CATSINaM Appoints New CEO

September 1st 2020 – The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) today announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive
Officer, Professor Roianne West.

CATSINaM Chairperson, Marni Tuala welcomed Professor West and said “The Board and I are excited about the future of our organisation and the work we will do together. We truly believe we have secured the country’s best to lead CATSINaM”.

Professor Roianne West is a Kalkadunga and Djaku-nde woman hailing from her grandmother’s ancestral lands near Mount Isa giving her an excellent appreciation of challenges facing our members in rural, remote and regional settings.

Her drive to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is part of a long family tradition and includes careers of nursing spanning four generations. Prof. West has a twin sister and a brother who are also Registered Nurses and twin daughters who are studying Nursing and Midwifery.

Prof. West has completed a Bachelor of Nursing, a Masters of Mental Health Nursing, and a PhD which developed a model of excellence for increasing Indigenous nurses in Australia 2012.

Her depth and breadth of experience in leadership positions in hospitals, policy, VET, and academia over more than 20 years where she began her journey as an Aboriginal health worker in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service means she is well placed to continue to lead the realisation of CATSINaM’s vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives play a pivotal and respected role in achieving health equity across Australia’s health system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Professor West was Australia’s first Nursing Director in a tertiary hospital with a dedicated portfolio of Indigenous Health.

She was also Australia’s first Professor of Indigenous Health in a joint appointment between a state health service and a University school of nursing and midwifery, Foundation Chair in First Peoples Health, Director of the First Peoples Health Unit and the inaugural Dean of First Peoples Health all at Griffith University.

Prof. West is an active researcher and leads the Yuwan Gulgan (YG) study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Education and Training at Griffith University which aims to improve safety and quality in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety health professional education and training through an Indigenous Research lens. Prof West was recently acknowledged for her outstanding research leadership when announced as the 2020 Lowitja Institute Cranlana.

“The CATSINaM Elders Council welcomes Professor Roianne West as the new CATSINaM CEO. Roianne will bring to our organisation her wealth of experience as a well renowned leader in health, academia and research. We face exciting times ahead in the midst of our challenges as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We are confident that Roianne’s unique style and the networks she has fostered will open new doors of opportunity for our organisation to walk through.” Aunty Dr Doseena Fergie OAM – CATSINaM Inaugural Elders Council Member.

Prof. West is the only Aboriginal Nurse in the country currently who is a recipient of both the CATSINaM Sally Goold Award and Fellowship.

Prof. West commences her new role on Monday 5th October, 2020.

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