ANMJ Featured Story

Editorial Lee Thomas, ANMF Federal Secretary

Wednesday 23rd August, 2017

It’s been a busy couple of months attending ANMF annual delegate conferences across the country.

While joining in on these events it’s been wonderful meeting or reconnecting with many of you in every state and territory I have visited. I must say it really is one of my favourite things to do.

The conference is also a great opportunity for nurses and midwives to network with each other to discuss issues most important to them.

A substantial part of state and territory delegate conferences is dedicated to discussing and debating resolutions on industrial, professional, political and social justice issues which are put forward by members. If those resolutions are passed they help shape policy and direction for each of the branches.

The enthusiasm this evokes amongst delegates is awe inspiring and always creates a swell of pride within me. Because of this passion I am assured that our professions are in good hands and will continue to grow and evolve in the years to come.

Every two years the ANMF Federal Office holds its own national conference. The next one is set to occur in Tasmania in October this year. Nominated delegates from each of the branches attend this conference to debate matters of national policy. While it is not a policy making body as such it helps provide a national vision and a direction for the ANMF Federal Executive on issues that matter most to members.

To help understand what ANMF’s national biennial conferences are about ANMJ’s feature this month looks into their importance and how they influence the nursing and midwifery professions as a whole.

At the state and territory branch delegate conferences, Assistant Federal Secretary Annie Butler and I have been speaking about aged care and the plight of the sector.  We will be talking about this again at the National Biennial Conference.

If you have been reading my editorials over the past few months you would know how concerned the ANMF is about aged care, particularly around the reduction of qualified staff at many aged care facilities - the consequences being substandard care and dangerous conditions for residents. Without doubt it’s a dire situation as aged care descends more deeply into trouble. Just recently, aged care providers Southern Cross Care and Blue Care both announced plans to slash nursing hours and cut staff.

As a matter of urgency Annie Butler and I held talks on the matter with Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt in Canberra late last month. At this stage I can say the minister was listening which is hopefully a positive step towards improvements in the sector.

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