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 and Senior Research Fellow, School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of NSW

Dr Jennifer Cohen is the Evaluation Manager at Canteen, where she has worked since November 2019. Jennifer’s background is as a paediatric dietitian and she worked at he Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital for 15 years. Her primary research focus has been on health behaviours in children after cancer treatment.

Her current work at Canteen involves the development, implementation and evaluation of programs and services that Canteen provides to support young people impacted by cancer.



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 over 15 years’ experience in health research, with expertise in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents.

Helen’s work at Canteen focuses on the psychosocial impact of cancer (including familial cancer) on the emotional well-being and unmet needs of adolescents and young adults. She is also involved in the development and validation of assessment tools for this population, and provides statistical analysis support to other members of the Research, Evaluation and Social Policy Team.

Senior Research and Evaluation Officer, Canteen

Joycelyn joined Canteen as a Senior Evaluation and Research Officer in September 2019. Joycelyn is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years of clinical, research and program development experience, particularly in services providing treatment and support for adolescents and young adults.

Joycelyn’s work at Canteen involves the development and evaluation of Canteen’s psychosocial support programs and services.

Research and Evaluation Officer, Canteen

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, EXPLORE, the TRECA (Robots) Program and PEER.

Research Officer- YCS, Canteen

Martha joined Canteen as a Youth Cancer Services (YCS) Research Officer in 2019. Martha’s projects are based within Canteen’s YCS research projects aimed at improving the lives of adolescents and young adults (AYA’s) facing a cancer diagnosis (self or family/friend).

Since 2015, Martha has worked as a Psycho-Oncology Researcher with the Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT) at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, specifically exploring patient reported outcomes, health literacy and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) cancer populations. Currently, Martha is nearing the completion of a Masters of Research from UNSW Sydney, exploring the levels and predictors of health literacy in CALD cancer patients.

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 Officer, Canteen

Xiomara joined Canteen as a Research Officer in May 2020. She has over 15 years of experience in the provision of psychosocial support to people living with cancer. Previously she worked for Canteen SA/NT and The Max Foundation (a cancer organisation in the United States).

Xiomara’s doctoral research is focused on digital platforms to improve adherence to oral chemotherapy in young and adult people with cancer. Xiomara also works at the University of South Australia where she conducts psychosocial research with rural people affected by cancer, chronic diseases, and mental health issues.