Allied Health

Nutrition and Dietetics

The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics uses evidence based guidelines in the nutrition management and support of inpatients and oncology outpatients. A key focus is to identify those patients at nutrition risk and to promote early and appropriate nutrition care. The department is committed to meeting the key principals set out in the NSW Nutrition Care Policy. Advocating for practices and protocols that better meet the nutrition needs of patients is fundamental to our service. Research in the department is mainly observational.

Meet our Nutrition and Dietetics researchers

Contact: Andrew Court, Director Nutrition and Dietetics

Occupational Therapy

The Department of Occupational Therapy provides services and education to patients and their families on how best to maintain independence and function including transfers, mobility, personal care and meaningful activities of daily living. This may include equipment provision from our unique free Oncology Loan Pool service or home modifications to promote independence or assist carers. The department participates in several education groups including Mindful Movement group, Falls group and conducts weekly meditation classes. Occupational therapists liaise with several external providers as well as combining with the skills of other Allied Health multi disciplinary teams for the best outcomes for patients of Calvary Mater Newcastle.

Meet our Occupational Therapy researchers

Contact: Andrew Wakely, Director Occupational Therapy

Pastoral Care

The Department of Pastoral Care involves the emotional and spiritual support and care for patients and their families, seeking to motivate and invite healthy, meaningful use of beliefs and attitudes during hospitalisation. Pastoral carers encourage patients, families and staff to call on their own spiritual/personal resources and those of the community in meeting the events and challenges of life, affirming that creative possibilities can be discovered even in the midst of illness and death. This approach is ecumenical, showing respect for all beliefs and systems of faith.

Contact: April MacNeill, Pastoral Care Manager


The Department of Pharmacy forms an integral part of both inpatient and outpatient care by ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs. The pharmacists at the Calvary Mater Newcastle support clinical trials by overseeing the procurement, correct formulation and dispensing of all therapeutic medicines required for effective treatment.

Contact: Rosemary James, Chief Pharmacist


The Department of Physiotherapy provides management of whole body and musculo-skeletal conditions, especially those associated with cancer and cancer treatment, such as lymphoedema, and rehabilitation following surgery or radiation treatment. The service also provides mobility assessments and education on falls management, mindful movement, and rehabilitation, as well as other patient support groups. Research in the department takes the form of clinical trials aimed at developing non-invasive strategies to help patients cope with the sometimes debilitating effects of cancer treatment.

Meet our Physiotherapy researchers

Contact: Judy Holland, Director Physiotherapy

Social Work

Social Work provides assistance for patients in relation to their emotional and social needs with the aim of helping individuals maximise their potential. In partnership with medical, nursing, allied health and support staff, social workers provide specialist services. These include counselling related directly to grief, trauma and loss, the facilitation of individual and group programs, assisting clients achieve the maximum benefit from health care services and community resources, including advocacy with government and other agencies to access services as needed. 

Contact: Lyn Herd, Director Social Work

Speech Pathology

The Department of Speech Pathology at Calvary Mater Newcastle manages patients referred for acute swallowing and communication problems. Patients are referred for future management to community agencies as appropriate. The department conducts modified Barium Swallow procedures for patients as required. Education is provided to staff, patients and families about Speech Pathology issues. The unit has previously participated in clinical trials and is willing to consider supporting any research projects that can be facilitated within the department.

Contact: Tricia Potter, Director Speech Pathology

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