Luke Yokota MACN
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Luke Yokota is a Registered Nurse with clinical experience in aged care and intensive care. Luke has a Cert IV in Training and Assessment and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies in Healthcare Redesign. Luke graduated from Griffith University where he was a very active undergraduate student representative involved in advocating for leadership opportunities in peer lead simulated learning, an international student representative to South East Asian while promoting the overall student experience. Luke remains committed to the professional development of all nurses through his active involvement in several organisational committees at Princess Alexandra Hospital as well as working as a Clinical Facilitator and Tutor with Griffith University. Luke was selected to the prestigious Australian College of Nursing Emerging Nurse Leader program where he has published, presented and been involved in discussions of nursing policy and practice at both the State and National level. In 2018 Luke was appointed as the Inaugural Chair of the Australian College of Nursing Men in Nursing Working Party where he is leading national strategy to raise the profile of men in nursing, address societal stereotypes of perceptions of men caring and addressing gender imbalance within the nursing profession. Luke prides himself on his diligence, compassion and person orientated care and has a keen interest in quality, safety and improving patient experiences.
Associate Professor Georgina Willetts FACN CMgr FIML
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Associate Professor Georgina Willetts has over 30 years nursing experience and more than a decade of experience in leading nursing and midwifery reform within the healthcare industry, moving to academia in 2011. She has completed two educational programs at Harvard Macy institute in Boston USA and continues to be a visiting faculty there, she received her doctorate of education in 2014 and was awarded the University wide Monash Teacher Accelerator Program honours in 2015.
Georgina is currently Head of Discipline & Course Director in Nursing within the Department of Health Professions at Swinburne University, where she established a new discipline of nursing and contemporary nursing curriculum using innovative teaching strategies. Her clinical interests are medical/surgical nursing, models of care, interprofessional practice/education and professional identity. Her research interests include translational research into the areas of healthcare education, health care workforce, and the performance of professional identity in practice.
Georgina has been an active member of ACN and the Royal College of Nursing for more than 15 years, she is involved in the ACN Policy Chapters and the Emerging Leaders program. Georgina is a Fellow of ACN.
Associate Professor Annabel Digance
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Annabel Digance passionately advocates for equitable and best health care for all Australians.
She champions dialogue on the future directions of our pressured health care system.
After an extensive board director career including SA Water and what is now People’s Choice Credit Union she was elected as a Member of Parliament, South Australia (2014–18) and held positions including, Assistant Minister to the Premier; Chair, Public Works Committee and Deputy Whip to the Government. She has a highly developed political acumen and has continually facilitated ‘ordinary’ Australians having their voices heard.
While in Parliament she achieved what fondly became known as Gayle’s Law — Legislation to strengthen the safety for remote and rurally practicing nurses in SA.
Annabel’s current position as Associate Professor, Flinders University lecturing in Master Health Administration teaching in Australia, China and Singapore, sees her at the forefront of educating our future health care leaders.
She holds a Master of Health Administration, Bachelor of Nursing, Graduate Diploma of Counselling, is a Registered Nurse/Midwife with a specialist Certificate in Infant Welfare. She is a Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Member, Australasian College of Health Service Management, a Member, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and is a Rotary International Alumni.
Adjunct Professor John G Kelly AM FACN
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Adjunct Professor John G Kelly AM is the Group CEO of the Heart Foundation of Australia.
Most recently he spent four years as CEO of Aged & Community Services Australia – a peak body for the non-profit providers of community and residential aged care.
John has extensive experience on national non-profit boards including periods as Chair of the Smith Family, Royal College of Nursing Australia and Uniting Care Aging (NSW & ACT).
In 2009 he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) as well as receiving the Alumni Award for Excellence from UTS. In 2010 John was appointed by the Federal Government as Commonwealth Aged Care Commissioner.
Adj Associate Professor Francine Douce MACN
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Francine Douce is a registered nurse and midwife with more than 30 years’ experience in the Tasmanian healthcare system and an active member of the Australian College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Australian College of Midwives.
Francine has held many senior nursing and midwifery positions (public and private sector) in strategic and organisational leadership; governmental policy; clinical practice; governance including patient safety; professional regulation and accreditation. She is the current Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Council of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers and Tasmania’s representative in a range of national committees and advisory groups.
In 2015, Francine completed the Global Nursing Leadership Institute at ICN, and in 2017, was appointed as the International Commissioner to the Commission on Pathway to Excellence with the American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC).
Francine describes her strengths in terms of a lifetime of passion for nursing and midwifery, and of course, Tasmania. Passion, courage and resilience have been characteristic of her professional leadership in Australia and now the international arena.
Francine is the mother of two adult boys; lives in the beautiful NW of Tasmania with her husband Michael and balances her statewide role from Hobart (arguably Australia’s most beautiful capital city).
Melanie Robinson MACN
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Mel Robinson, appointed as CEO of CATSINaM in February 2019, has worked in diverse roles in nursing over the past 30 years, including clinical practice, education, and policy. Her priorities at CATSINaM include growing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives, ensuring the workforce is strongly supported, advocating for members, engaging with national policy development, and building strong partnerships across government and non-government sectors.
Mel who has cultural connections to the Gidja and Ngarinyin people of the Kimberley in Western Australia, is also passionate about supporting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Having grown up on Gibb River Station on Ngallagunda community before moving to Derby as a young girl, she has a connection with the particular health challenges faced by rural and remote communities. Mel has a deep personal understanding of the impacts of colonisation, including having family members affected by Stolen Generations policies. Through her professional and own family’s experiences, Mel has seen many examples of institutional and interpersonal racism contributing to poor health outcomes and inequitable access to healthcare.
During her career, Mel has worked at hospitals in Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Perth, as well as aged care services in Derby and Dublin, Ireland. Mel has also worked as a nurse educator at Marr Mooditj Training, and in policy in the Western Australian Department of Health. She completed a Masters in Nursing Research at the University of Notre Dame Australia in 2018.
Melinda Goode MACN
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Melinda is currently studying a Masters of Nursing (Graduate Entry) at Edith Cowan University and will graduate in 2019. Melinda has a Bachelor of Marine Science and a Post Graduate Certificate in Development Planning. She has worked as a Coastal Planner for a number of years but after starting her own family, she has discovered a hidden passion for nursing and is very eager to begin her new career. Melinda is excited to be part of stage one of the ENL program and is looking forward to taking on new challenges, meeting new people and experiencing everything the program has to offer.
Nick Hayward MACN
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Nick arrived at nursing after years of experience leading teams as a retail manager, with a passion for maintaining team morale and for meeting and engaging with local communities. Nick co-founded a nursing student society on campus after identifying a gap in service delivery and enjoys supporting and advocating for his student cohort. Now in his final year of nursing studies and working as an acute care AIN, Nick is looking forward to pursuing an honours year and continuing to engage with consumers and colleagues in support of quality care and safe working environments. Nick is excited to be a part of the ENL program and hopes to contribute to ACN’s goal of advancing the nursing profession by championing the core leadership business of promoting morale and team cohesion.
Catelyn Richards MACN
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Catelyn Richards is a registered nurse currently working at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, having completed her Bachelor’s degree at Monash University in 2016. Catelyn’s passion for nursing extended from her involvement volunteering in international aid and development. A particular highlight for Catelyn was volunteering with AusAid and Young People Without Borders in the Solomon Islands in 2013.
Through her experience as an Emerging Nurse Leader with the Australian College of Nursing, Catelyn has developed an interest in staff wellbeing, nursing staff retention and the Australian nursing workforce sustainability. Inspired by how far nurses have come as a profession in the last 50 years, Catelyn’s passion and commitment as a nurse are key drivers in her quest to be instrumental in improving the Australian healthcare system in the future.
Catelyn is currently volunteering with the Australian College of Nursing Melbourne Region Committee as the Communication Coordinator; and has demonstrated interest and experience in nursing research through her work as a research assistant at Monash University. Catelyn’s vision is to someday work among the global health community, but for now is learning and growing herself as an early career nurse.
The Hon. Sarah Courtney MP
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Sarah Courtney was elected to the Parliament of Tasmania in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 representing the northern seat of Bass.
After the 2018 election, the Premier appointed Sarah to Cabinet, where she serves as Minister for Health and Minister for Women.
Sarah has also served as the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Minister for Racing, Minister for Resources and Minister for Building and Construction.
Before her involvement in Parliamentary service, Sarah worked in senior finance industry roles, including with ING Investment Management, JB Were, ABN AMRO and Regal Funds Management. She holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney
She also holds a Master of Wine Technology and Viticulture and for the last decade has been cultivating, growing and operating her Tamar Valley vineyard.
Sarah’s work representing her community is driven by a strong desire to deliver a positive future for all Tasmanians. She believes that access to education and training is crucial to achieving career and life aspirations.
Sarah is committed to working genuinely and cooperatively with stakeholders and constituents from all sections of the community to achieve meaningful difference in their lives.
In her inaugural speech to Parliament, Sarah said she is focused on working to help “Tasmania realise its full potential… My vision for Tasmania is one that capitalises on the opportunity that surrounds us with a government that assists and supports those who innovate and invest… I want Tasmania to be a place that encourages individuals, communities and businesses to be the best they can, always striving for improvement and not settling for mediocrity”.
Sarah’s previous roles in Parliament include Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Community and Veterans Affairs, deputy Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and serving on a number of Joint Select Committees including Future Gaming Markets and Greyhound Racing in Tasmania.
When Sarah is able to find any free time, her favourite activities include sharing local produce with friends, exercising on her road bike and spending time with her dog Lulu.
Dr Warrick Bishop
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Dr Warrick Bishop is a practicing cardiologist, best-selling author, and keynote speaker who has a passion to help prevent heart disease on a global scale.
Warrick graduated from the University of Tasmania, School of Medicine, in 1988. He completed his advanced training in cardiology in Hobart, Tasmania, becoming a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
Dr Warrick Bishop believes that the more precise we can be in the information we have in regard to a patient’s heart health and real risk of heart attack, the better we can look after that person.
Jennifer Hurley MACN
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Jennifer Hurley is the Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer of South Australia since March 2018.
Jenny’s working career is diverse, commencing her career in her hometown of Broken Hill then continuing her professional journey in paediatric education at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, and midwifery education at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Adelaide.
Jenny has worked in a range of settings interstate, internationally and in regional Australia.
She holds a Bachelor of Nursing and a Master of Health Administration and has a particular interest in leadership, organisational culture, evidenced based practice, informatics, and is the voice of 34,000 nurses and midwives in South Australia.
Sharon Bown MACN
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Sharon Bown is a Member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial and a Returned Service Nurse, having served in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Nursing Officer for over 16 years, retiring at the rank of Wing Commander in 2015. With a Bachelor of Nursing and a Bachelor of Psychological Science, Sharon is a passionate advocate within the field of military and veteran’s health. She demonstrates a unique insight into the welfare and healthcare needs of those adversely affected by trauma, and promotes a healthcare approach which promotes post traumatic growth, believing that a crisis should never be wasted. Wing Commander Bown is the author of One Woman’s War and Peace: a nurse’s journey in the Royal Australian Air Force; and a highly sought-after Keynote Speaker, guiding individuals and communities to rise with resilience in the face of adversity.
Dr Veronica Croome MACN
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Veronica (Ronnie) Croome was appointed Chief Nurse for ACT 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 as Chief Nurse ACT, 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.
Ronnie featured as a keynote speaker at the National Nursing Forum in 2017 and was the Master of Ceremonies in 2018 and again in 2019.
Professor Lynette Russell AO FACN (DLF)
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Professor Lynette Russell has a high profile as a nurse leader and veteran in nurse education. She has been an active member and contributor to ACN and its predecessor organisation The College of Nursing (TCoN) for more than 40 years.
Following her roles in clinical nursing, Lynette became a nurse educator and professor. In 1991, Lynette took on the role of Foundation Dean of Faculty of Nursing at the University of Sydney (now Sydney Nursing School). Over the years, Lynette has been published in a number of academic journals and books in the areas of health care and nursing history, as well as authoring books of her own. Lynette was honoured with an Order of Australia in 2000 for her contributions to nursing as an educator and a leader.
Following retirement, Lynette established a Nursing History and Research Unit at the Sydney Nursing School. She continues to support the unit as its Director.
Lynette is particularly well-known and respected at ACN for her work on ACN’s archival collection in researching and recording the history of nursing.
Lynette became a Fellow of TCoN in 1975. It is with great honour that we further recognise the significant contributions and commitment Lynette has made to ACN and the nursing profession through the awarding of a Distinguished Life Fellowship.
Professor Christine Duffield FACN
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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.
Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN
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Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN is a renowned leader and a passionate CEO who has shaped the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) to become a prominent and influential professional organisation. As well as leading a strong and collective voice for the nursing profession to improve patient outcomes and the social determinants of health for all Australians, Kylie is also driven to improve gender equality and diversity as well as promoting the importance of women in leadership roles both nationally and internationally.
Kylie’s distinguished career spans almost three decades, and has seen her hold Executive positions in the largest health services in NSW and Victoria. Through her commitment to reform, transformational change and leadership development, she has been awarded honorary Professorships from Monash University, Deakin University, University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University and Federation University.
Kylie is the first nurse to be appointed by the Federal Minister as a Board Director of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA). She is a Board Director of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council (ANMAC), as well as serving Ministerial appointments to the Aged Services Industry Reform Committee (IRC) and the Health Translation Advisory Committee (HTAC) of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Dedicating her career and purpose to empowering others, Kylie has received widespread recognition and received multiple awards including the 2017 ACT Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award for Social Purpose and Enterprise and 2018 Western Sydney University Prestigious Alumni’s Award for Professional Excellence.
Kylie is an inspiring leader with a flair for inspiring others and promoting a socially responsible and progressive culture. A motivational executive, Kylie has led thousands with her holistic, innovative and transformational approach to leadership, focusing on building resilience and empowering people to meet organisational challenges.