National Conference, Governance Conference, Nursing & Midwifery Symposium, and Medical Research Symposium

CHA Nation Conference 2016: The Difference We Make

Catholic Health Australia's National Conference for 2016 will be held on 29-31 August at the five star Sheraton on the Park in Sydney.  

The Conference theme, The Difference We Make, aims to put into focus the strong tradition of Catholic health and aged care provision, challenge the notion that Catholic care offers anything more than other care providers, and stimulate higher-level strategic thought about how the Catholic sector can bring greater innovation - on all fronts - to the provision of health, aged and community care in Australia, now and into the future. 

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CHA's Medical Research Symposium 2016

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Catholic Health Australia is pleased to announce its inaugural Medical Research Symposium to be held on Thursday, 5 May 2016 in Melbourne. The Medical Research Symposium aims to foster better communication, collaboration highlight the many achievemnets of CHA researchers.

Catholic Health Australia's first Medical Research Symposium will be held on 5 May 2016 at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. Key note speaker will be distinguished Australian research biologist, Sir Gustav Nossal AC CBE. Sir Gustav has enjoyed international fame for his breakthrough contributions to the fields of antibody formation and immunological tolerance.  

Sir Gustav Nossal will be joined by Professor Chris Baggoley, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health and a number of outstanding researchers representing CHA members. We are delighted to announce presentations from rheumatologist/clinical epidemiologist, Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, NHMRC Senior-Principal Fellow and Director of the Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Hospital, Professor Steve Webb from St John of God Subiaco, who also holds a post as Senior Staff Specialist  in Intensive Care Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital and a Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia and Monash University, Professor Mark Cook, Chair of Medicine and Director of Neurosciences at St Vincent's Hospital and Professor Sue Walker, Director of Perinatal Medicine at Mercy Hospital for Women, and the Sheila Handbury Chair of Maternal Fetal Medicine, University of Melbourne.

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More information will be made available soon, so keep an eye on this space, Health Matters magazine and CHA's weekly e-newsletter for updates. 

Nursing & Midwifery Symposium 2015

This year's CHA Nursing & Midwifery Symposium, held at St Kilda, Melbourne, was a tremendous success. Catholic sector nurses and midwives from right across Australia gathered to meet, learn, share their knowledge and pitch impressive ideas for future innovation in Catholic health and aged care.

CHA's Chief Executive Officer, Suzanne Greenwood opened the day's proceedings with a rousing call to arms for all Catholic sector nurses and midwives. The message for the day: Our nurses and midwives are on the frontlines each day and night in our hospitals - they understand the difficulties that face the ongoing provision of exceptional Catholic care, yet overcome them and bring to the table great innovation and a proactive and steadfast spirit in their leadership.  

Janine Loader, Chair of CHA's Directors of Nursing & Midwifery Committee was MC for the day. Her message: innovation in health, even on the smallest scale, is something that Catholic sector nurses can be proud of; the strong reputation of Catholic healthcare relies on nurses standing up, sharing their experience, and being counted. 

Keynote speakers Margaret Banks and Cheryle Royle took many questions after the day's first session on the Revised National Standards. They shared practical insights into what works and what doesn't in the drive to improve safety and quality and the real drivers that dictate positive outcomes.

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Tim Kirkman from RogenSi encouraged NUMs to 'lead from the front' and inspire greatness from their nurses. Acknowledging the difficult job all NUMs face in a busy hospital, Tim explained the importance of identifying priorities and tackling the most  important things first and in the right way.  

Approximately one hundred nurses from various hospitals and aged care facilities, spanning the length and breadth of the nation, brought their thoughts to the table, offering insights, challenging common practice or understandings and delivering practical, thought-provoking ideas for innovation in health.

'Shark Tank' session results: Chloe  Martinich and her partner, Rebecca Morris, from St Vincent's Melbourne won $2000 for their Anaesthetic Emergency Resources concept, winning the Patient Safety & Quality category. Nicky Cummins from Cabrini won another $2000 in the Technical Innovation category for her innovation, Just in Time Training - Basic and Advanced Life Support and Karin Laws, who came all the way from the Mater Hospital, Townsville, won the Cost Effectiveness category with her innovation, EN transition into Cath Lab, securing another prize of $2000. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all contestants - the quality of competition and variety of ideas was impressive and made deciding a winner a difficult task for our judges panel. 

CHA would like to thank all  involved in this year's Nursing & Midwifery Symposium. Thanks to Susan Biggar (Health Issues Centre Victoria), Lisa Ramshaw (APHA), Margaret Banks and Cheryle Royle, Tim Kirkman, our three 'Shark Tank' judges (pictured above from left to right), Phillip Black (RogenSi), Prof Michelle Campbell (ACU), and Russell Duncan (Telstra Health). Special thanks goes to Janine Loader and CHA's Directors of Nursing & Midwifery Committee, whose support and dedication made the this year's Nursing & Midwifery Symposium such a success.

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Over 130 delegates attended the 2015 CHA Governance Conference at Coogee Beach Sydney.  Feedback from the Governance Conference has been very positive and delegates found the sessions informative, thought-provoking and a great opportunity to hear from experts in the field of Catholic ministry and governance.  The broad-ranging conference program gave delegates a rich array of material to help them in their effective governance and leadership for mission now, and into the future.
Click on the links below to access the speaker's presentations from the conference:
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Conference presentations

To read the discussion paper that informed conference proceedings, click here.

Click on the links below to access the speakers PowerPoint presentations from the conference.

Fr Joe Parkinson       
Fr Gerry Arbuckle       
Fr Noel Connolly          
Susan Pascoe              
Br John Henry Thornber                





The CHA 2015 Awards recognises the achievements of members towards improving services within the framework of a Catholic approach to care. Award winners in each category presented a brief overview of their achievements and explored with conference delegates details of the innovative projects and approaches to care for which they have been honoured.


Fr Comac M Nagle ofm

Leadership in Positive Ageing - Holistic Wellness Program, Southern Cross Care (Vic)

Outreach Health Care - Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Network (DAWN)

Excellence in Pastoral Care - Mary Ringstad, National Director of Mission, Little Company of Mary Health Care (Calvary)

Nurse of the Year - Megan McKechnie, Program Director, Medical, Sub-Acute and Palliative Care Services, Mercy Health

Emerging Leader - Stephen Tippett, Manager, Food Services, St Vincent's Hopsital Melbourne

The 2014 Awards were presented at a formal dinner on Tuesday, August 26, during CHA's National Conference at Victoria Park, Brisbane. The awards were announced by CHA Board Chair, Rowena McNally and presented by Peter Bugden, the chair of the awards sponsor, Catholic Super.


Bishop Michael Putney (Awarded posthumously)


Elizabeth Oliver, Catholic Homes


Sue Heffernan, St Vincent's Private Hospital Melbourne


"Safe Place to call Home" program run by Charles O'Neill Hostel, Catholic Healthcare


Erhma Origins Program, based in Dandenong and lead by Erhma and St John of God Pinelodge


Kate Hewitt, Mercy Health Melbourne

The 2013 Awards were presented at a formal dinner on Tuesday, August 27, during CHA's National Conference at The Carousel, Albert Park, Melbourne. The awards were announced by CHA CEO Martin Laverty and presented by Peter Bugden, the chair of the awards sponsor, Catholic Super. Click on the award winner's name for more information.


Sr Isobel Moran, SJG


Dr Linda Mellors -- executive director, Mercy Public Hospitals Inc


Sian James and Maria Field, St John of God Health Care


Anaesthesia and Older Australians - St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne


Homeless to Home Healthcare - Mater Health Services and Micah Projects

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