National Nursing Forum 2021
In line with our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all of our event attendees and staff, we have responded to present circumstances by making the difficult decision to defer the National Nursing Forum that was originally scheduled for Wednesday 18 – Friday 20 August 2021, the forum will now take place from Tuesday 26 October – Thursday 28 October 2021 at the National Convention Centre, Canberra. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Registrations open

Date & time

Tuesday 26 – Thursday 28 October 2021
8:00am – 5:00pm


National Convention Centre
31 Constitution Ave
Canberra ACT 2601

0432 651 588

About the event

The National Nursing Forum (NNF) is the Australian College of Nursing’s signature annual leadership and educational event bringing together nurses, students and other health professionals from around the country and across the globe. The NNF will take place from Tuesday 26 – Thursday 28 October 2021 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.

The theme for the NNF is ‘Champions of Change’ which will be explored in the keynote plenary sessions and throughout the program.

Want to partner with us?

Sponsorship and exhibition enquiries

Australian Conference & Event Organisers
t: 0432 651 588


President Address

Professor Christine Duffield FACN
Professor Christine Duffield FACN

About me

Professor Christine Duffield RN PhD FACN FAAN FAICD FACHSM has been a nurse for over 40 years, ten of which were spent working in a variety of clinical and managerial roles in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. For over 30 years she has worked in the university sector and for many of these years, in senior management positions such as Head of School, Associate Dean, Centre Director and joint professorial appointments between health services and universities. She is currently an Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and the Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management at Edith Cowan University, Perth. Christine has worked successfully with policy and administrative decision-makers nationally and internationally; has been awarded more than $12M in research funding as chief investigator; and is widely acknowledged by practitioners as a researcher who can translate results into practice and policy.

Christine has over 20 years experience as a board director in the health and aged care sectors, in both for-profit and not-for-profit companies. She was first elected to the ACN Board in 2013 and is currently serving her final four year term (2024). She was elected President and Board Chair in 2017.


Keynote Speakers

Fiona Brew MACN
Fiona Brew MACN

About me

Fiona Brew has undertaken many roles in the Victorian health system during a career that spans over three decades. Her experience includes nursing, consulting and corporate roles giving her a breadth of experience and depth of knowledge of the Victorian health care system.

Fiona has held senior executive roles including Chief Nurse and Midwife Officer, Executive People and Culture and relieving Chief Executive Officer Positions in the rural and regional setting.

In 2018, Fiona was seconded to the ACT as part of an Independent Review into the Workplace Culture within the ACT Public Health Services delivering the final report in March 2019.

Fiona was appointed to the Chief Executive role at Colac Area Health in June 2019 leading a transformational change agenda. During her current tenure, Fiona has led the organisation successfully through a cyber-attack and more recently, two COVID 19 outbreaks (105 and 39 respectively). The outbreaks remain Australia’s largest regional COVID outbreaks resulting in Fiona appearing in the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into contact tracing system and testing regime. The management of the outbreaks have been published internationally and been the subject of external reviews.

With a long-standing passion for building positive work cultures – investing in staff, building capability ultimately leads to positive patient experiences and outcomes. Fiona holds an Adjunct Research Fellow role at Federation University.


Georgie Carroll, Comedian
Georgie Carroll, Comedian

About me

Georgie is a regular Comic Panelist on Australian TV having appeared on The Project, HYBPA?, Hughesy We Have A Problem, Shaun Micallef’s Talkin’ ‘ bout Your Generation, Celebrity Name Game, Show Me the Movie and the Oxfam Melbourne International Comedy Gala.

Her exceptional comedic talent combined with her eighteen years Nursing has cemented Georgie as the go-to entertainment for Medical and Nursing Corporates, Conventions and Award Ceremonies.


Dr Brendan Nelson
The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO

About me

Dr Brendan Nelson AO is president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. He is the senior company leader in the Oceania region and is the chairman of the board for Boeing Australia Holdings. In this role, Dr Nelson coordinates all Boeing activities, leads government relations and directs the implementation of Boeing’s strategy to expand its local presence and grow the business. Appointed February 2020 he is based in Sydney, Australia.

Dr Nelson is also Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham), a Board Director of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, a member of the Space Industry Leaders Forum and the Business Council of Australia, and member of the Council at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

Prior to joining Boeing, Nelson served as director of the Australian War Memorial for 7 years. Prior to this, he was the Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO (2010–12). Apart from overseeing a major transformation in Australia’s relationships with the European Union and NATO, Dr Nelson forged deep links with the communities of Flanders, where almost 14,000 Australians lost their lives during the First World War.


Anthony Dombkins
Anthony Dombkins

About me

Anthony Dombkins until appointed the ACT Health Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in January 2020 was the Director Nursing and Midwifery, Northern Sydney Local Health District. Anthony Dombkins graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1987 and holds postgraduate clinical certificates in Renal and Transplantation Nursing and Intensive Care Nursing, as well as a Masters, Health Management (UNE). Anthony Dombkins has held a variety of senior health management positions within the public and private health sectors across NSW. In June 2014, Anthony Dombkins was appointed an Adjunct Professor – Nursing with the University of Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. Anthony Dombkins was a member of the Clinical Excellence Commission Advisory Board and a Board Director for Stewart House.


Denise Heinjus
Associate Professor Denise Heinjus

About me

Denise trained as a general nurse at Albury Base Hospital and as a midwife at Preston and Northcote Community Hospital in Melbourne. She has a Graduate Certificate in Law and Management and a Masters (Honours) in Health Science Management.

Denise has a background in rural and regional health, managing community based services in The Greater Murray Area Health Service for many years.

Previous nurse leadership roles include Area Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Northern Sydney Central Coast Health Service; Area Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Illawarra Health Service; and Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery at Monash Health prior to her appointment to the Royal Melbourne Hospital as the Executive Director of Nursing Services, Allied Health and Residential Aged Care in July 2007.

Denise has a strong interest in building clinical and operational leadership capability and facilitating a healthy workplace culture for all staff to thrive in their careers. Through her executive roles, she has a long history in both NSW and Victoria in emergency management preparedness and responsiveness. She was the RMH Emergency Commander following the Bourke Street attack in Jan 2017 and more recently has had been responsible for leading RMH in planning and responding to COVID-19.


Sandy Middleton
Professor Sandy Middleton FACN RN PhD

About me

Sandy Middleton is the Professor of Nursing, and Director of the Nursing Research Institute at St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Australian Catholic University. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Leadership Fellow with an interest in stroke and implementation research. She has been successful in obtaining 96 grants totalling over $86 million. Professor Middleton is Director of the Maridulu Budaryi Gumal (Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise – SPHERE) Implementation Science platform; and Director of the Maridulu Budaryi Gumal (SPHERE) Nursing and Midwifery Implementation Science Academy. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Clinical Excellence Commission; and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry.



Professor Jeanine Young FACN
Professor Jeanine Young FACN

About me

Professor Jeanine Young is a registered nurse, midwife, and neonatal nurse.

Jeanine’s has a special interest in the development of evidence-based, culturally appropriate and practical strategies and educational resources to support families with young infants to incorporate Safe Sleep recommendations into the care of their baby. A particular focus is the development of individually tailored, community based, wrap around care interventions to address the multiple disadvantages experienced by families with social vulnerabilities who experience the greatest burden of infant mortality. Jeanine has collaborated with Change for our Children New Zealand, to provide the Pēpi-Pod® Program, an evidence based intervention to promote safer sleep environments for infants and families with identified vulnerabilities, which has been associated with reductions in infant mortality.

Jeanine is a ministerial appointment to the Queensland Child Death Review Board, and member of the Red Nose National Scientific Advisory Group, and Queensland Paediatric Quality Council.

Jeanine was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2020 for her significant contributions to medical research, tertiary education and nursing.


Lorna Cook MACN
Lorna Cook MACN

About me

Lorna Cook has been a Registered Nurse for over 40 years. She has worked in both private and public hospitals, in industry, in the Public Health Department and in private enterprise.

She has been a lifelong learner, even as a single mother of three young children, having graduated with a Hospital Based Diploma, then a Bachelor of Health Science, a Master’s Degree in Nursing and an MBA.

In 2013, she and her business partner started a Hospital-Substitution Health Service, chemo@home, which, as the name implies, administers chemotherapy to and immune therapy to cancer patients and to patients with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

The company has grown exponentially and since 2017 has won numerous business awards for its innovation and disruption of the health sector. The company now employs some 80 people across Australia and continues to expand its service offerings. Lorna is now a proud grandmother of 5 and says nursing has been the most wonderful career and life’s privilege.


Shannon Wallis
Shannon Wallis MACN

About me

Shannon Wallis is the Virtual Care Nurse Unit Manager at West Moreton Health Service (WMHS) and is leading clinical teams to deliver virtual care closer to home. WMHS has a variety of virtual care models that facilitate a smooth transition for patients through different stages in their health care journey. These innovative programs use Remote patient monitoring, telehealth, clinical software and reporting to focus on delivering personalised care to patient’s in their own home.

Shannon has held a variety of senior nursing positions during her career including a background in general nursing, Intensive care nursing, Nurse manager in patient flow/after hours and Cancer care services. Shannon is passionate about caring for her community and understands the importance of empowering patients to become active participants in their own healthcare.

Shannon was fortunate to be nominate by the executive team at West Moreton Health and received the 2020 Minister of Health award for Nursing Trailblazer.


Nikki Johnston
Nikki Johnston MACN OAM

About me

A Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner with 30 years clinical practice and extensive experience in teaching, leadership and research. Multiple awards won for contribution to nursing research, leadership, teaching, mentoring, and teamwork, including an Order of Australian Medal for contribution to nursing in Australia, and winning the inaugural ACN Federal Health Minister’s trailblazer award for innovation in nursing research.

Currently working at the University of Canberra, Nikki believes all Australia’s deserve access to quality care nearing the end of life regardless of their age, diagnosis or where they live. Nikki’s research team have successfully tested a model integrating specialist palliative care into residential aged care. They have been recognised nationally for their approach that led to reduced avoidable hospital transfer’s and normalising dying while increasing the capacity of staff to care for residents in their last months of life. Nikki represents nursing on the ACT Clinical leadership forum, was a solution focused expert witness for the resent Aged care Royal Commission quality and safety. Nikki has now published 11 papers in peer review and has applied to do her PhD this year.


Registration fees

All participants are required to register to attend. Please read the following information carefully before completing your registration. Fees are in Australian Dollars and inclusive of GST.

aceo has arranged special rates at a number of hotels and apartments close to the National Convention Centre.

 Early bird
Paid on or before Tuesday 31 August 2021
Paid on or after Wednesday 1 September 2021
ACN Member full registration$810.00$915.00
Retired Member & Fellow full registration$446.00$546.00
Member ONE day registration$495.00$495.00
Member TWO day registration$705.00$705.00
Non-member full registration$1,020.00$1,125.00
Non-member ONE day registration$600.00$600.00
Non-member TWO day registration$810.00$810.00
Student (Undergraduate) full registration$446.00$546.00

Full registration includes:

  • Entry to Forum plenary and concurrent sessions
  • Access to the Exhibition
  • Lunches, morning and afternoon teas
  • Access to the ACN Club Lounge (Monday 25 October)
  • One (1) ticket to the Networking Drinks Reception (Tuesday 26 October)
  • One (1) ticket to the Gala Dinner (Wednesday 27 October)

Day registration includes:

  • Entry to Forum plenary and concurrent sessions (on designated day(s) only)
  • Access to the Exhibition (on designated day(s) only)
  • Lunch, morning and afternoon tea (on designated day(s) only)
  • One (1) ticket to the Networking Drinks Reception (Tuesday 26 October) (Tuesday one day & Tuesday & Wednesday two day registrants only)

Forum postponement FAQ's - due to COVID-19

Unless a cancellation or refund request is received, all bookings processed previously will automatically roll over to the new forum dates.

Unless a cancellation or refund request is received, all bookings processed previously will automatically roll over to the new forum dates.

Yes. The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) will offer 100% refund of monies paid if you wish to cancel your registration or exhibition booking.

All refund requests must be made in writing to Refunds will be returned in the same form as the original method of payment. There will be no cancellation fees. Please allow up to 30 days for funds to be credited back to accounts.

ACN does not manage refunds related to individual travel costs. Please contact your travel agent or hotel or airline directly to discuss specific cancellation policies and refund information. In some cases, airlines and hotels may offer refunds with no cancellation fees due to travel bans.

Canberra location

Canberra packs a big punch for such a small city and has recently come third in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 list. National treasures are found round almost every corner and exciting new boutique precincts have emerged, bulging with gastronomic highlights and cultural must-dos.

Explore this award-winning destination, from its stunning cultural attractions, fabulous markets offering the freshest local produce, shopping scene bursting with the best in boutique, local creations and discover its gorgeous outdoor attractions such as waterfalls, gorges, rivers, lookouts and snow-capped mountains.

Canberra offers a great diversity of attractions and experiences all within close proximity to accommodation and transport. For solo travellers, couples, families and groups, Canberra has something to appeal to the curious, adventurous, foodie or explorer within us all.

For more information on what to do at Canberra, please visit the Visit Canberra website.


National Convention Centre, Canberra
31 Constitution Ave
Canberra ACT 2601
t: 02 6276 5200
w: Convention centre website

The National Convention Centre offers undercover parking.

There is also pay parking available across the road from the National Convention Centre on the corner of Constitution Ave and Corranderk Street.


HESTA logo
Griffith University QLD School of Nursing and Midwifery

NNF 2019 highlights

Contact us

The National Nursing Forum 2021 is organised with the assistance of Australian Conference and Event Organisers (aceo). For further information or assistance, please contact the Forum Office:

aceo logo

T: 0432 651 588

Military COI Conference

The Military COI Conference will be held on Monday 25 October 2021 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. The event aims to engage with a wide range of nurses (not just military), providing an overview of both operational and strategic military nursing experiences.

ACN Military COI Conference Logo - Australian College of Nursing