Meet Dr Sean Das and Dr Kazunori Nakajima

Dr Sean Das graduated from Glasgow University, Scotland in 1990 and emigrated to Australia in 2001.  He spent five years as a GP in Lakes Entrance before moving to Melbourne, and has been with Blackburn Clinic since 2009.  He is married with two children, is a long frustrated Egyptologist, and a long suffering supporter of the Indian cricket team.

In his spare time Sean likes to read, watch SBS documentaries and go to the gym. He is training for a 10km run in July.

Dr Kazunori (Kaz) Nakajima was born in Japan and moved to Brisbane at the age of four, before attending the University of Melbourne and graduating in 2006.  He spent a few years working in the Eastern Health system and in Gippsland, before commencing his general practice training.  In his spare time he likes to cook, play soccer, travel (he is hoping to soon add to his count of 31 countries) and watch his beloved Brisbane Bronchos.

We welcomed Kaz to the Blackburn Clinic team in February 2011.

Please view our Winter 2016 Newsletter for the Questions and Answers with Sean and Kaz.

Have you met Dr Aaron Zhang and Dr Jasdeep Sandhu?

Dr Aaron Zhang was born in China and moved to New Zealand when he was 11 years old. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Otago in New Zealand, and moved to Melbourne. He spent the next few years working in various hospitals around Victoria, before realising that only general practice would allow him to embrace all aspects of medicine. He is married with a newborn son, and hoping to have more children down the track. He tries to do some gardening, fishing and travelling whenever he finds the time.

Aaron  was a Registrar at Blackburn Clinic in 2011 / 2012, and we welcomed him back permanently in 2015.

Jasdeep migrated to Australia in 2005. She studied Public Health at La Trobe University before returning to clinical practice. Since 2010 she has been working as a GP in Gisborne and Mooroolbark, and is delighted to now be able to work close to home. Her interests include women’s health, paediatrics, mental health, preventative and family medicine.  Jasdeep is fluent in English, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu.

We welcomed Jasdeep to the Blackburn Clinic team in March 2016.

Please view our Autumn 2016 Newsletter for the Question and Answer segment with Aaron and Jasdeep.

Have you been missing out?

When you mishear you miss out on important pieces of your life.

Blackburn Clinic is pleased to now offer a FREE Hearing Check in our rooms.  A free hearing check is the first step in identifying if you have hearing loss that could be impacting on your main areas of communication.

Signs of hearing loss

  • Do you often ask others to repeat themselves?
  • Do you turn up the TV or Radio louder than others prefer?
  • Is it difficult to hear conversations when there is background noise?
  • Does it seem like others are mumbling when they speak to you?
  • Do you have difficulty following group conversations?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions you are not alone, approximately 1 in 10 people experience some degree of hearing loss.

Please phone Blackburn Clinic reception on 9875 1123 to book your FREE 10 minute hearing check.  You do not need a doctors referral for this appointment.

A trained audiologist from True Hearing will perform the hearing check, and a Blackburn Clinic GP will interpret the result for you immediately afterward.  This service is billed directly to Medicare with no gap to the patient.  If a hearing deficiency is found, further investigations may be warranted.

Dr Melanie Hattotuwa talks about The Menopause

Dr Melanie Hattotuwa joined the Blackburn Clinic in 2006 and now juggles caring for her two young children while working part time at the practice. She has a special interest in women’s health and paediatrics, although enjoys all aspects of medicine. Melanie feels that The Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life that is sometimes poorly understood, and has written the following article in an effort to improve understanding and reduce stigma associated with The Menopause.

What is the Menopause?

The menopause is defined as the time around a woman’s last period, which typically happens between the late 40s to early 50s. The average age is 51 years. At this time menstruation can be erratic (pre or peri -menopause) and it is usually considered to be the menopause once there has been at least 12 months of no vaginal bleeding. In less than one percent of women, this happens before the age of 40.

What happens in Menopause?

Experiences in menopause vary widely between different women and from culture to culture. All women however undergo the same basic hormonal changes. Ovulation ceases as the ovaries run out of eggs and the sex hormones of oestrogen and progesterone no longer are produced. The body then responds to these changes in a variety of ways:

- 25% of women do not have any symptoms of menopause

– 50% of women experience some menopausal symptoms

– 25% of women have more severe problems.

It is important to recognise that not all symptoms experienced at this time can be attributed to menopause. Some are just part of the normal ageing process.

To read the remainder of this article please view our Summer 2015/16 Newsletter.

Dr Claire St John’s locum assignment in the outback.

Working with Aboriginal communities at Tennant Creek.

In May this year, Dr. Claire St.John did a 3 week locum working in Tennant Creek at an Aboriginal run medical centre, “Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation”.

This was Claire’s second locum position in a remote Aboriginal community, having worked in west Arnhem land in 2012.

She went as part of the Australian Government’s initiative to “Close the Gap” between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians (by improving the life expectancy, chronic disease rates and child mortality amongst Indigenous Australians).

The locum service, funded by the Australian Government, is able to place city GPs in remote areas of need. They are short term placements which enables GPs to continue their regular jobs back home.

The town of Tennant Creek, population 3000, is in the middle of the Northern Territory between Alice Springs and Darwin. It has a largely Indigenous population and long term residents and “grey nomad” tourists alike are laid back and friendly.

The town is surrounded by a gorgeous coloured landscape of red soil, spinifex, small gums and low hills with rocky outcrops. In the current dry season, the days are consistently sunny (around 28 degrees) with cloudless blue skies.

Claire worked at the medical centre in town named “Anyinginyi Health” which has long and short-term staff consisting of GPs, nurse practitioners, Aboriginal Health Workers as well as visiting dentists, audiologists and specialist doctors.

To read the full story view our Spring 2015 Newsletter.

Renovations to our Nursing area

We have reached Stage 2!  The nursing area of Blackburn Clinic is being improved and modernised. The noisiest work is being carried out on weekends and early in the morning, to minimise the disruption to patients, doctors and other staff.  As we need to continue seeing patients the work is being carried out in stages.  We will always have access to some parts of the nursing area.  We hope that our patients will put up with some noise and inconvenience temporarily in order that we can achieve a state of the art facility – with new, more private treatment rooms, a dedicated operating theatre and updated nurses station. We apologise to our Maple Street neighbours for any disruptions that the renovation might cause to them.  The photo above shows one of our new treatment rooms.

Help for Carers – Brainlink

Blackburn Clinic would like to make our patients aware of a local service (based in Blackburn) called BrainLink, that is dedicated to supporting the Carers of people affected by acquired disorders of the brain.  Long term patients of Blackburn Clinic will remember Dr John O’Sullivan, who was a doctor here for 37 years and is now on the Board of BrainLink.  Blackburn Clinic is proud to be associated with such a valuable service.

BrainLink’s first priority is to respond to the immediate needs of the Carers, families and friends of those who are living with an acquired brain disorder.

What is acquired brain disorder?

Acquired brain disorder is caused by conditions including stroke, head injury, brain tumours and progressive neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Motor Neurone disease and Huntington’s disease.  If you care for a person with such a condition, BrainLink can help you.

How can BrainLink help?

  • A first point of call for families at onset of diagnosis;
  • Education support programs for carers and families, including self-care strategies for Carers;
  • Innovative and flexible respite opportunities;
  • Specialised case management for individuals with severe brain disorders;
  • Comprehensive information and resources, and strategies for coping with physical or behaviour changes;
  • A road map of the disability services sector and how to negotiate the maze;
  • Strategies for coping with the grief and loss that comes from changed relationships.


Caring is a critical job that is often difficult and lonely. Carers need specialized knowledge, skills and assistance. Our programs provide a chance for you to meet with others in a similar situation and to develop support networks so that you no longer have to cope alone.

Scheduling breaks from your care-giving responsibilities isn’t being selfish. Your loved one needs you to be at your best so you can consistently provide high- quality care at home. The best part of attending a BrainLink getaway is that respite can be arranged if required; and if you have not used respite before, we are happy to discuss your options with you.

BrainLink has experienced staff who can provide you with information, resources and suggestions about your situation either over the phone, email or face to face.

What does it cost?

brainlinkBrainLink services are FREE.

Phone TOLLFREE: 1800 677 579


OR contact Karen Jorgensen,

Client Services Manager, Phone: 9845 2956


Dr Janice and her daughter Natalie playing with children from the orphanage

A Holiday with a Difference for Dr Janice! Working with the very poor in Indonesia.

In the 2014, preferring adventure to a leisurely break from work and study, Blackburn Clinic’s Dr Janice Kreltszheim, and her 15 year old daughter Natalie, spent 16 days on a remote island in North East Indonesian doing volunteer work. They joined a small team from World Share, an Australian-based development and mission organisation that connects overseas partners with local supporters.

Janice and Natalie went to the island of Halmahera, and joined a local organisation called Hohidiai which has a medical centre (including an outpatients clinic, small hospital and infectious diseases wing), a bilingual primary school, an orphanage, and which runs medical worker training, as well as adult English language lessons.

To read the full story view our Winter 2015 NEWSLETTER.