Northern Centre for Education and Research

The Northern Centre for Health Education and Research (NCHER) is a key teaching and research centre for La Trobe Allied Health and Nursing and Midwifery disciplines, as part of the La Trobe Academic & Research Network.

NCHER is a purpose built space, opened in 2015, created in partnership between La Trobe University, Northern Health, and the University of Melbourne with support of the Victorian and Australian governments.

Northern Health, is a major service provider of acute and subacute specialist health services in the north of metropolitan Melbourne, with a strong service emphasis on chronic disease and community based care. Northern Health campuses include:

  • Broadmeadows Health Service
  • Bundoora Extended Care Centre
  • Craigieburn Health Service
  • Panch Health Service
  • The Northern Hospital.

The surrounding ARN northern region also includes many community health services, not for profit health services, mental health and social organisations, private hospitals and educational services involved in student placement or research projects.

The La Trobe Northern Clinical School at NCHER is a collaborative environment that provides world-class research, teaching and clinical supervision in nursing and allied health aims to extend and integrate the best available research evidence and theory with contemporary clinical excellence across health specialties.

The NHCER building is located on the grounds of the Northern Hospital, at 189 Cooper Street Epping, approximately 45 minutes drive north of the Melbourne CBD, and accessible by bus and train routes.

Studying at the La Trobe Northern Clinical School

NCHER is one of La Trobe's Academic & Research Network clinical school locations for workshops and practical skills classes for students from year two onward completing Allied Health, Nursing and Midwifery degrees.

At NCHER, students gain access to expert clinician and academic lecturers, including teaching from practicing nurses and allied health practitioners. Students who attend this clinical school for classes are likely to complete a number of their clinical placements with Northern Health services or other health and human services in the surrounding region.

Facilities at NCHER include a fully equipped high-fidelity simulation centre, purpose built classrooms, student computer lab, WiFi internet facilities, and multidisciplinary student common room, access to the Northern Health clinical library.

La Trobe also offers Professional Development and Postgraduate study in Nursing and Midwifery specialties including Masters Degrees in Mental Health, Nursing (with a range of specialisations), Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) and Nursing Science, some of which are taught at NCHER.

Find out more about La Trobe courses and who to speak to.


NCHER is home to world-leading La Trobe researchers in Allied Health, Nursing and related fields who work together with clinicians from Northern Health and other health services and other University research partners, under the leadership of Professor Nora Shields and Professor David Edvardsson.  Professor Shields also runs La Trobe-Northern Health's Stepping into Research program and is part of the Northern Health Allied Health Learning and Research Unit.

Key themes of La Trobe research activity at the NCHER ARN:

Allied Health research includes:

  • improving health and wellbeing of people with disability through engagement in physical activity and exercise
  • allied health practice
  • allied health research capacity building.

Nursing and Midwifery research includes:

  • Nursing and Midwifery practice
  • Healthy Families
  • Heathy Ageing
  • Healthy Systems - encompassing work on strategic areas of aged care, chronic disease, social determinants of health and care, as well as women's and children's health.

Clinicians and prospective research students interested in being involved in research in these, or other areas of nursing and allied health, are encouraged to make contact. See staff details below, and further details on La Trobe's Schools and health research institutes.

Find out more about La Trobe's research and research degrees.

La Trobe Academic and Research Staff at NCHER

A number of staff from the Schools of Allied Health and Research lead research projects based at the Northern. Academic and Research staff based at NCHER include:

Allied Health