The Bullwinkel Scholars Program


To coincide with the recent unveiling of the statue of Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel AO MBE ARRC ED FNM FRCNA, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has announced details of the Bullwinkel Scholars Program.

The 22 scholarships will honour the memory and sacrifice of the 21 nurses who were massacred at Radji Beach on Bangka Island, Indonesia, in February 1942, along with the sole survivor Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel.

Applications closed. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application late December 2023.

Applications are now open and will close 11:59pm AEDT, Tuesday 10 October 2023.

Apply now

About the scholarships

These new scholarships for registered nurses, funded by The Bullwinkel Project, will allow future generations of nurses to lead their contemporary journey in providing exceptional skilled health care for all Australians.

They will be known as The Bullwinkel Scholars. Twenty-one scholarships are in memory of the nurses, plus one in the name of Vivian Bullwinkel.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on 16 February 2024, on the anniversary of the day of the massacre 82 years ago.

Each scholarship will be valued up to $10,000 in perpetuity. To donate to The Bullwinkel Scholars Program, click here.

The scholarships will be for the:

  • ACN Institute of Leadership Program Scholarship
    Valued up to $10,000 for enrolment into an appropriate ACN Institute of Leadership program together with a contribution towards the cost of attending. There are 21 scholarships available. Applicants must be a registered nurse and meet the relevant prerequisites for the Leadership program they wish to complete and agree to the ACN Foundation Scholarship Terms and Conditions.
  • ACN Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel Study Travel Scholarship
    Available to all nurses, preferably First nations, Indigenous Australians, Pacific Island Nations, valued up to $10,000 and provides the opportunity for a registered nurse to study best practice elsewhere in Australia and/or overseas to share learning across borders.  There is one scholarship available. The recipient of this scholarship will be provided with the opportunity to share their experiences and learnings through a Keynote address at the National Nursing Forum and/or through an article in the Hive magazine. Applicants must:
    • hold a current relevant nurse registration
    • be currently employed in the nursing profession
    • intend to undertake a postgraduate course, conference, or workshop, nationally or internationally in 2024 that will enhance their career as a nurse leader

Who can apply

Applications are open to nurses from all specialities within the nursing profession who aspire to be a leader at whatever stage of their career, who can demonstrate their commitment to:

  • the nursing profession.
  • their own investment in personal and professional development.
  • contribute over and above their position description to deliver the care that all Australians deserve.

Successful applicants will demonstrate the attributes and qualities that have cemented the respect and regard the nursing profession holds today.

Applications that do not demonstrate commitment to the nursing profession, improving patient and health outcomes, or exemplify the values of the nurses who made the ultimate sacrifice on Radji Beach, Banka Island will not be considered.


Selection criteria

  • What have you done to contribute over and above your position description to improve patient care and health outcomes?
  • How do you individually make a difference in your own workplace to advance the nursing profession?
  • How would becoming a Bullwinkel Scholar advance your career and current leadership skills from where they are currently to where you aspire to be?

Supporting documents required

  • Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency
  • Citizenship of your country (if applicable)
  • Current AHPRA nurse registration certificate
  • Current CV and Employment details
  • Recommendation/letter of support from direct manager
  • Confirmation of First Nations or Torres Strait Islander descent (If applicable)
  • Confirmation of residential address (if applicable), such as a gas or electricity bill or rates notice.
  • Identification, such as Drivers license or Passport


On 14th February 1942, 65 Australian Army Nursing Service nurses were evacuated from Singapore on the SS Vyner Brooke due to the pending Japanese invasion. Twelve died when the ship was bombed in the Bangka Strait shortly after leaving port.

Twenty-two of the group made their way to the nearby Bangka Island where they cared for the wounded for two days, including women and children, civilians, and soldiers.

Two days later, on the 16 of February, the Japanese army found the group on the beach, and the surviving soldiers were killed. The nurses were ordered to walk into the sea. Twenty-one were shot and killed, with the only survivor of the massacre Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel AO, MBE, ARRC, ED, FNM, FRCNA. Lt Col Bullwinkel survived after receiving non-fatal gunshot wounds.

After the war, Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel became Matron of the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital in Melbourne. Lt Col Bullwinkel established the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre (ANMC) with fellow prisoners of war, Betty Jeffrey and Beryl Woodbridge. She continued to advocate for better education and conditions for nurses and was instrumental in transitioning nursing education into the university sector.

Lt Col Bullwinkel was the first female member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial.


Purpose – Towards a legacy

The Bullwinkel Scholar funding will be invested by the ACN Foundation with the aim of providing the scholarships in perpetuity. Ensuring ongoing funding of the scholarships would support ACN’s desire to establish a legacy for these Australian nurses, one which recognises their sacrifice and commitment to the nursing profession.

You can read the stories of each nurse through 'Meet the Bangka Island Nurses' NurseClick article.
























Artist source: Rupert Porter

2024 Scholar recipients


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

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.


Founding partners

Thank you to all donors to The Bullwinkel Project – every donation contributes to ensuring it’s success. Leadership donations include:

  • Ro Hogan in memory of her parents and grandparents
  • The David and Jennie Sutherland Foundation
Aspen Medical



Funding provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care and Department of Defence.

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
Australian Government Defence