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Christine Walsh isn't just celebrating her PhD graduation this week - she also led the landmark case against Pharmac's decision to not fund 12 months of Herceptin for breast cancer patients.
Christine, a senior lecturer in Victoria's Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, says her interest in Herceptin came from her own diagnosis of breast cancer two years ago, and having to fund her own course of Herceptin and the legal costs.
Pharmac was recently ordered by the High Court to revisit its decision.
The case led by Christine was a landmark one for two reasons. It is the first time a group of consumers have taking taken the Government's drug funding agency to the High Court, and the first time Pharmac has been ordered to revisit its decision.
Despite undergoing treatment for cancer, Christine completed her ground-breaking PhD research articulating how sexual identity impacts on the therapeutic relationship between a client and lesbian mental health nurse.
She says her thesis isn't a typical PhD thesis - it contains compelling stories about nurses dealing with these challenges.