Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
I am a medical physicist, certified and registered, in the field of Radiation Oncology Medical Physics with the Australian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine. I have nearly thirty years’ experience in the field, evenly divided between clinical practice and government regulatory activities.
Throughout my clinical work I have been deeply involved with radiation protection of the patient. Early career I was trained in, and then began planning total Body Irradiations, (TBI) conducted at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center (PMCC). After 10 years this led to oversight of the planning process and the supporting in-vivo dose measurement program. Constant engagement with prescribing radiation oncologists resulted in detailed discussions regarding their radiation protection concerns and the dose limits and uncertainty they would accept for different organs and physiological functions. These experiences created a deep interest in the long term impact of radiation exposure, the accuracy of dose calculation and measurement, and how to optimise the therapeutic outcome for a therapy regime. During this time successfully completed a MSc. by research designing and building a parallel plate chamber for high spatial accuracy dosimetry in electron fields.
I was attracted back to full-time research by the Australian Synchrotron. My PhD investigated whether phase contrast imaging (PCI) could be used with conventional mammography sources to enhance mammography. This led to an imaging trials with Breast Screen Victoria and an appreciation of the complexity of kV imaging.
After completing the PhD in 2008, I moved to St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, initially as Principal physicist, then as Acting Head of the Physics Department. I was again deeply involved in radiotherapy planning and designed a treatment solution for pediatric patients presenting with cystic fibrosis. In 2010 I was recruited by ARPANSA to develop and deploy a national dosimetric auditing service for radiotherapy providers; the Australian Centre for Clinical Dosimetry, or ACDS. The ACDS has developed into a highly competent radiotherapy dosimetry auditing service, recognized internationally.
I was appointed to Branch Head for the Medical Radiations Safety within ARPANSA in 2015. I have responsibility for the Ionising Radiation Primary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory (PSDL), the ACDS and the Medical Imaging sections which collectively underpin the safe delivery of ionizing radiation within therapy and imaging across Australia.