Marni Tuala is a proud Bundjalung woman who grew up on country in Northern NSW and comes from a long line of healers. Marni is currently employed as the Director of Aboriginal Health for Healthy North Coast (HNC), facilitators of the Primary Health Network program across the North Coast of NSW. As the strategic lead for Aboriginal Health within HNC, Marni draws upon her experience of the regional health landscape as well as National policy and program development to inform strategy at a local level. In her first 12 months in this role, Marni has prioritised building a strong Aboriginal Health team within HNC who are working towards community-led consultation to improve access to health services and better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the North Coast of NSW. Marni brings a unique perspective to her role having studied both midwifery and the law. Marni holds a Bachelor of Midwifery and a Masters in Primary Maternity Care. Having worked clinically as the Aboriginal liaison midwife in a hospital-based model of care, Marni is passionate about improving the cultural safety of the broader health system and working towards the implementation of culturally safe models of care.
Marni is passionate about her responsibility to her community both culturally and to provide role modelling and mentoring, and enjoys contributing to the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce through nurturing the next generations and developing a safe system for them to work in. Marni continues to advocate for and influence systemic reform across both the health and education sectors at both a National and regional level.
Roxanne is a Palawa woman who was born and raised on Gubbi Gubbi land in southeast Queensland. She completed a double degree in Nursing and Health Science (Paramedics) from the Queensland University of Technology. Roxanne completed her graduate nursing year on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. She then undertook further training in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. She relocated to Canberra in 2017 to commence postgraduate study in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. Roxanne is passionate about child and infant health, with a particular interest in the epidemiology and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children admitted to PICUs in Australia.
Sye Hodgman is a proud Trawlwoolway man from Tasmania and qualified as a Registered Nurse. He has been an active member of Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives for 15 years. He has spoken in support of CATSINaM at Parliament House during their Close the Gap address in 2015 and spoke to the National Health Leadership Forum that same year. He has also participated in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards consultations regarding cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients across Australia.
Sye is an experienced Project Management and Strategic Planning professional with a strong background in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Education and Employment in the Public, ACCO, University and NFP Sectors. He has chaired multiple committees at local and state levels in support of increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, health, justice, and education outcomes, including leading the state-wide Victorian committee for increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives for over 2 years.
My name is Michelle Cutmore and I am a proud Gomeroi/Gamilaroi woman born in Moree north west NSW in 1966. I was born into Aboriginal health and been remunerated for more than 27 years, working as an Aboriginal Health Worker for 13yrs before completing my Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Western Sydney. I have been a member of CATSIN now CATSINaM since 2003 as a Student Nurse. I have 3 children, I live in Kingscliff NSW.
Ms Karita McCarthy is a Decendent from the Waanyi people from Lawn Hill & Tagalaka tribe from the Croydon region in North Queensland. Karita has been in the Northern Territory most of her life coming to Darwin in 1975 with her parents and three siblings. She has close ties to Larrakia peoples as she grew up on this country.
Karita is a registered Nurse with 20 year’s experience in health her first 6 months as a nurse was in TEMHS at the psychiatric facility inpatient unit in Darwin & she is currently building clinical skills with SDPU (Same day procedure unit) at RDH.
RAN is where Karita’s passion is, but she brings great knowledge of mental health to that area of expertise.
Her journey began in 1998 when she first became an Aboriginal Mental Health worker with her career spanning through the department of health in areas of AOD, child protection, numerous administration positions & liaison officer rolls. Karita has Diplomas in Mental Health, Business Administration, Degree in RN & will commence Grad cert in RAN in 2021.
Karita has a passion in all areas of Indigenous health and is striving to make a difference in primary health care and close the gap for Indigenous Nurses to be able to work in Primary Health Care setting with the correct training support and mentoring.
Karita is on the Advisory Committee for the PHN in the NT and is an active member and advocate for CATSINaM and DFG Days for Girls Darwin. She also attends local Rotary meetings twice a year for support.
Vanessa Browne is a proud Larrakian woman, born in Adelaide and survivor of Cyclone Tracey in Darwin. She started her nursing career as a Nurse Assistant in a nursing home while studying her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of South Australia. Vanessa worked in the Royal Adelaide Hospital for a couple of years before she studied for the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing at Flinders University. Vanessa worked in the Rural and Remote Inpatient Unit at Glenside for around 16 years moving between the Acute Unit, Intensive Care and the Emergency Triage and Liaison Service. In her time with Rural and Remote, she was seconded to a rural area for a few months, assisted with the emergency response to the Port Lincoln fires and spent a year in New Zealand working in an Acute Mental Health Unit which included rehabilitation and Intensive care unit. Vanessa won the Excellence in Practice Aboriginal Nurse/Midwife in the Nursing & Midwifery Excellence Awards in 2016.
Currently, Vanessa is working in a community mental health service as a Nurse Practitioner with a scope of Aboriginal mental health, having completed her Masters in Nurse Practitioner at the University of South Australia in 2019. She has been in the community for the past 4 years working towards increasing the profile of the mental health service and assisting our community to navigate the systems, understand illness, symptoms and strive for wellness. Vanessa's main focus is on educating non-Aboriginal clinicians about engaging with our Aboriginal consumers with cultural responsiveness. She loves nursing and in particular mental health nursing. She is passionate about encouraging our up and coming nurses to complete their nursing degrees and possibly consider mental health. Vanessa believes that with support and mentoring we can better encourage our Aboriginal nurses to reach beyond their potential and help them to make a difference in the attitudes and stigma that is often experienced in mainstream services by our Aboriginal nurses and consumers/patients/clients/community members.