Queensland Health’s Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Adjunct Professor Shelley Nowlan, took on a new role this week as Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner, which will see her play a key role in the Federal Government’s agenda to increase access to rural health services and address rural workforce shortages.
Federal Rural Health Minister, Mark Coulton, and National Rural Health Commissioner, Prof Ruth Stewart, met with Prof Nowlan today in Brisbane to congratulate her and discuss priorities for the role.
Minister Coulton welcomed Prof Stewart’s engagment of Prof Nowlan, recognising the wealth of experience and expertise Prof Nowlan brings to the position.
“I welcome Shelley Nowlan’s appointment as Deputy Commissioner. A registered nurse with more than 30 years’ experience, Prof Nowlan holds a longstanding interest in the health outcomes of rural and remote Australians.
“Prof Nowlan’s professional qualifications and practical experience will provide real-world knowledge and insight to healthcare challenges in country Australia.”
Professor Ruth Stewart said Prof Nowlan had worked for decades to ensure nurses and midwives met the needs of people living in rural and regional Australia.
“Prof Nowlan’s work in strategic health policy, health reform, innovation, and program evaluation has supported the delivery of nurse and midwifery care in communities across Queensland,” Professor Stewart said.
“I look forward to working with Shelley to develop new and innovative ways to provide health services to people in rural and remote Australia and make it an even better.”
Minister Coulton said the appointment of Deputy Commissioners is part of the Government’s expansion of the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner to elevate its effectiveness and capacity to engage with rural challenges in a more holistic manner.
“By engaging two Deputy Commissioners to provide expert advice on allied health, nursing, and Indigenous health disciplines and making the National Rural Health Commissioner a permanent office, we are ensuring rural challenges receive the attention and the expertise they deserve.
Prof Nowlan is the second of two Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner to be announced. Associate Professor, Dr Faye McMillan, was announced last month as a Deputy Commissioner. Prof Nowlan is engaged as Deputy Commissioner until 30 June 2022.