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Janine Mohamed

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Janine Mohamed (née Milera) is a Nurrunga Kaurna woman from South Australia. She has a background in nursing, management and health workforce policy and has worked for more than 20 years within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. She is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), and is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of South Australia and a Board member of the Remote Area Health Corps. In 2018, Mohamed was elected chair of the National Health Leadership Forum, representing peak Indigenous health groups.[1] She is married to Justin Mohamed, an Aboriginal man of the Gooreng Gooreng nation near Bundaberg in Queensland, who took up an appointment as Victoria's Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in May 2018.[2] Mohamed studied and worked in Adelaide before moving to Canberra in 2007.

Early life and education[edit]

Mohamed was born to Marilyn Milera on 22 December, 1973, in the South Australian town of Maitland, and spent her formative years on Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission on the Yorke Peninsula. She was raised by her maternal grandmother, the late Clarice Jessie Milera, as part of a large extended family. Mohamed has talked publicly about how during the early days on the mission her family was banned from using their language, practising their culture and using their traditional healing practices.[3] She has also described the impact of the Stolen Generations policies upon her upbringing, stating that: "If we were out playing in the garden, my grandmother would be there, watching us like a hawke. If we ran short of food, she would do without rather than collect food packages -- in case she was deemed unfit to raise us. Our house was always spotless in case anyone came to inspect it. She lived with the constant anxiety of us children being taken away or something bad happening to us."[4]

Mohamed, the first of five children, went to Point Pearce Mission kindergarten and primary school and then a local Lutheran primary school. She attended boarding school at Concordia College in Adelaide for two years, and finished schooling at Waikerie high school. Mohamed became interested in nursing as a young girl, and was also influenced by the example of an Aboriginal midwife at Point Pearce, Gladys Elphick, along with many mentors such as Mary Buckskin (former CEO of AHCSA), her aunties who wanted to pursue nursing as a careers but faced many barriers and her mother who became an Aboriginal Education Worker and Brad Walker the local Director of Nursing.

Mohamed studied nursing at the University of South Australia, where she was an active member of the Aboriginal Support Unit, with the support of the late Maria Lane and graduated in 1990.


Mohamed worked at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide as a registered nurse, and also, as a research assistant at the Australian Indigenous Research Institute at the University of South Australia, and at Flinders University. She has had a longstanding commitment to developing the Indigenous health workforce and the Aboriginal community controlled health sector, working for Aboriginal Home Care Program with her Elders and then the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) from 2001 to 2007, and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) from 2007-2013. At NACCHO she was senior policy officer and then deputy CEO, with a focus on Indigenous health workforce policy, program development and governance.

Mohamed was closely involved in the establishment of the Close the Gap campaign, attending the first Close the Gap Summit in 2007. She participated in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2011 and 2012.

In 2013, Mohamed was recruited to CATSINaM as CEO, following the retirement of Sally Goold. At CATSINaM, her work has included: growing the organisation's membership; advocating for cultural safety to be embedded across health systems, including in education, research, practice and policy[5] the integration of cultural safety into professional codes of conduct for nurses and midwives;[6] establishment of a Leaders in Indigenous Nursing and Midwifery Education Network,[7] through which universities and health services can develop and share good practice in culturally safe health care; and advocating for wider implementation of Birthing on Country models of maternity services [8]

Mohamed has also raised the profile of CATSINaM and its members, through scores of speeches and presentations, including to the National Press Club in 2016,[9] and through the publication of articles in general and professional media.[10][11][12] On behalf of CATSINaM, she has also led development of an international network of Indigenous nurses and midwives.[13]

In 2017 Mohamed called for nursing and midwifery professions to make a formal apology for their part in the harm inflicted by racist health policies and systems on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since colonisation[14] She has also challenged the legacy of a nursing icon, Florence Nightingale, noting that Nightingale had perpetuated damaging colonial framing of Aboriginal people in her publications of 1863 Sanitary statistics of Native Colonial Schools and Hospitals and 1865, Notes on the Aboriginal Races of Australia. She is an advocate for Reconciliation in particular the pillar of Historical Truth Telling and Historical acceptance

In a speech to the National Rural Health Conference in 2017, Mohamed presented a vision for the future in which all Australian babies are presented with birth certificates to acknowledge whose Aboriginal country they were born on, enabling them all to grow up strong and confident in their identities, knowing whose country they were born on.[15]

Mohamed is a recipient of a University of South Australia Alumni Award.


External links[edit]

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