Newsletter May 2023

Newsletter May 2023


Video Message from CATSINaM CEO, Dr Ali Drummond, on Federal Health Budget Highlights

Importantly from CATSINaM’s perspective, this health budget demonstrates a political will to reform how primary care is delivered and to address critical age care matters including nursing workforce shortages and quality aged care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” (Dr Drummond)

Federal Health Budget 2023-24 – Highlights

The 2023–24 Budget includes $101.0 billion for health and $36.0 billion for aged care: to build a stronger Medicare ($5.7b), health prevention and protection ($1.1b), tackling smoking and vaping ($737.0m), mental health and suicide prevention ($586.9m), and First Nations health ($818.5m).

Growing health workforce

  • $50.2m for changes to scholarship arrangements – with a focus on nursing, midwifery, and First Nations health workers – will boost the workforce in primary care, aged care, regional and rural areas, and other areas of workforce shortage, including 1,850 postgraduate scholarships to train more nurse practitioners and endorsed midwives.
  • $4.2m to fund an extra 6,000 nursing clinical placements in primary and aged care.
  • $1m to fund incentives to get 500 nurses back into the workforce.
  • $445.1m to increase workforce incentives for primary care practices to employ various health professionals to provide team-based, patient-centred, high-quality primary care.
  • $46.8m to:
    • Increase Medicare patient rebates for care provided by nurse practitioners by 30%.
    • To enable nurse practitioners and participating midwives to prescribe PBS medicines and provide services under Medicare without the need for a legislated collaborative arrangement and will increase MBS rebates for standard nurse practitioner attendance items.

Restoring Dignity to Aged Care

  • $11.3 billion to fund a 15% pay increase for aged care workers.
  • $77.3m to increase the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program funding to ensure First Nations older people and elders access high-quality, culturally safe care.
  • $8.2m to build the capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to ensure on Country services.
  • $1.6m to fund the appointment of an interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner.
  • $0.7m to establish a new Aged Care Taskforce to review aged care funding arrangements and develop options to make the system fair and equitable for all Australians.

Announcements impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and healthcare

  • $17.1m to fund First Nations people’s uptake of annual health checks, expand both the Deadly Choices program and the Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive and $1.4m for the ‘Strong Born’ awareness campaign for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). $28.2m to increase renal services.
  • $238.5m for First Nations cancer patients to access culturally safe, respectful, and responsive cancer care through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and mainstream cancer care services. Up to 260 new positions for cancer treatment and other supports will be created.
  • $141.2m to support First Nations peoples with smoking and vaping prevention, reduction, or cessation.
  • $10.5m for First Nations peoples to access mental health support in the lead-up to, during and following the referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution.

See details of these and other announcements in the Stakeholder pack – Budget 2023-24 and the update from the Australian Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.

Events and Activities

Thank you, CATSINaM Members! Nurse Practitioner (NP) Workforce Plan Released

On 16 May, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Ged Kearney MP, announced the release of the Nurse Practitioner Workforce Plan, Increasing access to health and aged care: a strategic plan for the nurse practitioner workforce (the Plan). The Plan is designed to support the growth of a capable and resilient nurse practitioner (NP) workforce that delivers person-centred, evidence-based, safe, and compassionate care.

CATSINaM was a member of the Nurse Practitioner Plan Steering Committee and ensured members were deeply involved in the Committee’s formation and the development of the Plan. Representatives from CATSINaM and the Department of Health and Aged Care co-hosted yarning circles in 2022 and 2023 to engage and consult with NPs. Valuable feedback and ideas were gathered on improving access to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and increasing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NP workforce.

Our members are the backbone of CATSINaM—a huge thank you to our CATSINaM NPs, who gave their time and expertise to this process. We are grateful for your commitment to our collective work.

CATSINaM joins Alliance for Perinatal and Reproductive Justice.

CATSINaM joins a collective of Indigenous and non-Indigenous physicians, nurses, midwives, researchers, Elders, Knowledge Holders, and advocates to call for urgent action on Indigenous perinatal health, justice, and wellness.

“Babies and childbirth are sacred. Too many Indigenous families are experiencing preventable harm and death in high income countries such as Canada, United States, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. Even one is too many. This is a systemic structural failure of multiple governments to address their ongoing legacies of colonialism, provide reparations for these harms, and uphold the Rights of Indigenous peoples as asserted in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Read more here:

CATSINaM Regional Conference

We’ve changed the date!

CATSINaM’s 2023 Regional Congress will be held at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa in Bundjalung Country, Kingscliff, NSW, from Tuesday, 28th to Thursday, 30th November 2023. Places will be limited. CATSINaM members will be prioritised. 

For more information, contact:


IDM & IND Webinars and Yarns Celebrating Our Nurses and Midwives

On the International Day of the Midwife 2023 (5th May) and on International Nurses Day 2023 (12th May), CATSINaM members participated in webinars to honour all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives making a difference in health care across the country and internationally.

The well-attended events allowed host CATSINaM CEO, Dr Ali Drummond, to connect, catch up and yarn with members.

At the IDM webinar, members heard from Professor Cath Chamberlain (Prof Cath Chamberlain – University of Melbourne). Professor Chamberlain presented on the Replanting the Birth Trees project.

At the IND webinar, members heard from Professor Karen Adams (Prof Karen Adams — Monash University). Professor Adams presented on the ‘Achieving true representation of Indigenous people in nursing and midwifery’ research project that received an ARC grant in 2022. The project addresses an absence of true representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and knowledge in nursing and midwifery.

Thank you to all who attended!

CATSINaM and Queensland Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office: Our Ways – First Nations Nurse, Midwife and Student Workshop.

CATSINaM student members, President, and CEO, joined over 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses, midwives, and practitioners in attending the inaugural – “Our Ways: First Nations nurses, midwives and students’ workshop”. The workshop was a partnership initiative with Queensland’s OCNMO.

“Our Ways” took place at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Kelvin Grove Campus, on Monday, 15th May, with a Welcome to Country from Uncle Cheg and an opening address by Q Health’s Chief First Nations Officer, Haylene Grogan.

The workshop focussed on strategic conversations about First Nations nursing and midwifery workforce, education, and leadership.

The workshop was preceded by a CATSINaM Student Plenary dinner for CATSINaM Student Members on Sunday, the 14th of May. The dinner provided an opportunity to discuss strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing and midwifery student networks and building awareness of CATSINaM’s role as the peak body.

(Right to left) Ali Drummond (CATSINaM CEO), Haylene Grogan (Chief First Nations Officer, QLD Health), Angela Young (Exec Director Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Engagement-Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service), Rosie Borey (Nursing Director, First Nations)

CATSINaM CEO Presentation Ali Drummond

CATSINaM CEO Presentation – Ali Drummond

CATSINaM Student Member & Nursing Cadet, Amber Whighton (University of Sunshine Coast Nursing)

CATSINaM Student Member & Nursing Cadet, Amber Wighton (University of Sunshine Coast Nursing)

Advice on Health and Well-being

Studying, working, and juggling the pressures of everyday life may take a toll on your health and well-being. Being a nursing or midwifery student or new graduate can expose you to new situations that you may find confronting and challenging to manage. The Nurse & Midwife support in health and wellbeing provides some advice on support during these times. Check this resource out and let us know how useful it was for you by emailing (subject: N&M support).

Posts from CATSINaM Members and Partners


From the Office of the Queensland Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (QLD OCNMO)

  • The Office of the Queensland Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the inaugural Growing Deadly Families Showcase 2023 (19-20 June 2023) – Strong Mothers, Healthy Babies: Growing Deadly Families!. 
  • The Growing Deadly Families (GDF) Showcase 2023 is an event designed to promote, connect, and celebrate First Nations maternity models across Queensland by highlighting workforce, engagement, partnerships, and innovative ways to deliver culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander mothers, babies, and families.

From the Office of the Australian Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO)

From the Department of Health and Aged Care

  • The Australian Immunisation Handbook has been recently updated, featuring important changes. These include revised influenza vaccination guidance in the context of COVID-19 vaccination, interim recommendations for extended valency conjugate pneumococcal vaccines in adults and people who are immunocompromised, and more. 

From Queensland Health

  • HEALTHQ32: A vision for Queensland’s health system recently launched by the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath. HEALTHQ32 is the realisation of months of extensive statewide consultation with the health workforce, care partners, the community and people who frequently access the health system and services.
  • Attached are supporting materials for your information and distribution among your networks. Additional resources can be found here at this link or by contacting the Reform Office via

From Queensland Government Employment Services – Human Resources & Engagement

From The Director, Immunisation Foundation of Australia

  • The Immunisation Foundation of Australia has established Australia’s inaugural RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Awareness Week from 4-10 June 2023 to raise awareness of RSV. This unpredictable and potentially dangerous virus puts thousands of infants in hospitals annually and can cause serious long-term health issues.
  • Your support: if you would like to help raise awareness of RSV this winter, please learn, and download our RSV and Me Awareness Week Kit. It contains campaign assets for print and digital purposes, as well as content inspiration for communication platforms such as newsletters and social media and also encourages you to use the hashtags #RSVandMeand #RSVweek23

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare


From Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) Ltd

  • Ready to start your nursing journey in aged & community care? Register now for ACCPA’s Aged Care Nursing Transition to Practice

From End-of-Life Directions for Aged Care

From The Humpty Dumpty Foundation

  • The Foundation seeks nominations from registered First Nation’s health professionals to join its Medical Program Advisory Committee (MPAC). The Humpty Dumpty Foundation is a national health promotion charity providing Australian health services with paediatric medical equipment and initiatives to help improve the care of babies and children.
  • [Please note, this is not a CATSINaM role but might be an excellent opportunity for a CATSINaM member. Please contact the Foundation directly; all information can be found here – MPAC First Nations Advertisement]

From Wayla Productions

  • Walya Productions has launched Course Two ‘Community Develop and Community Equity. A course designed to understand how to support strength base approach to overcoming the poverty cycle from an Aboriginal community perspective and which highlights two community trial sites to share possible solutions.
  • If you are interested in the course, we have provided a link. Please feel free to circulate through your networks.

From the Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (ACORN)

  • New Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ACORN – Diane Harapin |

Events - Conferences

We look forward to your feedback and queries. Please email us at: or follow our social media platforms.

Thank you 
CATSINaM Secretariat