The crucial role nurses and midwives play in enabling the community to access quality healthcare will be the focus of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation’s (ANMF) Biennial National Conference 2019, which starts in Melbourne today (Thursday 17 October, 2019).
The ANMF is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing and is the fastest-growing union in Australia, with current membership standing at over 275,000.
The two-day Biennial National Conference will be officially opened by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and will feature a range of guest speakers including Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese; former nurse and ANMF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney, the Federal Member for Cooper; Helen Haines, also a registered Nurse (RN) and the Federal Member for Indi; ACTU President Michele O’Neil and community aged care advocate Sarah Holland-Batt.
Federal Secretary Annie Butler said more than 115 delegates from all States and Territories will attend the Conference, debating a range of significant Resolutions which will set the strategic policy direction of the ANMF over the coming two years.
The theme of the Conference is Fairer, Stronger, Healthier. Nurses and Midwives Make it Happen – and that’s the message we’ll be sending to Government decision-makers and other stakeholders. That nurses and midwives do make it happen and that ongoing investment in a strong nursing and midwifery workforce will allow us to provide all Australians with greater access to a fairer and equitable healthcare system.
Guest speakers from the nursing profession include Professor Jill White, Professor Emerita, University of Sydney, former Dean of Sydney Nursing School and Nursing Now Campaign Board Member, explaining how nurses around the globe are becoming active in the Nursing Now campaign, Australian nurses from across the country providing examples of the work they’re doing in improving access and 22-year-old Emma Murphy who gave evidence at the Aged Care Royal Commission.
“With the workforce hearing in Melbourne this week, the crisis in aged care will also be at the centre of discussions, with a speech from community advocate Sarah Holland-Batt, who has given evidence to the Royal Commission and appeared on the ABC’s Q & A program, telling of her father’s horrific experience living in a nursing home,” Ms Butler said.
“She’ll be sharing her insights with us and advocating for the urgent need for more RNs in residential aged care and legislated minimum staffing ratios, which will not only assist in delivering safe, quality, care to elderly residents, but also assist in recruiting and retaining nurses into the sector. If mandated ratios aren’t introduced as a matter of urgency, nurses will continue to leave the sector and residents will continue to suffer. We can’t wait for the recommendations of the Royal Commission, it’s time to act now.”
Ms Butler, along with Federal President Sally-Anne Jones, will also deliver Reports on activities and campaigns the ANMF has undertaken since the last Biennial National Conference in 2017.
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