Professor Roianne West

Professor Roianne West

2021 Chancellor's Award Recipient, College of Healthcare Sciences

Growing up on her grandmother’s ancestral lands in North West Queensland, Professor Roianne West is a proud Kalkadunga and Djaku-nde woman. Roianne hails from a long line of healers. She credits her drive to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to the foundations laid by her grandmother and mother.

Professor West completed a Bachelor of Nursing, a Masters of Mental Health Nursing, and an influential PhD that developed a model of excellence for increasing the number of Indigenous nurses in Australia.

Whilst Professor West’s career in health started at a grassroots level, with strong Eldership and mentorship from her family and community Prof West became Australia’s first tertiary hospital Nursing Director with a dedicated portfolio of Indigenous Health. Later she became Australia’s first Professor of Indigenous Health in a joint appointment between a state health service and university.

Professor West exhibited institutional strategic leadership as Griffith University’s Foundation Professor of First Peoples Health, in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. She spearheaded the establishment of the First Peoples Health Unit and became the inaugural Dean of First Peoples Health.

Prof West has over 25 years of experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education. Her expertise in developing strategies for integrating Australia's Indigenous people into healthcare has enabled her to become a strategic leader for universities, educational institutions and government agencies.

Last year, she was acknowledged for her outstanding research leadership as the 2020 Lowitja Institute Cranlana Award recipient and is the only Aboriginal nurse in the country who is a recipient of both the CATSINaM Sally Goold Award and Fellowship.

Professor West is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives.

Professor West received her PhD from James Cook University in 2012, following her earlier studies at Deakin University where she obtained a Bachelor of Nursing in 1998, and a Masters of Mental Health Nursing in 2008 from The University of Southern Queensland.