The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) would like to congratulate Elizabeth Tollenaere (nee Matters) FACN on her election to the Board of the German Nursing Association (DBfK).
The DBFK is the professional organisation for nurses in Germany that has a long history dating back to its founding in 1903. Like ACN, it is a proud member of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
Elizabeth has been a long-time active member of ACN and is currently the Chair of our International Nursing Community of Interest. Previously, she has written a column in The Hive, our quarterly print magazine, called Nursing Matters and was a key advocate for the 1min applause initiative which aimed to raise the global profile of nursing.
Elizabeth, who is now based in Germany, has shared with us what the appointment personally means to her and what she is most looking forward as a Board Member of the German Nursing Association.
“This appointment reaffirms for me that nursing is a truly global profession and that we can all play a professional role regardless of the setting and cultural context in which we find ourselves,” she says.
“Sometimes nurses who move overseas or change settings experience challenges which make them feel sidelined professionally but I believe this appointment shows that the expertise and insight of overseas educated nurses and newcomers is valued and welcomed in the debate if we are brave enough to take part.
“I am looking forward to learning a lot more about how nursing and health care function in Germany and in Europe as a whole.
“I am also excited to facilitate some collaborations between my German colleagues and my international network and have the chance to influence the development of nursing in a context where professional practice and identity is evolving.
Congratulations again Elizabeth on you achievement and for being such a great representative for Australian nurses living abroad!