The Co-Chairs of the ACN Nurses and Violence Taskforce at the 2021 National Nursing Forum
The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is committed to ensuring nurse-led solutions are front and centre of strategies to eliminate violence against women and their children. As a predominantly female profession, nurses are subject to violence in multiple areas of their personal and professional lives. As the largest of the health professions, nursing is also at the frontline of identifying and caring for those experiencing domestic violence and child abuse. It is these issues the ACN Nurses and Violence Taskforce, a collective of nurse leaders in the area, addresses.
The ACN Nurses and Violence Taskforce is led by ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, a leading advocate for gender equality. Kylie has been a long and consistent advocate for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and their children. She has recently been at the forefront of calls to end the unacceptable level of abuse towards nurses, which has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kylie Co-Chairs each of the Nurses and Violence Taskforce’s four committees alongside a nurse leader in the field. The committees focus on key areas such as:
- nurses caring for people experiencing domestic violence
- nurses experiencing domestic violence
- occupational violence
- nurses and child protection.
To mark UN Women’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, we have provided an overview of the expertise each of the committee Co-Chairs brings to our commitment to eliminating violence against women and children.
Dr Leesa Hooker MACN
Co-Chair of the Nurses caring for people experiencing domestic violence committee
Dr Leesa Hooker MACN is a nurse/midwife academic and Senior Research Fellow at the La Trobe Rural Health School and the Judith Lumley Centre-La Trobe University.
She has established expertise in the epidemiology of family violence, women’s mental and reproductive health and parenting. Her research includes intervention trials, observation studies and systematic reviews with a focus on improving maternal and child health outcomes, and the health care service response to abused women and children.
Dr Jacqui Pich MACN
Co-Chair of the Nurses experiencing domestic violence committee
Dr Jacqui Pich is a senior lecturer and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Technology.
Her areas of research interest include violence, aggression and bullying experienced by nurses working in healthcare. She recently worked on the Australian College of Nursing’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Taskforce and worked to develop a position statement on this important topic.
Professor Georgina Willetts FACN CMGR FIML
Co-Chair of the Occupational violence committee
Professor Georgina Willetts has 40 years nursing experience and more than a decade of experience in leading nursing and midwifery reform within the health care industry.
Her clinical interests are medical/surgical nursing, models of care, interprofessional practice/education and professional identity. Georgina’s research interests include Practice Development and translational research into the areas of healthcare education, health care workforce, and the performance of professional identity in practice.
Rheannwynn (Rhee) Sneesby MACN
Co-Chair of the Nurses and child protection committee
Rhee Sneesby MACN is an advanced practice nurse with expertise in child protection across both acute hospital and community health settings
She holds a Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing (NSW College of Nursing), has completed additional training in the Health Child Protection space and, completed the Child Protection and Domestic Violence units within a Master Social Work (Qualifying).
Most recently, Rhee has been working as a Clinical Nurse Consultant – Child Protection at Canterbury Hospital, Sydney Local Health District. She has been implementing a nurse-led, multidisciplinary model of child protection (action-research) in an acute hospital facility.