Dr Rhonda Marriott RMHN, RN, RM, PhD Murd., MSc Nsg Curtin, MRCNA, MACMHN Member CATSIN.
Head of School of Nursing, Murdoch University, Rhonda is the first Indigenous Head of a University School of Nursing in Australia. As the founding Head of School, Rhonda has developed the teaching program from the establishment of the School four years ago. During her tenure at Murdoch University, Rhonda has made a significant contribution to teaching, curriculum development and research, particularly in the area of Indigenous research. Rhonda’s teaching research and curriculum activities are informed by her professional qualifications and experience which extend over four decades.
Rhonda has a close working relationship with the Peel Health Campus to ensure the School’s activities are responsive to regional needs. Rhonda also maintains a high level of professional involvement with her role as the Deputy Chair of the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery, and the Indigenous representative member of the WA Quality and Safety in Health Committee.
Two examples of her outstanding innovations in curriculum development are in the implementation of flexible pathways for entry into the Murdoch Bachelor of Nursing. The first is the Peel Nursing Combo and the second is the four weeks intensive Koort Mooditj (Strong Heart) program.
The Peel Nursing Combo is an important collaboration between Murdoch University and Challenger TAFE which has the potential to make a significant contribution to future sustainability of the health workforce in the Peel region. Koort Mooditj responds directly to the national imperative to address disparities in access to tertiary training for Indigenous health professionals. As only one of a handful of such programs nationally, its unique approach has been recognised in a Cross-Sectoral Lighthouse Grant from DEST to further extend this innovation to the development of additional entry pathways for Indigenous students into the Bachelor of Nursing.
Rhonda is strongly committed to the provision of excellence and innovation in teaching and in supporting staff to reach their potential. The School has a team of highly talented staff at early points in their careers. A high proportion of her activities centre on mentoring and professional development and she firmly believes this investment will result in significant long term benefit for the school and the university.