The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) today extended its gratitude to The Hon. Greg Hunt MP for his 20 years of parliamentary service and the five years he spent as Minister for Health and Ageing.
“ACN would particularly like to acknowledge the incredible support Minister Hunt has provided to the nursing community during a very difficult time. The pandemic has impacted nurses right across Australia, causing enormous stress on the nursing workforce. Minister Hunt recognised the critical role of Australia’s nurses at an early stage and moved swiftly to help chart a course towards recovery,” said Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, Chief Executive Officer of ACN.
In October, ACN held a National Summit on the Nursing Workforce in conjunction with Minister Hunt to address the growing prevalence of workplace violence and overall workplace sustainability. The Minister heard from over 200 nursing representative bodies including employers, universities, and individuals. He subsequently agreed to provide support for several of ACN’s priorities, including a national campaign for preventing violence in nursing, promoting gender and age diversity in nursing, and delivering a National Nursing Strategy by March 2022.
“Minister Hunt consistently engaged with ACN and nurses across Australia to help shape a better future for the workforce. His participation at the Summit and our subsequent National Nursing Forum provided tangible plans that we will continue to pursue in a bipartisan fashion,” she said.
A highlight of the Forum was the announcement of the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers – an award founded by ACN and Minister Hunt in 2019.
“We have been honoured to work with Minister Hunt to establish and administer the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers – the only award of its kind in Australia that recognises nurse-led innovations and models of care that improve health outcomes,” continued Adjunct Professor Ward.
“We are also very grateful Minister Hunt’s work to secure a record $17.7 billion boost in funding for the aged care sector, along with a $216 million commitment to provide more scholarships, transition to practice programs, and additional training for dementia and palliative care settings. This is in addition to the $5.15 million in scholarships that ACN has been able to secure to grow and upskill the mental health and suicide prevention workforce.”
“Throughout his tenure, Mr Hunt has been a champion of the Australian nursing community. I value his leadership and friendship, and I know all members of ACN will join me in thanking Minister Hunt for his service and wishing him the best for the future,” concluded Adjunct Professor Ward.