Health advocate a driving force behind CQU academy

23 August 2022

From PhD student to Head of Course in less than four years - that's CQUniversity's Dr Amy-Louise Byrne's amazing trajectory.

In 2018' Dr Byrne started as a marker and industry casual for residential schools' before moving into a part time academic role the following year.

She then worked her way up to become the Head of Course for the Bachelor of Nursing degree' all while completing a PhD in between.

Dr Byrne is also a member of CQUniversity's Health Workforce Academy (HWA)' a membership she's held since its inception.

A desire to unite health professionals in workforce research' quality improvement and diversification led Dr Byrne to become a member.

'I was the student lead for HWA while I was studying my PhD'' Dr Byrne said.

The Academy supports research higher degree (RHD) students in connecting with other students' researchers and industry members from around Australia and the world and also links them with clinicians and policy makers.

'For me' the benefit of HWA membership is in the vast cross pollination of professional expertise and collaboration.

'I have met some incredible people whose work will be ground-breaking for the health workforce' including psychological safety for the health professions' physical strength and resilience' safety and much more'' she said.

'Coming together to harness the collective brain power of the academy has provided me with mentorship' collaborative discussions and has allowed me to disseminate my own research to people interested in driving the agenda forward.'

Dr Byrne's PhD was a critical discourse analysis on the concept of perso-centred care.

'It found that the concept is not well defined in healthcare and is often used to try and change the person (patients) behaviour rather than the system.'

The Academy hosts a conference each year and Dr Byrne' along with colleague Dr Danielle Le Lagadec' are co-chairing the steering committee for the third annual HWA conference in 2023.

She said the conference formed part of a suite of events provided to RHD students who engaged in health workforce research within the sector.

'The 2023 conference will be in Brisbane and preparations are already underway'' she said.

The second annual conference held earlier this year attracted more than 150 participants over three days including RHD students' their supervisors and industry members from around Australia and internationally.

Speakers from Japan' Lithuania' Sweden' Canada' Austria' Norway and New Zealand were in attendance.

'We have another very exciting program planned for next year's conference' with everything from writing retreats to policy development' and knowledge translation masterclasses on the agenda.

'The conference aims to assist RHD students in completing their research and forging an ongoing research career with strong links to industry.'

The 2023 HWA Conference will be held from April 12-13 at the Royal on the Park Hotel in Brisbane.

The conference theme is United Through Research and submissions for abstract will open on October 17' 2022.

Membership to CQUniversity's HWA is open to any RHD student and their supervisors who have research interests in the health field.

'Anyone within the health workforce can join HWA'' Dr Byrne said.

'We have members from nursing' midwifery' business' medical sciences and paramedicine to name just a few.'

Membership is free – to register follow this link: