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A Proud History


60 Years of Nursing Leadership - presentation by Judy March, 2010


A New Chapter for Queensland Nurse Leaders 2010

AQNL 60 Year Speech 2010 - Judy March (224kb)

AQNL 60 Year PowerPoint Slides  (2.9mb)


The first Matrons Association was formed in 1950, with its first annual meeting taking place in April 1951.

The Matrons Association was formed with the objects of enabling senior nurses to 'hold yearly conferences to discuss mutual problems and to keep abreast of modern methods'. The Association was open to Matrons of both public and private hospitals.

Ten Matrons attended the formative meeting, with a further eleven Matrons forwarding their apologies.

At the first annual meeting, fifty-six Matrons attended although only eighteen had registered to do so.

Over the years the Matrons Association was instrumental in achieving changes in Government policy in relation to the recognition of nurse leaders and their roles in the management and delivery of health care services.

In 1975 the Association changed its name to the Nursing Superintendents Association in recognition of the changes that were occurring, particularly in relation to gender mix, of senior nurse leaders.

To this

A further change in name occurred in 1990 with the introduction of the career structure, to the Directors of Nursing Association.

The Association has continued to enjoy a positive relationship with both the Department and the Queensland Nurses Union, both Organisations instrumental in the conception and development of the Association.

In 1993 the Association became formally Incorporated and independent as the Directors of Nursing Association, Queensland (Incorporated) (DoNA).

In 1991 a significant shift in attitude occurred when the Association, concerned by the direction for Health proposed by the Government of the day, staged a march on Parliament House, this affirmed the need for the Association to stand as an independent professional body for nurse leaders in Queensland.

Acknowledgements; 'Nursing Leadership in Queensland - 50 Years Of History (1950-2000)', Longhurst, R., DoNA, 2000point the Association had a strong affinity with the Department of Health and was seen as a Departmental instrument under the control and direction of Departmental policy.

We welcome the participation of current and future nurse leaders in the next chapter of this nursing Organisation, and reflect on the original intent of the Association, 'to discuss mutual problems and to keep abreast of modern methods', which is as relevant today as it was at the inception of the Association. 
DoNA has continued to have representation on many advisory panels and the Queensland Nursing Council.

The 1990's saw considerable change in nursing leadership with younger, tertiary educated nurses challenging the ideas, traditions and hierarchies of nursing succession.

The focus for the Association returned to its original intent discussing mutual challenges and exploring contemporary solutions.

In the late 1990s, Directors of Nursing from the private sector were again invited to join the Association.

In 2003 the Association again recognised the need to evolve. In recognition of the diverse and changing nature of nursing leadership and to support the development of future nurse leaders, the Association extended membership to Registered Nurses at Nursing Officer/Level 3 (or equivalent) and above, across the public, private, education and non-government sectors.

The Association also felt compelled to reflect this new direction with a change of name, and became the Association of Queensland Nurse Leaders (Incorporated) AQNL.


Association of Queensland Nursing & Midwifery Leaders 

 Association Name Change


At the AQNL Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 2 November 2017, the Association of Queensland Nurse Leaders voted to change the name of the Association to the Association of Queensland Nursing & Midwifery Leaders.

The issue of a name change was first communicated to members in the Autumn 2017 Edition of AQNL Snapshot... "our Association is going through a significant time of change and one activity we are working through is our actual name. Included is a survey which we are asking you a question with regards to the proposed inclusion of the profession Midwifery within our Association and the recognition of such with the name change of the Association of Queensland Nursing and Midwifery Leaders (AQNML)."

Our name change coincides with changes in recognition of Midwifery, eg. The Queensland Nursing Midwifery Union and The Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer. This is consistent with the recognition of the uniqueness of the profession of Midwifery and so being our Association to would recognise our similarities but also our differences in such title.

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