Born and raised Kalkadoon on her grandmother’s ancestral lands in North West Queensland with connections to the Djunke/Djaku-nde peoples in South West Queensland, Professor West continues a family legacy of four generations of Aboriginal nurses and a long line of healers that include her mother, a twin sister and a brother who are Registered Nurses and twin daughters who are studying Nursing and Midwifery.
Professor 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.
She was Australia’s first Nursing Director in a tertiary hospital with a dedicated portfolio of Indigenous Health and 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 at Griffith University.
Professor West is an active researcher who leads the Yuwan Gulgan study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Education and Training at Griffith University which aims to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety education and training through an Indigenous Research lens.
Professor West was recently acknowledged for her outstanding research leadership as the 2020 Lowitja Institute Cranlana Award recipient and she is the only Aboriginal Nurse in the country who is a recipient of both the CATSINaM Sally Goold Award and Fellowship.