Board of Directors

The Board of Directors manages ACORN's business and affairs. Currently the board comprises eight directors, including the president – a director from each of the seven state and territory associations and a director elected by the ACORN membership. Directors work in a voluntary capacity and oversee the workings of our committees.

The ACORN Organisation chart is being updated and will be available soon.

Patricia is on the executive of the Victorian Perioperative Nurses Group and honoured to represent Victoria at the national level and work towards achieving ACORN’s vision. Patricia has worked clinically in perioperative departments across metropolitan, regional and rural organisations, progressing in both management and education roles. She joined the ACORN board in May 2018.

Elyse Coffey Apr 2020Elyse Coffey is a Lecturer of Nursing in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Deakin University. She has been working as a registered nurse in the specialist field of perianaesthesia for the last ten years. Elyse has completed a Master of Nursing (Perianaesthetic Care), an Honours degree at Deakin University and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning.

Sophie joined the ACORN board in May 2018 and is co-chair of the Education Committee. Sophie works at Royal Darwin Hospital as a Clinical Nurse Educator in the specialty area of anaesthetics and PACU. Sophie’s professional achievements include developing and implementing an intubating tray for neonatal resuscitaire and a new process to decrease the risk of cross-contamination of medical equipment used in the theatre complex.

Karen has worked as an enrolled nurse for 30 years, primarily in operating theatre suites in the greater western suburbs of Sydney. She has been a member of the executive committee for NSW OTA since 2010 and served on the ACORN board since 2014. Karen has also been the chair of the Partnerships Committee and is the current Chair of the 2020 Conference Committee. She is currently a practitioner member of the co-regulatory body New South Wales Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Sharon ACORN PhotoSharon is currently employed as clinical nurse in Perioperative, Day Surgery, Theatre and Recovery at Gawler Health Service and has been a perioperative nurse across a range of public and private settings in Adelaide since 2006. She is passionate about perioperative nursing and education, and has been on the SAPNA Committee for many years advocating strong leadership and succession planning to ensure the future of perioperative nursing. Sharon holds a Postgraduate Master of Nursing (Perioperative) and a Certificate III in Sterilising.

Jessica Pougnault

Jessica Pougnault is a passionate perioperative nurse leader and is currently Clinical Nurse Manager, Perioperative, Day Surgery, HSSD & Waitlist at Women’s and Newborn Health Service. Jessica has a Postgraduate Diploma (Perioperative), a Masters of Clinical Nursing (Perioperative) and a Postgraduate Certificate in  Leadership and Management. She is passionate about the role of ACORN in governance, accountability and leadership within the perioperative setting and succession planning for our professional future. Jessica is working collaboratively with ACORN WA to increase the state brand and membership throughout the state's operating theatres.

Donna joined the ACORN board in May 2018 and is co-chair of the Education Committee. She has held numerous roles, including CNS in PACU and Clinical Nurse Educator, since gaining her initial perioperative nursing qualifications in Sydney in 1991. She moved to the Tweed Coast in 1994 and currently holds the position of L2 CNS Cardiothoracics at John Flynn Private Hospital on the Gold Coast.


Garry Stratton May 2018For the past seven years, Garry Stratton has held the position of Clinical Nurse Manager of the perioperative unit at Calvary St Luke’s Hospital Launceston which specialises in orthopaedics, ear/nose/throat and oral surgery. He has 23 years of experience in the perioperative setting and has been a member of ACORN Tasmania executive since 2017.