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The Oak July 2024

Dear Members 

At ACORN, we are busy focussing on creating an inspiring educational program and exciting social events for our first face-to-face conference in six years. 

We are delighted to have the amazing journalist and television personality, John Mangos, joining us as MC for the conference.  

John has been a familiar face on Australian television for the past 45 years –on the Nine Network, Seven Network and Sky News Australia. He is currently a regular on Nine’s Today Extra program. 

John began his career with the Nine Network where he worked in general news, had a three-year stint in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra, was Chief Parliamentary Correspondent in the New South Wales Parliament and spent three years as Nine’s Bureau Chief in the United States of America (USA).¿He returned from the USA to work with Graham Kennedy on Coast to Coast. He then went on to anchor Network Ten’s Eyewitness News, became the international reporter for Nine’s Midday Show and hosted his own morning chat program for the Seven Network, At Home with John Mangos. 

John currently runs his own strategic communications company where he works as a political advisor and media trainer to leading business and political figures. 

John is a passionate supporter of our nursing community and is thrilled to be supporting ACORN at our conference this November.

Kind regards

Diane Harapin

ACORN Chief Executive Officer


Dear Members

June has passed, and July is now upon us! It was delightful to see many of you online for our Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on Saturday 29 June. The AGM took a different format this year with a lean agenda, verbal reports presented and the financial statements provided. The board is planning an in-person meeting at the ACORN 2024 International Conference in Sydney to provide further updates. 

As I said at the AGM, ACORN would be nothing without our volunteers, our committee members, our Fellows and members. If you are keen to volunteer to further the aims of the College, please contact us to explore avenues for involvement. 

At the AGM we were also pleased to announce three appointments to the Board of Directors: 

  • Dorcas Shih (Northern Territory) 

  • Tracy Kerle (New South Wales) 

  • Garry Stratton (Tasmania). 

Each brings a wealth of experience from not only their local associations but also service on ACORN committees and/or boards. On behalf of the current board, I warmly welcome Dorcas, Tracey and Garry and express our gratitude for their dedication to achieving the aims of ACORN. 

The 2024 ACORN International Conference is just five months away! The events committee is working diligently to ensure a successful conference – exciting announcements about the program are soon to be made. We look forward to coming together, learning from each other, hearing from nurse leaders and building our community. Please spread the word widely and register for this important event. Let’s make the 2024 conference a resounding success and a testament to ACORN’s strength! 


Warm regards 

Caroline Johnson 
ACORN Board Chair


Dorcas 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.  

SAPNA mentoring program 
6 July, Burnside War Memorial Hospital, Adelaide 

ACORN Queensland state conference 

25–26 October, Marcoola, Queensland

ACORN 2024 International Conference

28–30 November, ATC, Randwick, Sydney