1 March 2019

CATSINaM Newsletter

Welcome our CEO, Melanie 

It gives me great pleasure to provide my first introduction to a CATSINaM newsletter as the CEO. Before I begin, for those of you who don’t know me I was born in Derby in the Kimberley of WA and I have connections to the Ngarinyin and Gija country. The first 8 years of my life I lived on a remote cattle station at Ngallagunda community on the Gibb River Road.


I am a registered nurse who completed my training at Curtin University in Perth in 1993 and after graduating I gained 15 years nursing experience in paediatrics, intensive care and adult nursing. During my nursing I completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Paediatrics at Edith Cowan University in 2004. I then worked for 5 years from 2008-2013 at an Aboriginal Registered Training Organisation called Marr Mooditj Training in Noongar Boodjar (Country). 


Then I worked at the WA Department of Health in Aboriginal Health Policy Directorate for 5 years. During this time, I assisted in the development and implementation of Aboriginal workforce policies, the development of the Aboriginal Cultural eLearning program for WA Health employees and I managed the Aboriginal cadetship program. My role involved identifying and developing pathways into employment for Aboriginal people including Aboriginal graduate nurses and midwives. In 2018 I worked at the Director Aboriginal Health in Child and Adolescent Health Service in WA for 6 months. In July 2018 I graduated from the master’s in nursing research from Notre Dame University, Fremantle campus. The title of my thesis is “Aboriginal women yarning about Experiences as an Undergraduate Nursing Students in West Australian Universities.”


As an Aboriginal nurse I have learnt that patience and resilience are key to getting the work done. I never give up and I will always challenge racism and I am committed to educating Australian health care providers about the importance of culturally safety.  I have a long and proud association with CATSINaM as a member since 2008 and the WA Director for CATSINaM 2016-2019. During my time in health I have always strived to improve the social and cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people mainly through getting more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into employment or education.


As the new CEO I would like to firstly acknowledge the work of Janine Mohamed in particular I would like to acknowledge the role Janine played in raising the profile of CATSINaM. Janine was integral growing the membership of CATSINaM, the development of the CATSINaM Strategic Plan 2018-2023, lobbying government and stakeholders and giving us some really Deadly presentations. Thank you to Janine for your hard worked and commitment to CATSINaM and it’s ‘because of her we can.’


Finally, with my experience in policy, stakeholder engagement, workforce and education I am taking on the role as CEO to continue the work of CATSINaM. CATSINaM continues to be committed to the implementation of the CATSINaM Strategic Plan 2018-2023 and I will continue to work with you as the members to provide support and help you to grow as our current and future leaders. 


You can read the full media release here

Recent Highlights 

Warm welcome for Federal funding for cultural safety training for nurses and midwives


You may have seen through your networks that CATSINaM has been funded to create an Australian-first online cultural safety training course for nurses and midwives delivering frontline care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. 


The training that will be developed as a result of this funding will help to ensure that nurses and midwives across Australia provide culturally safe care to patients and clients, as well as work respectfully with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues.


Former Chief Executive Officer of CATSINaM, Janine Mohamed, said: “Cultural safety is integral to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are more likely to seek access to health care and achieve better health outcomes by utilising services that are respectful and culturally safe”.


You can read the CATSINaM media release here and the Hon Ken Wyatt media release here 


Workshops, workshops workshops

This past quarter we have been busy with delivering workshops, we have delivered 4 workshops this quarter and reached over 115 individual people. 

This financial year, CATSINaM has delivered 28 CATSINaM led events, reaching over 907 individuals. The graph above highlights the topics discussed and percentage of people who were present. 

The above graph shows the different sectors we are presenting to. 

Mentoring Workshop held in Dubbo for the MLHD. 

LINMEN - how can you get involved?

LINMEN is a dynamic and collaborative network that provides support to nursing and midwifery educators, to assist them to provide high quality education and training on cultural safety and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, history and culture.


There are 37 Schools of Nursing and Midwifery (SONM) within universities across Australia. These Schools vary in size and structure from stand-alone schools or within larger health related faculties or Colleges. Since its launch, LINMEN has seen 27 Schools within universities across Australia join its network and now has more than 220 members. The Resource Hub within the LINMEN network has hundreds of resources which can all be accessed for free. 


How you can get involved:

  • Join LINMEN at www.linmen.org.au and encourage your workplace to do likewise. LINMEN membership is free and open   to everyone.     
  • Encourage your colleagues and networks to join
  • Share the LINMEN website on your own organisation’s website/social media
  • Attend and support LINMEN events and workshops
  • Collaborate with other LINMEN members on projects to enhance the teaching of cultural safety and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, history and culture in midwifery education.
  • Share your resources and projects related to cultural safety and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, history and culture in nursing and midwifery education on the LINMEN website and with other LINMEN members.

Close the Gap 2019

What are you doing for National Close the Gap Day? 


For the last 10 years many thousands of Australians from every corner of the country, in schools, businesses and community groups, have shown their support for Close the Gap by marking National Close the Gap Day each March.


This National Close the Gap Day, we have an opportunity to send our governments a clear message that Australians value health equality as a fundamental right for all.

On National Close the Gap Day we encourage you to host an activity in your workplace, home, community or school.


With events ranging from workplace morning teas, sports days, school events and public events in hospitals and offices around the country — tens of thousands of people take part each year to make a difference.


We want to see what you organise for National Close the Gap Day - send photos to our comms team of your contributions to feature on our social media and our June Newsletter. We will have a $100 iTunes voucher our favourite and unique photo. 

NAIDOC Week 2019: Voice, Treaty, Truth

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.


Have you thought about holding an event? 


Here are some ideas on how to celebrate NAIDOC Week:

  • Display the National NAIDOC Poster or other Indigenous posters around your classroom or workplace.
  • Start your own hall of fame featuring Indigenous role models.
  • Listen to Indigenous musicians or watch a movie about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history.
  • Make your own Indigenous trivia quiz.
  • Study a famous Indigenous Australian.
  • Research the traditional Indigenous owners of your area.
  • Study Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts.
  • Create your own Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander art.
  • Run an art competition for your school or community.
  • Research Indigenous history online or visit you library to find books about Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.
  • Visit local Indigenous sites of significance or interest.
  • Learn the meanings of local or national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names and words.
  • Invite local Indigenous Elders to speak or give a Welcome to Country at your school or workplace.
  • Invite an Indigenous sportsperson or artist to visit you.
  • Invite Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander dancers to perform.
  • Host a community BBQ or luncheon.
  • Hold a flag raising ceremony.
  • Organise a smoking ceremony.

We would love to hear what local events you are organising and share them amongst the CATSINaM community. Please send any information you would like shared to our Events and Communications Manager, Chloe Peters via chloe.peters@catsinam.org.au 

CATSINaM Membership 

We are so proud of how much our membership has grown, we have over 1600 amazing Members. We have strength in numbers and we are thankful each and everyone of you allow us to represent you. 

Did you know that CATSINaM has a quarterly membership referral prize? On the 'become a member form' there is a place for new members to include who referred them to join CATSINaM. We note all these names (the more referrals the more chances) and draw out a winner each quarter. The winner receives an iPad for their work referring us. 

Grace Kinsella Scholarship 

The Grace Kinsella Women’s Health Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of Grace Kinsella in 2018 by her family.


The purpose of the Grace Kinsella Women’s Health Memorial Scholarship is to provide annual funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait nurses and midwives to undertake the required education to prepare them for employment as a Women’s Health Nurse.  The Women’s Health Nurse as a career path still struggles to gain traction in the health field, yet these nurses play such an important role in the community.


Congratulations to Monique Hooper, the 2018 scholarship recipient. 


Monica Hooper is an Aboriginal woman of Arabuna and southern Arrente heritage. She is currently undertaking the Masters of Nursing – Nurse Practitioner which she commenced in 2018 at Charles Darwin University, with the view of becoming a Women’s Health Nurse once she finished her studies. Her passion is reproductive health, her further studies will enable Monique to have a wider scope of practice to work with her community as a specialist nurse in reproductive health. 


You can read more about Monique here. 


The 2019 scholarship round is open now, you can apply here.

CATSINaM Training Programs - Books yours in today 

Have you tapped into one of CATSINaM's seven different training programs that can be delivered for organisations and groups in your local area? 

An overview of the focus, learning outcomes, fees and recommended participant numbers are available at the CATSINaM Training Programs page on our website. CATSINaM can also help bring the two-day Cultural Safety Training program to your location - this is the same workshop we have hosted each year in Canberra.


Looking for more information? Contact Chloe from our office via chloe.peters@catsinam.org.au 

CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference - Abstracts and Sponsorships

The CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference is being held in Sydney from the 24th to the 26th of September 2019. This year is themed, connecting care through culture. 


Call For Abstracts 

We are seeking abstracts for our conference. 



  • individual oral presentations of 15 mins + 5 mins Q & A 
  • joint oral presentations of 15 mins + 5 mins Q & A
  • interactive workshops 60mins

To be considered for presenting an abstract, please head to the CATSINaM website. 


If you have any questions about submitting an abstract, please contact Chloe Peters, our Events and Communications Manager via chloe.peters@catsinam.org.au 



Each year we are thrilled to partner with external organisations to bring Members to the conference. This year we will support 10 members with their flights, accomodation and registration to attend the conference. 


To apply for sponsorship, head to the CATSINaM Website or email Chloe Peters, our Events and Communications Manager via chloe.peters@catsinam.org.au 

Two exciting PhD or Master's scholarships in Aboriginal health at UNSW Sydney

We are excited to announce two scholarship opportunities for PhD/Master’s students currently open at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW, Sydney.


The first is an identified position with a focus on preventing injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children:



The second focuses on innovative health care models for adolescents.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health people are strongly encouraged to apply for this scholarship:



Both roles will be supervised by Professor Rebecca Ivers.

If you are interested in hearing more about either position please get in touch at  rebecca.ivers@unsw.edu.au

Upcoming CATSINaM Events 

CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference: Connecting culture through care from the 24th - 26th of September 2019, Sheraton Grand Sydney, Hyde Park 

Mentoring Workshop:  7 and 8th March 2019, Sydney NSW for Poche Centre University of Sydney


Mentoring Workshop: week of 6-11 May 2019, for Western Local health District (NSW) venue and date to be confirmed


National Safety and Quality Health Standards: Partnering for Equity, embedding cultural safety in health services: week of 6-11 May 2019, for Mid North Coast (NSW) Local Health District venue and date to be confirmed