Staff Specialists

Josephine Clayton


Senior Staff Specialist, Greenwich Hospital

Professor Josephine Clayton is a Senior Staff Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine for HammondCare’s Palliative and Supportive Care Service, based at Greenwich Hospital in Sydney and Professor of Palliative Care, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. Josephine is also Director of HammondCare’s Centre for Learning & Research in Palliative Care. She leads a research program that aims to improve communication between patients, families and clinicians in order to enhance palliative and end-of-life care. Josephine's research has been published extensively in leading international journals in palliative care and oncology, and widely translated into clinical practice. She also has a strong interest in teaching communication skills relevant to the care of patients with life limiting illnesses. Josephine is Director of the Advance Project, a National program funded by the Australian Government ( ). The Advance Project provides training and support for clinicians in primary care settings to initiate conversations with their patients about palliative care and advance care planning. Josephine is passionate about finding ways to help improve the palliative care of patients and their families facing an advanced progressive life limiting illness.


Melanie Lovell


Medical Head of Palliative Care North

Professor Melanie Lovell is a Senior Staff Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine and is the Medical Head of HammondCare’s palliative care service in Northern Sydney. She is Clinical Associate Professor in Palliative Care at the University of Sydney’s Northern Clinical School and Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney. Melanie’s research interests include cancer pain, spirituality and translational research. She was the founding chair of the Australian Cancer Pain Management Guideline on the Cancer Council Australia’s wiki platform and leads the Cancer Pain Research Group at HammondCare. Melanie is on the Trials Management Committee and Scientific Committee of the International Trials Group Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative, and on the Executive Committee of Sydney Vital Translational Cancer Research Centre. She is widely published and contributes professionally on the executive of the Sydney Institute of Palliative Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians Spirituality Training Curriculum Working Group.


Sarah Thompson


Medical Director and Staff Specialist, Neringah Hospital

With an extensive clinical background, Dr Sarah Thompson has a strong commitment to delivering excellent specialist palliative medicine. Sarah's care is tailored to the individualised needs of each patient and she understands the importance of “living most fully until your last breath.” Sarah is particularly interested in the importance of hope, meaning and dignity in the palliative care setting and is involved in undergraduate and post graduate teaching and mentoring. Sarah considers it a privilege to work with the highly dedicated team at the Neringah Palliative Care Unit.


Amy Chow


Director of Palliative Care, Braeside Hospital

Dr Amy Chow graduated from the University of Auckland in 2005 and has worked in various hospitals in New Zealand and Australia since. She obtained her Fellowship in Palliative Medicine in 2017 and was appointed to the role of Director of Palliative Care at Braeside Hospital in 2020. Amy is also the lead in palliative care research at Braeside Hospital. She believes that best practice palliative care should be available widely and would like to ensure patients with palliative needs have dignity and quality of life at the end of life.


Abigail Franklin


Staff Specialist, Northern Beaches Hospital

Dr Abbie Franklin graduated from Edinburgh University with Honours in 2000 and was awarded the Dorothy Gilfillan Prize for the highest ranked female graduate. After initial training in surgery in Scotland, Abbie moved to Australia and gained further experience in critical care, general medicine, emergency medicine and psychiatry. Abbie went on to complete training in general practice in Sydney and Bathurst and was awarded the Iris and Edward Gawthorn Award from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Subsequently, Abbie completed training in palliative medicine, including undertaking a pain fellowship at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and a research project looking into advance care planning in primary care. Abbie currently works as a Palliative Medicine Consultant at the Northern Beaches Hospital.


Ian Tang


Staff Specialist, Royal North Shore Hospital

Dr Ian Tang graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004 with an MBBS. Ian trained in clinical and laboratory haematology at Royal North Shore Hospital and dual trained in palliative medicine, culminating in Fellowships of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine. Ian trained with HammondCare as a Registrar and joined as a Staff Specialist in 2017. He is currently at Royal North Shore Hospital as part of the Palliative Medicine Consultation Team.


Peter Roach


Staff Specialist, Northern Beaches Community Palliative Care Service

Dr Peter Roach graduated from medicine at UNSW in 2004. After working in hospitals, Peter obtained Diplomas in Children's Health and Palliative Medicine. He then trained as a GP in Western Sydney and Tamworth. After working as a GP in Northern Sydney, Peter then commenced specialist palliative care training in 2016. Peter now works as a Palliative Care Specialist in the community on the Northern Beaches and at Hornsby Hospital. His research project whilst training in palliative care focussed on the palliative care needs of those with dementia.


Mariclaire Francisco


Junior Staff Specialist, Braeside Hospital

Dr Claire Francisco joined the Braeside Palliative Care Team as a Junior Staff Specialist in Palliative Medicine in early 2019. This is her first consultant posting. Claire earned her MD and completed a three-year residency in internal medicine at the University of the Philippines Manila, prior to arriving in Perth in 2008, where she commenced physician training with the RACP. Claire completed her training in geriatric medicine and earned her FRACP in WA in 2016; she then moved to Adelaide for post-fellowship training in palliative medicine, where she was awarded her FAChPM in 2019.


Victor Sze

Staff Specialist, Greenwich Hospital


Dr Victor Sze graduated with an MBBS from the University of New South Wales in 2004. Victor has since worked as a palliative care staff specialist in acute care hospitals, inpatient palliative care units and the community across the South Eastern Sydney, South Western Sydney and Northern Sydney Local Health Districts since 2016. He joined HammondCare in 2019 and is currently based at the Greenwich Hospital Palliative Care Unit (in-patient service). Victor also provides consultative services to the Ryde Hospital. His work in the Palliative Care Unit encompasses providing best practice symptom management to improve quality of life and support for patients and their families.