages 1 - 17.
  • Fetherston, C., Leach, J., (2012), Analysis of the ethical issues in the breastfeeding and bedsharing debate, Breastfeeding Review, 20, 3, pages 7 - 17.
  • Fetherston, C., Wei, L., (2011), The benefits of tai chi as a self management strategy to improve health in people with chronic conditions, Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness, 3, 3, pages 155 - 164.
  • Fetherston, C., Ward, S., (2011), Relationships between post operative pain management and short term functional mobility in total knee arthroplasty patients with a femoral nerve catheter: A preliminary study, Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 6, 1, pages -.
  • McMurray, A., Chaboyer, W., Wallis, M., Fetherston, C., (2010), Implementing bedside handover: Strategies for change management, Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 17-18, pages 2580 - 2589.
  • McMurray, A., Blazey, L., Fetherston, C., (2008), The effect of intradialytic foot pedal exercise on blood pressure phosphate removal efficiency and health related quality of life in haemodialysis patients, Renal Society of Australasia Journal, 4, 2, pages 6 - 12.
  • Fetherston, C., Hartmann, P., Lai, C., (2008), Recurrent blocked duct(s) in a mother with immunoglobulin A deficiency, Breastfeeding Medicine, 3, 4, pages 261 - 265.
  • Fetherston, C., (2006), Severity of mastitis symptoms as a predictor of C-reactive protein in milk and blood during lactation, Breastfeeding Medicine, 1, 3, pages 127 - 135.
  • Fetherston, C., (2006), Relationships between symptoms and changes in breast physiology during lactation mastitis, Breastfeeding Medicine, 1, 3, pages 136 - 145.
  • Fetherston, C., (2006), Excretion of lactose in urine as a measure of increased permeability of the lactating breast during inflammation, Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica, 85, , pages 20 - 25.
  • Fetherston, C., (2001), Mastitis in lactating women: pathology or physiology?, Breastfeeding Review, 9, 1, pages 5 - 12.

Conference

  • Nilson, C., Morrison, P., Fetherston, C., Kearing, G., (2016),'Yarning' about health gives voice and promotes action amongst Aboriginal women in a community owned health promotion program,In: 4th Annual Worldwide Nursing Conference (WNC 2016).
  • Hopkins, M., Morrison, P., Fetherston, C., (2016),Enhancing Nursing Students' Resilience to Aggressive and Violent Events,In: Fifth International Conference on Violence in the Heath Sector..
  • Nilson, C., Fetherston, C., Morrison, P., Kearing, S., (2016),An ethnographic action research approach to investigate the experiences of Aboriginal women participating in the group fitness and walking component of a community owned health promotion program,In: 4th Annual Worldwide Nursing Conference (WNC 2016).
  • Fetherston, C.  (2001). Mastitis in lactating women: pathology or physiology? Breastfeeding Review, 9(1), 5-12. reprinted in: MIDIRS (2002) 12(2), 235-240. (Awarded UNICEF paper of the month and the Mary Paton Research Award and for best research paper in the field of breastfeeding and lactation)
  • Fetherston, C. (1998). Risk factors for lactation mastitis. J Hum Lact, 14, 101-109.
  • Fetherston, C. (1997a). Characteristics of lactation mastitis in a Western Australian cohort. Breastfeeding Review, 5(2), 5-11.
  • Fetherston C. (1997b). Management of lactation mastitis in a Western Australian cohort. Breastfeeding Review. 5(2): 13-19.
  • Fetherston, C. (1995). Factors influencing breastfeeding initiation and duration in a private Western Australian maternity hospital. Breastfeeding Review, 3(1), 9-14.
  • Fetherston C. (1995). Breastfeeding twins: two onto one does go: A case study.  Breastfeeding Review, 3(1), 34-35.
  • Conference Publications
  • Fetherston, C.M., Lai, C.T., & Hartmann, P.E. (2008). Recurrent Blocked ducts in mother with IgA deficiency: A Case Study. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation(Poster presentation). Perth: The University Of Western Australia.
  • McMurray, A., Blazey, L., & Fetherston, C. (2008). The effect of intradialytic foot pedal exercise on blood pressure, phosphate removal efficiency and health related quality of life in hemodialysis patients. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Renal Soc of Aust (Poster presentation). Perth, Australia
  • Fetherston, C.M. Lai, C.T. & Hartmann, P.E. (2004). Indicators for Raised Sodium and Associated Changes in Breastmilk During the First Three Months Post Partum. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (Poster presentation). Cambridge, UK: Queens’ College.
  • Fetherston, C.M. Lai, C.T. Mitoulas, L.R,. & Hartmann, P.E. (2004). The 24-h Excretion of Lactose in Urine as a Measure of Increased Permeability of the Lactating Breast During Inflammation. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (Poster presentation). Cambridge, UK: Queens’ College.
  • Fetherston, C. (2003). Physiological changes occurring in the breast during mastitis. Plenary session. Proceedings of the Conference and Annual Meeting of the International Lactation Consultant Association: Milk Mammals and Marsupials: An International Perspective. Sydney Australia.
  • Fetherston, C. (2002). Breast defence during lactation. Plenary session. Proceedings of the International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Human Lactation Research and Breastfeeding Management: The Art and Science of Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. Orlando, Florida.
  • Fetherston, C. (2002). Mastitis, Pathology or Physiology? Plenary session. In Proceedings of the International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Human Lactation Research and Breastfeeding Management. The Art and Science of Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. Orlando, Florida.