Recent history of the RSA Award

Every year at our annual conference the RSA recognises those individuals who have made an outstanding contribution and shown commitment to the RSA and the renal community at a local and/or national level. 

We would like to introduce you to recent recipients of this award and acknowledge their dedication and commitment to our cause. Congratulations to all.


Recent recipients 

Angela Henson 2020
Debbie Fortnum 2019
Debbie Pugh, 2018
Dr Bronwyn Hayes, 2017
Jon Hosking, 2016
Tiffany Whittington, 2015
Peter Sinclair, 2014
Jennifer Beavis, 2013
Ann Bonner, 2012
Bettina Douglas, 2011
Debbie Gregory 2010
Karin Norman, 2009
Kirsten Passaris, 2008
Paul Bennett, 2007
Adrian Buttimore, 2006


Angela Henson, 2020

Angela has a very focused work ethic with extensive accomplishments.

  1. Unit based Nursing -  implemented orientation foundation, facilitating competency attainment  support and educate ensuring safe practice, staff confidence in new practices e.g. tandem plasma exchange and dialysis, intraoperative dialysis during liver transplant, ABOi pre-Transplant therapy.
  2. Undergraduate Nursing Students - development of Renal understanding and compassionate patient engagement.
  3. Pioneered Renal Rotational Graduate Program – exposure to wide and varied nursing care across nephrology in preparation for future nursing positions.
  4. Renal Transitional Support Program - guides academic Renal enquiry, promoting postgraduate studies.
  5. Medical Student education, connecting students to Renal patients early, appreciating renal patient care complexities.
  6. Donate Life collaboration - high school students educated about impacts of Chronic Kidney Disease for individuals / community, raising student health awareness and empathy building in young aspiring health care workers.
  7. Provision of heavily attended state-wide, high calibre Queensland Health nephrology nursing workshops over many years.
  8. Raises Nursing Professionalism - encourages / assists nephrology nurses in academic pursuits e.g. research, writing journal articles, conference attendance, presentations.
  9. Chairperson QNNN - instrumental in revitalising QNNN which supports collaboration of senior QH nephrology nurses in handling current clinical and management concerns. Angela has led several research studies, which have been published / are in the process of being published. These have been presented at national and international conferences.

In addition, Angela's professional activity includes:

  • Queensland representative for NEN, currently leading a state-wide research study.
  • Chair of NEN Special Interest Group - took this role on during a time of disruption within the education committee and showed strong leadership in bringing the NEN together and moving ahead with support for nurse educators and those with interest towards this. Angela has helped to support review of online programs for the NEN and delegate duties for the review of outdated programs.
  • Angela regularly presents at RSA statewide symposiums and contributes to the educational program. She has written publications for the RSA Journal and also presents regularly at the RSA Annual Conference.
  • She also encourages RSA membership of all the staff at PA hospital whom she interacts with.
  • Angela takes pride in both her own work and that of her proteges.


Debbie Fortnum, 2019

Debbie has worked in renal nursing since 1985, starting her career in the UK and moving to Australia in 1986.  She is currently the nurse manager of a dialysis unit in WA and also tutors for the renal course delivered by the University of Tasmania, a great way to keep revising the theory of renal nursing.  Her passion for renal nursing was inspired when she completed her own renal course in 1987 in Sydney. Working in two states, three renal units and at Kidney Health Australia she has had a varied career that has taken in all facets of renal nursing from promoting healthy lifestyle to prevent kidney disease, right through to caring for and supporting those on both HD and PD. She has always had a keen interest in ensuring dialysis is supported with other services such as allied health and palliative care, understanding that renal replacement therapies have a high burden of treatment, beyond the actual dialysis process. 

Debbie completed her masters in International Health Care Management in 2012 and since then has been involved in a number of research projects including a pilot project of “Assisted Automated Peritoneal Dialysis”, which has won multiple awards, and a national survey on the “Opinions of renal patients”. She has written many publications and aims to publish an article every year as well as present at many conferences to ensure information gained is shared. Management and education have been a key feature of most positions she has held in the last 20 years. Her latest nursing focused career goal is to ensure nurses are heard, respected and influence long-term planning and renal care. Her position on the CARI guidelines steering committee is one example of achieving this.

Debbie has been involved with the RSA in WA at branch level for many years, facilitating state events, and as branch chair. More recently she has become a national board member. As chair of the national education committee the RSA has allowed her to influence education for renal nurses across Australia. She is very honoured to have led a major transition to national based education programmes to facilitate equal education opportunities for all renal nurses, including the new series of webinars and workshops, and building on previous visions of online education for all. The education committee is kicking many goals thanks to a dedicated team who all have a clear vision and great commitment. This probably sums up how as a senior renal nurse Debbie aims to give back and hopefully inspire others to facilitate the ongoing development of renal nursing, which in turn supports nurses to deliver high quality care.


Debbie Pugh, 2018

Debbie was born in the UK and qualified as an RN in 1989 before travelling to Australia in 1991. Since qualifying Debbie has worked both in the UK & Australia in all areas of renal nursing, including renal medicine, transplantation & dialysis. Debbie returned to Australia in 2000 and has been predominantly involved in the care of dialysis and CKD patients. In 2007 she moved into an education role, preparing patients for end stage renal disease and the treatment modalities, of renal supportive care, pre-emptive transplant or dialysis (PD & HD) including education and preparation of renal vascular access care.

Debbie has made an outstanding contribution to the RSA over a prolonged period.  A member since 2008, she held an active role at branch level since 2010 beginning as the NSW/ACT secretary and moving into the role of Branch Chair in 2012. In 2012 Debbie joined the RSA Board of Directors. She was also the convenor of the 2017 RSA Annual Conference in Sydney and co-author of the RSA online learning module 'An e-learning package for nurses about CKD-MBD'.



Dr Bronwyn Hayes, 2017

Bronwyn has been a renal nurse since 1998 working in haemodialysis and transplantation were her main focus is on providing evidence-based health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders particularly those who live in remote locations. She has been instrumental in improving the access to transplantation for patients in Far North Queensland. She has led the Queensland Statewide Renal Clinical Network sponsored disaster project to develop a natural disaster plan for all the renal units in Queensland. In this role she drew on her experience of being the only renal nurse who was responsible for over 50 patients who were evacuated during Cyclone Larry. She published an account of this experience in the RSA journal Bronwyn is committed to the development of other renal nurses supporting those working in isolated renal units in Cape York. She also supports remote area nurses who care for dialysis and transplant patients in the Torres Strait. Bronwyn has published 11 journal articles.

Bronwyn’s contribution to the RSA has been outstanding. She is the Chair of the Scientific Committee and prior to that has been a member of the committee since 2010. Bronwyn regularly reviews for the RSA journal. In 2010 she was a member of the organizing committee for the Cairns conference, and is also a member of the organizing committee for the 2017 Sydney conference. Bronwyn has presented at many RSA conferences and has received a Best Paper award at the 2015 RSA conference in Perth. 



Jon Hosking, 2016

For nine years Jon held the position of Renal Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in WA before recently re-locating to Auckland, New Zealand.  He introduced State wide Nurse Sensitive Indicator program.  Developed reporting documents and database for two indicators. One of which Jon presented the RSA Annual Conference  in 2015 and was awarded Best paper – Advanced.  He also presented at the Renal Society of Australasia Annual Conference in 2010 and locally in WA at the RSA WA annual seminar day in 2011, 2012, 2014.

Jon displays lateral thinking and takes every opportunity to look outside the box for solutions. Jon has been generally seen as the go to person within WA for all things Renal. He is passionate, professional, humble and a quiet achiever.

A member of the RSA since 2008/2009, during 2012-2015 he was RSA WA Branch Chair.  He was Convenor of the 2015 RSA Annual Conference held in Perth, has been a Board member since 2012 and a member of the Joanna Briggs Institute Renal Node Reference Group Committee since 2013.

During his term as RSA WA Branch Chair, Jon delivered clear communication and strong leadership particularly throughout the major transitions of the RSA. His quiet and compassionate manner have engaged the committee well, leading to a very effective and functional WA branch committee that has also overseen many local successful education sessions.

Jon is a much valued member of the RSA, often referred to as Yoda. With great pleasure Jon is the deserved recipient of RSA Award for 2016.


Tiffany Whittington, 2015

Tiffany has constantly demonstrated high standards of practice in Renal Nursing in all the roles she has undertaken in the last 17 years. In her current position as Clinical Practice Improvement CPC in Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplantation Service she constantly leads the way whilst challenging herself along with colleagues to ensure the highest of standards of care are provided.

She has extensive experience with operational and strategic planning of matters relating to renal care delivery within South Australia. This is demonstrated by the various work groups, committees and networks that she is involved with, including SA Renal Clinical Network, SA Renal Tender Group, MRO guideline Development group, as the chair of the BBV guideline development group, Water guideline development group (chair) and senior nurses’ haemodialysis group.  Her work provides value, distinction and innovation to renal nursing within SA and she is a highly respected member of the community.

Tiffany has been a member of the RSA for the past 15 years and has undertaken pivotal roles including SA/NT President for 4 years and Co Convener of the 2011 annual conference. Her outstanding and ongoing commitment to the RSA and significant contribution to the promotion of nephrology nursing is evident within her work as the Professional Officer / Executive Officer. Her work within the executive has paved the way for the RSA to establish itself as a stronger professional body for renal nurses. 

She was responsible in developing the strong links between the RSA, Amgen and the Joanna Briggs Institute in order to establish the Renal Care Node of JBI Connect. This partnership had provided online resources and tools to renal care clinicians, patients and their families to utilise evidence-based information in clinical decision making processes. Tiffany sits as co-chair of the JBI Renal Node group.

Tiffany is a positive role model within the RSA. She is actively involved in the RSA Federal Board, and is the current Chair of the Finance Committee. She takes her leadership role seriously. She demonstrates her commitment by liaising effectively with all members of the board whilst maintaining positive open communication. Along with her position on the board Tiffany has an active role in each of the RSA Annual Conference Committees. Tiffany is a dedicated nurse, role model, mentor, leader and a deserving winner of the RSA Award in 2015.


Peter Sinclair, 2014

Pete’s outstanding and continued commitment to the RSA and significant contribution to the promotion of nephrology nursing is evident with the establishment of the Nephrology Educators Network (NEN). His work with the NEN paved the way for it to become the first Special Interest Group of the RSA, an achievement thatprovides value, distinction and innovation not only to the RSA but to nephrology nurse education in Australasia.

Pete recognised a continuing gap within our professional organisation. Through his tireless efforts and unbridled enthusiasm he succeeded in bringing nephrology educators throughout Australasia together to begin to promote a coordinated approach to nephrology education that meets and responds to the evolving needs of Nephrology Nurses and Dialysis Technicians and Aboriginal Health Workers. 

Pete has been instrumental in creating innovative and relevant solutions to the educational needs of clinical nurses and educators alike. He ensures a cohesive and progressive focus while simultaneously bridging the tyranny of distance in renal education. This is being done through providing access to educational programs for those working in minority or isolated areas who would not ordinarily have access to these type of resources.

Pete’s achievement with the NEN have also included:

  • The development of the ‘teach the teacher’ workshop to support the continuing professional development of educators. 
  • The establishment of the NEN education scholarship. A scholarship to support one successful applicant per year in the acquisition of post graduate education qualification.
  • The development and piloting of a regionalised Learning Management System available for all Australasian Nephrology Educators to use free of charge.
  • The development of a suite of peer reviewed nephrology education e-learning packages
  • Adding value to RSA membership by providing access to high end interactive e-learning opportunities.
  • The effect of these achievements will be an enhancement of the profile of the RSA within the international professional nephrology community.
  • Gaining of grants and support from industry partners to ensure and maintain a sound financial foundation for the development of e-learning courses.
  • Liaising, collaborating and networking to form strong dynamic partnerships with others health stake holders to use the ONE portal as a host for other e-learning courses.

Pete is tireless in his efforts to make learning accessible for all nurses exampled by his work as Chair of the Nephrology Educator’s Network. He has a strong leadership style and has inspired innovation from the NEN team which has led to the development of renal e-learning courses.

Pete continues to be a driving force that encourages others to exceed their own expectations of their abilities to building high quality education resources. He encourages and motivates the team. He is able to deliver constructive criticism in a way that does not cause offence but rather makes the recipient want to do better.

He exhibits a level of energy that leaves colleagues in awe but he also always acknowledges the efforts of others. Pete claims that the success of the Nephrology Educator’s Network is due to the efforts of all involved. However, without his drive, vision and determination, it is unlikely that it would ever have come to fruition.

It is largely due to Pete’s tenacity (or sheer stubbornness) and his absolute belief in what can be done that has ensured that the ONE Portal now delivers a suite of high quality e-learning courses and continues to be a real access point for nephrology education.  

Pete is a powerfully positive role model within the RSA conference setting. He can be relied upon to produce high quality presentations and workshops and always makes sure he engages with as many people as he can within the networking environment.

He also maintains his boundless energy when encouraging others to join the RSA and NEN and has an extremely positive outlook, a “can do” attitude that inspires others to raise the bar.  

Pete shows diligence with his active involvement in RSA federal board meetings and decision making as well as NEN executive meetings and takes his role seriously, liaising effectively with board chair to maintain positive open communication.

In summation, Peter is an exemplary nurse, teacher and leader and has certainly earned the title of RSA Nurse of the Year.

Congratulations Peter on a well-deserved award.


Jennifer Beavis, 2013

What the nominee does that makes a significant difference in life or lives of people with kidney disease:

Jenny Beavis is committed to making a significant difference in the lives of people with kidney disease through her:

  • Commitment to providing nephrology nurse education at both a local and national level
  • Advocacy of quality and improvement in the area
  • Active involvement in promotion of evidence based practice in the area

Evidence of High Standards of Practice

Jenny is highly committed to nephrology nurse education in her roles as clinical educator and coordinator of Grad Cert Nephrology program at the RMH Kidney Care Service. Whilst working on her own quality improvement and research Jenny also works in collaboration with and to support others in this area. She is actively involved in promotion of evidence based practice and is the chair of the policy & procedure committee in her workplace. Jenny was inaugural in her role as the Bone Vascular Syndrome Coordinator, the first of its kind in Australia & NZ, and she has successfully completed her studies - Masters Nurse Practitioner and more recently has been endorsed as a Nurse Practitioner.

Jenny has produced multiple training packages for renal staff over the years and has a consultative and supportive approach to learning; she is highly focused on facilitating the development of others.

Other professional involvement

  • Co-author x3 papers which have been published in international renal journals
  • 3 articles printed in the RSA Communique
  • Co-authored an oral presentation which was presented at the 2011 EDTNA conference in Slovenia
  • Poster presentation American Nephrology Nurses Association National Symposium Philadelphia USA 2008
  • Been an invited speaker at numerous renal education seminars around Australia which have been both company and institutionally sponsored.

Jenny’s commitment to quality improvement, providing nephrology nurse education and to the promotion of evidenced based practice earned her the 2012 Melbourne Health Nurse of the Year – Clinical Award.

Evidence of Outstanding and Continued Commitment to the RSA (in what context has this occurred)
Jenny has been an RSA member for at least 12 years during which time she has been an active presenter at many RSA conferences. She was elected to the role of Vic branch secretary from March 2005 and held this position until the end of 2007; in 2008 Jenny was elected to Vic branch President and completed 4 years in this role. She coordinated and convened many RSA branch workshops over her years in office and is currently coordinating the diabetes workshop for this year. In 2012 Jenny was the Convenor/Chair of the committee of the well-organised annual RSA conference held in Victoria.

Jenny is dedicated to improving patient care through research and quality activities and as such upholds the RSA ethos of ‘Advancing the care of people with kidney disease’.

Jenny is an active member of the Nephrology Educators’ Network (NEN) and has been since its inception. She has co-written the CKD-MBD e-learning package and has submitted an article and questions for a journal club which has been accepted. In addition to this, Jenny is a member of the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA), the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and an ANF member.


Dr Ann Bonner, 2012

Evidence of High Standards of Practice
Tertiary Qualifications:
2002 PhD - University of Western Sydney
1995 MA (Education) - Macquarie University
1993 BAppSc (Nursing) - Sydney University

Nursing Qualifications:
1987 Post Registration Nephrology, Dialysis & Transplantation Nursing Certificate - Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
1986 General Nursing Certificate – Westmead Hospital

Ann is the Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing at Queensland University of Technology and Visiting Fellow in the Renal Department of Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where she has recently established the Renal Nursing Professorial Unit.  Ann has over 25 years in renal nursing with experience in clinical, teaching, supervision of doctoral candidates and research. For 10 years Ann held a permanent 0.2 clinical nurse specialist in the renal unit at Westmead Hospital while also working fulltime as an academic. During this time she also completed her PhD into the acquisition of expertise by nephrology nurses. Ann has been a member of the RSA since 1988.

Ann is the postgraduate coordinator of Acute Care Nursing Stream and Nurse Practitioner stream at QUT.  Prior to this position, she was Associate Professor and Director of Postgraduate Studies at Charles Sturt University.  Her research interests are in renal health care, chronic conditions, advanced clinical practice roles, and rural and remote healthcare.  Currently, Ann conducts collaborative research projects with academic staff and clinicians in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the United States of America. Ann is recognised nationally and internationally as an expert renal nurse. She has more than 70 publications in textbook and journals; most of which are on renal topics. She is also an Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member for the Renal Society of Australasia Journal, Chair of the RSA Scientific Committee and reviewer for several national and international journals. She is also regularly contributes to articles in the RSAJ.

Ann has educated renal nurses across Australia since 1989. Firstly in the renal course conducted collaboratively with several Sydney hospitals then she developed the first Master of Nursing (Renal) course at the University of Western Sydney. Then she developed the Graduate Certificate of Nursing (Renal) at James Cook University Ann was instrumental in establishing academic recognition of TPNEP/EQUIP (Queensland Health Nephrology Education Program) program at James Cook University and Charles Sturt University. Ann has also developed a postgraduate course in Chronic Care Nursing Practice at Charles Sturt University. Currently at Queensland University of Technology, she is leading the development of a new multidisciplinary course in Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management. This course will commence in 2013. Ann also supervisors Australian and International Nephrology Nurses undertaking post graduate degrees particularly at the doctoral level.

Ann has presented at conferences in Australasia, US and Europe on education and research related to nephrology nursing and care of the patients with kidney disease.  In 2011 she received awards at the RSA and EDTNA conferences related to her research. Recently she has completed research on Nephrology Nurse Practitioners in CKD in Queensland with Professor Glenn Gardner and Barbara Harvey.

Professional Memberships

  • Member – European Dialysis & Transplant Nurses Association (EDTNA)
  • Member – Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA)
  • Member – Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI)
  • Member – Transplant Nurses Association (TNA)
  • Associate Member - Australian College of Nurse Practitioners

Some of her recent research projects that she has been involved in

  • 2010: A study of nurse practitioner service in CKD clinics in Queensland, Amgen Chronic kidney disease grant.
  • 2010: Evaluation of the COAG Healthy Communities Initiative: Narrandera Live Well Network, Narrandera Shire Council.
  • 2009: Renal information practice in nursing, Charles Sturt University, School of Nursing & Midwifery Grant.
  • 2008: Community based rehabilitation approach for rural NSW, NSW Institute of Rural Clinical Services and Training.

Some Recent Publications:

  • Black KE, Bonner A, (2011)Employer-based support for registered nurses undertaking postgraduate study via distance education, Nurse Education Today p163-167
  • Bonner A, Lloyd A, (2011) What information counts at the moment of practice? Information practices of renal nurses, Journal of Advanced Nursing p1213-1221
  • Knapman M, Bonner A, (2010)Overcrowding in medium-volume emergency departments: Effects of aged patients in emergency departments on wait times for non-emergent triage-level patients, International Journal of Nursing Practice p310-317
  • Bonner A, Wellard S, Caltabiano ML, (2010)The impact of fatigue on daily activity in people with chronic kidney disease, Journal of Clinical Nursing p3006-3015
  • Hayes B, Bonner A, (2010)Job satisfaction, stress and burnout associated with haemodialysis nursing: a review of literature, Journal of Renal Care p174-179
  • Bonner A, Wellard S, Caltabiano ML, (2009)Determining patient activity levels in chronic kidney disease, Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness: an international interdisciplinary journal p39-48
  • Bonner A, Wellard S, Caltabiano ML, (2008)Levels of fatigue in people with ESRD living in far North Queensland, Journal of Clinical Nursing p90-98
  • Bonner A, (2008) Nursing Management: Acute renal failure and chronic kidney disease, Lewis's Medical Surgical Nursing, 2nd Edition p1286-1326
  • Bonner A, (2008) Nursing Management: Renal and urological problems, Lewis's Medical Surgical Nursing, 2nd Edition p1242-1285
  • Bonner A, (2008) Nursing Assessment: Urinary system, Lewis's Medical Surgical Nursing, 2nd Edition p1220-1241

Evidence of Outstanding and Continued Commitment to the RSA

  • 1988 - Present RSA (member)
  • 1994 - 1997     NSW Branch Education Committee (member)
  • 1994 - 1998    National Competencies Committee (member)
  • 1996                Conference - Paper & Poster judge
  • 1997 - 1999      NSW Branch President
  • 1999                Conference Convener (NSW conference)
  • 1999                Chair Abstract Committee (NSW conference)
  • 1999 - 2002     National Credentialing Committee (member)
  • 2001 Conference - Paper & Poster judge
  • 2004 Conference – Poster judge
  • 2006 Conference – Poster judge
  • 2007 - Present RSAJ (Associate Editor)
  • 2009 - Present Scientific Committee (chair)
  • 2009 - Present Conference Organising Committee (member) Chair of RSA Scientific Committee for last 3 years. 
  • Major contributor to the design of the academic programs for the RSA Annual Conference of the last 3 conferences. 
  • Assist with organising education for the state workshops and also branch meetings
  • Ann was involved in the development of the first RSA nephrology competencies
  • Ann regularly attends and presents at RSA Branch Meetings and RSA Annual Conference too many presentations to list
  • Attended Planning day in Melbourne 2012 for RSA Board to contribute to develop strategic plan for RSA
  • Conducting a workshop – on writing for publication at RSA Victorian Branch in February 2012

RSA Awards
1. 2011 Best Paper (Research), 39th Renal Society of Australasia Conference, Adelaide, SA
2. 2010 Best Paper (Advanced), 38th Renal Society of Australasia Conference, Cairns, QLD

RSA Publications
Stewart, G., Bonner, A., Connor, J., Mace, R., Meyer, J. Morton, R., Moynahan, L., & Perrett, D. (1999).Competency standards for the Australian advanced practice nephrology nurse. Sydney: Renal Society of Australasia. ISBN: 0-646-37151-7.

RSAJ Publications
Douglas, B., & Bonner, A. (2011). Clinical education for nephrology nurse practitioner candidates in Australia: A consensus statement.Renal Society of Australasia Journal, 7(1), 13-23.
Bonner, A. (2009). Remembering the past: Lessons for renal health care professionals. [editorial].Renal Society of Australasia, 5(2), 44.
Adams, J., & Bonner, A. (2008). Lessons learnt: complementing good clinical renal questions with an appropriate research strategy.Renal Society of Australasia Journal, 4(3), 91-94.
Bonner, A. (2007). Focusing on Patients: Differences between the Practice of Expert and Non-Expert Nephrology Nurses.Renal Society of Australasia Journal, 3(1), 5-7, 10-12.
Campbell, S, Bonner, A., & Stewart, G. (2005). Historical aspects of peritoneal dialysis in Australia: Useful lessons for current and future nursing practice.Renal Society of Australasia Journal, 1(1), 5-10.


Bettina Douglas, 2011

Evidence of High Standards of Practice 

Bettina is currently employed as a Nurse Practitioner at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Bettina was one of the first renal NPs endorsed and employed in Queensland (QLD). She has been at the forefront of NP development within the state, having been an active organizer of the Renal NP group in QLD who meet regularly to share information, skills and knowledge.

Bettina has a position as a senior lecturer at the Queensland University for Nursing.  She is also involved in research studies such as the Landmark study and Nurse Practitioner research. Bettina is heavily involved with Kidney Health Australia and has assisted with the development of position statements, research projects, guidelines and educational presentations. 

Bettina has acted as a mentor for Nurse Practitioner candidates and also assisted other nurses with further research. She has co written a chapter titled Chronic Kidney Disease in the book Chronic illness & Disability: Principles for nursing practice. Bettina has presented at conferences such as the Diabetes Educators conference and Practice Nurse conference.

Evidence of Outstanding and Continued Commitment to the RSA

Bettina has been a RSA member since 1984, at a QLD level Bettina has always been an active participant in branch events and at branch meetings.  She held the QLD treasurers position for a 5 year period from 2005-2010, during this time Bettina assisted in taking the branch forward with fundraising and the establishment of sponsorship guidelines for obtaining trade partnership support.  This was also a changing period for Branch Treasurers with the introduction of MYOB, During her tenure she was consistent in ensuring all branch accounting was submitted to the federal treasurer on time, and received many commendations for this at federal board meetings. Bettina also organized several educational days which were of an extremely high standard. 

Bettina was involved in the original development of the RSA Competency standards and has lobbied more recently to have these reviewed and updated.  She has also written numerous articles for the RSAJ since its creation - the most recent one being the consensus statement.

Bettina's most significant contributions to the RSA include:

RSA Committee Representation
Queensland Branch Treasurer 2007 -– 2010
NSW Branch Secretary 1992

Attendance at conferences
2010 RSA Cairns (two papers presented)
2008 RSA Sydney (one paper presented)
2005 RSA Hobart (one poster presented)
1997 RSA Hobart (one paper presented – won Best Abstract Award)
1988 RSA Sydney (one paper presented)
1984 DSA Sydney

Attendance at Workshops / Seminars
2010 RSA Queensland (convenor)
2009 RSA Queensland (Brisbane & Hervey Bay)
1992 RSA NSW (co-convenor)

RSA Journal or Communiqué Publication
Rossi, M., Young, V, Martin, J. Douglas, B. & Campbell, K. (2011) Nutrition during a natural disaster for people with end stage kidney disease.Renal Soc Aust J, 7; 2:  69 - 71.
Bonner, A. & Douglas, B. (2011) Clinical Education for Nephrology Nurse Practitioner Candidates in Australia: A Consensus Statement.Renal Soc Aust J, 7; 1: 13-23.
Douglas, B. (2009) Historical reflections: Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis in the 1980's.Renal Soc Aust J 5(2) 80 – 81.
Douglas, B., Brown,L., Harvey, M., Stone, C., Mills, K., Coleman, S., Blong, A. & Washington, W. (2009). Profile of the Nephrology Nurse Practitioners in Queensland.Communiqué May 2009.
Douglas, B. (2007) Conference report: American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) Fall Meeting, Boston, MA 22 – 24 September, 2006.CommuniquéAugust 2007.
Douglas B. & Moynahan L. (2003) Holiday Dialysis in Queensland,Communiqué VI,3, 5.
Douglas B. (2003) Acute Renal Failure in Practice (Book Review),Communiqué VI,2, 11.
Cocksedge B, Hunt D, Westerholm W, Heathcote K & Pollock C. (1993) Peritoneal Catheter Exit Site Care for the Maintenance CAPD Patient: Report of a Randomised Prospective Study.Renal Educator 13(1), 4-6.
Cocksedge B. (1992). Report of the Health Industry Summit.Renal Educator 12(3).
NB the 1993 paper is referenced in the Joanna Briggs review of PD Exit site care.

Debbie Gregory, 2010

Debbie started her renal career way back in 1988 when she completed the Renal course and was working at the Austin Hospital as an ANUM on the Renal Ward. She has dedicated most of her nursing life working in all areas of renal replacement including transplantation, HD and PD in both clinical and managerial roles. She has held positions on many state and national committees including the CARI Guidelines working party, Kidney Health Australia, Dialysis Nephrology & Transplantation Subcommittee, Senior Nurse Advisory Committee (St Vincent’s Heath) and the Victorian Maintenance Dialysis Advisory Committee with the Department of Human Services.

After time on the renal ward at the Austin, Debbie worked as the Transplant Coordinator for cadaveric organs and tissues for transplantation – a state wide service.

Debbie then moved to Haemodialysis units, both in-centre and satellite centres in the private and public sectors. She was manager of a large private dialysis unit prior to moving back into the public domain in 2003 when she managed the St George’s Dialysis Unit in Kew, Victoria. It was in 2004 when Debbie became the Dialysis Manager at St. Vincent’s hospital that I came to know her. I know that I haven’t given previous roles any justice, but she definitely came to us with enthusiasm. She gave the unit life and began to focus on the staff to raise the standard of renal nursing and increase their skills. Soon enough, staff were completing their renal certificates, were becoming RSA members and even presenting at conferences.

Debbie was always willing to share her knowledge and her drive encouraged the staff around to her improve patient care within the unit. Debbie strived to improve communication and care standards beyond our in-centre unit by providing a vital link with our metropolitan and rural satellites. She instigated annual/biannual trips to all centres providing tremendous support to the NUMs and clinical staff of these units, disseminating information and streamlining policies and procedures.

Debbie was very passionate about providing education to nurses about kidney disease and was instrumental in establishing Kidney Care study days for general nurses and an advanced day for Clinical Nurse Specialists in nephrology around Victoria. Despite her multiple managerial roles, Debbie has always remained extremely patient-focused and dedicated to improving clinical care and maintaining strong nurse-patient relationships. To further this cause she has moved back to the Austin Hospital to take on the role of the Cadaveric Kidney Transplant Coordinator, and return to the clinical care that she loves.

Debbie is one of the original members of the RSA. Undeniably, Debbie’s dedication and commitment to the RSA goes beyond the call. She has been a regular attendee at Victorian Branch meetings, Victorian branch president and was later nominated for Federal Chair in 2004 and kept this position for five years. During her time as Federal Chair she has increased the professionalism and size of the Society through establishing numerous guidelines, membership grants and awards, her fantastic relationship with trade partners and assisting on a board level to establish the RSA Journal.

Debbie has assisted in streamlining the membership renewal process and stimulated membership growth through appointing new roles to the board such as the Membership Officer and Journal Editor. Debbie has also been an instrumental organiser of all Victorian Branch RSA Conferences namely the 2002, 2006 and the current 2010 ones. Debbie has been a regular attendee and submitter of poster and oral presentations at many conferences and educational events for the wider nephrology community.

To extend her RSA commitment, Debbie was an RSA representative on the DNT committee and has recently been the Federal RSA representative for RSA branch conference organising committees to ensure the RSA message is transparent and consistent at the National Conference level. Debbie has also had an immense involvement in Kidney Health Australia as the RSA Representative and is a member of the Victorian Consumer Committee and an educator for KCAT. Debbie’s managerial skills have extended to her ongoing involvement in the Maintenance Dialysis Advisory Committee (MDAC) through the Department of Human Services, Victoria which guides dialysis services in Victoria.


Karin Norman, 2009

Karin (right) receiving her award from RSA Chairperson Debbie Gregory

 Karin Norman has made a longstanding contribution to the New Zealand renal community for over 23 years. During this time she has made a significant impact on renal services within, initially the Whangarei Renal Service, and more latterly the Waikato Renal Service. Karin has worked in paediatric renal, in-centre haemodialysis, home training haemodialysis and is currently practicing as a clinical nurse educator for the Regional Dialysis Service based at Waikato Hospital. This service covers a large area in New Zealand and Karin is responsible for facilitating both theory and clinical education for staff.

Karin has dedicated her life to renal nursing and is involved across all spectrums of renal care within New Zealand. Karin is the 'wikipedia' of renal in the Waikato service. She has a large knowledge base and is called upon from all areas for her expert opinion.

She is very involved in many aspects of renal both nationally and internationally. This includes being the New Zealand Branch President for the Renal Society of Australasia, for two terms, which involves being part of the Federal Board of Directors. Karin is the inaugural chairperson of the New Zealand RSA Nursing Advisory Group from 2007; is currently a nurse representative on the New Zealand National Renal Advisory Board. From 2002 to 2007 was on the NZ Board of Nephrology Practice and during some of this time was the deputy chair. She has been an NZNO delegate since 1996. From 2005 to 2007 Karin was on the PHARMAC Dialysis Fluids subcommittee.

Karin has always been very active in further educating herself and is now doing her final paper in completing her Master of Nursing and is looking towards using this to further develop her role in renal nursing. Karin regularly attends and presents at both national and international dialysis conferences. Karin's long service and outstanding contribution to renal nursing makes her an ideal candidate for recognition by the Renal Society of Australasia.

Karin has been a member of the RSA since 1995. She was the New Zealand Branch President from 2000-2003 and then was re-elected in 2005 and still continues in this role. Karin was on the New Zealand conference organising committee in 1996 and 2002. She was the convener for both of these conferences. Karin was the convenor of the 2009 RSA conference which was held at Rotorua.

Karin promotes the RSA in all of her dealings with members of the renal community. She ensures that the branch is consulted whenever ideas or opinions are sought on renal matters. Karin's vast experience helps RSA office bearers and members to work through any number of issues, queries and problems associated with running a conference. She is a resource to other units who have taken on the role of executive of the New Zealand branch. She has a long list of contacts and is a good resource for topics, themes, speakers etc.

In 2007, the New Zealand branch of the RSA formed the Nursing Advisory Group to try and consolidate renal nursing practice, education and standards throughout New Zealand. Karin was instrumental in forming this group and was elected their inaugural chairperson.

Kirsten Passaris (neé Dermody), 2008

Clinical Nurse Consultant, Flinders Medical Centre, SA
In Kirsten's current role as Clinical Nurse Consultant of Flinders Medical Centre Renal Unit she has progressed the care of patients not just in the renal unit but in the overall medical centre. Her work in changing and improving CVC practice has been recognised both locally and internationally. Other work related to encouraging exercise and promoting and supporting the role of the enrolled nurse in dialysis has been significant. In addition she has been a driving force behind the very successful South Australian Senior Nephrology Nurses Forum.

Kirsten's research into workforce stress in the dialysis environment, both in-centre and satellite, was recently recognised with a publication in 2008 in the Journal of Renal Care.

In summary, Kirsten Passaris is the exact example of what is great about being a professional in the renal care area. Her patients love her, her colleagues love and respect her and she epitomizes a hardworking tireless campaigner for high quality standards of practice in renal nursing practice.
Kirsten Passaris has made an outstanding and continued contribution to the RSA over the past 10 years. This is in the form of RSA State Office bearer, RSA National Conference Organiser, State and Local Presenter, Presentation Award Winner, DNT Representative and RSA State President.

Kirsten has become a highly skilled presenter at RSA National, State and Local Conferences and meetings. She is always enthusiastic and motivating in her presentations. She has also presented at hospitals and universities and promotes the RSA at these presentations. Kirsten's presentation standard was acknowledged by receiving the “Best Abstract” award at the 2006 RSA Conference. In addition, Kirsten is always willing to provide local and state based RSA presentations which she performs frequently.

Kirsten has been the SA/NT President from 2006. During her presidency there has been an unprecedented attendance at RSA Education Sessions. She has presented at the past three RSA Conferences, and was the promoter, organiser and speaker at the first Northern Territory RSA Workshops (2008) recently held in both Darwin and Alice Springs.


Paul Bennett, 2007

Senior Lecturer
Editor Renal Society of Australasia Journal
School of Nursing and Midwifery Flinders University, SA

Paul's role in developing the RSA Journal has contributed to the dissemination of peer-reviewed information. The increased sharing and access to this information increases the ability of Australian nephrology clinicians to provide high standard, evidence based health care. He devotes a great amount of his own time into providing the Australasian renal community with a high quality journal.

Over the past 15 years Paul has established a leading research profile in the area of Nephrology Nursing. This research profile that has developed internationally and in Australia and has been demonstrated through 4 peer-reviewed publications (2 international) in the past year, Journal Review Panel Memberships, Renal Research Coordinator and numerous conference proceedings presentations (12 in the past 5 years). Research studies that he has driven include: Self Management for Chronic Illness; Haemodialysis Nutritional Assessment Tool; Examination of the effects of an adapted exercise program on the functional abilities of dialysis patients; A Primary Health Care approach to Exercise and Dialysis; Registered Nurses Decision Making In Central Venous Dialysis Catheter Care; Ultrasound Assessment of Vascular Accesses; Dedicated Education Units in Dialysis; Empowerment of people living with ESRD; Buttonhole Cannulation Techniques and Nocturnal Dialysis. An example of the contribution his research has made is the use of the nutritional screening tool research with participation from 13 dialysis units across Australia. Following this the nutritional tool is now being used in Australia and Internationally (UK, Germany, Japan), and has been translated into six languages.

In recognition of Paul's research he was awarded the Research Nurse of the Year at the 2006 South Australian Premier's Awards. Paul developed and has continued in the role of Renal Research Coordinator for the Renal Society of Australasia (SA Branch) over the past 5 years. He has driven, developed and coordinated many local presentations and workshops. As an outcome of this role South Australia has continued to have strong representation at Renal Society of Australasia (RSA) National Conferences with the SA and NT Branch leading the presentations per head of population of any state at RSA National Conferences.

Paul's development of the RSA Journal has made a significant contribution to the Renal Society of Australasia both nationally and internationally. Although he has had the support of the Renal Society of Australasia at a local and national level he has undertaken or coordinated the vast amount of work that is required to provide a high quality journal. The work has included coordinating industry support, RSA member support, funding mechanisms, coordinating manuscript review, editorial commitments, developing and maintaining publication collaborations, assembling and coordinating the RSAJ Editorial Board, developing Terms of Reference and Job Descriptions, Coordinating CINAHL Indexing, Developing the Web pages and links, generating and encouraging author manuscript contributions.


Adrian Buttimore, 2006

Manager, Dialysis Services, Canterbury District Health Board, NZ.

Adrian Buttimore has made a long standing contribution to the renal community for over 25 years and has made a significant impact on renal services. He started as a dialysis technician and has now been the manager of dialysis services at Christchurch Hospital for a number of years. The unit he runs is at the forefront of Home Haemodialysis in Australasia and has a reputation for getting patients of all abilities, ages and backgrounds to successfully dialyse at home.

Adrian is a strong advocate for dialysis technicians and has steered the founding of the NZ Board of Nephrology (formerly Dialysis) Practice. This board is the organization that has been instrumental in ensuring that dialysis technicians are recognized and included under revamped health care workers legislation introduced into NZ in 2003. Adrian is the driving force behind the development of standards of practice, career path development and certification for dialysis technicians in NZ.

Adrian investigated the most appropriate certification process for dialysis professionals and has worked to bring that process to NZ. Now dialysis technicians, HD nurses and PD nurses can all sit a certification exam that is not only recognized in NZ but overseas as well. Adrian continues to be the international advisor to the US board responsible for the certification process and examinations.

Adrian is well respected by all members of the renal community in NZ and overseas. He attends and presents at conferences at home and internationally on a regular basis. He is a member of the National Renal Advisory Board and Chairperson of the NZ Board of Nephrology Practice, he has also sat on government advisory/consultative committees related to renal care.

Adrian was a founding member of the Renal Society NZ Branch back in the days when it was the Dialysis Society. He has supported, promoted and recruited for the society tirelessly since its inception. He encourages all renal staff to join the society and support its goals for all renal health professionals.

Adrian promotes the RSA in all his dealings with members of the renal community. He ensures that the branch is consulted whenever ideas or opinions are sought on renal matters. He encourages branch members to take on committee positions when available and reports back to all branch conferences on all matters related to renal healthcare in NZ and when appropriate from around the world.

Adrian's continued support and active involvement ensures the ongoing success of the NZ Branch of the Renal Society of Australasia and all its activities.