An inspirational journey from a garage to a nation

Nicholas Marchesi

Orange Sky

In October 2014, two best mates had a crazy idea to put two washing machines and two dryers in the back of a van, and wash and dry clothes for free. Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, the 2016 Young Australians of the Year, founded Orange Sky – a world-first, free mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness. On a mission to improve hygiene standards, Nic and Lucas stumbled on something much bigger and more significant – the power of a conversation. Now facilitated by more than 1,800 volunteers, Orange Sky aims to positively connect the community.


In October 2014, Nicholas Marchesi co-founded Orange Sky alongside his best mate Lucas Patchett. Together, they built the first van. Nic led the initial van build and supported the early service rollouts.

Nic continues to have oversight of the Vehicle Team and the Orange Sky Fleet. He has been integral to the design and construction of the vehicles and the associated research and development. Nic has ensured the success of each vehicle model at Orange Sky.

Nic is an avid problem solver and drives continuous improvement across all areas of Orange Sky, adopting the mentality that everything has the capacity to be improved. Nic pioneered the integration of technology into Orange Sky’s operations and helped lead the development of the Orange Sky Portal and App – pieces of technology built in-house.

Nic previously worked as a camera operator and editor for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and for the Seven Network. In these roles, he developed a passion for sharing people’s stories as a way of getting people to better relate to and connect with one another. As a result of Nic’s influence, storytelling is central to Orange Sky’s culture and is the cornerstone of the organisation’s brand and creative content.

Nic has been a Board Member since the organisation was founded and has played a critical role in the strategic direction of Orange Sky. He fosters a culture of affirmation and hard work.  The framework underpinning the internal culture at Orange Sky mirrors many of the attributes and characteristics he lives by.

Growing and supporting the Tasmanian Nursing and Midwifery workforce: a collaborative endeavour

Professor Karen Francis

University of Tasmania, Tasmania, Australia

Who lives in Tasmania

  • Population demographics
  • Trends
  • Predictions

 Health and health care in Tasmania

  • Population health data
    • Morbidity
    • Mortality
    • Predictions

Health services

  • Employers/Providers
  • Health workforce
  • Workforce planning

 Nursing and midwifery

  • Current workforce
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Qualifications
    • Employment
  • Distribution
  • Predicted needs (RN, RM and EN)
    • Where
    • When
    • Currency (Qualifications/skills)


  • Entry to practice
    • RN, RM & EN
      • University of Tasmania
        • Flexibility
        • New RN standards
      • Other providers
  • Specialist education/training
    • Post grad formal qualifications specialist and general
    • Short courses (stand alone and scaffolding)
    • Professional development
      • Internal
      • external providers
      • self initiated

 Collaborations and partnerships

 Common agendas

    • Recruitment
    • retention
    • Shared learnings
    • skillmix
    • Capability and capacity
  • Targeted deliverables
    • Negotiated
    • Addresses need
    • Dynamic
    • Contemporary
    • affordable
  • Shared resourcing
    • Expertise
    • venues for delivery
    • marketing
    • financial


  • A well prepared, flexible, future proofed nursing and midwifery workforce.


Professor Francis  is the Head of Nursing, University of Tasmania. She has over 30 years teaching experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in nursing, allied health and medical programs at a number of Australian and international Universities. Her research interests and expertise are in the areas of health workforce particularly rural health and rural nursing. Professor Francis is recognised nationally and internationally for her contribution to the development of rural nursing as a specialist discipline.  She has a significant publication track record that is inclusive of over 160 scholarly papers, 5 books and 27 chapters in edited books.

Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives celebrate 2020

Associate Professor Francine Douce1

1University of Tasmania, Tasmania, Australia

In May 2019, World Health Organisation designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale who is considered the founder of modern nursing.

The Department of Health, through the work of the Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwife supports the WHO vision of recognising nurses and midwives as the foundation for health systems across the globe. Nurses and midwives represent the largest health workforce across the world; and play a pivotal role in the advancement of equitable, safe healthcare for all. As nurses and midwives, the team at OCNMO are excited for 2020, an opportunity for us to collectively celebrate what we do and to raise the profile and understanding of the important work of our professions.

This presentation will share what 2020 means for Tasmanian nurses and midwives; a year for every nurse and midwife to shine.


Francine Douce FACM MACN is a registered nurse and midwife with more than 30 years’ experience in the Tasmanian healthcare system and an active member of the Australian College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Australian College of Midwives.

Francine has held many senior nursing and midwifery positions (public and private sector) in strategic and organisational leadership; governmental policy; clinical practice; governance including patient safety; professional regulation and accreditation.

Francine completed the Global Nursing Leadership Institute at ICN in 2015, the first Tasmanian alumni for the GNLI. In October of the following year, 30 years to the day that she graduated as a registered nurse, was appointed as Tasmania’s Chief Nurse and Midwife.

Francine is the current International Commissioner (Pathway to Excellence®) with the American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC) and the immediate past Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Council of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers.

Energy, courage and resilience have been characteristic of her professional leadership in Australia and now the international arena. Francine describes her strengths in terms of a lifetime of passion for nursing and midwifery, and of course, commitment to her beloved Tasmania.

Francine is the mother of two adult boys; lives in the beautiful NW of Tasmania with her husband Michael and balances her statewide role from Hobart (arguably Australia’s most beautiful capital city).

Harvesting the EntrepreNurse

Dr Drew Dwyer1

1School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Queensland

This keynote will focus on inspiring nurses and midwives across all domains of healthcare to take the opportunity of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, to see themselves as the entrepreneurs of the healthcare sector and its services to patients and consumers in the future. It will focus on the four key themes of the conference (innovation, research, leadership & collaboration) and demonstrate these concepts through the lived experience of Dr Drew Dwyer PhD FACN CFJBI, to show how nurses and midwives can make an impact and transform change into the future.

Dr Drew is a Gerontological Nurse (Gerontologist) and an entrepreneur (an EntrepreNurse) who has a story to share with all nurses and midwives across the world. As the lived experience of an ageing population is upon us now, it will again be nurses and midwives who will hold the hand of society as it transforms and help to mould the outcomes we need for positive healthcare in the future.

“I want to keep the oil in the nurse’s lanterns burning bright” was the message from Florence Nightingale over 150 years ago, but which remains just as relevant for “NURSING NOW”.


Dr Drew Dwyer is known internationally as an inspiring, knowledgeable, passionate and engaging clinical leadership educator and mentor.  He is a consultant gerontologist who completed a PhD (Med) in Evidence-Based Healthcare through the Joanna Briggs Institute at Adelaide University in South Australia.  He also holds a master’s degree in clinical science and undergraduate qualifications in Nursing and Applied Social Sciences (Psychology).

His passion is geriatric nursing and he has spent the last 15 years focussed on improving the care provided to our most vulnerable people by leading and advocating for change in the aged, community and disability care sectors.  He currently sits as the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) representative on the Enrolled Nursing Industry Reference Committee that provides expert guidance to the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) on the future of nursing training in Australia.

Dr Drew serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland.  In this role he uses his extensive career in practical on-the-floor nursing roles to encourage and motivate aspiring nurses to fully understand and embrace their role as clinical leaders. His combination of passion for people, professionalism, service and leadership leave an indelible mark on all of his students.

Changing Mental Health Care in Tasmania

Kathryn Gregory1, Adrienne Gibbons2

1Tasmanian Health Services, 2Launceston General Hospital

Mental health care is garnering more attention from Health Services and Governments around the world as the importance of good mental health is recognised. The Tasmanian Government recently announced  major reform to mental health services across Public, Primary Health and Community Managed Sectors. The reforms include establishing Hospital Avoidance Programs, Integrated Hubs and Integrated Suicide Response.

Adie and Kathy will provide an update on the reforms and how they will impact on Tasmanians living with mental health issues.


Kathy Gregory, Program Lead and Executive, Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program

Kathy is an experienced and committed Mental Health Nurse of more than 30 years.  She has worked in diverse roles that include public, private and community managed organisations across Australia. Kathy attained a Masters in Mental Health 14 years ago, just before she moved to Tasmania from Victoria, and is currently a confirmed Doctor of Health Candidate. Prior to joining the reform team as implementation lead, Kathy worked as the Director of Nursing for Forensic Mental Health, Correctional Primary Health and Alcohol and Drug Services. Kathy is committed to and passionate about being part of an integrated Mental Health System that puts people with lived experience, including families and friends, at the centre of everything we do.

Adrienne Gibbons

Adie is the Clinical Executive Director for Statewide Mental Health Services in Tasmania. Adie trained as a Mental Health Nurse in the UK in the 1980’s. Adie worked clinically for many years in hospital and community based services as well as Forensic services. In 2003 Adie emigrated to Australia and spent 14 years living and working in Perth Western Australia, beginning as a base grade RN on an inpatient ward and working her way through various levels until she became Nurse Director responsible for community and inpatient units. Adie moved to Tasmania in 2017 when she took on the role of Clinical Executive Director.

Adie has always been passionate about mental health nursing, and the role that nurses play in walking the recovery road with consumers. Nurses are uniquely placed to empower, encourage and assist consumers to live their best life possible and should not underestimate the influence they have on not only consumers but also families and friends of consumers.

Adie is honoured to be part of the biggest reform to Tasmanian Mental Health Services in many years.

Equipped, Prepared, Ready – Building acute care Health Emergencies Response workforce

Bronte Martin1,2

1Royal Darwin Hospital, 2Darwin International Airport

Uniquely located in Darwin, Australia, the NCCTRC was established in 2005 in the wake of the 2002 Bali bombings, and is the central coordination hub for Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) program. As a world-leading Operational Centre for Excellence in Disaster care and Response, funded by Australia’s Department of Health, the NCCTRC actively fosters integrated disaster preparedness foundations throughout the Region, establishing training, response and national capacity building partnerships.

Tasked to maintain and deploy an acute care medical capability and national workforce on behalf of the Australian government to sudden onset disasters (SODs), Outbreak and Health emergencies of national and international significance, the AUSMAT capability includes a fully self-sufficient, deployable Type 2 Surgical Field Hospital. Recent deployments include 2019 Measles Epidemic (Samoa), 2018 PNG Earthquake, and Tropical Cyclones Gita in 2018 (Tonga), Pam in 2015 (Vanuatu) and Winston in 2016 (Fiji) and the 2013 super-typhoon Haiyan (Philippines).

Delivery of care in an austere disaster environment creates many unique nursing challenges; operating in a resource limited multidisciplinary team, identifying relevant scopes of practice, specialised skill sets and currency requirements, competency and skill mix considerations, human resource management and patient flow. Nursing leadership is pivotal in ensuring quality, effective and efficient acute care responses, in both austere, limited resource and environmentally challenging settings.


RN, BNurs, MNurs, GDipNSc (Emerg), CritCCert, DipGov & ADipPersOps, MRCNA

Bronte Martin is the Director of Nursing (Trauma & Disaster) and founding member of the National Critical Care Trauma Response Centre responsible for providing clinical governance and oversight for the Australian Medical Assistance Team deployable 60 bed Field Surgical Hospital capability.

She is currently both Australian Medical Assistance Team (AusMAT) Mission & Clinical Team Leader and Australian representative for UN Disaster Assessment Coordination Teams (UNDAC); with deployments in response to Tropical Cyclone Pam, Vanuatu, Philippines super-Typhoon Haiyan and most recently Samoan Measles Epidemic, and active coordination of the Australian Government’s AUSMAT response to Tropical Cyclone Gita, Tonga and Papua New Guinea Highlands Earthquakes in 2018.

Bronte is also a Wing Commander in the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve; previous operational experiences include deployments to Solomon Islands and Afghanistan.

In 2016 Bronte returned from a 6-month secondment with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) Secretariat in Geneva to develop and establish the Global Classification, Mentorship & Verification program; ensuring validated, quality international Emergency medical care is delivered in response to sudden onset disasters.

In 2017 Bronte assumed the inaugural role on behalf of WHO as Regional Chair – Western Pacific for Emergency Medical Teams; actively mentoring 10 International EMTs from around the globe towards achieving WHO Global Classification and validation of national capacities to respond in Emergencies.