Meet the Research, Evaluation and Social Policy team

General Manager of Research and Youth Cancer Services, CanTeen and Associate Professor, Cancer Nursing Research Unit, Sydney University

Dr. Pandora Patterson has been the General Manager of the Research Team at CanTeen Australia for 11 years. Here, she has led research in the area of adolescent and young adult psycho-oncology with a focus on translating research into meaningful practice. Under Pandora’s management the CanTeen research team has led the development and implementation of needs based measures for young people impacted by cancer and developed and evaluated evidence-based psychosocial interventions for young people affected by cancer and their families.

She took on the additional role as the General Manager of the Youth Cancer Services Team in 2015 and in this role oversees the national implementation of Australian hospital-based specialised treatment and support services for young people with cancer. Under her direction, the Youth Cancer Services team has contributed significant changes to clinical practice in the Australian health care system for adolescents and young adults with cancer.

In addition to her role at CanTeen, Pandora is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, and a practicing clinical psychologist. She has over 50 publications including peer reviewed journal articles, chapters and books, and in the past 5 years has been a Chief Investigator on grants worth more than $7 million. She led the development of the Adolescent and Young Adult Psychosocial Care Manual that is used by clinicians throughout the world, is a member of 8 international and national advisory groups and is a co-chair of the Scientific Organising Committee for the International AYA Congress.

Research Manager, CanTeen and Lecturer, Cancer Nursing Research Unit, Sydney University

Dr Fiona McDonald is the Research Manager at CanTeen, where she has worked for nine years. Her research investigates the psychosocial impact of cancer (including familial cancer) on adolescents and young adults, including their concerns and unmet needs – she is also involved in the development and implementation of measures and interventions for this population.

Fiona is instrumental in translating research into organisational practice and evaluating the programs and services that CanTeen provides to support young people impacted by cancer.

Evaluation Manager, CanTeen

Dr Mel Noke is a Chartered Psychologist from the UK who has been working as the Evaluation Manager at CanTeen since May 2017. Mel joined CanTeen from the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology at The University of Manchester where she worked on a variety of clinical and health psychology research projects and provided teaching on the BSc (Hons) Psychology and MSc Health Psychology/MSc Clinical & Health Psychology programs.

She has a range of research interests including: qualitative research methods, health behaviour change, healthcare communication, family communication about illness, children’s psychological adaptation to health information, children’s involvement in decisions regarding their health. Mel is primarily managing four projects at CanTeen; the national Youth Cancer Service Experience of Care study, the evaluation of CanTeens online counselling and peer support system; validation of the  Distress Thermometer, and the planning, implementation and evaluation of our ‘Robot’s’ Project.

Senior Research and Evaluation Officer, CanTeen

Kristina Clarke has been a Senior Research and Evaluation Officer at CanTeen since March 2016. She has worked in a variety of research settings since 2008, with a primary research focus on youth mental health. This has included the delivery and evaluation of manualised programs for young people and families impacted by school refusal or intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Kristina holds degrees in Psychology and Marketing Management. Kristina’s work at CanTeen involves the development and evaluation of CanTeen’s programs and psychosocial assessment process.

Senior Research Officer, CanTeen

Helen Bibby has been working at CanTeen as a Senior Research Officer since December 2018. She is a Clinical Psychologist with 15 years’ experience in health research, with expertise in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents.

Her work at CanTeen focuses on the use and validation of standardised questionnaires, including the Distress Thermometer and the Bereaved Cancer Needs Inventory.

Research and Evaluation Officer

Thomasin has been working as a Research and Evaluation Officer at CanTeen since November 2018. As part of her B.Psych Honours, Thomasin completed a research thesis on self-regulation in young children and whether this can be improved through low-cost means. Following the completion of her Master’s degree, Thomasin attained registration as a psychologist, working with adolescents and young people in a clinical setting.

Thomasin’s work at CanTeen involves the development and evaluation of CanTeen’s psychosocial programs, including Good Grief and PEER.

Research Officer, CanTeen

Stephanie has been working as a Research Officer at CanTeen since April 2018. She comes from Belgium where she worked as a clinical and research psychologist. She was part of the research team at the Institut Jules Bordet studying how to improve communication between children and parents following a cancer diagnosis, and how to improve communication between health care professionals and their patients.

Stephanie’s work at CanTeen involves the evaluation of the Truce program, the Sibling Mindfulness project and the high school cancer education program ‘When Cancer Comes Along’.

Research Officer, CanTeen

Kimberley Allison started at CanTeen as a Research Volunteer 5 years ago and is now one of the team’s Research Officers. She is completing a PhD at Macquarie University which looks at the formation of social norms in online communities, and how this may contribute to cyber-aggression.

Kimberly assists the team on various projects and contributes to the creation of presentations and papers.

Research Assistant, CanTeen

Maaike is a research assistant at CanTeen. She has a Masters of Public Health from La Trobe University and is originally from Melbourne. She has completed a qualitative research thesis and worked at YMCA Victoria conducting the participant evaluation for a region-wide project. Maaike works on the School’s Project ‘When Cancer Comes Along’ where she liaises with and recruits eligible schools. She additionally assists with the YCS Experiences of Care Study, helps manage the research team’s multiple volunteers and assists the team with various administrative and research tasks.