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New CRANAplus CEO dedicated to being a strong voice for members

Christopher Cliffe has taken over the role of CEO at CRANAplus. His history with the organisation dates back to the 90s, when he was simultaneously working as a remote area nurse whilst enrolled as a student in one of the CRANAplus courses. Chris then went on to teach numerous Remote Emergency Care courses across the country. His new appointment as the organisation’s CEO follows an ongoing volunteer relationship that saw him serving on the Board for nearly 10 years, and occupying the role of President for seven of those years.

Taking over as CEO in late March, Chris plans to expand the association and build on its substantial reputation, as well as "putting forward a really strong voice for CRANAplus members.”

“I will be looking at how we can further support remote area and isolated health professionals,” Chris said. “Remote healthcare providers are a small part of the health force – but they care for some of the most health disadvantaged people in the country and as such we carry a huge responsibility. I am really keen to build on the service we are already providing. We must ensure that CRANAplus members are the right people, providing the right care, and at the right time.

“One of the areas I am keen to focus on is the Bush Support Service. BSS does a great job, mostly out of the lime-light and we must do all we can to ensure we maintain that essential service and make sure of on-going funding.”

During his time as President, Chris helped lead CRANAplus through constitutional changes to reflect the changing nature of remote health, a complex fiscal environment and a variety of political challenges. He admitted that one reason for his return, this time as CEO, was that he “did miss the national thrust” of which CRANAplus is a part.

“I am really keen to get on with working with the Board and consolidating its position into the future,” he said.

Chris, who grew up near Kapunda in country SA, is an experienced leader in the field of remote health care in Australia. He has led a variety of health care organisations during his career, including as Nursing Director for Remote Health in the Northern Territory, as the inaugural Executive Officer of the National Centre for Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Health Care, Manager of Primary Health Care for the Royal Flying Doctors Service in Queensland, and most recently he was Executive Director of Nursing & Midwifery for the Cape York Hospital and Health Service based in Cairns.

Chris also has extensive international experience, having worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in war and disaster zones in the South of Sudan, Abkhazia, Afghanistan, PNG, Sri Lanka, Bali Bombing, Boxing Day Tsunami and most recently the earthquake in Haiti. He is a passionate nursing advocate and currently holds the position of Deputy chair of the Council of CoNNO (Coalition of National Nursing Organisations) and is also a Ministerial appointee to the National Lead Clinicians Group.

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