We’re delighted to have an outstanding selection of invited speakers joining us at CRANAplus2018. More speakers will be announced as planning proceeds!

Emeritus Professor Paul Worley
National Rural Health Commissioner
The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
Barbara Shellian
President, Canadian Nurses Association
Áslaug Arnoldsdóttir
Former ICRC health delegate
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Emeritus Professor Paul Worley was appointed as Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner on 11 November 2017.

Professor Worley has had a distinguished career in rural health, both as a practitioner and an academic. He studied medicine at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 1984 and has worked as a Rural Generalist in rural South Australia; first at Lameroo, and then in Clare, Barmera and currently at Yankalilla. He lives in South Australia with his wife, and has seven children (including three children in-law) and four grandchildren.

From 2007 – 2017 he was Dean of Medicine at Flinders University in South Australia, where he established Rural Clinical Schools and University Departments of Rural Health in both South Australia and the Northern Territory and guided the conceptualisation and development of the Northern Territory Medical Program with a clear focus on recruiting and supporting Indigenous students and staff. While at Flinders University, Professor Worley developed and nurtured programs which are now recognised globally as models for the establishment of rural medical, nursing and allied health education.

Professor Worley has long been a leading figure internationally in the rural health and medical education sectors, has held senior positions in the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, was instrumental in establishing rural Divisions of General Practice across South Australia, has served as a Board Director for the Adelaide PHN and for AGPT Regional Training Organisations in the Northern Territory and South Australia, is Editor in Chief of the international journal, Rural and Remote Health, and is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

As National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Worley is passionate about quality, equity and fairness for all, especially the underserved. Australia’s rural and remote communities and the health professionals who serve them, deserve an evidence-based, sustainable, cost-effective and well supported rural health system, designed by rural clinicians, grown in rural regions, and serving all who live across our vast land. We must have the right health professionals delivering the right care, in the right place at the right time.

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When he retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge.

He was first appointed in 1975 as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation & Arbitration Commission.  Soon after, he became inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84).  Later, he was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, then President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96) and, concurrently, President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-6).  His appointment to the High Court of Australia followed in 1996 and he served thirteen years.  In later years, he was Acting Chief Justice of Australia twice.

In addition to his judicial duties, Michael Kirby has served on three university governing bodies being elected Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney (1984-93).  He also served on many national and international bodies.  Amongst the latter have been service as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS (1988-92); as President of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva (1995-8); as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia (1993-6); as a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (1995-2005); as a member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group (2007- 9) and as a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights(2004-).

Following his judicial retirement, Michael Kirby was elected President of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia from 2009-2010.  He served as a Board Member of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (2009-14).  He has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor by twelve universities. And he participates regularly in many local and international conferences and meetings.  He has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates at home and abroad.  He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Laws of Australia (2009 – ).

He served 2011-12 as a member of the Eminent Persons Group on the future of the Commonwealth of Nations. He was a Commissioner of the UNDP Global Commission of HIV and the Law 2011-2012.  He was appointed to the Advisory Council of Transparency International, based in Berlin in 2012.  In 2013- 2014, he was appointed Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in North Korea.  He a Commissioner of the UNAIDS Lancet Commission on AIDS to the Right to Health (2013-2014); the Global Fund’s Equitable Access Panel (2015-16); the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Essential Medicines (2015-16); and UNAIDS/OHCHR’s panel on overreach of criminal law (2017); and Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (2018 – ).

He was awarded the Gruber Justice Prize in 2010 and has been Patron of the Kirby Institute on Blood Borne Diseases in UNSW Sydney, Australia since 2011.  In May 2017, he was invested by Japan with the insignia of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in Tokyo, with an audience with the Emperor of Japan.

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Barbara Shellian is a Registered Nurse committed to nursing practice, health care reform and people. Barb is a graduate of the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing and earned her Bachelor and Masters Degrees from the University of Calgary. She is Director Rural Health – Calgary Zone Alberta Health Services and is located in Canmore, Alberta. She has extensive experience as a staff nurse, educator, manager and clinical nurse specialist. As a clinical nurse specialist, her practice focused on the care of children and families.

Barb has also been very active in professional and community organizations. She has been involved in the provincial professional association and served as President of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses from 1995 – 1997. Barb has presented many papers on clinical and professional issues across Alberta and at national and international conferences. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing and has been instrumental in establishing a national association for rural and remote nurses and was elected as the first President of the Canadian Association of Rural and Remote Nurses in 2004. She is currently a co-chair of the International Council of Nurses Rural and Remote Nursing Network.

Barb has been the recipient of several awards including the Spirit of Planetree Award in recognition of Patient Family Centered Care, the Calgary Health Region Peoplefirst Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of contribution to Canada and nursing.

Community service has included membership in several local and provincial groups, including the Canmore and Area Health Care Foundation, Bow Valley Society for the Prevention of Family Violence, AIDS Bow Valley, Team Health for Cochrane, Healthy Canmore Coalition and the Bow Valley Task Force on Seniors Housing Issues.

Barb was elected as the President of the Canadian Nurses Association and is currently serving her two year term from 2016 -2018. The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice of Registered Nurses in Canada – representing nearly 139,000 registered nurses in all provinces and territories.

Barb believes that the essence of nursing is the opportunity to make a difference and to contribute to the health of individuals, families and communities in a variety of settings and situations in the context of caring. Barb continues to have a strong clinical focus in her practice and is an active advocate for excellence in nursing care and a sustainable health care system for Canadians.

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Áslaug Arnoldsdóttir studied nursing because her real passion was for travelling.

Since receiving her B.Sc. degree in nursing from the University of Iceland in 1994, she has divided her time between the Intensive Care Unit in Reykjavik’s University hospital and working in conflict areas around the world with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  Since 1998, Áslaug has been a regular facilitator at the Icelandic Red Cross’s Basic Training Course for new delegates and from 2015, a part time lecturer at the University of Iceland, mainly focusing on transcultural nursing and health care in conflict areas.

Áslaug lives in Reykjavík Iceland and has not lost her passion for travelling.

Adjunct Associate Professor Kim Ryan
CEO, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
Ian Hosegood
Director Medical Services, Qantas Airways
Michael Jenkins
Senior Nursing Officer, United Nations Medical Services Division
Assoc. Professor James Ward
Head Infectious Diseases Research Program - Aboriginal Health, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
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Adjunct Associate Professor Ryan was the first salaried Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, commencing in the position in 2004. The ACMHN is the peak professional mental health nursing organisation and the recognised Credentialing body for mental health nurses in Australia. She is passionate about mental health and mental health nursing holding a more prominent position on health agendas at local, state, national and international levels and believes this can only be achieved with a strong, united, professional voice.

She is a Board member of the Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) and the Chair of Companion House – Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma.  She was awarded the position of Adjunct Associate Professor by Sydney University in 2009 in recognition of her contribution to the nursing profession.  In December 2016 Kim was awarded the inaugural Australian Mental Health Prize by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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Ian Hosegood is the Director of Medical Services with Qantas Airways Group based in Sydney, Australia. Ian is a medical doctor and has specialist postgraduate qualifications in Family Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Aerospace Medicine and Health Services Management.  Ian has held executive medical roles with the Defence Force, Commercial Airlines, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (QLD section).  During his time in the ADF, Ian was deployed to several remote locations including Iraq, the Solomon Islands and East  Timor and was seconded to the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) based in Baghdad.  He is a Board member on the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ASAM) and the Australasian Medical Review Officer Association (AMROA).  Ian has interests in retrieval medicine and in the occupational medicine and health and wellbeing challenges of the aviation industry including mental health, alcohol and other drug issues, fitness for duty, fatigue risk management (FRMS), and environmental health exposures.

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Michael Jenkins has spent most of his career nursing in remote and/or difficult locations, initially in Australia where he worked for 12 years in more than 25 remote areas in South Australia, West Australia and the Northern Territory. Since then, he has worked for the United Nations in Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya and is currently the Senior Professional Nurse for the United Nations Medical Services Division, based in New York City.

Following his undergraduate nursing education in New Zealand, Michael worked in Auckland in an Orthopedic Trauma center. In 1991 he travelled to Australia after being recruited by Alice Springs Hospital, which lead on to 16 years of work in remote area nursing. Michael studied at the Centre for Remote Health and was awarded a Masters in Remote and Indigenous Health from Flinders University in 2011, winning the CRANAplus prize for Outstanding Graduate of that Year.

Michael’s current practice is centered on international nursing administration and education with a strong focus on occupational safety and health, including health preparation for UN staff deploying to the field. His role also includes membership in the United Nations Medical Services Division Public Health Working Group which advises on response to public health emergencies around the globe.

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Career Summary: In 2007 James Ward was appointed as the Inaugural Program Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program at the Kirby Institute until 2012. At this time he moved to Alice Springs to become Deputy Director of the Baker Institutes’ Aboriginal Health Program.In 2014, he was appointed as the Head of Infectious Diseases Research Program- Aboriginal Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, under the leadership of Prof Steve Wesselingh. During the last five years he has progressed research in the areas of sexually transmissible infections (STIs), blood borne viruses (BBVs), vaccine preventable diseases and offender health. James is recognised as a keynote speaker on issues confronting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health, and in the last five years has delivered at least twenty plenary presentations. At the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne in July 2014, he was one of three Australian plenary speakers.

Since 2010 he has a strong track record in producing research outcomes including 54 publications, alongside many other technical and non-peer reviewed articles. He has led national research projects in Aboriginal health; sexually transmissible infections and blood borne viruses, including issues surrounding injecting drug use. Most notably the collection and completion of the STRIVE study which has collected clinical attendance, testing, positivity and prevalence data from 67 remote communities provides the most useful data for us to answer the question of how to best address the long standing endemic rates of STIs in remote communities. Similarly he has recently completed data collection of knowledge, risk behaviour and health service access data from almost 3000 Aboriginal people aged 16-29 years which now gives us insight on areas that require strengthening in these domains. His work has influenced policy and practice significantly over the last five years contributing to national guidelines, and policy and practice.

James collaborates with an extensive network of researchers, government and Aboriginal community health organisations in studies such as: 1) STRIVE a cluster randomised trial of quality improvement in 67 remote communities,2) TTANGO a randomised trial of chlamydia and gonorrhoea point-of-care testing in remote Aboriginal communities and 3) GOANNA a national study of young Aboriginal people that involved every state/territory Australian health department and peak Aboriginal health organisation.

During the last five years James has provided support to Aboriginal communities’ nationally most often delivering training, lectures or specialist services such as reviewing of documents, reviews of programs or assistance in the preparation of funding proposals. He has long standing relationships with NACCHO and every state and territory Affiliate organisation and provides advice to numerous committees nationally. In 2013, James was local convener of the Australasian HIV Conference held in Darwin and in 2014 was Co-convener of the International Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV/AIDS held in Sydney in July and Co-convener of the Inaugural World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis and the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference held in Alice Springs in September.

Over the last five years James has served on many national and jurisdictional committees such as;

The Federal Ministerial Committee on STI and BBV (2011-)
NSW Ministerial Advisory Committee on STI (2003-2011)
The Victorian HIV Taskforce (2009- 2010)
The Northern Territory Sexual Health Advisory Group (2011-)
Board member of the Australasian Society of HIV Medicine
Member of the World Health Organisation Hepatitis Civil Society Reference Group
James completing his PhD in 2017 at the University of New South Wales and was awarded with the rising star award, James was also the recipient of the 2017 NAIDOC scholar award.

Professor Ian Wronski, AO
Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University
Professor Jill White AM
Professor Emerita – Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Sydney & University of Technology Sydney
The Hon. Warren Entsch MP
Federal Member for Leichhardt
Adj Professor Debra Thoms
Commonwealth Chief Nursing Officer
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MBBS(Monash), DipRACOG, DTMH(Liverpool), MPH(Health Policy & Management)(Harvard), SM(Epidemiology)(Harvard), FAFPHM, FACTM, FACRRM, FAICD.

Prof Wronski has over 40 years’ experience in rural, remote, tropical, public and Indigenous health. Drawn to the development of Aboriginal Medical Services in the Kimberley in the late 1970’s, Prof Wronski became Medical Director of the newly established Broome Aboriginal Medical Service and was the first Director of Health Services for the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services’ Council. With responsibility for clinical and public health, he led the development of the electronic health record program Health Planner (later Ferret) in the late 1980’s for disease surveillance, screening and clinical care in rural and remote areas. Alongside Professor Gracelyn Smallwood, Ian was also responsible for the development of the first Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Goal and Targets in 1991.

Currently Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University (JCU), Ian has overseen the development of medicine, health and molecular science teaching and research capacity with a rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical health focus. He led the foundation of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at JCU and establishment of the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre.

In 2014 Ian was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the areas of tropical and rural health and the health of Indigenous Australians. A recipient of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine Medal and the Life Sciences Queensland Industry Excellence Award, he was invested as a Life Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


RN, RM, MEd, PhD, MHPol

Professor White is a Professor Emerita of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney and the Faculty of Health University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)., Australia. Jill recently retired from the University of Sydney and is now an independent consultant in the areas of health education, regulation and policy. In 2017 Jill was seconded to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) as Associate Director (Global Education) where she headed the review, refreshment and development of ICN education programmes, including the Global Nursing Policy Leadership Institute programme.

Professor White was the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney from 2008-2015. Prior to this she was Dean of the Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Health at the University of Technology, Sydney 1997-2008.

Jill was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council 2010-2013, having had an active leadership role in regulation since 2002.

There are three main areas to Jill’s academic interest: nursing’s responsibilities in human rights and humanitarian issues, health policy, and nursing theoretical development, specifically the socio-political pattern of knowing, which she developed in 1995. In furthering her interest in Health Policy Jill recently completed a Master of Health Policy in 2016.

Prof. White was a Fellow of the University Senate of the University of Sydney (the University senior governing body) until July 2017 and in 2015 she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Jill was researching how nursing might have a greater influence on health policy.

Jill has undertaken work in many countries, notably assisting with the development of Midwifery programmes in Vietnam, a Non-Communicable Diseases programme in Tonga and educational developments in Indonesia and India.

Currently Jill is the Western Pacific Region nursing representative on the Board of the Nursing Now! Campaign.

Corporate photography for MP Warren Entsch, Cairns - 22 March 2016.

Warren’s diverse career history has given him a unique insight when representing his constituency in Canberra. He has worked as a railway porter, insurance clerk, real estate salesman, fitter and turner with a mining company, grazier, crocodile farmer, and served Australia for nine years in the RAAF as an aircraft engine fitter. He has also played an active role on numerous Cape York industry and advisory groups.

Warren was first elected to Parliament in March 1996 as the Member for Leichhardt. As a new member, he was privileged to serve on several joint committees addressing Native Title issues, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Environment, Recreation and the Arts.

Warren works hard to support opportunities for economic development in Far North Queensland and Northern Australia, particularly in relation to his vision for a strong and sustainable commercial, recreational and sports fishing industry. He also advocates for a range of social issues such as the arts, aged care, mental health, marriage equality and reducing discrimination for LGBTI Australians, and the tuberculosis challenge in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

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FACN(DLF) FACHSM(Hon)RN RM Adv Dip Arts BA MNS Grad Cert Bioethics

Debra Thoms is the Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, a role she commenced in August 2015. She was formerly the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Nursing, a position she was appointed to in May 2012 following six years as the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with NSW Health.

During her career Debra has gained broad management and clinical experience including as a clinician in remote and rural Australia, as CEO of a rural area health service, general manager of the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney as well as Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer within the Health Departments of South Australia and New South Wales.

In 2005 Debra was selected to attend the Johnson and Johnson Wharton Fellows Program and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Her contribution to nursing and health care has been recognised by an Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Technology, Sydney and she also holds appointments as an Adjunct Professor with the University of Technology, Sydney.