Program Speakers
Dr Veronica Croome

Dr Veronica Croome MACN

Chief Nurse, ACT Health (former)

» About me

Veronica (Ronnie) Croome was appointed Chief Nurse for ACT Health in January 2009. Since commencing in the role, Ronnie has overseen the development of a career path for Enrolled Nurses, expansion of the Advanced Practice Nurse role, the employment of Eligible Midwives, the introduction of Assistants in Nursing and the creation of a Clinical Nurse Coordinator role as part of a Ward Leadership program.

Ronnie has overseen a number of Enterprise Agreements for Nurses and Midwives in the ACT which have resulted in improved employment conditions, introduced a workload methodology for inpatient units, led the work on a publicly funded homebirth trial and held the important role of Executive Sponsor for the Respect, Equity and Diversity Framework, a whole of government initiative aimed at improving workplace culture.

During her time with ACT Health, Ronnie has been nominated for several awards including finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards (2012) and an ACT Public Service Award for Excellence in 2013. Ronnie was named as an Honoured Friend of CIT in 2014 and delivered the Occasional Addresses to graduands at the University of Canberra and at the Canberra Institute of Technology. She has served as a Board member on Our Wellness Foundation, the Canberra Hospital Foundation and as a Council member of the Canberra Institute of Technology.

In 2018 Ronnie was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra for services to nursing and the ACT community.

» Collapse

Dr Christine Dennis

Dr Christine Dennis

Chief Executive Officer, ACHS

» About me

Dr Dennis joined the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) in July 2014 as the Chief Executive Officer. Prior to this she held the positions of Chief Operating Officer Top End Health Service and acting CE Northern Territory Health.

Commencing in nursing and having worked in the health care industry for over 35 years, Dr Dennis brings academic and practical experience in both corporate and clinical governance and recognises the importance of developing the necessary assurance frameworks to address patient safety and quality care.

Dr Dennis also brings strong strategic leadership skills, knowledge and experience to the position, coupled with a high level of engagement across the health sector. Her skillset complements the executive staff at ACHS and her aim is to position ACHS at the forefront of the safety and quality agenda.

“I aim to boost ACHS’s long-time position as a leading provider of products and services for accreditation and further develop ACHS’s role in supporting and driving performance excellence in safety and quality programs across a broad range of health service providers and for our consumers,” she said.

“As Chief Executive Officer, I place a high priority on continuing to increase ACHS’s visibility, participation and leadership in national and international efforts to provide leadership in safe and effective care of the highest quality.”

» Collapse

Professor Christine Duffield FACN

Professor Christine Duffield FACN

ACN President and Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management, UTS & ECU

» About me

Professor Christine Duffield is an internationally acclaimed nursing workforce researcher and Australia’s leading voice on the impact of nursing workload and skill mix on patient outcomes and the quality of patient care. Christine joined the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Board in 2013 and is currently the President of ACN.

Christine is the Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management at Edith Cowan University and the University of Technology Sydney. Christine is a highly accomplished international researcher with significant experience in the health and education industries in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Christine is one of the top 10 most-cited Australian and New Zealand nursing and midwifery professors.

Christine focused on transforming the nursing sector over the course of her 40-year career. During this time, she has worked extensively with state and federal decision-makers as well as internationally, with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), to drive change and innovation in health care delivery. As a result, she is highly regarded by practitioners as a researcher who understands the world in which they work and can translate results into practice and policy.

» Collapse

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms FACN (DLF)

Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

» About me

RN RM BA MNA Grad Bioethics, Adv Dip Arts FCN FRCNA FACHSM (Hon)

Debra Thoms is the Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, a role she commenced in August 2015. She was previously the inaugural chief executive officer of the Australian College of Nursing, a position she was appointed to in May 2012 following six years as the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with NSW Health.

Debra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology, Master of Nursing Administration and Graduate Certificate in Bioethics. She also holds an Advanced Diploma of Arts (History/French) and a Governance and Risk Management qualification.

During her career Debra has gained broad management and clinical experience including as a clinician in remote and rural Australia, as CEO of a rural health service, general manager of the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney as well as Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with the South Australian Department of Health.

In 2005 Debra was selected to attend the Johnson and Johnson Wharton Fellows Program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Her contribution to nursing and health care has been recognised by an Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Technology, Sydney, where she also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor.

» Collapse

More speaker biographies to come.