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The Oak November 2023

From the CEO

This last month has been busy with two very important meetings with key contacts for ACORN. 

Board Chair, Jessica Pougnault, represented the ACORN membership at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) council meeting where she made a presentation about our strategy and activities. We thank the RACS council, led by Associate Professor Kerin Fielding and Professor Owen Ung, for their support of ACORN and for inviting us to present at the meeting.

The other significant meeting was with the Northern Territory Chief Minister, the Hon Natasha Fyles. A passionate supporter of perioperative nursing, the minister spoke of supporting ACORN to provide policy and processes to attract and retain nurses in Australia and, in particular, in regional and remote areas. We thank Minister Fyles for her interest in ACORN.

I'm thrilled to announce our confirmed sponsors for Perioperative Nurses Week 2023 are Multigate (GLUE awards), Bravura Education (Ask day) and Wellness Footwear (Rest day). 

You will notice some changes in staff at ACORN as we restructure to serve you better. The main email for enquiries remains Please email me ( or connect with me on LinkedIn if I can support you in any way.

With best wishes

Diane Harapin, CEO


From the Board Chair

With the end of the year looming, we are excited to celebrate Perioperative Nurses Week, 12–18 November, with the mindful theme of HEART – happiness, empathy, ask, rest and thanks.

This theme expresses gratitude to you all, passionate perioperative nurses, who work towards achieving ACORN's mission to 'advocate for safe, quality perioperative care for every patient on every occasion'.

This deep sense of purpose resonates with all ACORN's directors, as clinicians, and through the company into the local associations (LAs). As pressure and demand on perioperative teams increases with the return of pre-pandemic activity levels, please take a minute to reflect on the advanced care that you provide and the privileged position we have providing care to patients when they are at their most vulnerable. On behalf of the board, heartfelt thanks to all our perioperative nurses in all their roles across the perioperative journey.

This last few months has seen a reinvigoration for ACORN, as we again take up a position on the board of the International Federation of Perioperative Nurses (IFPN). I met online with other members of the IFPN board and we discussed pertinent issues regarding workforce, wellness, new technology and topical clinical issues across the nations. It was a privilege to represent Australia and ACORN as the IFPN will present these issues to the International Nurses Council (ICN) meeting in Geneva. What an incredible opportunity to have a perioperative voice at that table. ACORN's reputation remains strong from the legacy that has been built by the perioperative nurse leader trailblazers that have come before us.

Thank you to all those who have shown keen interest in the two roles ACORN has recently been recruiting for – Education Officer and Clinical Excellence Coordinator (CEC). We are in the final stages of the process for the Education Officer and are just commencing shortlisting and interviews for the CEC role. These two key clinical positions in the company will work closely with Diane and other staff to implement ACORN's strategic plan for our members.

In the next few weeks, once the CEC has been engaged, we will be forming a standards working party to collate and review feedback received from members and key stakeholders about the New ACORN Standards. We are grateful to the LA representatives that have volunteered to continue the work of the National Leadership Group that developed the new content and format.

Sophie Ehrlich, who has been our treasurer, has stepped down from the board to take maternity leave. Justine Vost is now the treasurer.

With best wishes

Jessica Pougnault

Perioperative Nurses Week 2023

This year we will celebrate our profession from 12 to 18 November. Each day will include a self-care focus and competitions and prizes. Please remember to check our website and socials for more details.

ACORN 2024 conference, 1–4 May 2024

The call for abstracts is open. Please send abstracts of presentations related to the conference theme ‘Uniting and Igniting’ to This is shaping up to be a great event so save the date. 

PNW 2023 12–18 November 2023 

PNG Periperative Nurses Standards Workshop 23–24 November 2023