2024 Scholarship Recipients


Bullwinkel Scholar recipients

On the 82nd anniversary commemorating the massacre of 21 nurses at Bangka Island, the ACN Foundation pays tribute to each of these heroic nurses.

In honour of their enduring legacy, the ACN Foundation has awarded 22 scholarships bearing the names of the nurses who lost their lives, along with one in honour of Lt Col. Vivian Bullwinkel, the only nurse who survived that day.

Each of the scholarship recipients have also received a Vivian Bullwinkel Scholars Medallion and Certificate. We congratulate the inaugural Bullwinkel Scholars for 2024.

ACN Institute of Leadership Program scholar recipients


Mrs Tracey Pattie MACN - In memory of Matron Irene Melville Drummond FACN

Tracey Pattie is a dedicated and committed nurse and leader with over 25 years of experience within clinical nursing, operational and executive level management. Tracey is a proactive and driven individual who is passionate about delivering high-quality patient care, with a focus on Rural health. Tracey has completed a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management and a Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner Advance Care). In 2018 at the WBHHS Excellence Awards, Tracey was the recipient of the ‘Leadership Award’ and was part of the Rural Leadership team who received the ‘Care Comes First Excellence Award’. With Tracey having worked in various senior leadership roles throughout her career, she is devoted to ensuring that everyone, regardless of location, socio-economic status or background, has access to high-quality healthcare, and believes that the ACN Nurse Executive Leadership program will provide her with further expertise to make this a reality for all Australians.

These experiences have highlighted for Tracey the wonderful care that rural services do provide, however access to services can be limited locally – especially with the critical shortages of medical officers in rural communities. Tracey has been involved in innovative practices to deliver specialised care to the community such as Monto’s Telechemotherapy service. The delivery of these services do require significant investment of funding and training of staff, however the benefits to the community are over whelming.

To enable innovative practices and quality nursing care, the investment of the whole nursing team in their community is required. With the belief that that happy staff results in happy patients and better services, another key focus for Tracey is workplace culture and developing strategies that ensure that health employees are supported, respected and recognised, from the beginning of, throughout and to the ends of their careers.

Mrs Louise Cook MACN - In memory of Sister Kathleen Margaret Neuss FACN

With over thirty years as a registered nurse, Louise is a dedicated clinician passionate about delivering exemplary patient care and advancing rural nursing leadership through navigating unique challenges, continuous learning and an innovative mindset. Qualifications in critical care, primary health and nursing management have proven to be a valuable asset to Louise, allowing her to provide advanced nursing practices to meet the complex healthcare challenges faced by rural populations and provide competent support to nursing leadership roles. The ACN Bullwinkel Scholarship will provide Louise the opportunity to access specialised professional development to further build her rural leadership capacity and provide high level, evidence based nursing director management. Being a Bullwinkel Scholar is the highlight of Louise’s nursing career. To pay homage to the legacy left by the nurses on Bangka Island is a prestigious honour she intends to foster through competent nursing leadership as demonstrated by Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel.

Dr Giuliana Murfet MACN - In memory of Sister Dorothy Gwendoline ‘Buddy’ Elmes FACN

Dr Giuliana Murfet was the first nurse practitioner endorsed to practice in Tasmania in January 2010, with three others. She is an experienced diabetes and bariatric nurse practitioner, a Fellow of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association and was awarded the Jan Baldwin National Credentialled Diabetes Educator of the Year 2022. Giuliana is highly engaged nationally in providing strategic advice to the National Diabetes Services Scheme and Diabetes Australia through chairing the Medical, Educational and Scientific Advisory Council and the Health Professional Advisory Council and as a steering committee member of the Living Evidence for Diabetes Consortium that develops national guidelines. Dr Murfet is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Technology Sydney, where her research focuses on diabetes workforce development, nurse-led codesign models of care, and health literacy. Her PhD focused on increasing the health workforce’s capacity for diabetes care. She authored the Capability Framework for Diabetes Care that guides diabetes curricula at different health professional practice levels found on Diabetes Connekt. Giuliana was immensely proud to become a Bullwinkel Scholar as an acknowledgement of her passion, perseverance and dedication to nursing care to improve the lives of others. She believes the scholarship will benefit her nursing career by improving her executive leadership skills to become more dynamic and promote creative and innovative solutions.

Mr Corey Sclater MACN - In memory of Sister Joyce Ada Bridge FACN

Corey is a Registered Nurse who is the Nurse Manager Leadership and Workforce Development at Far West Local Health District New South Wales Health. Corey has recently been involved within the realms of remote and rural healthcare, where his passion first began when he was deployed as part of an International Emergency Medical Team to Papua New Guinea, as Clinical Nurse Mentor/Educator/Specialist. Corey has a Master in Clinical Nursing (Acute Care) and is undertaking a Master of Clinical Medicine (Leadership & Management). Corey is also an avid volunteer for St John Ambulance NSW, Catholic Care Australia and St Vincent’s De Paul. During Corey’s time volunteering for St John Ambulance NSW, he has been in many senior leadership roles, for example, being the current state-wide 'Virtual Care Lead' and also the current state-wide ‘Clinical Advice Line Coordinator’. Corey becoming a ‘Bullwinkel Scholar’ and completing the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Nursing Executive Program, will allow him to grow holistically as an individual, in which will positively impact his leadership within the Far West LHD and his career as a nurse leader. Corey understands the sacrifice Vivian and her colleagues made during World War 2, and is extremely humbled to be a recipient of this inaugural prestigious scholarship program.

Flight Lieutenant Mrs Emma Hunter - In memory of Mrs Sister Minnie Ivy Hodgson FACN

Emma has been a Registered Nurse for 8 years and is currently a Nursing Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. Emma has a background in Emergency Nursing and is currently undertaking studies in Reproductive and Sexual Health. The Bullwinkel Scholar program is in recognition of nurses who paid the ultimate sacrifice and Emma is honoured to be selected as a recipient. As a member of the Australian Defence Force, Emma understands the dedication these nurses showed to both their patients and their country and looks forward to remembering their sacrifices while partaking in the program. Participation in this program will allow Emma to refine her nursing leadership skills. This will provide Emma with the skills to lead workplace culture changes and ensure her team are able to perform nursing skills to at a high level whether in a remote location, overseas or here in Australia.

Lieutenant Claire Knight MACN - In memory of Sister Laura Florence Fairweather FACN

Lieutenant Claire Knight is a Nursing Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. She is a Registered Nurse in General, Primary Health, Trauma and Anaesthetic nursing. She currently serves as an Anaesthetic Nurse in the Perioperative Team in the Maritime Operational Health Unit. Her unit is a deployable capability with operating theatres on-board Australian Warships equipped to perform Damage Control Surgery. Her unit can be deployed ashore to austere environments through to tertiary hospitals. Lieutenant Knight maintains her Anaesthetic Nurse currency through arranged shifts in Operating Theatres at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. Lieutenant Knight is honoured to have been chosen as one of the inaugural recipients of the Bullwinkel Scholar Program. Lieutenant Knight commemorates the 21 nurses who lost their lives on Bangka Island in World War II. She also admires Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel, AO, MBE, ARRC, ED, FNM, FRCNA who survived the massacre and subsequent imprisonment, to return home to honour her fallen sisters and give endlessly to develop the nursing profession in Australia. Lieutenant Knight sees the program as a invaluable opportunity to access mentoring and coaching to guide her nursing career, to connect with other Nursing leaders and hopes to contribute to the evolving profession of nursing.

Captain Amanda Plant - In memory of Sister Florence ‘Flo’ Rebecca Casson FACN

CAPT Amanda Plant enlisted in The Australian Defence Force (ADF) – Army in 2004 within the geospatial intelligence trade prior to transferring to a nursing officer in 2012. She has continued to combine both medical and intelligence disciplines through post-graduate study, civilian employment and military opportunities. These roles have allowed her to utilise her unique skillsets to develop and improve military health policies and procedures at both unit and formation levels, based on statistical health data of the ADF population. She is passionate about the inclusion of health intelligence to identify strategic opportunities, for Australia and her allies, that have the ability to positively influence and shape current and emerging global theatres. The ACN’s Nurse Director Leadership Program will continue to foster her dynamic leadership style to facilitated innovation and lead change in the challenging ADF health environment. Her goals to provide positive health outcomes to not only ADF members, but to wider Australian’s and her neighbouring nations will be greatly assisted thought this educational leadership opportunity.

Ms Kimberly Carter - In memory of Sister Florence Aubin Salmon FACN

Kim Carter has dedicated her nursing career to management and education in rural and remote parts of Australia, with her dream goal of becoming a Nursing Unit Manager. Kim graduated from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga NSW with a Bachelor of Nursing and completed her New Graduate year in Alice Springs. This is where Kim decided rural and remote nursing was going to be her specialty, which then lead into management and education. Kim later completed a Graduate Diploma in Rural and Remote nursing specialising in management and education through University of Queensland. Kim has spent many years as a team mentor and team leader with her current position being a Clinical Nurse Educator for Community Nursing covering the Murrumbidgee Local Health District. Kim has completed multiple short courses to help and strengthen her leadership knowledge throughout her years of nursing. Becoming a Bullwinkle Scholar will help guide her practice to be a proficient leader and educator, so our future nurses in our rural areas work to their highest standard to help benefit our local communities. As we know appropriate education and training will also help ensure rural areas are retaining these skilled health professionals which is our goal.

Mrs Rachel Fishlock - In memory of Sister Mary Elzabeth ‘Beth’ Cuthbertson FACN

Rachel has worked within Community Programs at Grampians Health (Ballarat) for the past 15 years. Rachel has worked most of her career in Community Nursing in areas such as, Hospital in the Home (HITH), District Nursing, the Regional Palliative Care team and in the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS). Rachel commenced her leadership journey in 2013 as Team Leader in ACAS, before becoming the Manager in 2015. Rachel managed the Regional Palliative Care team before taking on the expansion of the HITH service in 2021 as Operations Manager. Rachel’s current role is Assistant Director Healthcare at Home with 6 services within her portfolio. In 2024 Rachel embarks on a 3-month interim role as Director of Primary and Community Care. The scholarship to attend the Nurse Executive Leadership Program will be invaluable as she takes on new responsibilities and leadership experiences, this scholarship will allow Rachel to enhance and hone her leadership skills. To be a recipient of the Bullwinkel Scholarship is a proud achievement and Rachel is passionate in honouring those nurses whom it is named after. Thank you to the Australian College of Nursing for providing this exciting opportunity to nurses as we lead the way in health care.

Mrs Leisa Jackson - In memory of Sister Ellen Nell Louisa Keats FACN

Nurse Leader, Nurse advocate, Disability advocate, Mother Wife

I have worked hard to work my way up from Assistant in nursing to Nurse unit manager, completing my Nursing education, advancing my Career and raising my children. I have gained valuable experience in Rural, Emergency, Orthopaedic, Medical and Subacute Nursing. I have worked between Metro Brisbane and Regional /Rural Queensland Nursing areas. I am passionate about safety, Quality, patient centred appropriate care for all including our neurodiverse clients of all ages. I have Bachelor of Nursing, Master of Healthcare Leadership and Master of Business Administration specialising in Health Service Management. I am honoured to be presented with a Bullwinkle Scholarship and would love to honour the memory of Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkle by continuing to develop and lead nursing into the future. It is integral in Supporting good culture into our nursing teams and ensuring safe quality patient centred appropriate care through high professionalism and educated nursing teams which are supported by the Human Rights act of 2019. A great nursing leader listens to the floor and stands strong for the community, challenges and advocates for staff and patients for a better system. I stand for staff and appropriate care.

Mrs Nicole Jorgensen - In memory of Sister Esther Sara Jean Stewart FACN

Nicole is a proud Ngunnawal woman from Southern NSW. She has been a registered nurse for eleven years and comes from a long line of nurses in her family. Her great-grandfather, father, mother and grandmother have all proudly dedicated themselves to caring and advocating for others. Her paternal great grandfather was a POW at Changi POW Camp and worked in the camp hospital as a nurse during his capture. Nicole currently works as the Coordinator of Aboriginal Mental Health for Southern NSW LHD. She is wife to a current serving member of the Australian Army and she is a proud mum of two children. This scholarship will help Nicole to continue developing her nursing and leadership skills, enabling her to support staff and patients in Aboriginal mental health and beyond. To be a recipient of the Bullwinkle scholars program it is a great honour and a reminder of the sacrifice made on Bangka island in 1942.

Mrs Jessica McEvoy - In memory of Sister Nancy Harris FACN

Jessica is a nurse Unit Manager of Coffs Harbour's 30-bed Acute Mental Health Mental Health Unit and leads a busy multi-disciplinary team of 60-70 staff. Jessica reports the privilege of being in a leadership role at a time when mental health care is changing towards a contemporary mental health view of a trauma-informed, patient-centered and recovery-orientated approach. Leadership skills are important to changing long-term entrenched practices. As a Bullwinkle scholar, Jessica states that it will support her in enhancing her leadership skills to learn from evidence-based practice and to develop systems to establish accountability to redefine workplace culture. Jessica feels privileged and honored to be a scholar in the memory of the 21 nurses and their exemplary commitment to nursing. This scholarship will also support Jessica's passion for supporting more women into leadership roles and acknowledge the power of women to lead change.

Mrs Sally O’Callaghan MACN - In memory of Sister Clarise Halligan FACN

Being chosen as a Bullwinkel Scholar holds special significance for Sally, not only for advancing her executive healthcare leadership but also due to her family's connections with the Australian Defence Force. In her role as the Director of the Fairfield Infectious Disease Hospital, Bullwinkle laid the foundation for infectious disease nursing care. Sally proudly continues this legacy by working on clinical trials for infectious disease treatments, as the Clinical Operations and Nursing Director at Doherty Clinical Trials Ltd. The Bullwinkle Scholarship will refine Sally's leadership skills but also presents valuable networking opportunities with healthcare leaders. Equipping her with the essential knowledge and skills, this scholarship will empower Sally to actively contribute to the positive organisational culture that her team members are committed to fostering. Sally is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of clinical teams, trial participants, and advocating for research nursing as a recognised and rewarding career choice. The opportunity to become a Bullwinkle Scholar seamlessly aligns with her mission and goal of integrating executive leadership excellence with the promotion of research nursing and advancements in infectious disease treatments within the Australian healthcare landscape.

Mrs Amy Cowan MACN - In memory of Sister Janet ‘Jenny’ Kerr FACN

With an esteemed 25-year career primarily as a Credentialled Diabetes Nurse Educator, Amy’s expertise spans across acute care, primary health, national projects, and health professional education. Amy's notable achievements include being honoured as the Australian Diabetes Educators Association's Victorian Diabetes Educator of the Year in 2018 and receiving the Best Oral Presenter Award at the Australasian Diabetes Congress in 2020. At a national level, Amy actively contributes to enhancing the future of the multidisciplinary diabetes education workforce. In her current role as a Nursing Academic at Federation University Australia, Amy focuses on nursing professionalism, leadership, preceptorship, enrolled nurse transition, and chronic disease management. Amy's commitment extends beyond the classroom, having conducted research in mentoring and undertaking a pivotal role in clinical coordination during the pandemic, supporting nursing students completing clinical placements. These recent endeavours solidify her dedication to ensuring nurses excel in their roles, whilst also supporting each other. Amy draws inspiration from Vivian Bullwinkel's unwavering sense of purpose and pride in the nursing profession. Her passion lies in motivating and inspiring the next generation of nurses through dedicated support, mentoring, and authentic leadership. Through her journey, Amy exemplifies unwavering dedication to personal and professional growth, making her a guiding light for nurses at all stages of their careers.

Mrs Stephanie Rackemann MACN - In memory of Sister Bessie Wilmont FACN

Stephanie is a dedicated nurse and midwife who works in rural Queensland. After completing her nursing studies, she was drawn to the field of midwifery and during her early career, she witnessed the profound impact that compassionate midwifery care can have on both families and communities. This realisation was further deepened by her own experiences as a mother, reinforcing the importance of empathy and support during pivotal moments in life. Transitioning to a rural setting, Stephanie’s career trajectory shifted from focusing on assisting birthing families to providing care for individuals in their advanced years and those nearing the end of life. Her passion expanded to encompass end-of-life care, recognising the parallel between offering empathetic, family-centred support during both the birthing and dying processes. Embracing the challenges and rewards of rural nursing and midwifery, Stephanie finds fulfillment in serving diverse age groups and cherishes the autonomy inherent in her roles. As a Bullwinkel Scholar, Stephanie is committed to furthering her expertise as a nursing leader and giving back to her community. Her participation in the Nurse Director Leadership program in 2024 reflects her dedication to holistic healthcare, demonstrating an ability to adapt her skills and passions across different stages of life.

Dr Sarah Smith MACN - In memory of Sister Mona Margaret Anderson Tait FACN

Sarah is a passionate registered nurse who has worked in primary health care and rural hospital nursing. Her PhD was an investigation of the nursing workforce in Australian rural hospitals which examined burnout, practice environment and job satisfaction. Sarah is currently a Nurse Unit Manager of a rural Hospital within the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD and is passionate about providing a health service that delivers safe, quality care to the local community and creating a workplace where nurses are empowered to reach their full potential. Through the nurse executive leadership program Sarah hopes to gain valuable skills to overcome challenges, influence change, and perform as an effective nurse leader and manager. Sarah is honoured to be awarded an ACN Institute of Leadership Scholarship funded by the Bullwinkel Project; Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel was an inspiring nurse leader and a fierce advocate for the nursing profession. She not only survived against all odds on Bangka Island but then continued to risk her life for others. She then went on to devote her life to honouring those who were killed at Banka Island, continue service to others and work towards the betterment of the nursing profession.

Ms Sarah Steele - In memory of Sister Elaine Balfour Ogilvy FACN

Sarah Steele RN, BN (USYD) GradCertClinNsg&Teach (UTAS) CertIV BEd (Counselling) MACN

Sarah’s background is in Emergency. She fell in love with the fast-paced, high acuity environment, working for 15 years in mixed EDs as a Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist. This gave her a fantastic grounding in the care of diverse patients and honed her skills in rapid assessment. Sarah began working for Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network in 2016 as a coalface Primary Health Care Nurse, then as a regional Clinical Nurse Educator. Her current State-wide role is as Nurse Educator – Clinical Practice. Her portfolio includes Basic Life Support (BLS), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ‘Between the Flags’ DETECT, Venepuncture and Peripheral Cannulation, Trainer and Assessor accreditation workshops, facilitation of primary health care workshops for both Custodial and Mental Health Graduate Nurse Programs, as well as Endorsed In-service and Simulation Programs. Sarah is a mother of four, soccer coach and volunteer breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Becoming a Bullwinkel Scholar will further enhance Sarah’s existing leadership and networking skills which will enable her to champion workplace culture, provide specialised mentorship and coaching as well as the pursuit of additional leadership roles within her organisation and beyond.

Ms Adele Feist - In memory of Sister Rosetta Joan Wight FACN

I have been a registered Nurse for 8 years, prior to that I worked in retail management. I currently am employed as Nurse Unit Manager in the Surgical/Hospital combined wards at Central Gippsland Health in Sale, Victoria. I have been in this role since August 2023, so I am relatively new and learning lots of new things and am keen to learn anything and everything I can to be the absolute best I can in my new role. Prior to my role as NUM (Nurse Unit Manager) I was an ANUM and a CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) and my passion has always been education and sharing knowledge, I believe that we all have something to teach and we can learn so much from working with others. I am an advocate for exposing staff to as much education as possible in order to become the best possible nurses we can, and in turn give our patients the best care. At home, I have two young children (aged 18 months and 3 years old) and a partner who is a plumber, so life is very busy for us at the moment!

Ms Johanna Talman MACN - In memory of Sister Mary Eleanor Ellie McGlade FACN

Having graduated from nursing in 2014, Johanna began her nursing career at South Gippsland Hospital in Foster, Victoria. Here, Johannas enthusiasm and passion for rural and remote nursing grew as she consolidated the fundamentals of nursing and undertook her midwifery qualifications. Once qualified, Johanna moved to Central Australia and continued working within these fields. In 2020, Johanna began the role of a flight nurse with the Royal Flying Doctor Service SA&NT, whereby she worked in emergency retrieval from the remote areas of Central Australia. Johannas strong value for collaboration and leadership led her to commence the role of Deputy Flight Nurse Manager, and more recently, she has been working at the Alice Springs Operations manager, for the Royal Flying Doctors Service SA & NT. Accepting the Bullwinkel Scholarship, will enable Johanna to attend the Nurse Director Leadership program run by the Australian College of Nursing. This will broaden Johannas leadership skillset and further consolidate her journey, as she will have the opportunity to work alongside like-minded individuals, introducing her to an invaluable network and giving her a platform to broaden her competency of strengthening organizational culture, strategy and empowerment, change management and cross system collaboration and implementation.

Ms Helen Roberts-Thompson - In memory of Sister Alma May Beard FACN

Graduated from LaTrobe University in 2004 and she did her graduate year at Werribee Mercy hospital. Helen’s career goal was to be a midwife but she her interest in the Perioperative environment was awakened when she went to theatre with a patient for a caesarean section. Helen gained postgraduate qualifications in Perioperative nursing studies from Deakin University and worked in all 3 sub speciality areas of perioperative nursing (anaesthetics, PACU and instrument/circulating). Her family relocated to the NSW/Vic area and she began work at Albury Wodonga Health at the Wodonga campus operating theatres. She transitioned into a CNS role with ENT, Plastics and O&G as main specialties working part time whilst balancing young children. In 2017 Helen became an ANUM – holding the full time role of Floor Coordinator role. In 2020 she was appointed to NUM of the Wodonga Perioperative Unit including CSSD management responsibilities and helped lead the team through the COVID pandemic including both NSW and VIC closing their state borders for extended periods during this time. At the beginning of 2022 Helen took on the challenge of the Perioperative Services Manager for Albury Wodonga health which encompasses cross campus and cross border complexities with direct reports including 2 operating theatre suites, 2 PACU’s, 2 day procedure units, 2 CSSD’s and a short stay surgical ward with a goal of improving the integration of the cross campus workforce model. Currently she is the interim Director of Nursing – Perioperative and Surgical Services at Albury Wodonga Health. The Bullwinkle Scholarship and the ACN Nursing Director program, will support Helen in her next professional nursing phase. The Director of Nursing pathway will allow Helen to achieve the ongoing goal of always supporting patients to have a positive surgical journey and advocating for the surgical directorate at the operational decision making level.

Ms Olivia Walker - In memory of Sister Peggy Everett Farmaner FACN

Olivia is a registered nurse with 20 years’ experience. She has been working in Public Mental Health for most of these years. Olivia prides herself on her advocacy for her colleagues and her consumers. Olivia is currently employed as a Nurse Unit manager of a Mental Health Adult Inpatient Unit. Olivia intends to use the scholarships to complete the ACN’s Nurse Director Leadership Program which she believes will give her the knowledge and understanding to be able to lead workplace change through innovation and build on her developing leadership skills. Being the recipient of this inaugural scholarship means that Olivia will be able to complete this course knowing that she will not have to find the funds to pay for this course.


ACN Lt. Col. Vivian Bullwinkel Study Travel Scholarship Recipient


Ms Melanie Robinson MACN - In memory of Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel DLF

Mel Robinson is the Director Aboriginal Health at Child and Adolescent Health Service in WA and registered nurse with over 18 years’ experience in a range of adult and paediatric settings. Mel is a champion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care, a mentor for many and a mother. Mel is a descendant of the Gidja people (near Halls Creek) with connection to the Ngarinyin people in the Kimberley and Mel also has Indian heritage. Mel has worked in a range of roles across government and non-government settings within WA and nationally. As the Director Mel provides a range of strategic advice and guidance across the health service which includes Perth Children’s Hospital/Neonates, Child and Adolescent Community Health and Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Mel’s aim is to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people, and their families and the purpose of the Bullwinkle First Nations Scholar program is to explore and learn from NSW and Victoria health services for early childhood health services for children who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Mel has guided work in developing of Models of Care and Service Delivery for children in WA.


Emerging Policy Leader Program scholarship recipients

This program is a gateway to becoming a dynamic leader in nursing health policy. It is the first nursing-specific health policy initiative in Australia, influencing health policy and improving healthcare systems, this program is an opportunity to make a lasting impact. The program equips nurses with the skills to use evidence-based research in health policy decisions, identify policy gaps, conduct systematic reviews, providing advocacy to influence government and effectively contribute to public policy change.

Congratulations to our Emerging Policy Leader program (ERLP) recipients for 2024.

To learn more about the Emerging Policy Leader Program, click here.

Emerging Policy Leader Program


Emma Kelly

Emma, a dedicated nurse with nearly a decade of experience, has traversed various realms of healthcare, including theatres, emergency departments, pharmaceuticals, and currently, she holds the esteemed position of Head of Training. Her journey has been marked by a fervent commitment to improving patient care and contributing to the advancement of nursing practices. The Emerging Policy Leader Program Scholarship holds profound significance for Emma. This opportunity will empower her with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage with healthcare policies and make a lasting impact on the nursing profession. With a passion for shaping the future of healthcare, Emma envisions herself as an advocate for policies that enhance patient outcomes and elevate the nursing community. This scholarship will not only broaden Emma's understanding of healthcare policy but also provide her with a platform to influence systemic changes. Emma is eager to leverage this opportunity to become a proactive force in shaping healthcare policies that prioritise patient well-being and support the growth of nursing professionals. She envisions a career marked by advocacy, leadership, and a continued commitment to excellence in patient care.

Nancy Zhang

Dr. Zhang is a critical care nurse and nursing academic, currently at the Australian Catholic University. She is actively engaged in both undergraduate and postgraduate nursing education. Her research focuses on exploring the perceptions of Australian healthcare professionals regarding the use of acupuncture and acupressure in perioperative care. Dr Zhang’s work aims to establish a framework facilitating integration and supporting patient-centered care in preventing postoperative pain, nausea, and vomiting. Being awarded the ACN Emerging Policy Leader Program Scholarship is a profound honor for Dr. Zhang. This award is set to significantly advance her career as a nursing academic. It offers an invaluable platform to broaden her research scope, enabling deeper exploration of avenues driving transformative change within perioperative care. With the scholarship's support, Dr. Zhang anticipates not only enriching her academic journey but also making substantial contributions to the nursing field. This includes fostering innovation and advocating evidence-based practices that directly benefit patient care.

Nicole Hibbert MACN

Nicole is a dedicated Registered Nurse with three years of experience at a tertiary paediatric hospital in WA, brings a wealth of expertise to the healthcare sector. Actively involved in various Australian College of Nursing Committees, Nicole has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing the nursing profession and improving healthcare policies. Driven by a passion for efficient resource allocation, Nicole aims to contribute significantly to the development of policies within the hospital, ensuring the optimal use of funds while optimising patient outcomes. With a focus on proactive healthcare strategies, Nicole aspires to make preventable healthcare measures more effective and sustainable. Additionally, Nicole is eager to support and mentor student nurses throughout their university journey, fostering the next generation of healthcare professionals and supporting nurses to work and advance at their full scope of practice. Securing this scholarship is crucial for Nicole's career advancement and will serve as a catalyst for further contributions to state and national health policies. The financial support provided by the scholarship will enable Nicole to pursue additional education and training, enhancing their skills and knowledge to make a lasting impact on the nursing field.

Nilufeur McKay

Dr Nilufeur McKay is a Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator for the Master of Nursing (NP) course at Edith Cowan University. She completed her Master of Nursing (NP) at Arizona State University and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Johns Hopkins University. Nilufeur has over 20 years nursing experience, 15 years as a Cardiology NP in the United States and Australia. Having an international perspective coupled with her academic role has provided Nilufeur insight into the legislative barriers for NPs to practice to their full scope thereby affecting patients access to timely care.

Sonia Martin MACN

Sonia Martin, a dedicated Registered Nurse with 30 years of experience, is set to elevate her impact on healthcare through the Emerging Policy Leader Program. Sonia's journey began in 2018 when her passion to alleviate homelessness led her to establish a nationally acclaimed street health service. Leaving her public health sector job, she initiated change by providing healthcare from the back of a car, reaching those disengaged from healthcare for up to three decades. Sonia now continues her work through her company OneBridge. Recipient of the Dr Dorothea Sandars and Irene Lee Churchill Fellowship in 2022, Sonia's global travels to India, France, Italy, the UK, the USA, and Canada in 2023 furthered her commitment to improving access to primary healthcare and palliative care for people facing homelessness and poverty. Sonia's groundbreaking work has earned her the 2022 Outstanding Leadership Award in Entrepreneurship and the 2021 Health Minister's Nursing Trailblazer Award, showcasing her dedication to healthcare innovation. Now, with the Emerging Policy Leader Program, Sonia aims to amplify her influence. This opportunity equips her to use evidence-based research, identify policy gaps, and engage in advocacy on a national and global scale. Sonia's trajectory as an influential advocate and expert aligns with her vision to shape the future of healthcare of Australia, bringing equity and access to vulnerable populations. This program is a pivotal step for Sonia, enabling her to continue leading with compassion and inspiring positive change in the Australian healthcare landscape.


Emerging Research Leader Program scholarship recipients

The Emerging Research Leader program (ERLP) is designed to empower nurses to embark on an exciting research journey. This program is committed to nurturing the next generation of nursing leaders. We believe that by fostering research skills, we can keep nursing practice and healthcare at the cutting edge, ensuring top-notch person-centered care for all. The program provides professional growth opportunities, as scholars delve into the world of research, and also have the chance to publish findings as the lead author, all while receiving valuable research grants, sowing the seeds of innovation, led by nurses, for nurses.

Congratulations to our Emerging Research Leader program (ERLP) recipients for 2024.

To learn more about the Emerging Research Leader Program, click here.

Emerging Research Leader Program


Andrew Taylor MACN

Andrew is a Registered Nurse with 20 years of emergency nursing experience within the rural healthcare setting. In addition, Andrew has 10 years’ experience as Nurse Unit Manager of a busy emergency department and outpatient suite. He also has additional experience as Director of Nursing and Executive Officer/Director of Nursing and Midwifery. Andrew currently works as the Nurse Unit Manager of the Port Pirie Regional Health Service Emergency Department which sees over 13,000 patients per year. Andrew’s NUM role extends into managing the Outpatient Suite and the busy Nurse Led Ambulatory Service. From Andrew’s clinical, managerial, and executive roles, he describes himself as an innovative and dynamic leader with a clear vision to empower individuals and teams to reach their full potential. With a passion for excellence in rural health care, Andrew provides leadership and expertise to build sustainable models of care and workforce strategies. The Emerging Policy Leader Programme will enable Andrew to build a greater skill set in health care policy review/development, enabling Andrew to understand and utilise best practice in this important field to influence appropriate and relevant policy strategies within his local health network. In addition, the Emergency Policy Leader programme will grow professional networks and provide opportunity to influence nursing policy at a National and International level.

Bronwyn Coulton MACN

Bronwyn is a Registered Nurse (RN) with more than 20 years clinical experience in public and private health. Since her endorsement in 2016, she has gained extensive experience as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) within the stroke and neurovascular specialties, working at two tertiary stroke centres in metropolitan Melbourne. More recently, Bronwyn extended her specialist knowledge as an advanced practice nurse working in the neuroimmunology specialty. Bronwyn’s clinical expertise focuses on the management of acute stroke emergencies, including delivery of time-critical reperfusion therapies in the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke, and secondary prevention of cerebrovascular disease through intensive pharmacological and lifestyle modification of cardiovascular risk factors. In 2016 she and her colleagues designed and implemented a nurse practitioner-led transient ischaemic attack rapid access (TIARA) clinic at Austin Health, an award-winning clinic model which achieved outcomes comparable to international best care. TIARA outcomes have been presented at two national conferences and the NP-led service continues to deliver world class evidence-based care to patients with suspected TIA at Austin Health five days per week. Bronwyn has contributed to nursing research as a lead site investigator and research coordinator and enjoys collaborating with experts outside of the health profession, particularly within the device and technology fields, where she embraces technology-driven innovations in health care and patient self-management. Bronwyn is a passionate teacher with experience teaching Master of NP students. She gets excited about NP models of care, which promise to disrupt, reform and advance healthcare and she is very excited to be joining the La Trobe University Master of Nurse Practitioner teaching group.

Caitlin Kent

Caitlin Kent is driven by her love for lifelong learning and improving the well-being of others. As a Registered Nurse with years of frontline experience, she understands the power of improving the health and well-being of others, not just at the bedside - but through health promotion on a broader scale. And so in her efforts to affect this change, Caitlin is building on her existing Bachelor degrees of Nursing & Business, by undertaking the Emerging Research Leader Program in 2024 - to help create a health system where people thrive, through practical research that affects positive changes in clinical policies. Caitlin is currently working as a research nurse at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin and hopes to utilise this program to create a solid foundation of research skills, that will enable her to develop her own research into improving health procedures/health outcomes in existing areas of concern.

Cara Leishman

Cara is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Eastern Health in Melbourne, Victoria. After graduating from Monash University in 2010, Cara completed her Honours degree at Deakin University in 2012 with her thesis titled: Evaluation of a nurse-led smoking cessation clinic. Throughout her career, Cara’s clinical roles have varied between medical, surgical, and emergency nursing. In 2019, Cara became a Sessional Academic at Deakin University and was most recently awarded Associate Fellow (AFHEA) in 2023. Having found her passion for teaching, Cara returned to Monash University where she graduated with a Master of Advanced Nursing (with distinction) degree, specialising in nurse education in September 2023. Cara’s ambition is to become a lecturer in nursing to continue guiding students in their journey to becoming registered nurses. Cara believes the Emerging Research Leaders Program will provide her with the confidence to conduct independent research and navigate the world of academia. Cara looks forward to developing the tools to question, discover and solve concepts within nursing research. Cara’s area of interest in research is in innovative teaching methods within nurse education, as well as the experiences of student nurses within academic and clinical environments.

Cassandra Dickens

Cassandra has worked clinically as a nurse in the speciality of cancer care for 15 years. Throughout this time, she has been recognised as the Cancer Council Queensland Nurse of the Year (2022) and has been actively involved with specialty peak national and international bodies. Cassandra currently works as an Oncology Nurse Practitioner within the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service and is based at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Her interest in applying for the ACN Emerging Research Leader Program scholarship is to further develop and consolidate her knowledge related to research; with the intent to use the knowledge gained through the program to undertake research within her clinical practice area. Cassandra is hopeful that the ACN ERLP will lead to her conducting research into the functioning of oncology nurse practitioner-led clinics and result in the development and implementation of a national framework for nurse practitioners to use across a wide variety of specialties.

Emma Munro MACN

Emma is a clinical nurse with over 20 years’ experience including oncology, haematology and bone marrow transplant nursing. As a senior clinician she has substantial insight into the significant toxicities sustained by cancer patients undergoing various treatments and is conscious of the debilitating impact and consequences of these treatments. Emma is the lead for the medication safety accreditation portfolio within her unit. In collaboration with the safety and quality team and the nurse unit manager, Emma has developed and initiated nursing education based on local data, contributing to nurses’ clinical practice and knowledge in medication safety, especially PINCHAS drugs. Commitment to best practice has led Emma to a specific area of interest, the management of mucositis experienced by BMT patients and the challenges nurses have in managing patients’ pain, swallow and airway preservation. Improving clinical practice through the potential implementation of a nursing pathway would reduce practice variation and improve pain management in BMT patients. The ability to combine many years of clinical nursing experience with a research program will provide more opportunities by increasing knowledge, skills and confidence for Emma to explore research possibilities and projects. By integrating nursing research principals into clinical practice Emma will continue to mentor and support her colleagues.

Godfrey Martis

My name is Godfrey Martis. I am a Nurse Practitioner in Cardiology working at Logan Hospital, Queensland. As a Registered Nurse & Cardiology Nurse Practitioner, I have worked across tertiary, rural, and remote hospital settings over the last 15 years. Weirdly, even though I was born and bred in the busiest city in India, Mumbai, I have fallen in love with the Australian countryside and have had some of the best experiences working in Bush and Country Hospitals. I enjoy new challenges that push my boundaries to grow and develop innovative models of care in clinical practice. I am a novice researcher looking to draw research questions from my clinical experiences as a nurse practitioner in cardiology. The scholarship ACN's Emerging Research Leader program offers will allow me to grow, learn, develop research questions, and explore concepts through experienced research mentor support. Additionally, this scholarship will enable me to build my confidence and understanding of my future research journey and network with researchers of similar interests. I look forward to embarking on this journey and building the bridge of clinical and evidence-based practice through research.

Hannah Joseph

Hannah is a Nurse Consultant working with SA Police as part of the Mental Health Co-Responder program. This is a new collaborative initiative in South Australia aimed at enhancing the efficiency of managing mental health incidences in the community and reducing the demand on emergency services. Hannah graduated The University of Adelaide in 2013 and completed her post graduated specialisation in Mental Health in 2015. She has worked primarily in inpatient units in Adelaide, Melbourne, Darwin and overseas in Ireland working with children, adolescents and adults. As a successful applicant of the Emerging Research Leader Scholarship, Hannah hopes to expand her knowledge on supporting individuals in crisis in an emergency response. Her focus lies in investigating evidence-based treatments for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, with the ultimate goal of offering a more person-centered approach during their interactions with law enforcement. The scholarship will equip Hannah with a solid foundation in research principles, empowering her to undertake further studies in this crucial area.

Haustine Patt Rempillo Panganiban MACN

Haustine is thrilled to be selected for ACN's inaugural Emerging Research Leadership Program. He believes that the program will help him enhance his research skills and make a valuable contribution to the nursing profession's rising research-based knowledge. Haustine's research interest will be centred around the utilization of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) by nurses and the actual benefits of this practice for the workforce. His current works that combine research and informatics have already shown promising results, and he aspires to apply these benefits in the nursing field. Haustine completed his bachelor's degree in 2007 and has worked in the nursing education and informatics sector since then. Originally from the Philippines, he began his informatics career in 2014 when he worked overseas, focusing on multiple EMR initiatives and project implementations. He moved to Australia in 2019 to pursue his Master of Nursing at the University of Sydney, but he could only complete the program's first year. For the past two years, he has been working as a Clinical Informatics Officer for Research at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Royal Women’s Hospital, where he focuses on optimizing the EMR to conduct clinical research.

Indiara Carvalho Dos Santos Patel MACN

A compassionate and highly skilled Registered Nurse with experience across various settings, including community health, Aged Care, education, and research. Track record of 9 publications in medical research on palliative care, chronic diseases, and nursing practice. This journey has reached new heights with the distinguished honour of being selected for the Emerging Research Leader Program Scholarship. This desirable scholarship marks a pivotal moment in her career, providing unparalleled professional and academic growth opportunities. The financial support provided by the scholarship not only eases the financial constraints of academic pursuits but also opens doors to unparalleled mentorship and collaboration with esteemed researchers. Aligned with her aspirations, the program's focus on cultivating emerging leaders provides a fitting platform to deepen her involvement in cutting-edge nursing research. The Emerging Research Leader Program Scholarship is not merely a recognition but a catalyst for her to elevate her contributions to patient care, innovation, and the broader landscape of nursing scholarship. Her journey exemplifies the transformative power of education and underscores her commitment to shaping the future of healthcare through impactful research.

Kristina Dimamay

Kristina is a dedicated palliative care nurse with a passion for providing compassionate and holistic care to patients and their families. With several years of experience in the field, she has developed a deep understanding of the unique challenges and complexities faced by individuals with life-limiting conditions. Throughout her career, Kristina has consistently demonstrated a commitment to continuous learning and professional growth. She actively seeks opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills in palliative care, attending conferences, workshops, and pursuing advanced certifications. The Emerging Research Leader Program Scholarship holds immense significance for Kristina's career as a palliative care nurse. It represents an incredible opportunity to further her expertise and contribute to the advancement of palliative care through research. This scholarship would provide her with the necessary resources and support to delve deeper into her chosen field, exploring innovative approaches and evidence-based practices.

Mele Palu

Meles long career in nursing has been characterised by a commitment to underserved communities and volunteer work in developing countries and the South Pacific Islands. With a background in perioperative nursing, she has worked in pre-dominantly urban-based hospitals and recently in remote and rural settings. She has demonstrated ability to navigate complex health landscapes, advocate for marginalised communities, and collaborate seamlessly with multidisciplinary teams in resource constrained cross-cultural settings. Her nursing practice is informed by a Master in Public Health and dissertation drawing a link between cultural safety and human rights where accountability is made explicit through Australia’s binding obligations to 'respect, protect and fulfil' as ratified under an international agreement (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2000). The program's one-on-one mentorship and online learning components will provide Mele with the language and tools to contribute systematically and meaningfully to the health care rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Australia. This scholarship is not only a professional milestone but also a testament to her dedication as a nurse from an under represented group in nursing strengthening Indigenous roles in health leadership and decision-making, both through Indigenous health governance structures and the health care system as a whole.

Michael Leocadio MACN

Michael is an internationally educated nurse, who served as a nurse, researcher, educator, and administrator in the Philippines, South Korea, the Middle East, and Australia. He has a doctoral degree in nursing and currently a scholar of ACN to specialise in the field of mental health nursing and digital health. He is also a certified life coach and mindfulness practitioner and certified healthcare simulation educator. Currently, Michael functions as the Staff Development Educator at Bethesda Clinic, Western Australia. Aside from mental health nursing, Michael is committed to work on how electronic medical record (EMR) can facilitate efficient and effective nursing care. Michael is also one of the Emerging Nurse Leaders mentored and trained by the Australian College of Nursing. Through the Emerging Research Leader program, he is aiming to expand his research networks and opportunities while enhancing his capabilities in scientific inquiry.

Nicole Psaila

Nicole is an experienced Nursing Education Coordinator and Perioperative Clinical Nurse Educator, with extensive experience in postgraduate nursing education and novice program development. Holding a Master of Clinical Education, Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Practice, Leadership and Management certificate, and membership to the Golden Key International Honor Society, Nicole is a passionate educator with a drive to inspire, motivate, lead and mentor educators to provide outstanding educational opportunities. Having worked at Northern Health in Victoria for 25 years, Nicole has progressively advanced to more senior nursing and leadership roles, including Acting Director of Education: Nursing & Midwifery. Nicole is excited to be awarded an ACN Emerging Nurse Researcher Scholarship and intends to utilise the learnings obtained to promote research within the Nursing Education team at Northern Health. Having focused her Masters project on mentorship, Nicole has developed a keen interest in not only learner wellbeing, but the wellbeing and preparation of the education team supporting these learners. This program provides an exciting opportunity to commence a mentored research project, facilitating skills and knowledge to explore and impact the nurse educator experience, with a longer-term goal of pursuing a PhD, and contributing to broader nursing research and knowledge.

Sam Miller MACN

Sam is a Nursing Education Coordinator responsible for managing the preregistration nursing portfolio for a large, metropolitan, public health service in Melbourne. Sam is passionate about ensuring clinical placements are enjoyable for students and preceptors while also complementing theoretical learning and preparing the student for the nursing workforce. Sam completed a Bachelor of Nursing with Honours in 2006 and has added several postgraduate qualifications with a focus across clinical nursing, clinical education & higher education. Sam completed a Master of Advanced Nursing Practice at The University of Melbourne in 2021 undertaking a thesis titled Management of Behaviour of Concern incidents in an Adult ICU Setting. Receiving this scholarship will support Sam to undertake research into exploring Registered Nurses’ attitudes to supporting learners in their clinical areas under a preceptorship model. Given the current nursing workforce challenges there is an increasing number of preregistration nurse learners in the healthcare system, there is a need to ensure RNs are suitably equipped with the skills to support these learners through delivering feedback, completing assessments & teaching clinical skills. As a leader in clinical education, it is important to Sam to be skilled in appraising current research and integrating contemporary research findings into practice.


ACN Study Tour scholarship recipients – Turkey and Greece Nursing Tour

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Study Tour Scholarship offers Fellows and Members an exciting opportunity to enhance their learning and professional skills, intertwining history, nursing and culture into their scholarship. In 2022 nurses experienced South Africa, in 2023 Vietnam and in 2024 the ACN Study Tour will be travelling through Turkey and Greece from 15 September 2024 to 27 September 2024. A special thanks to our travel partner Jon Baines Tours with their support for this scholarship.

Congratulations to our Study Tour recipients for 2024.

To learn more about the ACN Study Tour Program, click here.


Belynda Abbott FACN

Belynda Jane Abbott FACN, MHlthLdr, GDipClinEd, DipGov, BN has over 20 years’ experience and has held a number of nursing leadership roles within the Australian health care system. Belynda is currently undertaking the Global Nurse Leadership Institute program through the International Council of Nurses. Belynda is a published author and has held the position of Board Director for Australian College of Nursing (ACN), ACN Chair for Queensland, Emerging Nurse Leader mentor and was awarded a Fellow of ACN in 2014. This incredible study tour to Turkey and Greece is important in understanding the history of nursing and how Florence Nightingale and our military nurses shaped the future of the nursing profession.

Carol Crevacore MACN

As ECU’s Director of International for the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Carol coordinates eight annual study tours for undergraduate students. Joining the 2024 Turkey/Greece tour will allow her to experience firsthand what her students experience. This tour will offer multifaceted benefits, including professional growth, a deeper cultural competence and greater global awareness. Beyond traditional classroom and hospital settings, Carol is looking forward to a rich learning experience. Exploring diverse healthcare systems, cultural practices, and clinical approaches will deepen her understanding of health challenges in Turkey and Greece. Importantly, Carol looks forward to networking with like minded nurses across Australia as part of this unique opportunity.

Stefanie Edson MACN

Stefanie, a dedicated Emergency Nurse Practitioner Candidate, seamlessly blends her love for travel with a keen ability to share valuable knowledge. Stefanie is committed to advancing her profession and actively contributes to nursing by disseminating her wealth of experiences and insights. Her journey is not only a personal pursuit of excellence but also a mission to elevate the standards of nursing practice. On the ACN study tour, she aims to delve into resource utilization, cultivating a robust network whilst fostering international collaboration. Stefanie envisions returning to Tasmania armed with knowledge to empower her fellow nurses and inspire future Nurse Practitioners.

Terri Antonio MACN

Terri is a Registered Nurse with 38 years’ experience working in health and human services. She is Director Clinical Governance for Serco’s Citizen Services Business Unit is AsPac. She is responsible for clinical leadership and governance of Serco’s health-related contracts and provides health SME support for growth activities. She is a Fellow and Certified Health Executive of the Australasian College of Health Services Managers and has previously held positions including Health Services Chief Executive Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Nursing, Consultant - Health services organisational improvement & innovation and Subject Matter Expert - Health services solutions and transformational change. During her career she has played a key role in numerous successful organisational transformational change management activities including; Serco’s transition of on-base health services for the Australian Defence Force Health Services Contract, Southern Queensland Correctional Centre’s transition from a Male to Female health service model, the health services solution for the Adelaide Remand Centre and Western Australia’s Centre for National Resilience, Department of Health & Human Services Victoria’s Disability Services de-institutionalisation program, Grampians Region’s Maternity and Neonatal Referral Service and Australia’s introduction to the International ICS Improved Wound Care Program. Her management and leadership capability have been demonstrated in executive roles accountable for the delivery of high quality, high performing, successfully accredited, acute, secondary, primary, community and aged care services, in both public and private sectors.