ASHHNA Information Hub


ASHHNA Carol Martin Scholarship

The scholarship is named in honour of our friend, colleague and former ASHHNA Vice-President, Carol Martin who passed away in February 2011. Carol was a passionate and skilled clinical nurse and educator who was involved in the education and training of many HIV and sexual and reproductive health nurses and doctors. Carol’s legacy will continue through the inspiration and influence she had on all those who worked with her and knew her.

ASHHNA acknowledges and thanks ViiV Healthcare for their generosity in funding the scholarship.

ASHHNA Professional Development Scholarship

This scholarship provides $1500 in funding for courses, conference attendance, or other professional development activities. This scholarship is funded by ASHHNA.

Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference Scholarship

This scholarship funds nurses to attend the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference.

ASHHNA acknowledges and thanks Gilead for their generosity in funding the scholarship.

ASHHNA Clinical Placement Scholarship

Coming Soon.

When can I apply for a scholarship?

Scholarships open in May/June 2021.

How can I apply for a scholarship?

Application forms will be available when the scholarships open.

Career Advice

How do I get into sexual health nursing?

In many states and territories of Australia the entry point into sexual health nursing is a Family Planning Certificate in Reproductive and Sexual Health.

There are also courses and workshops available through the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) that give a good theory background.

Each state and territory is different, and sometimes a sexual health service might be looking for an RN with experience, and other times the service may be willing to train and support RNs with no prior experience.

Check out the Education and Training page on the website to do some short modules in sexual health, look for opportunities to do courses, join ASHHNA and attend ASHHNA sub branch meetings.

Call the Nursing Manager of the service near you and ask what experience or educational background they look for when recruiting.

You can also contact any of the ASHHNA Executive Committee members who would be happy to talk with you about your career plans.


ASHHNA Life Membership Award

ASHHNA awards the distinguished life membership award to individuals who demonstrate dedication and long term commitment in the areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health and/or HIV nursing. Please click on the Policy and Nomination Form headings below.

ASHHNA Conference Awards

These awards recognise the outstanding contribution to Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV that nurses make and is aimed at encouraging nurses to develop research and present that research to a wide audience.

ASHHNA Nurses Award for Best Poster Presentation at Australian Sexual Health Conference

Each year at the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance Sexual Health Conference ASHHNA awards a prize to a nurse for the best poster.

ASHHNA Nurses Award for Best Poster Presentation at Australian HIV Conference

Each year at the ASHM HIV Conference ASHHNA awards a prize to a nurse for the best poster.

Conference Presentation Award Recipients

Virtual 2021

2021 Australasian Sexual Health Conference
Type of Award.

2021 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference
Type of Award.

Virtual 2020

2020 Australasian Sexual Health and HIV/ AIDS Conference:
Barriers to Targeted HIV Testing in a Culturally Diverse Urban Setting in Australia.

Perth 2019

2019 Australasian Sexual Health Conference
Improving N.Gonorroheae (NG) culture rates at Gold Coast Sexual Health Service.

2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference
High Prevelance of Late Stage HIV Diagnosis in a Southern Sydney HIV/ Sexual Health Service: a 5 year retrospective review. 

Sydney & Auckland 2018

2018 IUSTI AP Sexual Health Congress Auckland
Daniel Seeds
Identifying Those at Elevated Risk of Anal Cancer: Observations from the Front Line

2018 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference
Sara Bell & Judith Dean
Online HIV self-testing (HIVST) service in Queensland: Users Usage and Usability

ASHHNA Governance

The Australasian Sexual Health Nurses Association formed in 1991 and in 2009 officially included HIV nursing to become the Australasian Sexual Health and HIV Nurses Association (ASHHNA). ASHNNA Inc. is governed by a 14 member Executive Committee.  ASHHNA is guided by a Constitution endorsed by the NSW Department of Fair Trading.

ASHHNA is a member of the Coalition of Australian National Nursing and Midwifery Organisations (CoNNMO) and is a founding member of the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance (ASHA)

When are the meetings held?

The ASHHNA executive meets monthly by teleconference.

Annual General Meetings are held in line with the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance Conference which usually occurs in October or November each year


Shannon Woodward

Shannon is a Nurse Practitioner at Canberra Sexual Health Centre and has been a member of the ASHHNA Executive Committee since 2010. She has worked in the area of Sexual and Reproductive Health for over 19 years and has been a nurse practitioner since 2010.  Shannon has completed a Masters of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner), a Graduate Diploma of Midwifery, and various post graduate nursing certificates, including sexual and reproductive health, women’s health nursing, community nursing, and palliative care. Shannon has received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the ANU Medical School, and has been nominated for both Nurse of the Year and Nurse Practitioner of the Year in the ACT Nursing Excellence Awards.  Shannon loves working in this specialty area and with patients from priority population groups and has developed a wonderful network of nursing colleagues during her time in ASHHNA.



Rebecca Houghton

Rebecca is a Nurse Unit Manager at Sydney Sexual Health Centre.  She has a Masters in Nursing Science and post graduate certificates in Sexual and Reproductive health and has worked in sexual health and HIV for over 10 years in both the Australian and UK healthcare setting.  Rebecca won the Excellence in Clinical Leadership award at the NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery award ceremony in 2017.


Emma Knowland (She/Her)

Emma is a Clinical Nurse working at Metro North Sexual Health & HIV Services. She has served as Secretary on the ASHHNA Executive since 2017 and recently chaired the expert working group for the new ASHHNA Standards of Practice. She holds a Master of Nursing (QUT), Graduate Certificate in Cancer Nursing (ACN) and holds a SRH certificate (FPNSW) and Sexual Health Program Authorization. She has worked in clinical roles across hospitals, clinics and NGOs as has also held teaching, facilitation and research portfolios. She is currently undertaking her Master of Nurse Practitioner and looks forward to contributing further to these nursing specialities.



Brad Whitton

Brad Whitton is the Integrated Community Hepatitis Clinical Nurse Consultant at
St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne with extensive knowledge and experience in HIV, hepatitis, sexual and reproductive health.

Brad believes in the rights of all Australians to have access to quality sexual and reproductive healthcare. Brad has successfully developed a nurse-led model of care aimed at increasing the uptake of Hepatitis C treatment of individuals accessing mental health, alcohol and other drug services in Melbourne, Victoria.

The University of Melbourne awarded Brad with Honorary Fellowship in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. Brad holds a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Sydney, a Masters of Public Health with Monash University, and postgraduate certificates in sexual health, immunisation, training and assessment.


Membership and Email List Coordinator

Cat Brown

Cat Brown is a Registered Nurse at Canberra Sexual Health Centre specialising sexual health and HIV outpatient services.

Cat believes that information is power and loves seeing, particularly young people, empowered and informed through education.

Cat has spent a significant portion of her career working in the area of sexual assault where she felt privileged to assist victims of crime to regain a sense of control and safety in often very traumatic circumstances.

Cat has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with the University of Canberra and postgraduate qualifications in the areas of Leadership and Management, with the ACN; Health Research, the University of Canberra; Forensic Nursing, Monash University; and Sexual & Reproductive Health with FPNSW.



Joanne Perks

Jo Perks is a Nurse Practitioner and Midwife with significant experience within the public health and NGO sector, where she specialises in Women’s Health across the lifespan, working with marginalised populations.

Jo is passionate about the provision of respectful and high quality care for women under her care, where she believes that advocacy plays a significant role.

Jo Perks has been involved with ASHHNA since its inception in 1991 and has been an executive member for 30 years. Jo is also a Council Representative of the Coalition of National Nursing & Midwifery Organisation as an ASHHNA representative in an advisory role.

Jo’s significant contributions to sexual and reproductive health recognised with several awards and nominations. In 2018, Jo received the ASHHNA Life Member Award, a finalist for the HESTA Nurse of the Year award in 2016, and awarded the Liverpool LGA Award for Outstanding Care to the Community in 2014.


Assistant Treasurer

Danielle Collins

Dani is a HIV nurse practitioner working for the Victorian HIV Service, within the Alfred Hospitals Infectious Diseases Department, Melbourne. Dani attained nurse practitioner endorsement in 2018. The specialty of HIV combines Dani’s passion for social justice, infectious diseases and human rights. Areas of interest include new HIV diagnosis and navigating the pathway into HIV care, complex HIV and psychosocial care and strengthening the HIV workforce through developing and implementing systems to improve and expand upon HIV care provision.

Scholarship Coordinator

Frances Turner

Fran is a Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) at Sydney Sexual Health Centre who works with clinicians to facilitate their learning and attainment of clinical skills through practical sessions and mentorship. She completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Hull, but decided to change career after volunteering with a local outreach project educating young people about sexual health and falling in love with the specialty.

After working as an AIN in sexual health, Fran returned to university to complete her postgraduate diploma in nursing with King’s College London. Following this she returned to work in sexual health as an RN, moving to Australia in 2016 to work at Sydney Sexual Health Centre.

Fran’s own experiences as a student nurse led to a passion for education, and she became a CNE in 2017. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Education, Learning and Leadership with UTS. She believes that providing the right support and encouragement leads to highly skilled, knowledgeable nurses who can make a real difference to the field of sexual health and HIV.

Fran is a previous recipient of the ASHHNA Carol Martin Professional Development Scholarship and a NSW Health Nursing Postgraduate Scholarship. She describes her best experience to date as working with nurses who are new to sexual health, and facilitating their journey to becoming confident and skilled clinicians.

ASHA Conference Representative and Coordinator

Frances Turner & Rebecca Houghton

See Vice President and Scholarships Coordinator bios.

Newsletter Coordinator

Donna Tilley

Donna Tilley is a Nurse Practitioner in Sexual Health, NSW.

Website Coordinator

Will Hooke

Will is the acting Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) of Launceston Sexual Health. He has completed his Graduate Certificate in Sexual Health through the University in Sydney and has worked in the Sexual health/HIV area since 2012 across metro Sydney, regional NSW and in Northern QLD.

Will has spent the most of his life growing up and living in regional towns and loves to advocate for those outside of metropolitan areas.

Promotions Coordinator

Melissa Power

Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre

Position Without Portfolio

Rose Evans

Rose is a sexual health nurse at Canberra Sexual Health

Newsletter Assistants

Lauren Coelli and Maggie Smith

Maggie is the CNC of the Albion Centre in Sydney, NSW.

Lauren Coelli is a Sexual Health Clinical Nurse Consultant with NSW Health, working with two rural LHDs in the area of sexual health, HIV and BBVs.

Public Officer

Jo Perks

See bio for Social Media and Association Representative Coordinator