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Holly L Northam OAM, Australia

Head of Discipline of Nursing
Faculty of Health
University of Canberra

Dr Holly Northam OAM, is Discipline Lead for Nursing at the University of Canberra and & elected academic representative on the University of Canberra Council.
Holly brings over 30 years of clinical experience to her research and teaching practice. Holly has a strong social justice focus that is underpinned by her professional identity as a nurse and midwife. Her PhD study, ’Hope for a peaceful death and organ donation’ identified that more must be done to alleviate suffering caused by communication failures in healthcare. Holly played an instrumental role in setting up and running the Australian Capital Territory Organ and Tissue Donation Service.

Holly’s research and teaching approaches are framed using the lens of hope and restorative practice to identify and support vulnerable people in health settings. The University of Canberra Collaborative Indigenous Research Initiative have provided more that $100,000 in grant money to support the work of a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers. The researchers have found that by privileging vulnerable voices it is possible to improve healthcare outcomes including performance measures such as clinical indicators, patient and staff satisfaction, staff retention and the budget 'bottom line'. Authentic voice of the most vulnerable voice in health care systems clearly heard throughout those systems are seen as pivotal to improved outcomes.
Associated research includes working with Elders using Yarning Circles as a restorative practice in teaching health students about contemporary issues related to Indigenous healthcare.

Bereaved healthcare consumer families touched by organ and tissue donation decisions, and recipients are working with a team of academic leaders led by Holly to understand the impact of their relationships in a closed social media site. This work was publically shared by the consumers in a first of its kind conference held at UC on October 4th & 5th 2019 hosted by UC & Donor Families Australia.

Several other projects relating to child protection (funded by The Ned Foundation), end of life care, critical care nursing practices are also underway in Holly's research portfolio.

Holly works with healthcare consumers, vulnerable communities, professionals & academics that are alert to recognising and responding to healthcare inequity. Holly is honoured to work with the ACT Restorative Practice Community, part of an International Learning Community of Restorative Practice. Holly is an active advocate working on boards of several NGOs that seek to address healthcare inequity including Sharelife Australia and Donor Damilies Australia.

Sessions chaired by Holly L Northam OAM


Committee Role Section
Scientific Program Committee: Transplantation Nursing Co-Chair

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