News and Events

Years: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013


Launch of the NEW Postgraduate Program in Sexual and Reproductive Health

It is our great pleasure to invite you to the launch of the Postgraduate Program in Sexual and Reproductive Health at the University of Sydney. As part of the launch of our program we are facilitating a panel discussion on

‘The Future of Sexual and Reproductive Health – What are the Needs of the Professionals?’

A panel of experts representing Psychosexual Therapy, Sexual Health Medicine, Family Planning, Reproduction Health and Sexual Health Nursing will address the topic of their respective professional groups.

The University of Sydney will be launching the redesigned postgraduate HIV/STIs and Sexual Health program in 2018 to ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health’ Program. This includes the redevelopment of the specialisations (pathways) in the Postgraduate Program.

We will now offer specialisations in four areas:

  • HIV and STIs
  • Psychosexual Therapy
  • Reproductive Health and Fertility
  • Public Health

The Postgraduate Program in Sexual and Reproductive Health offers Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master level qualifications in Medicine (for medical practitioners) and Science in Medicine (for other practitioners).

Event details:

Date: Tuesday 21 November 2017
Time: 6:15 pm for 6:30 pm start
Venue: New Law School Lecture Theatre 105
RSVP: Please register by Monday 20 November 2017 or email to

Expert Panel:

Chair: Professor David Lewis, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney and Director, Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre (WSSHC)
MC: Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Course Coordinator, Sexual and Reproductive Health Program, University of Sydney
Sexual Health Medicine: Associate Professor Chris Bourne, Head of NSW STI Programs Unit NSW Health
Reproductive Health: Associate Professor Kirsten Black, Joint Head of Discipline of Obstetrics, Gynaecology
Psychosexual Therapy: Dr Christopher Fox, National Chairperson, Society of Australian Sexologists
Family Planning: Dr Deborah Bateson, Medical Director, Family Planning NSW
Sexual Health Nursing: Ms Donna Tilley, Executive Committee Member and Past President, Australasian Sexual Health and HIV Nurses Association (ASHHNA) and Transitional Nurse Practitioner, WSSHC

The inaugural Joint University of Sydney / University of Washington Short course in HIV / STIs

The inaugural Joint University of Sydney / University of Washington Short course in HIV / STIs was held over three days between the 20th and the 22nd of March, 2017 at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research (WIMR). Each day of the course addressed a unique theme:

Day 1: Principles of Medical Research within the Context of HIV/STI

Day 2: Epidemiology, Clinical Features and Scientific Advances of Selected STIs

Day 3: HIV/STI Control - The Importance of Key Populations, Partner Notification and Prevention Strategies.

Attendees were able to register for 1, 2 or 3 days and in total, the course was delivered to 79 unique participants. Over the duration of the course, there were 33 attendees on Monday, 42 on Tuesday and 62 on the Wednesday. We were particularly pleased that the course attracted a number of attendees from areas other than Metropolitan Sydney including;

  • one participant from the Coffs Harbour area;
  • one participant from Eastern Health Melbourne;
  • one participant from Newcastle area; and
  • one participant from Thursday Island.

Additionally, four participants were Australia Awards Fellowship Holders (current students at the University of Sydney from abroad who have scholarships from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to study in Sydney). These students were from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

The course featured 15 presenters in total over the three days, with 13 / 16 presenters delivering face to face lecture, and 3 via videolink or Skype. The majority of the talks were delivered by academics from the University of Sydney (6) and The University of Washington (6), with one guest speaker each from the Kirketon Road Centre (a specialist clinical service for People who Inject Drugs), the AIDS Council of NSW, Positive Life and the Sex Workers Outreach Project.

Award Winning Student

Masters student Chantelle Otten wins award at the 19th Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine and is nominated for a Young Scientist Award at the 24th World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility

The staff at WSSH would like to offer congratulations to WSSH, Sydney Medical School student Chantelle Otten for her recent achievements in sexual health research.

In February 2017, Chantelle won the "Best Poster Presentation on Female Sexual Medicine" at the 19th Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine in Nice, France. Chantelle's presentation, Sexual Functioning and Menstrual Pattern Migraine: Pilot Study on Effects of Hormonal Interventions During Menopause Transition, was co-authored with Dr. Ingrid Pinas from the FemPoli clinic in Zwolle, Netherlands and gave recognition to the chronic pain condition and its effects on sexuality and quality of life. She gave another presentation at the congress on a study she conducted with Dr Pinas into the rates of sexual dysfunction for women with menstrual pattern migraine, with results demonstrating that women suffering from this condition had higher rates than the general population.

In late 2016 Chantelle also received a Young Scientist Award nomination for the 24th World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility, where she presented her study on aftercare for women who have had preventative bilateral salpingo oophorectomy. The paper was co-authored by her mentor Dr Ingrid Pinas and Prof Matthe` PM Burger.

We commend Chantelle for her excellent work and wish her the best in her further endeavors and studies.

Caption: Chantelle Oten (L) with Annette Fenner, Chief Editor, Nature Reviews Urology (R)

Chantelle is enrolled in the Master of Science in Medicine (Advanced), Psychosexual Therapy/ Sexual Health Counselling Stream. For more information about studying at Western Sydney Sexual Health please see the university handbook.

AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting - 18 March 2017

RACP Quarterly

Click here for more information.

Professor David Lewis on Antimicrobial Resistant Gonorrhoea

RACP Quarterly

In the December/January issue of RACP Quarterly, Professor Lewis discusses antimicrobial resistant gonorrhea and the future outlook for new treatments.

Click here for the full story.


ABC TV Interview with Prof. David Lewis

ABC TV Interview

In April 2016, the journal New Scientist published a report on the outbreak of an antibiotic resistant strain of Gonorrhea in England.

The ABC spoke to Professor Lewis about the possibility of an outbreak in Australia, risk factors of infection and challenges for prevention.

Drug trials give hope in battle to prevent HIV

Pill shown to reduce infection risk by 90 percent read more ....

Dr Sawleshwarkar is Front and Centre on this month’s issue of the Indian Sun


April 2016

The Indian Sun spoke to Western Sydney Sexual Health Education Lead Dr. Shailendra Sawleshwarkar this month to talk to about his work in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health.

Within the article, Shailendra talks in depth about his work in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health, his career path to date, his hope for the future, and barriers to progress such as inequality and stigma. The interview was a complete success, appearing as cover story for the April addition of the online and print magazine.

Click on Dr. Sawleshwarkar's photo to read more.

Sydney Uni’s HIV/STIs and Sexual Health Program joins Twitter!

Sydney Uni HIV/STIs and Sexual Health Program joins Twitter

January 2016

Tweet Tweet!

We are excited to announce that Sydney Uni’s HIV/STIs and Sexual Health Program has subscribed to twitter; you can find us @SEXH_Usyd.

Follow us to keep updated on the latest news, events and research within our unit, and about HIV / STIs and Sexual Health field.


Our Team at the World STI & HIV Congress, and Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference

Our Team at the World STI & HIV Congress, and Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference

October 2015

The 2015 World STI & HIV Congress and the 2015 Australian HIV & AIDS Conference were held back-to-back between the 13th – 18th September, 2015, in Brisbane, Queensland. A number of staff, including Professor David Lewis, Associate Professor Richard Hillman, Dr. Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Dr. Julian Langton Lockton and Elise Denyer attended the conference.

The event was a fantastic opportunity for staff to keep up-to-date with the most recent findings in Sexual Health Medicine and HIV, to present their own research, and to promote Sydney University as a leader in education in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health. As President of the International Union against STIs, Professor Lewis was co-chair of the 2015 World STI & HIV Congress, and in total, our team was represented by 5 oral presentations and 16 posters.

In relation to the event, Dr. Sawleshwarkar commented “the conference not only provided the latest update on important issues in HIV/STIs and sexual health but also presented an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues and partners from Australia and Asia Pacific region to further educational and research collaborations”.

Many thanks to Elise for her effort in manning the booth, and to student Elizabeth McKervey in helping with the promotional video.


International Nurses Day Awards - Outstanding Leadership

The purpose of this award is to recognise the contribution that Nurse Leaders have made at Westmead Hospital over the past twelve months. This award honours the hard work, commitment and dedication necessary to server the health care needs of our organisation. This award acknowledges the productivity of the leader's programs, the leader's demonstrated ability in developing the management and or clinical expertise of others. This award celebrates individual achievements and represents excellence in nursing leadership. Nursing Unit Managers and Nurse Managers can be nominated for this award.

Winner: Ms Jennifer Walsh, Nurse Unit Manager, Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre

The recipient of this award is outstanding in the delivery of care and is recognised by their colleagues.

Please provide information that demonstrates the qualities of the nominee in the following categories:-

Advanced clinical skills:

Jenny is highly qualified in her clinical specialty and has advanced skills in sexual health nursing. She never hesitates to take a clinical load of clients when the clinic is busy and provides safe and quality care in a time-effective manner. She also has a full workload managing and informing clients of results on a daily basis.

Role model:

Jenny is a fantastic role model to all staff, not only nurses, but doctors, social workers and admin staff. She doesn't just "talk the talk" but "walks the walk", putting in many hundreds of extra hours each year, to ensure her own, and others work, is completed to the highest level. She never complains about her workload, and has an open-door policy, welcoming staff to continually consult with her, even when she is extremely busy.

Personal/Professional integrity:

Jenny has a high degree of personal and professional integrity and this is apparent in all her interactions with staff and clients. She always strives for the best outcome for our clinic, rather than any personal gain, and often puts the needs of her staff before her own.

Patient advocate:

Jenny is a strong client advocate. She is up-to-date with the condition/needs of all our regular clients, many of whom refer to her by first name, and ask for her personally if there is a problem. She will drop her management duties, no matter how busy she is, if there is a client need that she can assist with.

Excellent interpersonal skills:

Jenny has wonderful communication skills with staff. She is assertive yet diplomatic when needed, and adapts her communication skills to the individual and the situation. She ensures staff are well informed of whatever is happening in our clinic, through regular meetings, emails and a weekly "The Week Ahead" memo.

Resource person:

Jenny is a great resource for all issues including clinic sexual health issues, management issues, human resources, work health and safety etc. Her experiences in the sector and in nursing means that she is well-informed in all these areas.

Professional development of self and encouragement of others:

Jenny is well qualified in both sexual health nursing and management. She attends, and presents at, the clinic regular inservice program, which she organises. She is extremely supportive of staff doing courses/seminars/workshops as part of their continuing professional development.

Additional supporting comments:

I have worked with Jenny for many years, and she is the best Nurse Unit Manager I have worked with. She is encouraging, compassionate, dedicated, fair, generous and humble but well-grounded and very sensible. She is selfless in always putting the needs of her clinic and her staff before her own, and is a very quiet achiever; never trying to draw attention to her hard work and extra duties she takes on. She is an asset to Westmead and to nursing, and deserves to be recognised for her hard work.


Sydney Medical School Graduation


Christopher Peter Allen

Yu Nandar Aung

Catriona Nesta Boffard

Nina Booysen

Catherine Elizabeth Dowd

Amy Ruth Ehsman

Kristy Maree Innes

John Timothy Lockwood

Tonia Maria Mezzini

Gia Giulia Ravazzotti

Kylie Lynette Rivero-Glover

Katiana de Matos Shaw


Ruth Ngaire Carter


Donna Margaret Tilley

Cleopas Zvidzai

When three become one: Clinical service, research and teaching at Sexual Health Centre

Opening of the new Sexual Health Centre

This Valentine’s Day, three arms of health service including clinical, research and education, have come together to form the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre (WSSHC) - the flagship centre for sexual health in western Sydney.

The service brings together the Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre, which is affiliated with the University of Sydney with the Parramatta and Mt Druitt Sexual Health clinics.

“It’s the beginning of a new era for sexual health in western Sydney,” said Professor Tania Sorrell, Acting Director, WSSHC.

“The new linkages will enhance the service we provide to the community,” she said. “We’ve now got a very active research and teaching program, which is strongly supported by our clinical services.

“Our aim is to respond to new infectious challenges, explore cervical and other cancer prevention and treatment opportunities, and to collaborate with other university departments across Australia and the globe,” said Professor Sorrell.

“Along with all of this, we will continue to provide an efficient, free and confidential service, with a strong focus on individual Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) treatment and HIV management,” she said.

“Overall, we want to improve health outcomes at both an individual and population level,” she said.

”We are well placed to become a premier national sexual health centre.”

Key areas of research currently being conducted at the Centre includes service delivery in primary care and evaluation of HPV vaccination.

The Centre is also committed to expanding development opportunities in the fields of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health, and offers the largest postgraduate course of its kind, through the University of Sydney. It has a strong international capacity building program in HIV and STIs and has received funding from AusAID to work with partner organisations in Africa and Asia.

“In 2012, the course had over 350 enrolments in 16 different postgraduate units of study, making the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre one of the largest global postgraduate providers in the areas of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health,” said Professor Sorrell.

For more information about Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre visit

Fostering a Multidisciplinary Approach to HIV/AIDs Education in Developing Nations

A cross-disciplinary team from the University of Sydney has won an Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships grant to host a delegation of health sector representatives from four developing nations.

The $805,000 grant will enable 23 health sector workers from Botswana, Cambodia, India and Zambia to attend an intensive three-month Professional HIV Program at the University of Sydney in August.

The program will include intensive multidisciplinary training in the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, visits to centres of excellence and leadership workshops, as well as attendance at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference. Those who successfully fulfill all program requirements will also attend the awarding of the International Professional Certificate in HIV Infection (IPC-HIV).

Now in its third year, the program is headed up by the Sydney Medical School's Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Associate Professor Richard Hillman and Professor Adrian Mindel in conjunction with Associate Professor Marylouise Caldwell from the Discipline of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School.

'We believe the grant represents how educators and program managers concerned with public health are increasingly open to integrating marketing principles into their disease prevention and treatment programs," says Dr Caldwell. "More specifically concepts, managers are routinely using marketing concepts and theories such as strategic marketing planning, market segmentation, targeting and positioning and the 7Ps of the marketing mix to enhance the effectiveness of their HIV/AIDS campaigns.'

Dr Sawleshwarkar says that the program has enormous value. 'We firmly believe that the program is an opportunity for people working in the HIV/AIDS sector to engage in the reciprocal exchange of skills, ideas and opinions and underscores the significance of partnership, capacity building and a multidisciplinary approach in HIV prevention and control,' he says. 'From past experience, we know that such projects lead to deeper, more co-operative relationships between individuals, institutions and participating countries to create a network that is likely to contribute to significant improvements in HIV/AIDS programs in the participating countries.'

About the ALA Fellowships
Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Fellowships is a fully funded program managed by the AusAID. The program aims to develop leadership, address priority regional development issues, and build partnerships and linkages between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

New Masters Program in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health (MHSSH)

The new Masters Program in HIV/STIs and Sexual Health (MHSSH) has just been approved by the University of Sydney and will shortly be run from the STI Research Centre of the Western Clinical School. It will be the largest, most professionally diverse postgraduate program of its kind in the world.

Built on a sound biomedical foundation, the course brings together clinical, laboratory, social and psychological aspects of HIV, STIs & Sexual Health treatment and prevention. The curriculum and learning methods have been structured using the latest adult learning theories and give students from a variety of professionals backgrounds (including physicians, counsellors, educators, public health personnel, nurses and laboratory workers) an interdisciplinary, inter-professional study environment. Streaming of learning pathways provides opportunities to develop generic competencies, as well as the flexibility of choice necessary for specific professional needs and specialisations. Students performing well in their coursework and who have an interest in research, will have opportunities to progress to research candidature via the MPhil and PhD components.

The use of the latest e-Learning technologies, including streamed videos and social media, allow geographically remote and time-poor professionals to access the state of the art teaching materials, complimented by short periods of on-campus intensive face to face teaching.
By widening the range of topics covered, including the addition of a number of new units of study such as Adult Sexual Assault, it is anticipated that the 2012 intake will be around 40 EFTSL. This will make it one of the largest Masters programs in the Sydney Medical School.

ALAF 7 Student Group 2010
About the ALA Fellowships

*The Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Fellowships is an Australian Government initiative under the Australia Awards designed to promote knowledge, education links and enduring ties between Australia and the global community. ALA Fellowships are administered by AusAID with the aim to develop leadership, address priority regional development issues, and build partnerships and linkages between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Australian Leadership awards