ACN's Board of Directors | Australian College of Nursing

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ACN's Board of Directors

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ACN is governed by a nine member Board. The Board is made up of seven directors elected from, and by, the membership of ACN and two independent directors appointed by the Board.

ACN's President

Professor Christine Duffield FACN 

Christine has over 10 years’ clinical and managerial experience in the health industry in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK and over 25 years in senior management, education and research roles in the university sector. She has worked with policy and administrative decision-makers in most states/territories. Christine is highly regarded by practitioners as a researcher who understands the world in which they work and who can translate results into practice and policy. Christine is the Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management UTS and Edith Cowan University. Christine was elected to the board in 2013 for a two year term and re-elected in 2015 for a further four years until 2019.


Vice President

Carmen Morgan FACN

Carmen has 30 plus years’ experience as a nurse. Much of her clinical career has spanned rural, regional and remote health in Western Australia. For the last 13 years she has taken on progressively more senior nursing leadership roles and is now the Director of Nursing of the Broome Hospital in WA and Regional Nurse Director for the acute care, primary health care, mental health, aged care and public health practice areas. Carmen was elected to the board in 2013 for a two year term and re-elected in 2015 for a further four years until 2019.


ACN Board Members

Adjunct Professor Kathy Baker AM FACN (DLF)

Kathy served on the Board of The College of Nursing for many years and was President at time of unification. She has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, finance, risk management, education and quality systems. In her position as Chief Nursing Officer with NSW Health she had the opportunity to work with nurses and midwives, CEOs, Directors General and Ministers for Health in various capacities. Kathy is Nurse Advisor, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Kathy was elected to the Board in 2013 for a four year term.


Professor Elaine Duffy FACN

Elaine has extensive experience in nursing, nursing education and leadership nationally and internationally. Elaine has a solid commitment to the nursing and midwifery profession and to nursing and midwifery education and research to enrich our future workforces. She also has a particular passion and commitment to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through culturally competent practices in a non-discriminatory health system. Elaine was elected to the Board in 2013 for a four year term.


Christine Smith FACN (DLF)

Christine has widespread knowledge of the ethos and values of ACN and offers skills in corporate governance, risk management, advocacy, marketing and strategic planning, knowledge of educational and professional development issues, experience in mentoring and the time and energy to address the challenges to grow a national professional nursing organisation. Christine was elected to the Board in 2013 for a four year term.


Leanne Smith MACN

Since completing her Enrolled Nurses course at Gunnedah District Hospital in 1984 Leanne has worked in several rural hospitals, private and public metropolitan hospital and community services, with extensive experience in clinical practice ranging from: emergency nursing, medical, surgical, oncology, currently mental health. She has a solid commitment to representing Enrolled Nurses in future strategic planning. Leanne believes that the advantage of having a variety of nursing levels is that they compliment the work of each and deliver excellence in nursing practice.


ACN's Independent Directors

Chris Drummer GAICD - Independent Director

Chris is a qualified lawyer with an MBA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has broad commercial experience having worked in Executive capacities for a diverse range of organisations including top 100 ASX listed entities AMP, Lend Lease and NAB, unlisted corporates and significant experience with NFP’s and industry associations. Chris has 10 years’ experience working in the health sector as a General Manager with the major Health Fund Bupa and with Australia’s largest Radiology Network, I-MED. Chris was appointed to the Board in 2014 for a two year term.


Brian Gatfield - Independent Director

Brian has had a distinguished 40 year career in investment banking, finance and business management. He has served as Chairman and an Independent Board Director of many companies in the publicly-owned and private sectors, chairing finance, audit and risk committees. He lists his interests as family, history, wine, cricket and physical conditioning. Brian was appointed to the Board in 2014 for a four year term.


ACN Committees are comprised as follows:

Finance, Audit, Risk and Investment Committee
Brian Gatfield (Chair)
Carmen Morgan
Christine Duffield

Governance Committee
Christine Smith (Chair)
Kathy Baker
Leanne Smith

Company Secretary
Neil Haynes


Australian College of Nursing Constitution

The Australian College of Nursing was established to cultivate and maintain the highest principles of nursing and healthcare by:

(a) facilitating the education and continuing professional development of nurses and other healthcare professionals;

(b) providing opportunity for and administering grants, trusts and awards to further nursing and health professional scholarship;

(c) contributing to a professional framework which enhances the practice and progression of nursing and healthcare nationally and internationally;

(d) initiating, encouraging and supporting research to seek solutions to issues and problems relevant to nursing and healthcare practice and the health of the community in general and taking action on such problems and issues;

 (e) fostering and maintaining links with other nursing and allied organisations or relevant groups through co-operation or affiliation for the furtherance of any or all of the objects of the College;

(f) acting in an advisory role and providing a consultative service on the process and outcomes of nursing and health policy development and research at National and State levels in order to improve the health care of the community.

Download the ACN Constitution


Australian College of Nursing Governance Charter

This Board Governance Charter was first formally endorsed by the Australian College of Nursing Ltd (ACN) Board at its meeting of September 2013. It applies to all activities of the ACN Board and staff until such time as it is amended or repealed by the ACN Board properly constituted.

Australian College of Nursing Limited (ACN) is an Australian Public Company Limited by Guarantee. ACN is also registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC). This Board Governance Charter governs the operations of ACN, under Clause 20.1 and Clause 25 of the Constitution which gives the Board of Directors (known hereafter as “the Board”) the power to determine policies and procedures for the Organisation’s governance.

The Board is responsible for ensuring that ACN has an appropriate corporate governance structure to provide the creation and protection of member value. This Board Charter explains ACN’s commitment to the principles and practices of good governance. It is not an all-inclusive document and should be read as an expression of principle. The Board will review and update this Charter on an annual basis.

Requests for a copy of the ACN Governance Charter must be made in writing to the Company Secretary on email: acn@acn.edu.au