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Nominate for the CRANAplus' 2021 Awards across four categories today. Find out more here.

Dis­cov­er this year’s pro­gram and reg­is­ter now.

2021 Vir­tu­al Symposium

Proud­ly spon­sored by

We are invit­ing health pro­fes­sion­als to Con­nect Across an Iso­lat­ed Land­scape at the 2021 CRANAplus Vir­tu­al Sym­po­sium on 17 Sep­tem­ber 2021.

This one-day cel­e­bra­tion of ideas con­tin­ues our 37-year-strong annu­al con­fer­ence tra­di­tion in an online envi­ron­ment, as we bridge the dis­tances that sep­a­rate our geo­graph­i­cal­ly dis­persed workforce. 

Pre­sen­ta­tions from our keynote and VIP line-up will empow­er atten­dees to improve health out­comes, start impor­tant con­ver­sa­tions, and apply new lessons with­in the com­mu­ni­ties they serve. 

Hear from:

  • Helen Zahos, Human­i­tar­i­an and Dis­as­ter Nurse
  • Adjunct Prof. Shel­ley Nowl­an, Deputy Rur­al Health Commissioner
  • Prof. Yvonne Cadet-James, Aca­d­e­m­ic at James Cook University
  • Prof. Roianne West, CEO of CATSINaM

Speak­ers will dis­cuss top­ics includ­ing ear health, wound care, immu­ni­sa­tion, mater­ni­ty and more — all from a remote and iso­lat­ed per­spec­tive. Plus, we are announc­ing the win­ners of the 2021 CRANAplus Awards. Dis­cov­er the day’s pro­gram here.

Online atten­dance is FREE for mem­bers and only $50 for non-mem­bers. Atten­dees will go in the run­ning to win a num­ber of cash prizes.

Stay up to date, meet CPD require­ments and con­nect with like­mind­ed peo­ple. We are stronger connected! 

Reg­is­ter to attend here.


Sponsorship Opportunities

This high-exposure event will feature numerous drawcard speakers from clinical, research and government settings, while celebrating individual excellence and uniting the workforce. There are multiple sponsorship packages available for organisations and businesses who wish to support the work we do and talk directly with our engaged, highly targeted audience.

Sponsorship Prospectus Email Sponsorship Team

This year’s speakers

Helen Zahos BN; MN (Emerg); Grad­Dip­Science (Para­medic); FRSAMACN


Helen Zahos is a Human­i­tar­i­an, Emer­gency Nurse and Para­medic who has vol­un­teered in dis­as­ter areas around the world and has cared for some of the world’s most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple. Helen has vol­un­teered in Iraq in IDP Camps, in Nepal after the earth­quake and Philip­pines after the Typhoon, as well as assist­ing dur­ing the Syr­i­an refugee cri­sis on the bor­der of Greece. 

Helen grew up on Groote Eylandt, a remote Island in the Gulf of Car­pen­taria in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry of Aus­tralia. She com­plet­ed her Nurs­ing and Para­medic stud­ies in Dar­win, where she was work­ing in the Emer­gency Depart­ment and was involved with the Roy­al Dar­win Hos­pi­tal Response to the Bali Bomb­ings. Since then she has worked in Emer­gency Depart­ments in Ter­tiary hos­pi­tals; in Remote Indige­nous Com­mu­ni­ties; attend­ed Dis­as­ter Respons­es both local­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly, and worked with Asy­lum seek­ers and Refugees. 

Helen is recog­nised inter­na­tion­al­ly for her vol­un­teer human­i­tar­i­an work and has been nom­i­nat­ed for mul­ti­ple awards includ­ing: Aus­tralian of the Year QLD 2016 and 2017; Inter­na­tion­al Greek Women’s Awards 2017; and Final­ist for Vol­un­teer of the Year QLD 2019. Helen was award­ed the Hel­lenic Aus­tralian Cham­ber Com­merce and Indus­try award for Excel­lence in Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice in 2016; The Gold Ste­vie award for Med­ical Front­line Hero 2020; and Gold Ste­vie award for Men­tor and Coach 2020

In March 2019 in New York, Helen attend­ed the Unit­ed Nations 63rd Com­mis­sion on the sta­tus of women. There she spoke on a pan­el, at the CSW NGO Forum, on the Eco­nom­ic Empow­er­ment of Women Entre­pre­neurs through the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals’. In May 2019, Helen attend­ed the Unit­ed Nations Dis­as­ter Risk Reduc­tion Glob­al Plat­form, held in Gene­va, and was invit­ed to the UNS­DG Health Sum­mit to speak on non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, which was a side event at the World Health Assem­bly. As 2020 marked the Inter­na­tion­al Year of the Nurse, Helen had been appoint­ed the Ambas­sador for World Youth International’s Nurs­es in Action’ Pro­gram and spent five weeks vol­un­teer­ing in Kenya. 

Helen is a Fel­low of the Roy­al Soci­ety of Arts (FRSA); a Mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Col­lege of Nurs­ing (MACN); the Health and Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Advi­sor and Found­ing Mem­ber to the Com­mon­wealth Busi­ness Women’s Net­work (CBWN); the Nation­al Focal Point for Glob­al Net­works for Civ­il Soci­eties on Dis­as­ter Risk and the Region­al Advi­so­ry Group for Dis­as­ter Risk Reduc­tion for the Pacif­ic Region; Pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralasian Hel­lenic Edu­ca­tion Pro­gres­sive Asso­ci­a­tion (AHEPA) Gold Coast Chap­ter; a trustee and advi­sor for Kitri­nos Health­care, a Non-Gov­ern­ment Organ­i­sa­tion (UK); a trustee and advi­sor for cox sys­tems lite chair dis­abil­i­ty ser­vices; and Vice Pres­i­dent and Char­ter Mem­ber for Busi­ness and Pro­fes­sion­al Women, Bris­bane Southside.

Prof. Roianne West, CEO of CATSINaM

Born and raised Kalka­doon on her grandmother’s ances­tral lands in North West Queens­land with con­nec­tions to the Djunke/D­jaku-nde peo­ples in South West Queens­land, Pro­fes­sor West con­tin­ues a fam­i­ly lega­cy of four gen­er­a­tions of Abo­rig­i­nal nurs­es and a long line of heal­ers that include her moth­er, a twin sis­ter and a broth­er who are Reg­is­tered Nurs­es and twin daugh­ters who are study­ing Nurs­ing and Midwifery.

Pro­fes­sor West has com­plet­ed a Bach­e­lor of Nurs­ing, a Mas­ters of Men­tal Health Nurs­ing, and a PhD which devel­oped a mod­el of excel­lence for increas­ing Indige­nous nurs­es in Aus­tralia in 2012.

She was Australia’s first Nurs­ing Direc­tor in a ter­tiary hos­pi­tal with a ded­i­cat­ed port­fo­lio of Indige­nous Health and Australia’s first Pro­fes­sor of Indige­nous Health in a joint appoint­ment between a state health ser­vice and a uni­ver­si­ty school of nurs­ing and mid­wifery, Foun­da­tion Chair in First Peo­ples Health, Direc­tor of the First Peo­ples Health Unit and the inau­gur­al Dean of First Peo­ples Health at Grif­fith University.

Pro­fes­sor West is an active researcher who leads the Yuwan Gul­gan study of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander Health and Cul­tur­al Safe­ty Edu­ca­tion and Train­ing at Grif­fith Uni­ver­si­ty, which aims to improve Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander Health and Cul­tur­al Safe­ty edu­ca­tion and train­ing through an Indige­nous Research lens.

Pro­fes­sor West was recent­ly acknowl­edged for her out­stand­ing research lead­er­ship as the 2020 Low­it­ja Insti­tute Cran­lana Award recip­i­ent and she is the only Abo­rig­i­nal Nurse in the coun­try who is a recip­i­ent of both the CATSI­NaM Sal­ly Goold Award and Fellowship.

Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowl­an, RN BN MHM G.DipPM GCert​.PA FACN, GAICD, Deputy Nation­al Rur­al Health Com­mis­sion­er – Nurs­ing and Midwifery

Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowl­an is Chief Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Offi­cer, Clin­i­cal Excel­lence Queens­land, Queens­land Health; and

  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery, Uni­ver­si­ty of Queensland
  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Nurs­ing, Fac­ul­ty of Health, Queens­land Uni­ver­si­ty of Technology
  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery, Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Queensland
  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Med­i­cine, Grif­fith University

Adj. Prof. Nowl­an has a Mas­ter Health Man­age­ment (Uni­ver­si­ty of New Eng­land), Bach­e­lor’s Degree, Nurs­ing (UNE), Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Pol­i­cy Analy­sis (Grif­fith Uni­ver­si­ty), Diplo­ma Project Man­age­ment (TAFE Queens­land) and is an Insti­tute of Com­pa­ny Direc­tors Graduate.

In her pro­fes­sion­al role, advo­ca­cy and con­tri­bu­tion to nurs­ing and mid­wifery at a state lev­el, nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly, Adj. Prof. Nowl­an is also Chair of the Queens­land Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Exec­u­tive Coun­cil and a Direc­tor on the Emer­gency Med­i­cine Foun­da­tion and the Queens­land Health Lead­er­ship Advi­so­ry Board. She is a Mem­ber of the Coun­cil of Aus­tralian and New Zealand Chief Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Offi­cers, the Inter­na­tion­al WON­CA World Gen­er­al Prac­tice Rur­al Prac­tice Com­mit­tee, a Fel­low of Aus­tralian Col­lege of Nurs­ing and an Alum­ni of the Inter­na­tion­al Coun­cil of Nurs­ing Lead­er­ship Institute.

Adj. Prof. Nowl­an has received numer­ous acco­lades for her lead­er­ship and con­tri­bu­tion to pop­u­la­tion nurs­ing, edu­ca­tion, equi­ty and the com­mu­ni­ty. In 2007 she was recog­nised for her work on Cyclone Lar­ry Relief, receiv­ing the QLD Pre­mier Award. In 2008 she was award­ed the Aus­tralia Day Award for Queens­land Health Devel­op­ment and Lead­er­ship from Caloun­dra Health. In 2012 she was the recip­i­ent of the Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer Encour­age­ment Award, Cen­tral Queens­land Staff Awards. In 2015 her lead­er­ship was recog­nised through an Aus­tralia Day Award for Nurs­ing Exec­u­tive Team Children’s Health Queens­land HHS and in 2015 she was the recip­i­ent of The Asso­ci­a­tion of Queens­land Nurse Lead­ers’ Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment in Nurs­ing. Shel­ley is also an ICN Glob­al Nurs­ing Lead­er­ship Insti­tute Alum­ni and vir­tu­al­ly attend­ed the WHO assem­bly as an Alum­ni del­e­gate in 2021.

A reg­is­tered nurse with more than 34 years’ expe­ri­ence, Adj. Prof. Nowl­an holds a long­stand­ing inter­est in the health out­comes of rur­al and remote Aus­tralians. Adj. Prof. Nowl­an had worked for decades to ensure nurs­es and mid­wives were sup­port­ed to meet the needs of peo­ple liv­ing in rur­al and region­al Aus­tralia. As Deputy Rur­al Health Com­mis­sion­er, Adj. Prof. Nowl­an will play a key role in the Fed­er­al Government’s agen­da to increase access to rur­al health ser­vices and address rur­al work­force shortages.

Prof. Yvonne Cadet-James, Aca­d­e­m­ic at James Cook University

Pro­fes­sor Cadet-James has exten­sive expe­ri­ence in the field of health and edu­ca­tion as a reg­is­tered nurse and mid­wife fol­lowed by an aca­d­e­m­ic teach­ing and research career. She has expe­ri­ence as a prin­ci­pal and chief inves­ti­ga­tor on NHM­RC, ARC, Low­it­ja Insti­tute and oth­er fund­ed grants. As a qual­i­ta­tive researcher her inter­ests lie in com­mu­ni­ty based mod­els to address tobac­co; mater­nal, ado­les­cence and child health; and social, emo­tion­al and men­tal health well­be­ing and empow­er­ment. She is a co-leader on the Fam­i­ly Well­be­ing Empow­er­ment Research Pro­gram now utilised in some 57 organisations/​communities across the nation, which assists peo­ple to gain the knowl­edge, skills and con­fi­dence to make pos­i­tive changes in their lives. 

Pro­fes­sor Cadet-James has been involved in nation­al Indige­nous research reform through rep­re­sen­ta­tion on NHM­RC com­mit­tees includ­ing the Prin­ci­pal Com­mit­tee Indige­nous Cau­cus, revi­sion of the NHM­RC nation­al eth­i­cal guide­lines for research which involves Indige­nous peo­ple and the Aus­tralian Health Ethics Com­mit­tee. She plays a major advi­so­ry and men­tor­ship role in strength­en­ing the capac­i­ty of researchers, organ­i­sa­tions and com­mu­ni­ties, pro­vid­ing mas­ter class­es and work­shops specif­i­cal­ly designed for Indige­nous groups to set and take con­trol of their own research agen­das. As a mem­ber of the Gugu Bad­hun nation Pro­fes­sor Cadet-James pro­vides lead­er­ship for the Gugu Bad­hun Dji­ma Research Cen­tre activities.

More about the CRANAplus Annual Conference

For over 30 years, we have run the annual conference to bond and unite the inherently dispersed remote and isolated health workforce. The conference serves as an opportunity for like-minded remote and isolated health individuals to network, connect and share.

Held at a different location each year or undertaken online as necessary, the event brings together health practitioners, managers, government representatives, policy makers, academics and students into an energetic social forum.

Built around a series of high quality presentations from industry speakers, it provides the ideal platform for announcing recipients of scholarships and recognising the outstanding contributions of health professionals. We bestow awards across multiple categories and allocate the prestigious Aurora Award as part of our commitment to celebrating achievement and identifying a golden standard.

Discover Past Conferences

Dis­cov­er this year’s pro­gram and reg­is­ter now.