Vanessa Browne


I am a proud Larrakia, Wulna and Chinese woman, born in Adelaide and survivor of Cyclone Tracey in Darwin. I started my nursing career as a Nurse Assistant in a nursing home in 1993 while studying my Bachelor of Nursing at the University of South Australia. I worked in the Royal Adelaide Hospital for a couple of years before I started my study for Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing at Flinders University. I then worked at Glenside Campus for around 16 years moving between Rural and Remote Acute Inpatient Unit, Psychiatric Intensive Care and the Emergency Triage and Liaison Service. In my time with Rural and Remote, I was seconded to a rural area for a few months and  assisted with an emergency response to the Port Lincoln fires. I also spent a year in New Zealand working in an Acute Mental Health Unit which also included a rehabilitation and Psychiatric Intensive care unit. I won the Excellence in Practice Aboriginal Nurse/Midwife Award in the Nursing & Midwifery Excellence Awards in 2016.

I completed my Masters in Nurse Practitioner at the University of South Australia in 2019. Currently, I am working in a Community Mental Health service. I have been in the community for the past 4 years working towards increasing the profile of the mental health service and assisting our community to navigate the systems, understand illness, symptoms and strive for wellness. I also focus on educating non-Aboriginal clinicians about engaging with our Aboriginal consumers with cultural responsiveness.

I love nursing and in particular mental health nursing. I am passionate about encouraging our up and coming nurses to complete their nursing degrees and possibly consider mental health. I am a strong believer that with support and mentoring we can better encourage our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses to reach beyond their potential and help them to make a difference in the attitudes and stigma that is often experienced in mainstream services by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander nurses and consumers/patients/clients/community members.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this Nation.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Lands on which our company is located and where we conduct our business. We pay our respects to Countries, Creator, Ancestors and Elders, past, present and future.

CATSINaM is committed to honouring Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images, videos, voices and names of people who have since passed away.