Contact Us

Alison Hey-Cunningham +61 2 9515 6651    


Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis
Respiratory Medicine and Sleep Unit
Level 11, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Camperdown NSW 2050



Online Enquiry

* Required fields

Our People

Australasian ILD Nurses Alliance

The Australasian Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Nurses Alliance is shaping the future of ILD nursing in Australasia. The ILD Nurses Alliance was initially formed in 2022 as the ILD Nurses Working Group and continues to work to achieve the top educational and other professional priorities they have identified. Chaired by Karen Symons, ILD Nurse Specialist at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. Please meet the ILD Nurses Alliance Steering Group members below.


Tara Hannon

Tara is a Respiratory Clinical Nurse Consultant celebrating 35 years of cardio-thoracic clinical nursing in National and International tertiary locations. Tara is CNC and Co-Director at Respiratory West, an established private respiratory practice in Perth.

Tara’s special interests are interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and indwelling pleural catheters - malignant pleural effusion. Tara established ILD Nurse-Led clinics in 2017, anchoring long-term follow-up comprehensive care for patients and carers and providing nurse support for patients on antifibrotic therapy.

Tara holds a senior research nurse position with the Bendat Family Respiratory Research and Development Fund, St John of God -Subiaco, with a special interest in ILD nurse-focused research. Tara is a foundation member of the Australian ILD Nurse Alliance -Steering Committee.

Mary Roberts

Mary Roberts is a Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) working for Westmead Hospital, in Sydney. She has over 30 years experience working in Respiratory Medicine in a range of settings including high dependency inpatient units, respiratory outpatient clinics including an ILD clinic and a Breathlessness clinic, Pulmonary rehabilitation and also runs a 24hour Respiratory Hotline providing care and advice to patients with respiratory disease.

Mary has a Diploma of Applied Science (Nursing), Bachelor of Health Science (Conversion), Master of Nursing (Specialisation - Medical) and Master of Palliative Care.

Mary has a special interest in pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary rehabilitation, and the management of breathlessness and has presented both nationally and internationally. She has also authored or co-authored over 20 publications and over 75 conference abstracts.

Mary is an active member of the Lung Foundation Australia and Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and recently received a prestigious Lung Legend award from the LFA.

Karen Symons

Karen Symons is the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Nurse Specialist at Alfred Health in Melbourne. She has been working in Respiratory Medicine for over 30 years and specifically in ILD since 2008.

Karen coordinates the ILD outpatient service, weekly multidisciplinary team meetings, as well as both translational and therapeutic clinical trials in IPF and ILD at Alfred Health.

She is Chair of the Australasian ILD Nurses Alliance, and also a member of the Pulmonary fibrosis Australasian Clinical Trials (PACT) network steering committee, and Translation, EDucation and Support (TEDS) committee.

Karen has a special interest in promoting patient, family and caregiver education in ILD, has over 30 publications in ILD and has presented at numerous educational meetings and conferences.

Michelle Thompson

Michelle Thompson RN, BSc(Hons), GradCertRespSc, PostGradHlthSc is a Respiratory Nurse Consultant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Michelle initially commenced working with the respiratory department in a research role in 2004 and moved into a clinical role in 2012. She works predominantly in the Interstitial Lung Disease, Advanced Lung Disease and Oxygen Services within the Respiratory Department.

Michelle was a founding member of the initial CRE-PF & TSANZ ILD Nurses working group which led to the formation of the Australasian ILD Nurses Alliance. 

Sarah Watson

Sarah is the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinical Nurse at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH).  Sarah is responsible for coordination of the weekly state-wide Queensland ILD multidisciplinary meeting, which provides expert opinion consensus diagnosis and recommendations for ongoing patient management.  As the primary contact for ILD patients at TPCH, Sarah provides direct support in accessing, commencement and management of antifibrotic therapy, home oxygen, navigating extended community services and linking patients in with ILD clinical trials available to them.

With a background in surgical and lung transplant nursing, Sarah has completed a post graduate certificate in surgical nursing and worked as a clinical trials research coordinator prior to becoming an Interstitial Lung Disease Nurse.

Sarah was part of the initial CRE & TSANZ working group which led to the formation of the Australasian ILD Nurses Alliance. As an inaugural member of the Australasian ILD Nurses Alliance, Sarah recognises the value of fostering a network of ILD Nurses across Australia and New Zealand.  Creating a central hub for ILD nurses to obtain professional advice, guidance, education and a means of benchmarking the important role of ILD Nurse will only enhance patient care.