Our clinical professions get up, stand up and show up to deliver on equity agenda

Friday, July 8, 2022

The Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland (AHPOQ) and Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO) have proudly welcomed four new positions to their teams to help grow the First Nations Workforce within allied health, nursing and midwifery.

AHPOQ welcomed physiotherapist Edwina Powe as the First Nations Director of Allied Health in February this year to develop the workforce strategy for the First Nations allied health workforce.

Edwina, a proud Palawa Aboriginal woman from North Eastern lutruwita (Tasmania) woman, is thrilled to be working with the AHPOQ team

where she will be leading the development of strategies and initiatives to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce representation, and support culturally safe allied health service delivery across Queensland.

“It is an exciting step forward to have a First Nations leadership position within the AHPOQ team. Allied health play such an important role in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and I am looking forward to seeing more mob in our allied health workforce, delivering these services in the very near future” Edwina said.

Earlier this week, OCNMO welcomed the newly established First Nations Nursing Director Rosie Borey to help expand the work they’re doing to improve services and outcomes for our First Nations consumers across Queensland.

Rosie is a proud Noonuccal and Ngugi descendant from Quandamooka Country who first came to nursing 15 years ago and is thrilled to support statewide services as part of her role in OCNMO. The impetus for her role at OCNMO was the understanding that a strong and sustainable First Nations Nursing and Midwifery workforce is key to improving health outcomes and achieving health equity for First Nations people.

“It is humbling to join the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer and set the strategic direction of First Nations Nursing and Midwifery in Queensland. Developing the First Nations workforce plan will truly set us up to provide the best, culturally safe care possible,” Rosie said.

Queensland’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Shelley Nowlan said that Rosie joining the team further positions the Office to provide statewide leadership on culturally safe care.

She joins deadly Clinical Midwife Consultants Melina Connors, a proud Gurindji woman and proud Gunggari and Wakka Wakka woman Sonita Giudice, who are currently working on the Growing Deadly Families Strategy to help our First Nations community to get the best start to life.

“I am so excited to welcome Rosie to the team, and to have her join Melina and Sonita who are exceptional midwives, in sharing their wisdom and experience to improve outcomes and provide culturally safe care and to complement their work of Growing Deadly Families,” Shelley said.

“There is so much value in having their deadly voices contribute to all our conversations, to not just keep First Nations health first but to affect meaningful change within the system to truly close the gap.”

Sonita and Melina form the small but mighty Growing Deadly Families team, supporting Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) to partner with their community-controlled organisations, having undertaken a range of stakeholder and site visits.

They have developed relationships with 12 of the 15 HHSs with a maternity service and are currently planning to move into the next phase of engaging the executive teams to progress co-design of services with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations.

Edwina is working alongside her OCNMO colleagues on the Growing Deadly Families Strategy, ensuring meaningful allied health engagement and contribution to improved maternity service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women across Queensland.

For more information about the strategy, visit the Growing Deadly Families Strategy webpage.

To learn more about the work of the offices, visit the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland website and the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer website.

Pictured above: Sonita Giudice (left) and Melina Connors (right) on a site visit to North West Hospital and Health Service.

Pictured above: Edwina Prowe and Rosie Borey joined AHPOQ and OCNMO to work on improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce representation and setting the strategic direction for the workforce.

Last updated: 8 July 2022