Newsletter – Winter 2024



CATSINaM acknowledges our core funding provider and supporter, DoHAC

The CATSINaM Newsletter will be released every quarter. Our Newsletter will celebrate and showcase stories about CATSINaM members. If you are a CATSINaM member with a deadly story, interesting insight, or awesome news that is relevant to our community, we want to hear from you! Contact

In this edition:

Message from CATSINaM CEO Dr Ali Drummond 

Hello members,

It’s getting cold here on Ngunnawal & Ngambri Country, especially for an Island man. But no matter how cold it gets here it is always a privilege to live and work on this country.

This past quarter has been a busy time for me and the CATSINaM team, and this edition of the CATSINaM newsletter captures some of our work. I wanted to highlight a couple key initiatives in my update.

We ran a campaign International Nurses Day (IND) and International Day of the Midwife (IDM) that recognised the themes for this year and highlighted the unique contribution that we bring to quality and safe health care for our mob, and to the broader Australian community.

A big shout out to all those members who participated in our IND and IDM campaign. I was thrilled to hear from so many deadly midwives this year! Thank you mob.

The other exciting update relates to a CATSINaM legacy initiative, the LINMEN program (Leaders in Indigenous Nursing and Midwifery Education Network). We have re-establish a LINMEN Advisory Group made up of dedicated and recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurse and midwife academics, and the amazing Aunty Professor Doseena Fergie has honoured us by agreeing to be the LINMEN Elder. Au esoau, big thank you to you Aunt!

If you are an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or non-Indigenous CATSINaM member who is an academic, tutor, nurse educator, clinical facilitator, or clinical preceptor, I strongly encourage you to join LINMEN. It is a community that engages with theory, shares practices, and supports each other to deliver quality cultural safety and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health education.

Looking ahead. We have the 2024 National Conference on Walyalup (Fremantle) later this year, and tickets will go on sale on Monday 10 June 2024. Set your alarms now!

The theme is ‘Stand Stronger Together, Yoogoo moorditj doiyntj-doiyntj’. Au esoau Nyoongar & CATSINaM Elder Aunty Jane Jones for advising us on the theme and gifting us the language name.

A tradition for our National Conference is the CATSINaM Awards program that celebrates Black nursing, midwifery and student excellence.

We are privileged to be permitted by Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue’s family, to honour Dr O’Donoghue with a new award, the Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue Leadership Award. This award aims to acknowledge an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurse or midwife who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, including inspiring colleagues, fostering teamwork, advancing system change, and advocating for their communities.

Please nominate a fellow CATSINaM member who you think needs recognition for the deadly work they do.

Eosau, thanks & yarn you mob soon, Ali.


Set across three amazing days! Discover what our renowned Leaders and Guest Speakers in the field have to say.

Exciting News: Our 2022/2023 Annual Report is Now Available!

We are thrilled to announce the release of our 2023/2024 Annual Report! This comprehensive document highlights CATSINaM’s achievements, progress, and impactful work over the past year. It reflects our unwavering commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses, midwives, and our broader community.

In this report, you will find:

  • Key Achievements and Activities: Celebrating the milestones and accomplishments that have shaped our journey this year.
  • Financial Overview: A transparent financial health and resource allocation account.
  • Future Goals: An outline of our strategic vision and goals for the upcoming year.

We invite you to read the report and share in our collective successes. Your support and dedication continue to drive our mission forward.

Download the 2022/2023 Annual Report Here

Thank you for being an integral part of our community. Together, we are making a significant difference.

Championing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives

As we come together to celebrate International Nurses Day (IND) and International Day of the Midwife (IDM), we shine a light on the vibrant community within the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM). Our collective efforts are crucial in advancing nursing and midwifery education and healthcare to truly benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This year, the International Council of Nurses declared the IND theme “Our Nurses. Our Future. The Economic Power of Care.” They emphasise the need for “strategic investment in nursing, the backbone of healthcare, to realize greater economic and societal benefits.” At CATSINaM, we wholeheartedly agree, believing that investing in the active participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s nursing and midwifery disciplines is essential for achieving significant economic and societal benefits for our communities.

Similarly, the International Confederation of Midwives has announced the 2024 IDM theme as “Midwives, A Vital Climate Solution.” This theme underscores the environmental sustainability of midwife-led care compared to other models and highlights midwives’ important role in creating more climate-resilient health systems. CATSINaM echoes this sentiment, reminding the nursing and midwifery professions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been practising midwifery and birthing our babies on this continent for over 60,000 years.

There is much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives, including traditional birth attendants, about fostering better relationships with the environment, the land, and each other. By embracing these traditional practices, we can create environmental conditions that nurture healthy, thriving babies and families.

Join us in celebrating and supporting the invaluable contributions of our nurses and midwives, whose work is integral to the health and well-being of our communities and the planet.

CATSINaM CEO CATSINaM leaders have championed the imperative of addressing racism and sophisticating the disciplines’ understanding and practice of culturally safe care.”

CATSINaM Elder, RN and RM Aunty Dulcie Flower says, “there is an importance of eliminating racism in the workplaces across Australia”.

“This is an important issue which involves not only nurses and midwives, but all people employed in the care of patients, as well as the governing body, management, clerical, cleaning, maintenance.”

“Because of disability, racial bias, prejudice, and historical wars, standards of treatment are sometimes less than optimal for those most in need and powerless to have their needs met” says Aunty Dulcie.

Dr Drummond states that “cultural safety makes obvious the unconscious and conscious biases, including the racialised assumption, held by individuals and collectives, and the subsequent instilling of these biases and racialised assumption in organisational policies and procedures that they develop and uphold”.

“This phenomenon is of course part of a cycle that continues with the indoctrination the following generation of professionals with biases and racialised assumptions that maintain the inequity of health and education services, disadvantaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the norm,” says Dr Drummond.

“The CATSINaM Cultural Safety and Humility program, Murra Mullangari, is to be recommended for all staff to enhance their skills to ensure patients’ clinical and cultural needs are met which leads to better health outcomes” Aunty Dulcie.

The nationally recognised program also assists staff to empower patients to “have a voice” in their treatment instead of passively accepting how they are treated.

“This can lead to a health environment where the incidences of racism become fewer which benefits the patient, health care giver, and ensures health facility policies change as well,” says Aunty Dulcie.

Dr Drummond says, “of course, being aware of individual conscious and unconscious biases, including racialised assumptions and systemic inequities is one thing, taking action against is something else”.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives are well-versed in the operations of racism and in advocating for culturally safer care.

“Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience racism every day, so you could say that we are familiar in how systems and individuals are harmful to us,” says Dr Drummond.

“Addressing racism and embedding cultural safety are imperative to equitable economic and societal benefits, and it must be prioritised to demonstrate reciprocity on behalf of the disciplines, showing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses, midwives and students that the disciplines are worthy of us sharing our ways of knowing, being and doing regarding nursing and midwifery care.”

This International Nurses Day and International Day of the Midwife 2024, let us unite in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives. We recognise their invaluable contributions and commit to supporting their ongoing efforts towards health equity and cultural safety. By working together, we can ensure a healthier and more equitable future for all.

See CATSINaM statement featured in Croakey.

Learn more about Murra Mullangari – Australia’s most recognised Cultural Safety Short Course.


Featuring some of our incredible nurses and midwives from around the Country.

Cairns - Eldership Workshop - 42 (2)
A Legacy of Dedication and Wisdom

An unwavering commitment and deep cultural knowledge have made Aunty Prof Doseena Fergie OAM FCATSINaM, Churchill Fellow, PhD, RM RN – a pivotal figure in advancing education and the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for many decades. As a nurse, midwife, educator, and esteemed CATSINaM Elder, Aunty Doseena embodies the spirit of dedication, enthusiasm, and heart that defines true leadership, with her natural next step forward now as Leaders in Indigenous Nursing and Midwifery Education Network (LINMEN) Elder.

As an academic, Aunty Doseena’s role in LINMEN has been instrumental in fostering a supportive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators, academics, clinicians and students alike. She advocates for systemic change and the creation of culturally safe spaces within healthcare institutions. Through her involvement with CATSINaM, and in particular, LINMEN, Aunty Doseena has championed transformative change. She has been a vocal advocate for the recruitment, retention, and career progression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives. Her vision is to create a healthcare and education system that is not only inclusive but also empowering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professionals.

Aunty Doseena says “LINMEN is truly about educating the educators, ensuring that those who teach are well-equipped to provide the highest quality education on cultural safety”. She believes that understanding and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being, and doing is essential to providing culturally safe care. This philosophy has guided her work and inspired countless others to follow in her footsteps. 

From her early days as a nurse and midwife, Aunty Doseena has been driven by a profound desire to make a difference, “to be active, one has to have the ability to act in a way that will lead to positive outcomes”. “My parents and my grandparents were beautiful role models. They had integrity and persevered in what they believed in” she reflects. These have underscored the values that drive her work.

Aunty Doseena’s extensive cultural knowledge is the cornerstone of her approach to healthcare. Her work is deeply rooted in the principles of Yindyamarra (respect) and Dadirri (deep listening). These values that are core values for LINMEN guide her interactions and relationships, fostering a culture of trust and mutual respect. Her ability to listen deeply and act with respect has earned her the admiration of peers and students alike. 

In honouring Aunty Doseena’s contributions, we call to CATSINaM members who are AHPRA registered graduates involved in educating nurses and midwives to join LINMEN

Embrace the opportunity to be part of a transformative movement that champions cultural safety, respect, and empowerment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Are you an educator keen to contribute, inspire and JOIN CATSINaM’s LINMEN?

The Leaders in Indigenous Nursing and Midwifery Education Network (LINMEN) is a collaborative peer support network within CATSINaM. Our goal is to educate the educator by developing, sharing, and providing the highest quality education and training focused on cultural safety and the health, history, and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

LINMEN recognises the challenges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives face in Australia’s health and education institutions. We offer energetic leadership and advocacy, guided by Yindyamarra (respect) and Dadirri (deep listening) to our members’ experiences. We believe in recognising achievements and providing support for challenges, and LINMEN is committed to offering this recognition and support to all its members.

For non-Indigenous allies, LINMEN allows them to connect, grow in confidence in their education, support and advocacy work, and lead by modelling cultural humility.

Keen to JOIN LINMEN? You must be a member of CATSINAM.

Email LINMEN Director Holly Northam:

Shine the Spotlight - CATSINaM Awards

We are excited to announce that the nomination process for the CATSINaM Awards:

  • Opens on the 10th of June and closes on Friday, 26th of July.
  • All CATSINaM members are invited to nominate deserving individuals for these prestigious awards. 
  • Please ensure to review the eligibility criteria before submitting a nomination.

The CATSINaM Awards recognise the exceptional accomplishments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses, midwives, students, and allies. These awards celebrate those who have significantly contributed to the profession and the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The award ceremony will be held at the CATSINaM National Conference Gala Dinner at the Optus Stadium in Perth on Thursday, October 31st.

Overview of CATSINaM Award Categories

Early Career Award

This award recognises an early career Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurse or midwife who has shown excellence in the initial years of their career. Eligible candidates are registered nurses or midwives with two or more years of experience.

Sally Goold OAM Award

Named after a pioneering nurse, this award recognises an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurse who has made substantial contributions to the profession and the health of their community through their work.

Sister Alison Bush Award

This award honours an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwife who has significantly contributed to the midwifery profession and the health of their community.

Fellowship Award

A prestigious recognition for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurse or midwife researcher whose work has substantially impacted nursing and midwifery practice.

Aunty Pam Mamm Community Service Award

This award acknowledges Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurses or midwives who significantly contribute to their communities beyond their professional role. 

Education and Mentorship Award

This award recognises an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurse or midwife who educates and mentors the next generation of nurses and midwives, inspiring and supporting their professional development.

Dr. Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG Leadership Award

This award acknowledges an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurse or midwife who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, including inspiring colleagues, fostering teamwork, advancing system changes, and advocating for their communities.

Excellence in Cultural Safety Award

This award celebrates an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander nurse or midwife who demonstrates outstanding clinical skills and dedication to culturally safe care, particularly in challenging situations.

Link to the Nomination Form to submit your nomination

See the CATSINaM 2024 Award Information Sheet (downloadable).

Refer a Friend to JOIN CATSINaM and receive 40% off the ticket price to attend the National Conference 2024!

Our Refer A Friend promotion is now open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives who are CATSINaM Members. 

To qualify for the National Conference 2024 discount, you must: 

  • Be a CATSINaM Member, 
  • Be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander enrolled nurse, registered nurse, registered midwife or student,
  • Refer a non-member who is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander enrolled nurse, registered nurse, registered midwife or student to join CATSINaM. 

That’s a huge saving $$$

Any questions, sing out to

CATSINaM Budget Breakdown

Recently, the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives unpacked the Australian Government‘s 2024-25 Federal Budget for our members to highlight pivotal and transformative opportunities for our sector. Check out our video:

Explore the importance of stepping up on cultural safety with CATSINaM Board Director, RN and proud Gomeroi/Gamilaroi woman Michelle Cutmore.

With over 30 years’ experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in both New South Wales and Queensland, Michelle was recently elected president of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association Member Circle (NSWNMA).

Michelle’s passion for nursing is driven by a desire to provide grass roots care within the community and help empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become nurses and midwives.


Note: You may hear some sounds of nature throughout the podcast – Michelle is recording on country!

Eldership Workshop

Elders and older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders hold a wealth of wisdom garnered through years of life experiences, challenges, and learning. This wisdom transcends textbooks and academic knowledge, offering practical wisdom rooted in real-life encounters and emotional intelligence. Through stories passed down from generation to generation, Elders and older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impart timeless wisdom that shapes cultural identities, fosters empathy, and instils moral values. Their wisdom is an anchor, grounding us in timeless compassion, integrity, and resilience principles.

Fourteen Elders and older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders attended the CATSINaM Eldership Workshop in Cairns on March 19. The day was designed to reflect on CATSINaM’s previous and current practice, make space for resolving existing issues, and co-develop a principles framework. The CATSINaM Eldership Principles are a set of beliefs that inform the work and decision-making of the CATSINaM Elders Circle. These principles aim to create a structured yet flexible approach tailored to the specific needs of the CATSINaM Elders Circle to ensure active, respected, and meaningful participation.

Mentoring Workshop

The ETMP Mentorship Workshop offers a comprehensive and engaging program designed to enhance the skills and confidence of mentors and mentees. Participants explore the principles of effective mentoring, reflecting on their motivations and discovering key qualities of successful mentors. The workshop includes interactive sessions on creating a culturally safe environment, the importance of a mentoring framework, and practicing the GROW model through role plays and peer feedback. The day concludes with reflections on personal learnings and commitments to ongoing mentoring growth, providing participants with valuable tools, templates, and direction for future mentoring efforts within the CATSINaM community.

CATSINaM has hosted two Mentorship Workshops with ETMP: Cairns (20th March) and Melbourne (22nd May). CATSINaM funded thirty-eight members to participate in the workshops, prioritising members from rural and remote regions.

“Gained further insight into mentoring and how to build my skills. Education like this makes learning much easier and improves my confidence and helps build my engagement skills. Thanks.” (Workshop Participant)

“This was a great workshop to attend. It taught me how to grow within mentoring and governance, self-reflect, mentor my children, and change…” (Workshop Participant)

Governance and Leadership Workshop

The Governance and Leadership Workshop empowers participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in leadership roles within their organisations. Participants will engage in interactive sessions that cover strategic planning, decision-making processes, and the importance of ethical leadership. Through group discussions, case studies, and practical exercises, attendees will develop a deeper understanding of how to lead with integrity, foster a collaborative organisational culture, and navigate the complexities of governance. The workshop aims to equip leaders with the tools they need to drive positive change and ensure the long-term success of their organisations.

CATSINaM hosted one Governance and Leadership Workshop with ETMP on the 23rd and 24th of May. CATSINaM funded 20 members to participate in the workshop, prioritising members from rural and remote regions.

“Governance is about decision making framework. To be a leader means you have to do the ground work of your own character first.” (Workshop Participant)

“Ongoing leadership and governance knowledge is imporant for not only yourself, but also for the running of CATSINaM and its future.” (Workshop Participant)

CATSINaM Scholars attend Australian College of Midwives (ACM) Queensland State Conference.

In early May 2024 the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) held their QLD State Conference in Toowoomba. CATSINaM awarded Scholarships to seven members to attend the Conference, this was possible thanks to funds received from Queensland Health’s Growing Deadly Families. Overall attendees found the attendance at the conference extremely valuable as they were able to network with fellow peers, meet new people and increase professional knowledge. 

One recipient, Courtney Hala  reported “Thankyou to CATSINaM and QLD health for proving these scholarship opportunities. This is my first time I’ve attending an ACM conference and I found it to be one of my highlights this year. Was such an excellent opportunity on both a personal and professional level. It always makes me feel so proud when I venture out to things like this and see the number of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing and Midwifery workforce increase and to also see the wonderful pathways that are being created that will eventually lead us to achieving equitable healthcare for our people where they are safe and comfortable to engage in health cate treatment that recognises and meets their cultural needs. Had it not been for receiving the scholarship I would not have been able to attend. 

The connecting with other mob is so valuable as this is how we are able to support and mentor each other”

Kristina Stuart mentioned “Thank you to CATSINaM for the wonderful opportunity to attend the two-day AMC State Conference. This motivates and inspires me to push forward with my maternity career”  

CATSINaM sponsored members and Queensland Health Growing Deadly Families Staff (Left to right:  Sonita Guidice, Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Queensland Health, Matilda Wilkie CATSINaM member; Kirstyn Stutley, CATSINaM member; Courtney Hala, CATSINaM member; Liz Wilkes – Chief Midwife Officer, Queensland Health; Samantha Palmer, CATSINaM member; Melina Connors – First Nations Midwifery Director, Queensland Health). [Photo courtesy of Queensland Health]

Enhance Your Learning Journey: Textbook Giveaway for CATSINaM Student Members

To support your educational experience, we are thrilled to offer six textbooks as a giveaway:

  • 3 x Estes Health Assessment & Physical Examination (4th Ed)
  • 3 x Fundamentals of Nursing (2nd Ed)
Here’s How You Can Participate:
  1. Eligibility: All current CATSINaM nursing and midwifery student members are eligible to enter.
  2. Entry Details: Simply email us and tell us; three ways the textbooks will assist with your studies by Friday 28th of June.
  3. Selection Process: Winners will be selected randomly and notified by email if successful. 

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your learning resources.

We understand the challenges of pursuing a healthcare education, and we’re here to support you.

Sing out for support regarding above opportunities to

CATSINaM Scholarships

CATSINaM currently has three scholarship types on offer:
  • Royal Flying Doctors Clinical Placement for Rural and Remote – up to $2500 
  • Integrity Health and Safety Professional Development Bursary – up to $1000 
  • QHealth’s Growing Deadly Families Uniform and Textbook Bursary – up to $1000 (Qld students only)

For information head to the scholarship page on our website. 

Celebrating Excellence: Outstanding Work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives Recognised

Congratulations to CATSINaM members, Tiffany Cattermole, Skye Stewart, and Kylie Straube. The trio were recently named finalists in the prestigious 2024 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards in May, with Skye Stewart winning Australian Midwife of the Year.

These dedicated professionals exemplify the highest standards of care and commitment in their fields, and we offer them our heartfelt congratulations.

Tiffany Cattermole, from Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation in Broken Hill, NSW, is recognised for her exceptional work in the Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service. Tiffany supports over 40 pregnant women each year, providing specialised and culturally sensitive care. Her advocacy and dedication have significantly improved pre and postnatal care for women in outback areas, breaking down barriers and ensuring better health outcomes for her community.

Skye Stewart, of Red Nose Australia in Woomelang, VIC, has been honoured for creating the nation’s first stillbirth support guide specifically for Aboriginal families. Witnessing the unacceptable gap in stillbirth rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, Skye travelled extensively to ensure the guide was relevant and impactful. Her tireless efforts over 20 months have provided crucial support and resources to families across the country, addressing a deeply felt need in communities. (Skye also recently featured in our short film, prior to this exciting news going live.)

Kylie Straube, of Remote Territory Healthcare in Berry Springs, NT, is celebrated for her 20-year career in delivering healthcare services to remote communities. After the closure of her local medical clinic, Kylie opened the first private nurse practitioners’ general practice, ensuring that 7,500 residents continued to receive essential medical care. Her leadership and innovation have been vital in maintaining healthcare access in her community.

CATSINaM, proudly commends these remarkable nurses and midwives for their dedication and impact. Their work not only elevates the standards of nursing and midwifery but also makes a profound difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Read HESTA’s media release HERE.

Skye Stewart’s Jiba Pepeny: Star Baby, the first stillbirth guide for Aboriginal families.

Jiba Pepeny: Star Baby is the first stillbirth guide in the country and it was designed by and for Aboriginal families.

Its creation came from the mind of Wergaia/Wemba Wemba midwife Skye Stewart, after witnessing the gap in stillbirth rates between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people and the impact it left on communities.

Ms Stewart has now been awarded Midwife of the Year at the 18th HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards. The awards acknowledge the outstanding contribution of the country’s nurses, midwives, nurse educators, researchers, and personal care workers’ dedication to improving health outcomes.

The guide is a resource that Aboriginal families can turn to for additional cultural support during an emotional and often traumatising time.

It includes advice on how to approach tough decisions, preparing for birth and provides spaces to write out thoughts and communicate wishes to extended family.

Ms Stewart, who is based in Woomelang in rural Victoria, said she sees creating the guide as part of her role as an Aboriginal midwife in community.

“My cultural role and responsibility as an Aboriginal midwife is to do what I can to ensure that Aboriginal mothers and their babies stay safe, alive, well, and together,” Ms Stewart said.

“To be recognised with this award means I’ve paid attention to where it matters, and I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. The award is a privilege, and I feel incredibly honoured and humbled.

“My work is rewarding because it supports families experiencing vulnerability at an acutely distressing time.”

Although grateful to be recognised, Ms Stewart said it was during the creation of the guide that she experienced the most rewarding moment.

A mum told me: ‘You have to make this, Skye. No one is doing it for us. Take our voices and put them where people can listen so you can support our families.’

Ms Stewart said she plans to use the prize money to continue her work, including printing a children’s book and a suite of resources for families, siblings, and children affected by stillbirth, another first of its kind, supporting Aboriginal children during such a difficult time.

Skye said in her LinkedIn post on 22 May, “still floating on cloud 9 but very excited”.

“What an experience.”

“I feel very humbled, whilst simultaneously believing I deserve to have this. So much of my heart is poured into my work. “

“I really need to make it known that I do this work because our families and communities deserve better.”

See Skye’s recent appearance in this short film here. 

South Australia Nursing & Midwifery Excellence Awards

Announcing the South Australia NMEA Mary Buckskin Award Winner

We are thrilled to announce that Courtney Nowak is the recipient of the prestigious Mary Buckskin Award for Excellence in Practice, sponsored by CATSINaM. This award honours an Aboriginal nurse or midwife who has demonstrated outstanding excellence in their practice. Courtney’s dedication, skill, and commitment to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are truly commendable. Congratulations, Courtney, on this well-deserved recognition!

Honouring the late Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue.

Dr Ali Drummond (CEO CATSINaM) gave an acknowledgement speech to honour the late Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue.

Nursing and Midwifery Awards Northern Territory

CATSINaM were grateful to sponsor the recent 2024 NT Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards. 

We deeply value our partners and member community, recognising the hard work and dedication of our nurses and midwives.

The event proved an opportunity to shine the light on all nurses and midwives working in services across the Northern Territory and we thank them for all they do.


Western Australia Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards

CATSINaM acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment of our members Jenna Greaves Councillor and the team at South Coastal Babbingur Mia.
We celebrate your well-deserved #WANMEA award, and we thank you for your valuable contributions.

Follow your heart, innovate and inspire. [Source: Winston Churcill Trust] 

CATSINaM’s Green Logo Tee's Out and About

Up to 700 CATSINaM members participated in the recent Membership Survey. By sharing your insights and feedback, you have helped shape the future of CATSINaM, and these tees are a small gesture to thank you for your active participation and support. Those who participated also went into a draw for a Qantas travel prize. We are pleased to inform you that the Qantas prize draw lucky winner was a CATSINaM member Chloe Pettigrew!

These shirts not only symbolise our unity and commitment to the community but also remind us of your valuable contributions to improving our organisation. Thank you!

Check out our CATSINaM members rocking the Green Tee around Australia!!!


Cultural Safety Education

Murra Mullangari

CATSINaM invites practising nurses and midwives from all career stages, clinical and non-clinical roles, and backgrounds who may or may not have built an understanding of Cultural Safety and/or Cultural Humility to consider our nationally recognised short course, Murra Mullangari.

The program is one aspect of your lifelong learning towards achieving Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility in Nursing and Midwifery practice, especially when caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

It also contributes to eliminating racism and addressing inequities in the Nursing and Midwifery workforce and health outcomes.

Key learning outcomes

  • An understanding of the history, origins, and concepts of Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility in Nursing and Midwifery
  • Insights into the culture of power and its implications on the Nursing and Midwifery workforce; and
  • Clarity towards consciously transforming the health inequities as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples; and,
  • An awareness of the key initiatives being taken to address inequities in the Nursing and Midwifery workforce and health outcomes including the role of Nursing and Midwifery practitioners.

Enrol today! 


Help shape the future of an Anti-racism Framework in Australia!

Calling all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, including individuals and organisations within the Education, Health, and Justice sectors, who have experienced racism or are interested in contributing to the development of the framework and shaping anti-racism initiatives. Your stories and perspectives are invaluable.

First Nations Co. has been engaged by the Australian Human Rights Commission to conduct national community consultations with First Nations communities. This initiative aims to inform the development of a National Anti-Racism Framework, a critical component of the National Anti-Racism Strategy. The framework requires your input from diverse communities to ensure a human rights-based approach.

Join virtually or in-person consultations to make a difference. If you are unable to attend, you are invited to contribute via completing this online survey. Each participant who attends an in-person consult will receive a $50.00 electronic visa card as a token of appreciation.

Interested in displaying this poster at your work / study space? 

Download for your use AHRC Survey Poster

Outdated’ need for collaborative arrangements finally removed for Nurse Practitioners

The Health Legislation Amendment (Removal of Requirement for Collaborative Arrangement) Bill 2024, passed the Parliament yesterday, after being earlier introduced in March by Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney.

The landmark legislation removes barriers that have prevented NPs and endorsed midwives from prescribing medicines under the PBS and providing services under Medicare because of the requirement for a ‘collaborative arrangement’ with a medical practitioner.


Call for nominations for the First Nations Health Governance Group

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care is seeking nominations from interested Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander leaders to join the new First Nations Health Governance Group in 2024.

They encourage applicants with expertise across a range of health disciplines to apply.

Applications close 11:59 pm (AEST) on Friday 7 June 2024.

How to apply

  1. Fill in the nomination form
  2. Provide a recent curriculum vitae.
  3. Email both documents to by 11:59 pm (AEST) on Friday 7 June 2024.

Resources on sexually transmissible infections

The Department of Health and Aged Care has developed a range of animations and materials to help support information sharing.

Find resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about sexually transmissible infections (STIs).

Check out the resources.

Combating high rates of HTLV-1 in Central Australia

A collaboration between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has resulted in the development of a portal collating resources particularly relevant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew says, “getting this information out to communities and health practitioners is vital”.

Visit the PORTAL here.

Looking for work? Check out IndigenousX

IndigenousX is 100% Indigenous owned and operated.

It has grown to become one of Australia’s most trusted and respected Indigenous media platforms.

Advertise a job or search for work opportunities here.

Women & Leadership Australia - Health Sector Women's Leadership Scholarships

Women & Leadership Australia has announced a new round of health sector scholarships, to enable more women to undertake career-enhancing development programs.

Partial scholarships between $1,000 – $5,000 are available for one of four comprehensive leadership development and workplace skill programs:

  • Women at any level can apply for $1,000 towards the Impact Program.
  • Early career and aspiring leaders can apply for $1,000 towards the Leading-Edge Program
  • Mid-level and experienced leaders can apply for $3,000 towards the Executive Ready Program.
  • Senior and executive leaders can apply for $5,000 towards the Advanced Leadership Program.

Applications close on 14 June 2024, don’t miss out!

Not sure which program is right for you? Please speak to Women and Leadership Australia by calling 1300 938 571.

Find out more

Heart Foundation First Nations CVD Grant.

Objective: To produce tangible outcomes with the potential for high-impact change in the cardiovascular health of First Nations peoples and support an introductory research role is embedded within the project, specifically designed for a First Nations person.

Grant Value: The grant provides funding for a period of three years, including project support ($80,000 p.a.) and capacity-building stipends (up to $41,400) for the introductory research role.
Application Open: Monday 13th May 2024
Application Close: Friday 12th July 2024
How to Apply: Applications must be submitted via the Heart Foundation’s Grants Management Portal.

More details about this grant, eligibility criteria and funding guidelines can be found on their website: First Nations CVD Grant | Heart Foundation 

Off the back of Reconciliation Week 2024

Five new documentaries have been added to the Reconciliation Film Club catalogue for National Reconciliation Week:

  • Audrey Napanangka, directed by Penelope McDonald
  • Larapinta by Gary Hamaguchi
  • Rebel With A Cause, which celebrates four First Nations trailblazers
  • You Can Go Now, a profile of artist Richard Bell by Larissa Behrendt
  • Living Black episode: Never Meant To Happen, about the road to Voice Referendum. 

These new titles make up the 20-plus films and series available in the Reconciliation Film Club in 2024. Other titles include:

  • Araatika! Rise Up
  • Occupation: Native
  • Incarceration Nation
  • Off Country
  • Kutcha’s Koorioke.

Now more than ever, it is important to stay engaged, stay informed, and keep learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and culture. 

These compelling documentaries address issues such as cultural heritage, national identity, health, history, justice and equality.

For more information visit:


2024 Australian Nurses and Midwives Conference

Taking place in Melbourne on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 September, this intensive event features a range of international, interstate, and Victorian speakers exploring professional and clinical issues and innovations in nursing, midwifery, mental health, and aged care.

Nursing and midwifery clinicians, researchers, academics, and leaders will present on a range of contemporary professional issues and clinical practice innovations.

View more information

To express interest in presenting in 2025, complete this form.

ICN launches Call for Abstracts for Congress 2025

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) call for abstracts for the Congress 2025 in Helsinki, Finland.

With the theme, Nursing power to change the world, the 30th ICN Congress will take place 9-13 June at the Messukeskus Expo & Convention Center in Helsinki.

In 2025, the Congress will underscore the formidable influence wielded by nurses in shaping the landscape of health care delivery.


Women’s Leadership Symposiums

Be inspired and energised by real stories and practical insights from remarkable women.

Women’s Leadership Symposiums are coming up (in Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne), a must-attend event for leaders of all genders dedicated to driving equity and inclusion in workplaces and beyond.


ACNP Conference

NAIDOC Nominations Open

Check out this year’s deadly National NAIDOC poster!

It’s by Samuawgadhalgal artist Deb Belyea and shows the hands of ancestors placing an ember into a burning fire, representing the sharing of cultural knowledge from one generation to the next.

The poster is entitled ‘Urapun Muy’ (from the Kalaw Kawaw Ya dialect of the Top Western Islands of the Torres Strait) which means ‘One Fire’. 

This powerful piece represents the shared fire of passion for our culture 

“It is our responsibility to maintain, practice, and pass on our fire to our future generations,” Deb shared.

“Afterall, culture keeps us Blak, Loud and Proud.”


WANNAPI; MIWI; TUWILA: Australian First Nations Peoples keeping spirit strong while living with kidney disease

Article by Croakey. Image credit Isaac Brown. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article includes names and images of people who have passed, published with permission of families.

Members of the Aboriginal Kidney Care Together – Improving outcomes Now (AKCTION) program at the University of Adelaide generously share their stories below, about the importance of spirituality and the cultural determinants of health, and the benefits of decolonising healthcare and research.

This story is dedicated to our AKction2 kidney warriors Inawinytji Williamson and Nari Sinclair who joined their Ancestors in 2023, on whose shoulders we stand to disrupt systems of racism. AKction2 has permission and encouragement from families to use their images and names to continue building legacies for equity and access in kidney care and keeping our people off the machines in the first place.

The Aboriginal Kidney Care Together – Improving Outcomes Now (AKction2) Reference Team (A2RT) are Australian First Nations Peoples who have lived experience of chronic kidney disease, dialysis treatments, are awaiting kidney transplants, or have received a kidney transplant. Interwoven around the A2RT, are 4 sub-studies that make up the AKction2 research project: Indigenous Governance, Peer Support, Health Journey Mapping, and Cultural Safety in kidney care.

These four studies are managed by the AKction Project Team (APT), staff employed by the University of Adelaide to carry out and coordinate the project, and postgraduate/undergraduate students undertaking A2RT-directed research. We work together as a team of Indigenous researchers with our non-Indigenous allies, on the shared aim of decolonising kidney care and increasing culturally safe practice.

We share our skills and knowledge in our quest to prioritise principles of culturally and clinically safer treatment and care for Aboriginal kidney patients and family members and their communities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations are a deeply spiritual and relational peoples, with a knowledge database stretching beyond 60,000 years. We acknowledge the wisdom and contributions of Elders and Ancestors, including A2RT members who have passed away. When unplanned situations create successful outcomes, we say “It is the Ancestors,” as we believe in this universal energy drawing us together to make a difference.

Spirit is described differently by Australian First Nations Peoples across this vast landscape and throughout this article we share our stories and knowledge around the cultural practices we use to grow and nurture our spiritual strength on our health journeys.

In AKction2, we work together with the aim to decolonise the spaces we live and work in by using our own Australian First Nations languages. We describe our decolonising process as our “Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing”.  We use our own first languages in this article, to help us articulate our First Nations concepts and perspectives, in contrast to the dominant Australian Eurocentric worldviews.

The spiritual essence of a person or the Wannapi, as Adnyamathanha People describe, is the term used for spirit. Ngarrindjeri People describe the human spirit as Miwi – the sense of oneself. The Miwi is located behind the stomach and is closely translated to ‘soul substance,’ as the source of emotions, as an eternal part of humans where all important feelings, experiences and thoughts are expressed. The Kaurna word for spirit is Tuwila. These concepts are linked back to the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental aspects of oneself.

Nurturing and teaching our spirit to be strong and healthy helps to support our emotional, physical, and mental health, enabling us to be resilient and courageous on our health and wellbeing journeys as we live, work, and walk together on Yarta (Adnyamathanha and Kaurna) or Ruwi (Ngarrindjeri). Our connections to culture, family, and Yarta/Ruwi, are a priority for our overall health and wellbeing, and are central to solidifying our sense of identity of who we are and how we carry ourselves through life using a holistic approach.

The health of our Spirit impacts every aspect of our lives, including our mind/mental (brain), feelings/emotions (heart) and physical/senses (body).

Australian First Nations Peoples who use cultural knowledge and practices in health, research, and medical spaces gain strength and protection from the Ancestors and our Creator, which helps to centre the Kidney Warriors Wannapi/Miwi/Tuwila as they manage their kidney disease and navigate the health system.

Connection to Country

A key factor in keeping one’s Wannapi/Miwi/Tuwila strong is by staying connected to Yarta/Ruwi, the Adnyamathanha, Kaurna, and Ngarrindjeri words for Country.

This quote by Mick Dodson beautifully explains:

For us, country is a word for all the values, places, resources, stories and cultural obligations associated with that area and its features. It describes the entirety of our ancestral domains.

All of it is important – we have no wilderness, nor the opposite of wilderness, nor anything in between.

Country is country – the whole cosmos.

Country underpins and gives meaning to our creation beliefs – the stories of creation form the basis of our laws and explain the origins of the natural world to us – all things natural can be explained.”

Nurses and Midwives are at the Heart of Healthcare

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Keep culture strong.

CATSINaM Secretariat

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.