ACORN staff

Rebecca EastRebecca East CEO

A respected national perioperative leader, Rebecca East assumed her appointment as ACORN’s Chief Executive Officer in late 2019. Having served 6 consecutive years as an  ACORN board member, initially as Victorian Representative, then Victorian Director and finally as President Rebecca brings unique perspectives and deep knowledge of the Australian perioperative community. ACORN awarded Rebecca ACORN Fellowship in 2018 concurrent with her completion of a Master of Nursing Practice (Perioperative) and Master of Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner) from Deakin University. Rebecca’s clinical practice is diverse. For the past 9 years Rebecca has worked in private practice, She gained endorsement as a nurse practitioner in 2014 and is now a proud director of her own private orthopaedic and sports injury practice in Central Victoria. Rebecca is responsible for overall management of the team’s orthopaedic and sports injury patients, and continues to practice at the coal face assuming a weekly surgical assisting role with her business partner who is an orthopaedic surgeon. Bec well understands, supports and represents the broader Australian perioperative nursing community. ACORN Board, members and staff are grateful for Bec’s leadership and look future to ACORN’s bright future under her strategic direction.

Edwina Blannin-Ferguson

Edwina Blannin-Ferguson 2021Edwina has held a number of education and management positions within the perioperative environment in both New South Wales and Victoria. Her passion for enhancing and progressing the role of the perioperative nurse in Australia is ongoing and her background in both clinical education and tertiary education provide a robust foundation for delivering content in a variety of learning environments.

One of Edwina's passions is continuing professional development to ensure best-practice underpinned by up-to-date evidence for the best possible patient outcomes. She has completed a Masters in Nursing, a Diploma of Leadership and Management and a range of clinically relevant qualifications. She is also passionate about multi-disciplinary education opportunities, the use of simulation to improve learning experiences and the incorporation of technology-based learning to improve accessibility of content to perioperative nurses across Australia.


Cath Murphy

Cath Murphy May 2019 - Width:100Cath Murphy is ACORN's Standards Manager and also Project Manager - Roadmap Project.

Cath is driven every day by a desire to improve the safety and quality of health care. Cath's career has always involved senior mentors who have provided her with much needed  guidance, counsel, support and inspiration.

Other than being part of a small but mighty and highly dedicated team of staff, Cath considers that the best part of working for ACORN is the generous and often voluntary commitment perioperative nurses give to ACORN day after day to improve Australian perioperative care. Professionally Cath subscribes to the motto 'do what you love and love what you do'. 

You can learn more about Cath's professional interests, activities, publications, qualifications, awards and her Honorary Adjunct Associate Professorship within the Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, Bond University at the following link


E.TanEleanor Tan

Eleanor Tan was first engaged in September 2015 to manage production of the journal. In July 2016 she was employed as ACORN's Publications Officer to manage the production of ACORN's publications and edit the website and other communications.

With more than twenty years' experience in the education and health sectors and ten years' editing and publishing experience, Eleanor's expertise and attention to detail have ensured ACORN publications reflect the College's professional standing within the community.

As Publications Officer, Eleanor compiles, edits and formats the content for ACORN publications, website and communications. She enjoys collaborating with ACORN directors, staff and volunteers, and liaising with the graphic designer and printer, to produce a range of high quality and timely publications including Standards for Perioperative Nursing in Australia, Practice Audit Tools and conference collateral as well as Journal of Perioperative Nursing.

Lesley Woods

Lesley Woods 2019

Lesley Woods joined ACORN as Administration and Accounts Officer in June 2019 providing administrative and account support to its members, stakeholders and staff.

With over 30 years' experience in senior roles of business administration in the not for profit medical education sector I bring proven skills and sound knowledge in leadership, change management, budgets and event management, and innovation of processes resulting in clients needs met.

ACORN has grown to be a well-recognised peak body for its members and the role out of the 'Road Map Project' will enable the ACORN team to be a part of its future through operational change, innovation and commercial growth. To be part of ACORN's future through the Roadmap and opportunities for involvement the years ahead look to be very rewarding for all involved.

To see the ACORN Organisation chart, an overview of ACORN's governance, click here.