The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives has announced a Mount Isa woman as its new chief executive officer, Professor Roianne West.
Professor West is a Kalkadoon woman from Mount Isa and her drive to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is part of a long family tradition and includes careers of nursing spanning four generations.
Prof West has a twin sister and a brother who are also registered nurses and twin daughters who are studying nursing and midwifery.
Prof. West has completed a Bachelor of Nursing, a Masters of Mental Health Nursing, and a PhD which developed a model of excellence for increasing Indigenous nurses in Australia 2012.
With 20 years experience she is well placed to lead CATSINaM whose vision is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives to play a pivotal and respected role in achieving health equity across Australia's health system for Indigenous people.
CATSINaM chairperson, Marni Tuala welcomed Professor West.
"The Board and I are excited about the future of our organisation and the work we will do together," Ms Tuala said.
"We truly believe we have secured the country's best to lead CATSINaM".
Professor West was Australia's first nursing director in a tertiary hospital with a dedicated portfolio of Indigenous Health.
She was also Australia's first Professor of Indigenous Health in a joint appointment between a state health service and a University school of nursing and midwifery, Foundation Chair in First Peoples Health, Director of the First Peoples Health Unit and the inaugural Dean of First Peoples Health all at Griffith University.
Prof. West is an active researcher and leads the Yuwan Gulgan (YG) study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Education and Training at Griffith University which aims to improve safety and quality in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety health professional education and training through an Indigenous research lens.
Prof West was recently acknowledged for her outstanding research leadership when announced as the 2020 Lowitja Institute Cranlana.
Aunty Dr Doseena Fergie OAM, a member of the CATSINaM Inaugural Elders Council, said Prof West would bring a wealth of experience as a well renowned leader in health, academia and research.
"We are confident that Roianne's unique style and the networks she has fostered will open new doors of opportunity for our organisation to walk through," she said.
Prof West commences her new role on October 5.