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Nursing Students, Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses and Assistants in Nursing; nurses aspiring to leadership positions; nurses in leadership positions; nurses confronted or struggling with change; nurses being challenged to take up opportunities amidst change. 




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Speakers and abstracts

Do you see what I see? 

Doseena Fergie


Understanding the cultural perspective of the First Australian is a key to honest communication and lasting relationships. In the past Christianity was seen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as a Westernized culture. One that  was heirachial in approach and void of mercy and grace. Can nurses be a conduit of God’s love to a people who have been scarred by the protestant ethic? Can the benefits of the biomedical model synthesize with holistic care? Will the health gap between Non Indigenous and Indigenous ever close? Is there a missing ingredient? What would Jesus say?


Drawing upon personal experience and case studies the author aims to foster conversation around an art piece used as the basis of cultural respect education strategies in the health arena of the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne, Victoria. This presentation seeks to look at some of the stereotypical images of Australian Aboriginals as seen in the health workplace and challenge nurses to take up the Great Commission and minister to a people group who desperately need to know of God’s amazing love and forgiveness for them amidst a fallen world.


The author and presenter is Doseena Fergie, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who came to faith in Jesus whilst a student nurse.

More about Doseena Fergie


Nursing with God in Mind:  an examination of private practice mental health nursing amongst disadvantaged communities in Australia.

Toby Raeburn


Developing models of care which deliver quality mental health services to disadvantaged groups continues to challenge governments, policy makers and service providers. Private practice mental health nursing services amongst disadvantaged populations are common in first world health care systems such as the United States and the United Kingdom where they operate as alternative providers of healthcare in a cost effective manner, while enhancing access to care (Sloand et al, 2008). In Australia however, private practice mental health nursing services amongst disadvantaged populations remain rare (Henderson, 2008).


Established in 2005 ROAM Communities was Australias first dedicated mental health nursing charity. In partnership with Headspace Macarthur, Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Centre, and the Salvation Army, ROAM has developed three philanthropic private practice clinics delivering bulk billed clinical services to disadvantaged populations in the south west and inner west of Sydney.


This paper will provide an examination of private practice mental health nursing in Australia in the context of recent legislative changes which have brought nurse practitioners and midwives access to the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the first time. The paper will then provide an autoethnographical description of ROAM Communities Mental Health Nursing as an example of philanthropic private practice nursing models serving disadvantaged populations.


Aims: 1) To exam the efficacy of private practice mental health nursing models for disadvantaged communities. 2) To describe an innovative model as a potential template for entrepreneurial mental health nursing enterprises amongst disadvantaged groups.  More about Tony Raeburn


Cynicism - Necessary or Evil?

David Martin


Cynicism derives its meaning lingual from the Greek word for dog like; and while some cynics may appear to be like bull-terriers, stubborn and difficult, the original cynics lived in the street, so their naming was an insult. They rejected society. Their pursuit of a virtuous life involved getting back to nature, and rejecting the conventional pursuit of wealth, power, health and fame.


In some ways there seems a lot of parallels with Jesus, living a radical lifestyle free from possessions and sharply questioning the motives and established views of the powerful.


However in a fundamental difference from the original cynics, Jesus did not disengage from society, he engaged with God and others, his focus was on his calling and mission and relationships.


By the 19th Century, a focus on the negative aspects of the philosophy had led to it meaning an attitude of jaded negativity, with a distrust of professed ethical values, and especially disillusionment with institutions and authority.


This may resonate with many nurses working in the health system today where a calling and passion for caring for those in need may become overwhelmed by frustrations associated with the system in which we operate.


Cynicism becomes a negative when it results in disengagement from your:


· Calling - making you forget or resent your vocation, or your initial love for your role

· Mission - trying to make a difference, focused on your purpose of bringing healing and comfort to others

· Relationships - impacting on your relationships with others, infecting those around you, like a virus that spreads.


We need to reaffirm the positives of cynicism, that is questioning and challenging the values of others, just as Jesus did. However, we need to do this in a context of engagement, not losing our own identity and purpose in the process.   More about David Martin





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