Taking a chance!

Erin McLeod1

1Tasmanian Health Service South, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


What is it that you want for your colleagues and your profession and how can I make a difference? Ever asked yourself these questions, but really weren’t sure of what the answers were? You are not alone, I found myself reflecting on these concepts time and time again.

Being the recipient of the 2018 Florence Nightingale Awards Returned Sister Memorial Grant, afforded me the opportunity to explore, grow, be inspired and empowered to start answering these questions through the professional opportunity of a lifetime. I will be sharing the experience of how putting your self out there and taking a chance can lead to exciting new opportunities for our professions and self-development. Inspired by those that have come before us, I want you to walk away with not  a lot of unanswered questions, but with a focus on that can be me!


Erin is the Assistant Director of Nursing for Education in the Centre for Education and Research with the Tasmanian Health Service South. She has been a registered nurse for 19 years and during this time has held positions from graduate nurse through to Acting EDON. Her post graduate qualifications include a Master’s in clinical education and Post Graduate Certificate in Health Administration. Her professional interests are education, learning & development with a focus on leadership, best practice and empowering nurses and midwives to make change and innovate in practice. Working in a Practice Development framework, Erin works collaboratively and in solution focussed ways with teams, nurses & midwives with the aim of safe and quality care delivery.

Churchill fellowship

Sam Halliday1

1Chief Pharmacist and Churchill Fellowship recipient


  • What is the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship
  • What does it allow you to do
  • Why would you consider applying
  • Factors to consider if applying for any scholarship
  • Some examples of what the Fellowship enabled – professionally and personally


Sam is a registered pharmacist in Australia with over fifteen years’ experience in the health system. His interest in healthcare originated from a love for healthy living and physical activity, particularly sporting pursuits.

Sam was awarded a Bachelor of Pharmacy and the JC Burgin Memorial Prize for outstanding commitment and dedication to academic studies from the University of Tasmania in 2006.

He went on to ply his craft and manage a number community pharmacies over the ensuing decade in the Southern suburbs of Hobart. During this time he became accredited as a Consultant Pharmacist with the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacists and regularly conducted home medication management reviews throughout Tasmania. He was an examiner for the Pharmacy Board of Australia for seven years.

Sam has worked in medicines regulation since 2013 and is currently the Acting Chief Pharmacist for the Tasmanian Government’s Department of Health. His team is responsible for governing the Tasmanian poisons legislation to minimise the known and emerging harms from medicines and poisons in our society. This work includes the stewardship of Australia’s first Real Time Prescription Monitoring system for high-risk pharmaceutical medicines, DORA.

Sam is Tasmania’s nominated member of the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling and Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling. He also sits on the TGA’s Medical Cannabis Access Working Group and the Australian Government Office of Drug Control’s Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Production Working Group.

In August 2018, Sam was awarded a Master of Public Health from the University of Tasmania and his research thesis examined the utilisation of opioid analgesics in Tasmania for persistent non cancer pain.

In October 2018 he was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship for travel overseas in 2019 to investigate international approaches to the regulation of medical cannabis.

In February 2019 he graduated from the Tasmanian Leaders Program, an intensive year-long action-learning program focused on building leadership capacity and connectivity across Tasmania.

Sam is a proud husband to Emily and father to Daisy and George. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and staying active.

Nurse practitioners transforming healthcare

Kerrie Duggan1

1Cygnet Family Practice Pty Ltd


Nurse Practitioners are focused on improving access to treatment, providing cost-effective care, and targeting at-risk populations including aged care and indigenous populations in remote and rural areas.  Educated at Masters level and found throughout Australia, Nurse Practitioners work as key health care providers in regional, remote, and metropolitan areas to perform advanced physical assessments, order diagnostic tests, initiate referrals to healthcare providers, prescribe medications and collaborate with other nurses and healthcare professionals to provide holistic care to patients.

The value of the Nurse Practitioner role in addressing service shortfalls and thereby improving the health care outcomes of Australians will be showcased by featuring presentations of successful, innovative NP led models of care.

Valuable information will be shared and discussed with registered nurses, managers and healthcare policy makers regarding the benefits of having Nurse Practitioners as part of their usual health care team, and the advantages of increasing access to Nurse Practitioners across inpatient, outpatient and community settings.

This is a ‘must attend’ for those nurses , managers or health care policy makers and influencers who are looking for their next career challenge, who want to understand the difference between a Nurse Practitioner, CNC or Advanced Practice Nurse, or seeks to improve the health care system in order to meet the challenges of access and chronic disease in the Tasmanian community.


Kerrie has been nursing for the past 40 years in a variety of nursing roles. She is currently co-owner of Cygnet Family Practice Pty. Ltd., a general practice service in Cygnet, Tasmania. She works clinically as a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner and Managing Director. Over the past 5 years, Kerrie has had the unique opportunity to initiate and establish a team-based, patient-centred, holistic health care service. The success of this model of care is the strong focus on the nursing discipline of holistic health care and extensive collaboration with general practitioners, allied health professionals, and the local community.

Kerrie’s passion for nursing and improving care for patients is channeled through her current role as Australian College Nurse Practitioners, Tasmanian Chapter Chair. She is has been lobbying for raised awareness of this advanced nursing role which increases patient access to care, provides leadership to the nursing profession, and improves the provision of health care to the general community.

For details or questions regarding the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners please email kerrie@cygnetfamilypractice.com.au

What is required to strengthen the system and change the way we think and feel?

Adjunct Professor Tanya Farrell

Chair, CCOPMM and Senior Maternity Advisor, SCV


The presentation will provide insights into the work of Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity  (CCOPMM) and Safer Care Victoria (SCV) and how best to ensure that what is learnt leads to a change to those who matter most, women, babies and families. These insights will include the work currently being undertaken to reduce stillbirths in Victoria. The work we all do makes a difference – to do this work well we need to; Be strong and committed, build more knowledge and skills and be aware of both the care provided day to day whilst seeing the goals ahead over the coming years.

Understanding what we see, knowing what women and families want and be clear in knowing if we are delivering it is important for our journey together.

We all know what it looks like when it goes well and when it doesn’t go so well – alongside this is how it feels, for you as an individual, for the organisations in which we work and for families who now live with the devastation when things go wrong.

These insights offered aim to assist in reflecting in the way we think and feel.

  • what makes you tick when it comes to being a midwife
  • what is your role going to be in making a difference to women, babies, families and your colleagues?
  • What gets you up in the morning/afternoon or night? and what keeps you awake during the day or at night?
  • and what does success look like for you in this work?


Tanya Farrell is a midwife and a nurse – and holds 2 key roles that focus on improving healthcare for women, babies and children across Victoria.

As the Maternity Advisor Tanya provides strategic clinical leadership and advice on issues related to maternity services and midwifery, particularly in relation to safety and quality improvement.

As the Chair of CCOPMM she oversees the investigation and reporting of all maternal, perinatal and paediatric mortality and morbidity as well as providing advice to the Minister for Health, Safer Care Victoria (SCV) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on strategies to improve clinical care and avoid preventable deaths and significant morbidity in Victoria. The Council also manages the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection (VPDC), a population-based surveillance system that collects and analyses comprehensive information on the health of mothers and babies, in order to contribute to improvements in their health.

Tanya is also an Adjunct Professor in Nursing and Midwifery at La Trobe University. Prior to these appointments she was the Executive Director of Midwifery and Nursing at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria.

The evolution and where we are now: Palliative care needs rounds resulting in better living and dying in residential aged care

Nikki Johnston OAM1, Julianne Samara1, Liz Forbat2,3, Wai-Man Liu4, Jane Koerner3, Michael Chapman4,5, Lawrence Lam6

1Calvary, 2Stirling, 3ACU, 4ANU, 5Canberra Health, 6UTS


Access to Specialist palliative care for aged care residents is often inadequate and inconsistent across Australia. Ability for staff to care for residents in their last month’s needs improvement and residents experience high levels of unnecessary hospitalisation. This points to an urgent clinical priority to manage residents’ complex needs in the aged care setting. We developed and tested a new approach to provide specialist palliative care in aged care, called Palliative Care Needs Rounds.

We conducted a mixed method pilot study in 2015. We then went on to conducting a stepped wedge randomised control study in 12 facilities, with 1700 residents. The primary outcome was hospitalisations, with secondary outcomes focused on dying in preferred place, quality of death/dying, and staff confidence. Qualitative interviews captured feedback from staff on the implementation of the model of care.

Palliative Care Needs Rounds led to statistically significant reductions in residents’ length of stay in hospital alongside substantial decreases in the number of admissions. Symptom management during death and dying were significantly improved, alongside improvements in dying in preferred place. Staff confidence to look after people approaching end of life also improved. Interview data indicated that staff found Palliative Care Needs Rounds helpful, particularly in learning to identify dying and ensuring anticipatory plans are in place for residents.

Palliative Care Needs Rounds improve residents’ quality of care and death. Palliative Care Needs Rounds can be implemented easily by senior nurses, drawing on a published checklist describing how to conduct them. Palliative Care Needs Rounds deliver key targets in the Australian national palliative care strategy and therefore this methodologically robust trial offers evidence of an effective mechanism to improve care.


Nikki is the inaugural winner of the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers presented on 9 April 2019.

Nikki became a registered nurse in 1989 and a Nurse Practitioner in 2008.

Currently working for Calvary, Clare Holland House campus Canberra, Nikki believes all Australia’s deserve equity of access to quality care nearing the end of life, regardless of their age, diagnosis or where they live.

Nikki’s research team have successfully tested a model integrating specialist palliative care into residential aged care. They have been recognised internationally for their approach that led to reduced avoidable hospital transfer’s, reduced length of hospital stays and normalising dying while increasing the capacity of staff to care for residents in their last months of life.

She was recognised in the 2019 Australia Day Honors as a recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia for her contribution to nursing, also in 2019 Nikki won the inaugural national health ministers award for nursing trailblazers and the Australian collage of Nurse Practitioners mentor of the year award. Her team won two national awards, the Palliative Care Australia award for team innovation in palliative care and the Hesta nursing award for team excellence.

Nikki is the only nurse who sits on the ACT health minister’s clinical leadership forum with 5 doctors. She is a member of the Australian Collage of Nurse Practitioners, the Australian Collage of Nursing and Palliative Care Nurses Australia.