Why cultural visibility matters: journeys from a booth

Ms Jane Springall1, Ms Jeanette Kelly1

1Department of Health Tas, Hobart, Australia


The Department of Health was the host organisation for the Australian College of Nursing’s National Nursing Forum in Hobart in August 2019. The Departments role included sponsorship and manning an exhibitor’s booth.

The evolution of this booth is the topic of this talk. The booth had two key foci: firstly, living and working in Tasmania as a nurse, and cultural visibility. The community was consulted for structure and content to represent the unique Tasmanian landscape. Feedback encouraged us to consult with key Aboriginal leaders to provide an authentic cultural representation. This is what the community had told us the 600 interstate visitors would be interested in learning more about.

We were guided by our new Professional Practice Framework, PERL (People, Engagement, Regulation and Learning); and our teams core values in our consultation with key cultural partners. Our moral compass was the motivator, and collaboration was our tool.

Collaboration included using the expertise of the Aboriginal community and key organisations to walk with us and advise us. Creating positive energy and trust, and people would could not do more for us. Including setting up the booth, bring culturally appropriate information and resources, manning the booth and engaging in rich conversations about the vibrant contemporary Aboriginal community.

We strengthened our cultural competence, and through trust and respect built solid stakeholder relationships. This set a standard that aligns to the Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and the National Safety and Health Quality Services Standards.


Jeanette is a Project Manager in the Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwife, Tasmania. Jeanette is a Member of the Australian College of Nursing (MACN) and holds a Master of Clinical Nursing. Areas of interest professional interest include women and children’s health, strategic leadership, diversity, Aboriginal health and supporting nurses and midwives.

Jane is a Project Manager in the Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwife, Tasmania. Jane is a Member of the Australian College of Nursing (MACN), she is a registered nurse and midwife, with a Bachelor of Teaching. She is passionate about working with young people and growing the nursing profession.