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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the strategic direction of the company and oversees the Chief Executive Officer. Currently, the board comprises nine directors – one from each of the seven state and territory perioperative nursing associations, an independent director and a board chair.

Caroline Johnson May 2024.jpg

 

Caroline came to perioperative nursing in 2009. Placed in theatre as part of her graduate year, Caroline initially intended to return to surgical nursing at the end of her six-month placement but the perioperative bug bit hard, and she has remained in perioperative nursing ever since.

Caroline works in Launceston, Northern Tasmania, as part of the Calvary St Luke’s and St Vincent’s perioperative education team, in the role of perioperative clinical nurse specialist – educator. Caroline has 13 years' experience in anaesthetics and post-anaesthetic recovery nursing and has gained post-graduate qualifications in anaesthetics and recovery, and clinical nursing and teaching.

Recognising the importance of equipping the next generation of perioperative nurses with the skills they need to provide perioperative nursing care to a high standard, Caroline is actively involved with perioperative education. She supports and mentors both graduate nurses transitioning to perioperative practice and undergraduate nurses undertaking theatre placement. Caroline is also passionately motivated about investigating and implementing quality improvements that assist perioperative nurses to act as effective patient advocates. Additionally, Caroline has a keen interest in implementing strategies to assist with addressing human factors when managing clinical emergencies within the perioperative environment.

Caroline, her husband and her three children enjoy spending time together exploring Tasmania’s wilderness beauty on foot, in the snow and on/under the water.

Tarryn Armour

Tarryn Armour BN, BHlthProm, GDip AdNrsgPrac (periop), GDip HigherEd, Master ClinEd, FHEA, FACORN

Tarryn is a lecturer in nursing at Deakin University teaching both undergraduate and post-graduate nurses. Tarryn has over ten years of experience in perioperative nursing with qualifications in perioperative nursing practice and education. Tarryn is a past president of the Victorian Perioperative Nurses Group (VPNG) and has worked with the Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (ACORN) to review and develop the 2020 Standards of Practice for Perioperative Nursing in Australia.

Tarryn is dedicated to growing and improving perioperative nursing practice and has a special interest in simulation-based education and the importance of using and teaching 'non-technical' skills to improve patient safety. Tarryn lives in Melbourne with her partner, two children and her dog, Peggy.

Justine Vost

Justine has been a perioperative nurse for the last 12 years. She began her career in Sydney at Prince of Wales / Sydney Children’s Hospital with some of Australia’s perioperative royalty. It is no surprise that Justine developed a passion for education and a need to further herself.

In 2013, Justine moved to Queensland and started to further her passion. Working in several roles within the private sector Justine developed her leadership skills first at St Andrews War Memorial Hospital and then Mater Private Hospital South Brisbane and decided to step into the world of education. During her time as clinical facilitator Justine completed her Graduate Certificate in Nursing Specialisation (Leadership in Practice) and created a perioperative awareness module with the Mater Education High School Adventure Program. Taking an opportunity to be part of the leadership team, Justine returned to St Andrews and back into the fold as theatre floor coordinator, but education was never too far from her mind. In 2021 the creation of a clinical facilitator role saw Justine stepping back into education and her passion for shaping the future of perioperative nursing. In 2022, Justine took on the role of clinical nurse educator and, within this space, she has found her stride.

Fuelling Justine’s passion has been her work with ACORN, and especially ACORN QLD. Justine was a committee member of ACORN QLD from 2017 to 2020. During her second year on the committee Justine stepped into the role of secretary and worked as an active member of the education team.

George Eskander_Consumer Director_ACORN Board

George is currently executive area director clinical services at a large metropolitan quaternary hospital group in Perth, as well as a specialist-registered general practitioner. He also serves as adjunct clinical associate professor at Curtin University. Involved with medical regulation at a national level, he further oversees the commissioning, quality assurance and delivery of the RACGP fellowship examination and has led various service transformation initiatives at a metropolitan strategic level.

Holding a variety of executive roles at both board level and at expert advisory level within a number of health service providers and regulatory entities, he has developed extensive expertise pertaining to the regulation of medical practitioners and health care providers. He is involved at the national level in medical regulation and has strong expertise with respect to the implementation of clinical governance frameworks. During his tenure in the UK, he served as Expert Medical Advisor to the Care Quality Commission, a statutory UK regulator involved in the regulation of health care providers, and was involved in rolling out a novel enhanced risk-based approach to health care regulation. He further served on the General Medical Council relating to the national provision of post-graduate education and fitness to practise procedures. He was also involved in the strategic deployment of integrated clinical informatics provision across large metropolitan districts.

George is passionate about advocating for genuine interprofessional working, and about empowering all professions to practise to the full extent of their professional capabilities. When not at work, he enjoys running half-marathons dressed as a massive gingerbread man to raise money for good causes.

Veronica HillVeronica is currently the clinical nurse manager of operating theatres at St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospital in Western Australia. She has worked as an educator, clinical specialist and manager in private operating theatres throughout Perth. Her passion for perioperative nursing and education has led to her active participation in ACORN national and ACORN WA as well as other professional bodies. Veronica was an ACORN director from 2000 to 2008, during which time she had the opportunity to be part of national advisory bodies and committees which contributed to her deep understanding of best practice and standards at a national and international level.

Dorcas Shih Jul 2024.jpgDorcas Shih MN (Leadership & Management), BN, GDip OHS, GDip Perioperative Nursing, GCert Nursing Leadership & Management, Cert III Sterilising Services 

Dorcas graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 2004 and had started her nursing career in palliative care. In 2007, she moved to perioperative nursing as an instrument/ circulating nurse and has not looked back since. 

In 2011, Dorcas and her family moved from sunny Brisbane to tropical Darwin where she has been working in various perioperative roles – perioperative educator, perioperative clinical nurse consultant and Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) clinical nurse manager. Dorcas is currently acting as the operating theatre nurse unit manager in Royal Darwin Hospital. 

Dorcas has been an active member of the Northern Territory Perioperative Association (NTPNA) including serving as president and treasurer. During this time, she was fortunate enough to be involved in organising three local conferences – definitely highlights of her time with NTPNA.  

Dorcas is passionate about developing local perioperative nurses and developing standards for perioperative subsidiary roles, in particular theatre technician and CSSD roles. Dorcas is very excited to have the opportunity to serve as an ACORN director as this will enable her to collaborate with members from other states to potentially streamline perioperative practices and further develop the subsidiary roles in the field.  

Kylie

Kylie has held a number of nursing and management positions within health care in New South Wales, Victoria and her home state, South Australia. Kylie is passionate about the role of ACORN’s governance, guidance and accountability within the perioperative setting and how it allows a level of both professionalism and leadership. It is Kylie’s mission to work collaboratively with both South Australian Perioperative Nurses Association (SAPNA) and ACORN to ensure that they become the first point of reference for all nursing staff, at all levels of registration, wanting to pursue long-term careers within the perioperative sector but with particular relevance to enrolled nurses. 

Kylie’s association with ACORN began in 2020 when she was selected to be a part of the Professional workstream team of ACORN’s Road Map Project. Over the last 21 years, Kylie has strived for continual personal and professional development including holding a Cert III (Health) in both operating theatre services and sterilisation services, Cert IV (Health) nursing, an Associate Diploma in Accounting and a Diploma of Business Management (Medical). She has also completed a range of clinically relevant qualifications within her role as an anaesthetic nurse within the Calvary Health Care group and hopes to build on this foundation in the future.