Our Board of Directors
Fiona is the Primary Health Care (PHC) Safety & Quality Manager for Top End Health Service (TEHS) Northern Territory. Since 2015 she has led TEHS PHC towards implementation of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) standards in preparation for accreditation. TEHS PHC includes 26 remote Primary Health Centres, Prison Health and Urban Community Health services, Hearing Health and Oral Health programs and Cancer Screening Services.
Fiona’s qualifications and experience as a Registered Nurse and manager range across acute and primary health care for close to 30 years. For 10 of those years she worked in primary health in the NT with both government and non-government organisations. This enabled her to develop a broad understanding of the challenges and issues health professionals face on a daily basis in their practice as well as the overall challenges of the remote clinical and cultural setting.
For 6 years, Fiona worked as NT Clinical Manager for Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC). During her tenure at RAHC, she successfully implemented the RAHC Remote Educator (RE) program to provide support to clinicians on their first placement.
Fiona was appointed to the NT PHN Advisory Council in 2015 and elected to the CRANAplus board the same year.
“The obvious commitment and passion of CRANAplus to preparing, supporting and speaking up for our rural and remote workforce has been an inspiration to me as a Board member and a nurse.”
John is a Remote Area Nurse living and working in the Northern Territory. He began his working life as a farmer, shearer, fencing contractor and grain handler before attending the University of South Australia and commencing a career in nursing. After two years as a ward nurse and seven years as an emergency nurse in a major trauma centre, John moved to the bush in 2003. Since graduation he has attained a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Nursing, a Masters Degree in Remote Health Practice (Nurse Practitioner), and a Masters Degree in Remote Health Management, while working in a variety of remote and very remote settings. His current workplace is Tennant Creek Hospital where he is Clinical Nurse Consultant for the Emergency Department but seconded to the role of Clinical Nurse Educator for the Hospital. He enjoys being involved in clinical education including simulation, having gained endorsement as a BLS and ALS instructor and completed simulation training and a Certificate IV in Training and Education.
John is a Fellow of CRANAplus, a Fellow of the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (Course 16), Treasurer of the Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association and a member of the Australian College of Nursing since 1991. He was instrumental in creating the South Australian Emergency Nurses Association in 1997 and the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia in 2000, then joined the CRANAplus Board in 2005. In 2008, John took on and successfully completed drafting the new constitution that changed CRANA into CRANAplus.
In his ‘spare time’, John is the main carer for his disabled wife Anita and his father-in-law, he volunteers as a facilitator for the CRANAplus REC and ALS programs, and he is a mentor in CRANAplus’ Mentoring Program. He is also a registered volunteer with the Northern Territory Emergency Service, having completed qualifications in search and rescue, and field trauma care. He is currently the Unit Officer for the Tennant Creek Volunteer Unit
Dr Nicholas Williams
Nick Williams was born in the mid-north of South Australia and trained at Adelaide University, graduating in 1980. He has considerable public health experience and has worked in Indigenous health for over 24 years in Africa, northern Canada and Central Australia and rural/remote South Australia. He was the Senior District Medical Officer in Alice Springs for seven years in the nineties, providing RFDS evacuations and community medical services to remote Aboriginal communities.
He was extensively involved in the initial development of the CARPA Standard Treatment Manual and remains on the Editorial committee for the Remote Primary Health Care manuals.
He worked in general practice/public health at the Parks Community Health Service for 12 years until 2011. He maintained his emergency medicine skills with weekly sessions at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Department throughout this time.
In 2009 he undertook a three month ICRC humanitarian mission to the North West Frontier Provence of Pakistan, and worked in an Emergency Response Unit in the Philippines in response to Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. He continues to be available for ICRC Emergency relief duties.
He has been a facilitator for the CRANAplus Remote Emergency Care program for over 15 years.
He lectures in Aboriginal Health/Public Health at Adelaide University.
Nick is currently working with the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia as a GP Supervisor, Aboriginal Health. This involves supporting the GP workforce in rural and remote Community Controlled Aboriginal Health Services in SA and supervising GP Registrars. He spends more than sixty percent of his time working in rural general practice, and loves it.
Lyn Byers is a Nurse Practitioner in the specialty of Remote Area Nursing, a Midwife and a Mental Health Nurse. She has worked in remote communities in Central Australia since 2001 as a Remote Area Nurse and Midwife. She has also worked in small country hospitals and bush clinics in Victoria. Lyn is currently the Clinical Nurse Consultant at Nganampa Health Council.
She is the chair of the Editorial Committee for the Remote Primary Health Care suite of manuals and sits on the Central Australia Human Research Ethics Committee.
Lyn is passionate about delivering high quality health care to remote areas and promoting the work remote area clinicians do in difficult circumstances.
Board Member and Chair of the Governance Subcommittee
Belinda is a proud Dharug woman, the traditional owner group from Western Sydney Australia. She has over 20 years’ experience in education, policy and program delivery, in both government and the not for profit sector.
With senior manager roles in Government Agencies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, such as the Healing Foundation, Community First Development, and as CEO at Australia’s leading Indigenous education provider, the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC), Belinda has a wide range of experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.
She is currently the Reconciliation Manager at the AMC, working closely with the executive, staff and AMC Committees to grow the knowledge of the AMC in this space. Belinda also sits on the Board of the Dharug Ngurra Aboriginal Corporation (DNAC) and is also an Independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisor for the ACT Government Working with Vulnerable People Committee.
Vanessa De Landelles
For the past eight years Vanessa has been employed with Queensland Health as the Director of Nursing in Windorah Primary Health Centre. Vanessa is also a delegate for the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union and an active member of their Rural and Remote Reference Group, which gives strong focus to safety.
“I am honoured and proud to have been selected as an Indigenous Director of CRANAplus,” she says. “I believe in equality for all staff regardless of their location of employment. As a Board member I will work to ensure remote and isolated nurses have a voice, to have access to training and to have a voice on safety issues.
“All Australians regardless are entitled to access to the same good health care, no matter where they live.”
Telehealth and the Internet have improved the situation for those in remote locations, Vanessa points out. “Telehealth is forging ahead, allowing patients to speak directly to their specialist, such as the endocrinologist or dermatologist, and further education for nurses has started to become more accessible through the Internet. I’d like to see these advances progress further.”
Caitlin started as a Remote Area Nurse (RAN) at Wadeye in 2000, then moved to Central Australia where she spent a number of years working in various communities west of Alice Springs. Caitlin was employed by CRANAplus in 2007 as the MEC Course Coordinator and was involved in the development of several new courses (MIDUS, ATSI MEC) in 2010 when CRANA became CRANAplus and started expanding its operations and reach.
Since leaving CRANAplus, Caitlin has remained as a midwife facilitator on the maternity education courses and has continued to keep her RAN skills current by working in remote health for a short period each year and doing regular education updates with the CRANAplus courses. Caitlin currently works in a small rural hospital in Mansfield, Victoria as the Midwifery Unit Manager and holds the position of PROMPT (Practical Obstetric Multidisciplinary Training) Coordinator at Mansfield District Hospital.
Originally from the Barossa Valley in South Australia, Emma fell in love with remote nursing after undertaking a student placement at Alpurrurulam Community in the Northern Territory in 2008. Since then, Emma has worked across a wide range of remote locations throughout the Northern Territory and Western Australia in both the government and non-government sector. Holding a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Nursing and a Master of Public Health, Emma has experience across a diversity of roles including program coordination, clinical education and health service management and administration.
Currently based in Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Emma is employed as the Remote Services Clinical Manager for Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service where she works with a multidisciplinary team that provides primary health care to some of the remotest communities in Australia. Emma has a passion for all issues pertaining to remote health and holds a particular interest in social justice, clinical governance and workforce issues in the remote context.