Aims of the Nursing Program

A​SHM recognises the vital role that nurses play in the testing, diagnosis, treatment and care of those at risk of and living with HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs. Our Nursing program aims:

  1. To strengthen the role of nurses working in HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs
  2. To support nursing organisations within the sector to develop, deliver and evaluate education on blood-borne viruses and STIs
  3. To advocate for the role of nurses in the care and management of people with HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs
  4. To advocate for safe and equitable care, free of stigma and discrimination for people with HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs


Training and development

Our program offers nursing education and resources in HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections for novice to expert nurses providing care and management to people with blood borne viruses (BBV), in Australia and New Zealand.  Ensuring nurses have access to high quality and relevant training to enhance their professional development is a priority. Search for Training Opportunities


Policy and advocacy

ASHM is committed to expanding the scope of practice for nurses in the BBV sector. We do this via the program in the following activities:

  • Development of position statements in consultation and collaboration with relevant BBV sector experts
  • Supporting affiliated organisations to develop competency standards and guidelines​ which assist to define the role of the nurse
  • Actively seeking opportunities to contribute nursing perspectives into national committees, strategy and policy discussions (add link to ASHHNA nurse and midwife prescribing doc)
  • Encouraging ASHM members to contribute to the Nursing Program's strategic direction and priorities via the annual nurse member survey


ASHM Nursing Team

Melinda Hassall, Clinical Nurse (Viral Hepatitis)Melinda Hassall, Clinical Nurse Lead (Nursing Program)

E  |   0422 596 701​

Melinda Hassall is responsible for the ongoing management and development of ASHM’s Nursing Program.  Melinda is a Registered Nurse with experience in acute care, primary health care and public health, has completed a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion and a Masters degree in Public Health. She is a member of the Australian College of Nursing and the Brisbane Region Secretariat. Please contact Melinda for further information on ASHM’s nursing related activities and the Nursing Program.​


​Dr Elizabeth Crock, ASHM Board Vice President, Clinical Nurse Consultant (HIV)

Dr Liz Crock is a Registered Nurse who first worked in HIV in the early 1990s as an HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist at Fairfield  Infectious Diseases Hospital in Melbourne.  She has worked with the Royal District Nursing Service HIV Team as Clinical Nurse Consultant in Melbourne for the last 14 years, and is the current Vice President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANZANAC).  She is current Vice President on the ASHM Board of Directors


Penny Kenchington, ASHM Board Member, Nurse Practitioner

Penny has been working in the Sexual Health, HIV and Hepatitis health sector as a specialist nurse since 1995 and is currently the Nurse Practitioner at the Townsville Sexual Health Service. She has extensive knowledge and skills in sexual health, women’s health, reproductive health, sexual function, genital dermatology and forensic nursing.  She is currently on the ASHM Board of Directors


Clinical Nurse Advisors

Clinical Nurse Advisors provide high quality clinical advice to ASHM.  They assist with the development of policy, clinical training materials and resources and contribute to the clinical review of training curricula, materials and ASHM publications. 

  • Sue Mason - Clinical Nurse Consultant (Hepatology)
  • Jacqui Richmond – Executive Officer and Honorary Research Fellow (Hepatology)
  • Donna Tilley – Transitional Nurse Practitioner (Sexual Health/HIV)
  • Cherie Bennett – Clinical Nurse Consultant (HIV/Sexual Health)
  • Vickie Knight - Clinical Nurse Consultant (Sexual Health/HIV)



ASHM Nurse Member Network

The aim of the nurse member network is to provide ASHM members with the opportunity to engage with the Nursing Program and guide the direction of the program, through knowledge sharing local and jurisdictional clinical and policy issues, identifying training gaps and opportunities for advocacy.

  • Sam Libertino – Clinical Nurse Consultant (HIV), Western Australia
  • Elena McLeish – Public Health Nurse (Sexual Health), Queensland
  • Colin Roberts – Registered Nurse (HIV), South Australia
  • Tara Barton – Education and Resource Centre Coordinator (HIV, Hepatitis, STI), Victoria
  • Michael Smith - Clinical Nurse Consultant (HIV), New South Wales
  • Esperance Coelho – Registered Nurse (HIV/Sexual Health), New South Wales


Become an ASHM member

All nurses are invited to become ASHM Members. Nurses who are existing members of the following professional nursing associations are eligible to become an ASHM Affiliate Member and receive membership benefits free of charge:

  • Australasian Hepatology Association (AHA)​
  • Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA)
  • Australasian Sexual Health and HIV Nurses Associa​tion (ASHHNA)
  • ANZANAC HIV Nurses Special Inte​rest Group of the ANMF​
  • Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA)

Nurses who are members of organisations with ASHM organisation sustaining membership are also eligible to become an ASHM Affiliate member.


Download our Nursing Program Bulletin