Learning from strong leadership
Published: 17 April 2013
Who ever said nursing and midwifery was non-political?
Politics in the state and federal sphere is shaping the health landscape—and the future of our professions—in so many ways.
Leadership in nursing and midwifery is never more important than during times of change—and right now, all over Australia, nurses and midwives are facing significant changes to many aspects of their working lives.
Leadership in unions is also important, not only to provide good governance of the business of the union to ensure transparency, accountability, and clear-headed decision-making, but also for advocating for our nursing and midwifery values in professional, industrial, social and political environments.
Being re-elected to QNU Branch President last year strongly influenced my decision to nominate for the position of Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) Vice President.
Despite working in a variety of clinical settings and roles since I began nursing, my areas of interest remain standards and practice, leadership and patient safety.
Nurses and midwives are uniquely positioned as advocates for patients and our professions, to participate in strategic planning, delivery of health services and policy development while ensuring the growth of our professions.
It is for this reason I wanted to stand for a federal leadership role—and indeed I was privileged enough to be elected unopposed as the Vice President of the ANF.
I will be joining a team of experienced federal Councillors, including QNU Secretary Beth Mohle.
These people are nursing and midwifery representatives whose strong leadership has positioned the ANF as one of the largest, most professional, and most influential trade unions in Australia.
The federal Vice President role is to support the officers and function of the ANF Council by participating in discussions at Federal Executive meetings (along with the State Secretaries), participating in Federal Council (attended by State Secretaries and Presidents), to discharge fiduciary responsibilities as part of the Federal Council, to chair meetings in the absence of or at the delegation of the President, and any other duties so assigned to me by the Federation.
It is an incredible honour. I believe my role as QNU Branch President will complement my role as ANF Vice President.
The ANF priorities for this year focus very much on making health a major election issue, and we have a number of campaigns at state and national level to advance our interests in that regard.
Stop Passing the Buck is a campaign which originated in Queensland and has been broadened to the national stage. It applies pressure to governments to implement programs that guarantee graduate nursing and midwifery positions are created and filled to ensure the nursing and midwifery workforce meets future needs (anf.org.au/campaign/entry/stop-passing-the-buck).
The Safe Patient Care 2013 campaign in New South Wales calls for wage parity with public sector for nurses working in ageing, disability and homecare (anf.org.au/campaign/entry/organising-for-safe-patient-care).
The Because We Care/Aged Care Can’t Wait campaigns lobby for improvement to pay and working conditions for health workers in aged care sector (anf.org.au/campaign/entry/because-we-care)
I am very much looking forward to officially starting my term as federal VP in the next few weeks.
There is no doubt we are in the midst of great change in health, and it is an honour to be involved at this level of collective organisation.
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