About the conference

We are invit­ing health pro­fes­sion­als to Con­nect Across an Iso­lat­ed Land­scape at the 2021 CRANAplus Vir­tu­al Sym­po­sium on Sep­tem­ber 17 2021.

This one-day cel­e­bra­tion of ideas con­tin­ues our 37-year-strong annu­al con­fer­ence tra­di­tion in an online envi­ron­ment, as we bridge the dis­tances that sep­a­rate our geo­graph­i­cal­ly dis­persed workforce.

Pre­sen­ta­tions from our keynote and VIP line-up will empow­er atten­dees to improve health out­comes, start impor­tant con­ver­sa­tions, and apply new lessons with­in the com­mu­ni­ties they serve.

Hear from:

  • Helen Zahos, Human­i­tar­i­an and Dis­as­ter Nurse
  • Adjunct Prof. Shel­ley Nowl­an, Deputy Rur­al Health Commissioner
  • Prof. Yvonne Cadet-James, Aca­d­e­m­ic at James Cook University
  • Prof. Roianne West, CEO of CATSINaM

Speak­ers will dis­cuss top­ics includ­ing ear health, wound care, immu­ni­sa­tion, mater­ni­ty and more — all from a remote and iso­lat­ed per­spec­tive. Plus, we are announc­ing the win­ners of the 2021 CRANAplus Awards.

Online atten­dance is FREE for mem­bers and only $50 for non-mem­bers. Atten­dees will go in the run­ning to win a num­ber of cash prizes.

Stay up to date, meet CPD require­ments and con­nect with like­mind­ed peo­ple. We are stronger connected!

Offi­cial pro­gram com­ing soon. Click here to reg­is­ter now.


Spon­sor­ship opportunities

This high-expo­sure event will fea­ture numer­ous draw­card speak­ers from clin­i­cal, research and gov­ern­ment set­tings, cel­e­brate indi­vid­ual excel­lence and unite the work­force. There are mul­ti­ple spon­sor­ship pack­ages avail­able for organ­i­sa­tions and busi­ness­es who wish to sup­port the work we do and talk direct­ly with our engaged, high­ly tar­get­ed audience. 

Dis­cov­er 2021 CRANAplus Sym­po­sium spon­sor­ship pack­ages and call us on (07) 4047 6400 or email the spon­sor­ship team today to lock in your opportunity. 

This year’s speakers

Helen Zahos BN; MN (Emerg); Grad­Dip­Science (Para­medic); FRSAMACN

Helen Zahos is a Human­i­tar­i­an, Emer­gency Nurse and Para­medic who has vol­un­teered in dis­as­ter areas around the world and has cared for some of the world’s most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple. Helen has vol­un­teered in Iraq in IDP Camps, in Nepal after the earth­quake and Philip­pines after the Typhoon, as well as assist­ing dur­ing the Syr­i­an refugee cri­sis on the bor­der of Greece.

Helen grew up on Groote Eylandt, a remote Island in the Gulf of Car­pen­taria in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry of Aus­tralia. She com­plet­ed her Nurs­ing and Para­medic stud­ies in Dar­win, where she was work­ing in the Emer­gency Depart­ment and was involved with the Roy­al Dar­win Hos­pi­tal Response to the Bali Bomb­ings. Since then she has worked in Emer­gency Depart­ments in Ter­tiary hos­pi­tals; in Remote Indige­nous Com­mu­ni­ties; attend­ed Dis­as­ter Respons­es both local­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly, and worked with Asy­lum seek­ers and Refugees.

Helen is recog­nised inter­na­tion­al­ly for her vol­un­teer human­i­tar­i­an work and has been nom­i­nat­ed for mul­ti­ple awards includ­ing: Aus­tralian of the Year QLD 2016 and 2017; Inter­na­tion­al Greek Women’s Awards 2017; and Final­ist for Vol­un­teer of the Year QLD 2019. Helen was award­ed the Hel­lenic Aus­tralian Cham­ber Com­merce and Indus­try award for Excel­lence in Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice in 2016; The Gold Ste­vie award for Med­ical Front­line Hero 2020; and Gold Ste­vie award for Men­tor and Coach 2020.

In March 2019 in New York, Helen attend­ed the Unit­ed Nations 63rd Com­mis­sion on the sta­tus of women. There she spoke on a pan­el, at the CSW NGO Forum, on the Eco­nom­ic Empow­er­ment of Women Entre­pre­neurs through the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals’. In May 2019, Helen attend­ed the Unit­ed Nations Dis­as­ter Risk Reduc­tion Glob­al Plat­form, held in Gene­va, and was invit­ed to the UNS­DG Health Sum­mit to speak on non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, which was a side event at the World Health Assem­bly. As 2020 marked the Inter­na­tion­al Year of the Nurse, Helen had been appoint­ed the Ambas­sador for World Youth International’s Nurs­es in Action’ Pro­gram and spent five weeks vol­un­teer­ing in Kenya.

Helen is a Fel­low of the Roy­al Soci­ety of Arts (FRSA); a Mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Col­lege of Nurs­ing (MACN); the Health and Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Advi­sor and Found­ing Mem­ber to the Com­mon­wealth Busi­ness Women’s Net­work (CBWN); the Nation­al Focal Point for Glob­al Net­works for Civ­il Soci­eties on Dis­as­ter Risk and the Region­al Advi­so­ry Group for Dis­as­ter Risk Reduc­tion for the Pacif­ic Region; Pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralasian Hel­lenic Edu­ca­tion Pro­gres­sive Asso­ci­a­tion (AHEPA) Gold Coast Chap­ter; a trustee and advi­sor for Kitri­nos Health­care, a Non-Gov­ern­ment Organ­i­sa­tion (UK); a trustee and advi­sor for cox sys­tems lite chair dis­abil­i­ty ser­vices; and Vice Pres­i­dent and Char­ter Mem­ber for Busi­ness and Pro­fes­sion­al Women, Bris­bane Southside.

Prof. Roianne West, CEO of CATSINaM

Born and raised Kalka­doon on her grandmother’s ances­tral lands in North West Queens­land with con­nec­tions to the Djunke/D­jaku-nde peo­ples in South West Queens­land, Pro­fes­sor West con­tin­ues a fam­i­ly lega­cy of four gen­er­a­tions of Abo­rig­i­nal nurs­es and a long line of heal­ers that include her moth­er, a twin sis­ter and a broth­er who are Reg­is­tered Nurs­es and twin daugh­ters who are study­ing Nurs­ing and Midwifery.

Pro­fes­sor West has com­plet­ed a Bach­e­lor of Nurs­ing, a Mas­ters of Men­tal Health Nurs­ing, and a PhD which devel­oped a mod­el of excel­lence for increas­ing Indige­nous nurs­es in Aus­tralia in 2012.

She was Australia’s first Nurs­ing Direc­tor in a ter­tiary hos­pi­tal with a ded­i­cat­ed port­fo­lio of Indige­nous Health and Australia’s first Pro­fes­sor of Indige­nous Health in a joint appoint­ment between a state health ser­vice and a uni­ver­si­ty school of nurs­ing and mid­wifery, Foun­da­tion Chair in First Peo­ples Health, Direc­tor of the First Peo­ples Health Unit and the inau­gur­al Dean of First Peo­ples Health at Grif­fith University.

Pro­fes­sor West is an active researcher who leads the Yuwan Gul­gan study of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander Health and Cul­tur­al Safe­ty Edu­ca­tion and Train­ing at Grif­fith Uni­ver­si­ty, which aims to improve Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander Health and Cul­tur­al Safe­ty edu­ca­tion and train­ing through an Indige­nous Research lens.

Pro­fes­sor West was recent­ly acknowl­edged for her out­stand­ing research lead­er­ship as the 2020 Low­it­ja Insti­tute Cran­lana Award recip­i­ent and she is the only Abo­rig­i­nal Nurse in the coun­try who is a recip­i­ent of both the CATSI­NaM Sal­ly Goold Award and Fellowship.

Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowl­an, RN BN MHM G.DipPM GCert​.PA FACN, GAICD, Deputy Nation­al Rur­al Health Com­mis­sion­er – Nurs­ing and Midwifery

Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowl­an is Chief Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Offi­cer, Clin­i­cal Excel­lence Queens­land, Queens­land Health; and

  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery, Uni­ver­si­ty of Queensland
  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Nurs­ing, Fac­ul­ty of Health, Queens­land Uni­ver­si­ty of Technology
  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery, Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Queensland
  • Adjunct Pro­fes­sor – School of Med­i­cine, Grif­fith University

Adj. Prof. Nowl­an has a Mas­ter Health Man­age­ment (Uni­ver­si­ty of New Eng­land), Bach­e­lor’s Degree, Nurs­ing (UNE), Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Pol­i­cy Analy­sis (Grif­fith Uni­ver­si­ty), Diplo­ma Project Man­age­ment (TAFE Queens­land) and is an Insti­tute of Com­pa­ny Direc­tors Graduate.

In her pro­fes­sion­al role, advo­ca­cy and con­tri­bu­tion to nurs­ing and mid­wifery at a state lev­el, nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly, Adj. Prof. Nowl­an is also Chair of the Queens­land Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Exec­u­tive Coun­cil and a Direc­tor on the Emer­gency Med­i­cine Foun­da­tion and the Queens­land Health Lead­er­ship Advi­so­ry Board. She is a Mem­ber of the Coun­cil of Aus­tralian and New Zealand Chief Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Offi­cers, the Inter­na­tion­al WON­CA World Gen­er­al Prac­tice Rur­al Prac­tice Com­mit­tee, a Fel­low of Aus­tralian Col­lege of Nurs­ing and an Alum­ni of the Inter­na­tion­al Coun­cil of Nurs­ing Lead­er­ship Institute.

Adj. Prof. Nowl­an has received numer­ous acco­lades for her lead­er­ship and con­tri­bu­tion to pop­u­la­tion nurs­ing, edu­ca­tion, equi­ty and the com­mu­ni­ty. In 2007 she was recog­nised for her work on Cyclone Lar­ry Relief, receiv­ing the QLD Pre­mier Award. In 2008 she was award­ed the Aus­tralia Day Award for Queens­land Health Devel­op­ment and Lead­er­ship from Caloun­dra Health. In 2012 she was the recip­i­ent of the Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer Encour­age­ment Award, Cen­tral Queens­land Staff Awards. In 2015 her lead­er­ship was recog­nised through an Aus­tralia Day Award for Nurs­ing Exec­u­tive Team Children’s Health Queens­land HHS and in 2015 she was the recip­i­ent of The Asso­ci­a­tion of Queens­land Nurse Lead­ers’ Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment in Nurs­ing. Shel­ley is also an ICN Glob­al Nurs­ing Lead­er­ship Insti­tute Alum­ni and vir­tu­al­ly attend­ed the WHO assem­bly as an Alum­ni del­e­gate in 2021.

A reg­is­tered nurse with more than 34 years’ expe­ri­ence, Adj. Prof. Nowl­an holds a long­stand­ing inter­est in the health out­comes of rur­al and remote Aus­tralians. Adj. Prof. Nowl­an had worked for decades to ensure nurs­es and mid­wives were sup­port­ed to meet the needs of peo­ple liv­ing in rur­al and region­al Aus­tralia. As Deputy Rur­al Health Com­mis­sion­er, Adj. Prof. Nowl­an will play a key role in the Fed­er­al Government’s agen­da to increase access to rur­al health ser­vices and address rur­al work­force shortages.

Prof. Yvonne Cadet-James, Aca­d­e­m­ic at James Cook University

Pro­fes­sor Cadet-James has exten­sive expe­ri­ence in the field of health and edu­ca­tion as a reg­is­tered nurse and mid­wife fol­lowed by an aca­d­e­m­ic teach­ing and research career. She has expe­ri­ence as a prin­ci­pal and chief inves­ti­ga­tor on NHM­RC, ARC, Low­it­ja Insti­tute and oth­er fund­ed grants. As a qual­i­ta­tive researcher her inter­ests lie in com­mu­ni­ty based mod­els to address tobac­co; mater­nal, ado­les­cence and child health; and social, emo­tion­al and men­tal health well­be­ing and empow­er­ment. She is a co-leader on the Fam­i­ly Well­be­ing Empow­er­ment Research Pro­gram now utilised in some 57 organisations/​communities across the nation, which assists peo­ple to gain the knowl­edge, skills and con­fi­dence to make pos­i­tive changes in their lives.

Pro­fes­sor Cadet-James has been involved in nation­al Indige­nous research reform through rep­re­sen­ta­tion on NHM­RC com­mit­tees includ­ing the Prin­ci­pal Com­mit­tee Indige­nous Cau­cus, revi­sion of the NHM­RC nation­al eth­i­cal guide­lines for research which involves Indige­nous peo­ple and the Aus­tralian Health Ethics Com­mit­tee. She plays a major advi­so­ry and men­tor­ship role in strength­en­ing the capac­i­ty of researchers, organ­i­sa­tions and com­mu­ni­ties, pro­vid­ing mas­ter class­es and work­shops specif­i­cal­ly designed for Indige­nous groups to set and take con­trol of their own research agen­das. As a mem­ber of the Gugu Bad­hun nation Pro­fes­sor Cadet-James pro­vides lead­er­ship for the Gugu Bad­hun Dji­ma Research Cen­tre activities.

More about the CRANAplus Annu­al Conference

For over 30 years, we have run the annu­al con­fer­ence to bond and unite the inher­ent­ly dis­persed remote and iso­lat­ed health work­force. The con­fer­ence serves as an oppor­tu­ni­ty for like-mind­ed remote and iso­lat­ed health indi­vid­u­als to net­work, con­nect and share.

Held at a dif­fer­ent loca­tion each year or under­tak­en online as nec­es­sary, the event brings togeth­er health prac­ti­tion­ers, man­agers, gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives, pol­i­cy mak­ers, aca­d­e­mics and stu­dents into an ener­getic social forum.

Built around a series of high qual­i­ty pre­sen­ta­tions from indus­try speak­ers, it pro­vides the ide­al plat­form for announc­ing recip­i­ents of schol­ar­ships and recog­nis­ing the out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions of health pro­fes­sion­als. We bestow awards across mul­ti­ple cat­e­gories and allo­cate the pres­ti­gious Auro­ra Award as part of our com­mit­ment to cel­e­brat­ing achieve­ment and iden­ti­fy­ing a gold­en standard.