Meet Our People: Olivia Lackmann, Senior Nurse Lead at Astrid Clinic

Olivia (Liv) is our Senior Nurse Lead and is a Registered Nurse with many years of clinical experience and specialty in surgical nursing, palliative care and general practice.

Liv holds a leadership position with our team of nurses, is responsible for clinical quality improvement processes, and continues to lead our educational activities. 

Given the constant updates regarding the industry, Liv plays a key role supporting the Astrid nursing team to stay informed and flexible while focusing on patient-centric care.

Fascinated by the incredible impact natural therapies can have, Liv loves discussing outcomes with her patients. For years, Liv has been supporting patients and other healthcare professionals to better understand the natural therapies industry. 

Liv’s dedication to education stems from a passion to break down the stigma associated with natural therapies in Australia and works with the goal of empowering patients to better manage their overall health.

In the same year that Astrid won Company of the Year at the 2023 Cannabiz Awards, Liv was awarded Highly Commended in the Best Industry Newcomer category. In the 2024 Cannabiz Awards, Liz was nominated for the Nurse of the Year award.

In her down-time, you’ll find Liv exploring the Mornington Peninsula with her husband and twins. Learn more about Liv and her role below. 

Olivia at the Astrid Clinic launch event in South Yarra Melbourne

What do you love about your role?

For several years I’ve been working closely with Dr Shu at the Astrid Clinic. I love working with a team of like-minded professionals who see the real benefit in the work we do. It’s amazing to be a part of such a passionate team of healthcare experts and we share so much knowledge between us. I really enjoy discussing outcomes with patients and supporting our nursing team to tailor treatment plans for individuals needs. 

With our patients, I love supporting them to understand their treatment options, tracking changes with their wellbeing over time, and exploring the potential benefits of these therapies – especially the role of terpenes for various conditions. 

One of the best things about working with Astrid is being a part of an exciting and growing industry that challenges conventional views on healthcare. We have made progress but still have a long way to go to educate the Australian healthcare workforce and everyday Australians about this medicine. 

Why did you want to work with Astrid?

My first experience with Astrid was as a patient many years ago, a short time after Astrid first launched. The Astrid Founder, CEO and Pharmacist Lisa Nguyen was the pharmacist who supported me through my prescribed products in the beautiful South Yarra dispensary. I was so impressed with the whole process, with how she explained everything so clearly, with how accessible it felt, and I thought at the time that Astrid would be such a wonderful place to work. 

Since then, I’ve been so grateful to join Lisa, Dr Shu and to be a part of the team supporting patients to use this medicine in a healthy way to help  take care of their overall wellbeing. Astrid prioritises advocating for our patients wellbeing, but also supports its team by recognising the importance of a good work and life balance. 

What do you like about the Astrid team and culture?

The Astrid team works together really well. We’re all generally really passionate about what we do on a day-to-day basis – which is a great environment to be in. We have our different roles, but we work collectively to break down the stigma around natural therapies.  We love empowering each other to reach our goals. And we love empowering our patients to reach their full potential. 

Have you faced any stigma from working with cannabis?

While attitudes toward this industry of medicine is slowly shifting, there is still stigma in healthcare, the legal system, and among the broader population. 

As a nurse, I feel it is important to continue to advocate for increased awareness and educate patients about the potential benefits of the plant. I would hope my efforts have a flow-on effect on patients and the wider community to further decrease stigma.

What do you hope for the future of natural therapies?

Like everyone on the Astrid team, I’ve got high hopes for the future of natural therapies. 

Slowly, we’re seeing the increase in quality research and clinical trials around natural therapies – and I’d love to see more of this. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the mid 1990s and people have been studying this flower for a few decades now, however this is still often not recognised or taught in medical curriculum. I’d love to see this included as a part of the tertiary nursing syllabus in Australia. 

I really appreciate the work Astrid has been doing to support the driving law changes, as regulatory changes are long overdue to make this more accessible treatment option for more patients. 

I also hope we see more workplace acceptance across all industries for this to be treated as what it is – medicine. 

How do you stay up to date with the latest industry updates as well as the product or supplier updates?

The industry changes so frequently so I try to use a range of resources to stay informed. 

I read medical and industry journal articles. I regularly attend webinars and I’ve enjoyed attending the UIC Symposium in the past. At Astrid, I make sure I stay up to date with new products via our internal emails from our Head of Procurement, and from various suppliers too. 

Online, I regularly check Cannareviews and Cannabiz in Australia for the latest news, updates and insights from patients.