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Nurses gather in Adelaide for learning and leadership

Australian College of Nursing 4 mins read


9 August 2023

Nurses gather in Adelaide for learning and leadership

ACN National Nursing Forum 2023


More than 800 nurses from all over Australia will meet in Adelaide from today for the Australian College of Nursing’s (ACN) signature leadership and education event, The National Nursing Forum (NNF).


Nurses, nursing students and other health professionals will hear from nursing, health and political leaders and participate in professional Forum sessions that will be available in person and online for participants.


ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said the Forum theme, ‘Reflect, Replenish, Renew – a world of opportunities, will encourage nurses to take pride in their skills and achievements and inspire them to be leaders of the nursing profession into the future.


“Nurses are always on the move and always caring for others,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.


“As highly skilled and respected health professionals, all nurses need time to reflect on what we have achieved, replenish our energy, and renew our strength by engaging and learning from each other.


“Forum attendees will experience presentations from Ministers and Shadow Ministers and nursing leaders.


“They will interact with the wider nursing network.


“They will also connect with event sponsors and exhibitors to learn about the latest products and healthcare innovations and see the future of nursing first-hand.


“Learning is critical in nursing. That is why NNF is such a key event for our profession.


“NNF enables attendees to listen to leaders in their area, ask questions and get involved


“Our nurses will come to NNF to hear from leaders. They will leave NNF as leaders.”


Event details:


Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre

Date: Wednesday 9 – Friday 11 August

Delegate registrations:

Full program:


Keynote speakers include:  

  • Video Message from Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Mark Butler MP.
  • Ministerial Address, The Hon Chris Picton MP. Minister Picton is the South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing and the Member for Kaurna in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.   
  • Shadow Ministerial Address, Senator The Hon Anne Ruston. Shadow Minister Ruston is currently the Federal Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care, Shadow Minister for Sport, and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate.   
  • Keynote Speaker, Emeritus Professor Christine Duffield PhD (UNSW), MHP (UNSW), BScN (UWO), DNE (Armidale), RN, FACN, FAICD, FACHSM. Professor Duffield is an Emeritus Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management at Edith Cowan University, Perth; Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and President of the Australian College of Nursing.  
  • Keynote Speakers, Nancy Arnold FACN and Associate Professor Sam Lapkin MACN. Nancy is a Director of Nursing with more than 30 years’ experience and the current ACN Chair in Tasmania. Sam is a dedicated and accomplished nurse, researcher and academic who currently holds a position at Southern Cross University. 
  • Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Ret’d) FACN. Sharon has been a nurse for 25 years, with 16 years as a Nursing Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. Sharon serves as a Member of Council of the Australian War Memorial, National Vice-President of the Air Force Association and Ambassador for Phoenix Australia.  
  • Keynote Speaker Associate Professor Naomi Dobroff FACN.  Naomi is the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Information Officer at Monash Health.
  • Orator, Associate Professor Denise Heinjus FACN. Denise is the Executive Director of Nursing and Allied Health at Melbourne Health. She has had a long history in both NSW and Victoria in emergency management preparedness and responsiveness.  
  • Closing Speaker Dr Louise Mahler. Louise has been voted as one of the top experts in both Body Language and Communication globally. She helps leaders and teams to elevate their body language, voice and divulges the algorithms of engagement in high-stakes engagement. 
  • Keynote Speaker Adjunct Professor Shelley Nowlan FACN. Shelley is the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for Queensland Health. She is also an ICN Global Nursing Leadership Institute Alumni and attended the WHO assembly as an Alumni delegate in 2021. 
  • Keynote Speaker David Stewart. David is the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Nursing and Health Policy at ICN-International Council of Nurses.


ACN would like to thank its valued partners and sponsors, including Principal Partner, Hesta.


For more information: 

Telephone: 0432 044 966



Notes to Editors:

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is the national professional organisation for all nurses and its aim is to ensure that the Australian community receives quality nursing care now and in the future. ACN is a membership organisation with members in all states and territories, health care settings and nursing specialties. ACN is also the Australian member of the International Council of Nurses headquartered in Geneva in collaboration with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF). An organisation not afraid to challenge industry issues affecting the nursing profession or Australia's health care, ACN is a well-connected and educated national body that drives change with people of influence to enhance the delivery of health services to the Australian community. ACN's membership includes nurses in roles of influence, including senior nurses, organisational leaders, academics, and researchers.


Social media channels:            Facebook:



CEO - Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN - Bio


Kylie Ward. Policy Reformer. Nurse. For-Purpose Leader. Equality Warrior. Adjunct Professor. Transformation Specialist.


Kylie is the CEO of Australian College of Nursing. She has led a program of transformation at ACN, which has now become Australia’s beacon for Nurse Leadership. 

Kylie holds honorary academic appointments with seven leading Australian universities and in 2017, Kylie won Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in ACT for Purpose and Social Enterprise.

She is a major policy influencer, advocate for women, children, and equality.



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