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Recap: 2023 CRANAplus 40th Anniversary Conference
This October, more than 200 delegates and stakeholders gathered in Gimuy/Cairns at the CRANAplus 40th Anniversary Conference, for three days of networking, reminiscing, and envisioning a better future for the remote health workforce and the communities it serves.
With the theme, ‘Building on strength for a sustainable, skilled, and safe workforce’, our 40th Anniversary Conference provided an opportunity for remote health professionals from across the country to come together in celebration of their achievements and to explore opportunities to improve remote health.
While the mezzanine buzzed with thought-provoking conversations at over 30 exhibitor stalls, the CRANAplus Wellbeing Lounge, back again for another year, provided a supportive retreat to relax and recharge.
CRANAplus also held its inaugural Message Stick Gathering, where delegates came together to discuss the National Rural and Remote Nursing Generalist Framework 2023 – 2027, in particular, domain one – ‘Culturally Safe Practice’. A collective message of Cultural Safety, crafted by the group, was then taken forward and passed on to the wider conference.
As delegates viewed the history photo wall, memories flooded back and the pictures on display turned into tales of past events. New and old friends alike shared experiences, knowledge and expertise. Delegates smiled over the wins, both big and small, and pondered the solutions in a series of robust discussions.
Delegates were introduced to newly appointed CRANAplus CEO Linda Kensington, who launched the two-day program. Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan PSM followed on with a hopeful opening address, stating that “With crisis often comes opportunity. We know the challenges of providing equitable, sustainable healthcare, but what we are seeing now is a willingness to challenge the boundaries traditionally affecting nursing and midwifery.”
We heard from Professor Eddy Stivens and Diane Cadet-James on research findings and success stories from the Healthy Ageing Research Team and their collaborative approaches with communities in Far North Queensland. Other moments included the impassioned presentation from Wonnarua woman and NP Lesley Salem on the continued challenges and underutilised capabilities of nurse practitioners in rural and remote locations; Dr J’Belle Foster PhD on translational research and her work to improve tuberculosis outcomes in the Torres Strait; Alison Weatherstone, Chief Midwife at the Australian of Colleague of Midwives on the organisation’s optimistic vision for the future; and Michelle Taylor, psychologist and leadership coach on new ways to approaching self-care. Workforce sustainability and retention emerged as key themes at this year’s event, as did scope of practice, cultural safety and co-design.
The conference was closed out in style with a touch of ruby sparkle at the gala dinner to commemorate and celebrate the significant 40-year milestone.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our major sponsors Flinders University and JCU Central Queensland Centre for Rural and Remote Health for their valued contribution to this event.
To our many exhibitors and delegates, we are grateful for your continued support and commitment to improving remote health.
We look forward to seeing you at future events!
To view the full gallery of images, visit crana.org.au/2023conferencegallery