Melanie has worked in diverse roles in nursing over the past 30 years, including clinical practice, education, and policy. Her priorities at CATSINaM include growing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives, ensuring the workforce is strongly supported, advocating for members, engaging with national policy development, and building strong partnerships across government and non-government sectors. Melanie, who has cultural connections to the Gidja and Ngarinyin people of the Kimberley in Western Australia, is also passionate about supporting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Having grown up on Gibb River Station on Ngallagunda community before moving to Derby as a young girl, she has a connection with the particular health challenges faced by rural and remote communities. Melanie has a deep personal understanding of the impacts of colonisation, including having family members affected by Stolen Generations policies. Through her professional and own family’s experiences, Melanie has seen many examples of institutional and interpersonal racism, contributing to poor health outcomes and inequitable access to healthcare. During her career, Melanie has worked at hospitals in Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Perth, as well as aged care services in Derby and Dublin, Ireland. Melanie has also worked as a nurse educator at Marr Mooditj Training, and in policy in the Western Australian Department of Health. She completed a Masters in Nursing Research at the University of Notre Dame Australia in 2018.
Taylor is originally from Young NSW and has lived Canberra since 2010. She worked in hospitality for seven years in various roles before deciding to learn about the financial management side of the business. She began a Business Administration and Finance traineeship with a bookkeeping firm in 2013, gaining skills in financial record keeping and reporting. Then worked as a bookkeeper for a range of enterprise clients across all industries up until late 2016. In working with numerous Cloud software programs in her bookkeeping role, she developed a passion for helping business owners learn and implement online software to streamline their financial processes and reporting.
Chantelle is from Young NSW, she moved to Canberra in 1994 and later moved to Queanbeyan NSW. As Chantelle travels between Canberra and Young, often she respectfully acknowledges both Wiradjuri county and Ngunnawal country as spiritual homes and is currently learning about her family. Before joining CATSINaM, Chantelle worked with Indigenous Business Australia for 3 Years, in this time she gaining a Certificate 3 in Information, Digital Media and Communication and was a 2018 finalist at the ACT Training Awards in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of The Year category and was a System Admin Support Officer. Chantelle hopes to share her knowledge and looks forward to learning from her new team.
Demelza moved from Tallangatta, Victoria to Canberra in 2008. Meeting her husband in 2009, she now has two beautiful children. Demelza previously worked at ANMAC for six years in the Skilled Migration Services team. Working as an Assessor and then an Administration Officer, she was assessing internationally qualified nurses and midwives who want to migrate to Australia under the General Skilled Migration program. After a six month secondment to CATSINaM, she has decided to stay on and broaden her knowledge on everything that is CATSINaM.
Leona is a proud Aboriginal woman descending from the Kuku Yalanji and Woopaburra people of Queensland. Leona is a mother, grandmother, artist and registered midwife. Leona undertook her midwifery training to be able to care for women from her local community where she grew up in the Redfern and Waterloo suburbs of Sydney. Leona moved into policy in 2011, working in the NSW Health Aboriginal Nursing & Midwifery Strategy for eight years before coming to CATSINaM.
Leona brings a depth of experience to CATSINaM with working clinically as a registered midwife and for Government. Leona’s passion is advocating for, supporting and increasing the Aboriginal nursing and midwifery workforce. Leona is also a board member of the Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern.
Sam is originally from Melbourne but has spent most of her life in Albury NSW. She moved to Canberra in 2011. She completed a Bachelor of Primary Education in 2018 with an emphasis on Indigenous pedagogical approaches. Sam hopes to implement aspects of her educational background within her position at CATSINaM.
Viet Duong Nguyen
IT & Software
From Vietnam, recently graduated as a software engineer. Viet is currently assisting CATSINaM with more in-depth IT projects
Angela is a proud Sovereign Wiradjuri woman from the Upper Bila Galari- Lachlan River, Cowra area of Central West NSW. A Mother to five boori’s (children) who are proud young Wiradjuri, Bundjalung, Biripi and Gumbaynggirr people.
As a child of the Black Rights Movement, growing up the fight for social and political justice was at the forefront. From the banks of the Bila Galari (Lachlan River) to inner City Sydney Angela experienced both the strength and resilience of the Wiradjuri Nation and vast injustices and inequality enforced on her people and all those who call inner-city Sydney home. Leaving school and beginning work life in the justice system Angela quickly realised that her passion lay with health and studied to become an Aboriginal Health Worker at Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service, this set Angela on a path to Midwifery a few years later. Completing a Bachelor of Midwifery at UTS and then working as a Midwife at Gold Coast University Hospital before returning to Redfern.
Angela is currently the Registered Midwife at the Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern, and is proud to be employed at the first AMS in the country and continues to support women and their families. Angela is passionate about providing culturally safe Midwifery care and Decolonising the current Health System.
Working at CATSINaM is a great honour, to be able to support our Nurses and Midwives across the country, and advocate for Cultural Safety through all aspects of the health system.