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Alba Iulia
Friday, December 4, 2020

#NurseSpotlights – Filipino Nursing Diaspora Day

To celebrate the Filipino Nursing Diaspora Day on 7 May 2020, we showcase some successful Filipino nurses in Australia

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The Philippines is known as the largest exporter of nurses in the world. Filipinos who work in the healthcare industry, especially those who work in the nursing profession have been increasingly recognised in society during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

#Nurse Spotlights is a project of the Filipino Nursing Diaspora Network, a Sydney-based organisation of Filipino nurses. An opportunity for the general public to read about the journey of Filipino nurses who have taken to achieve varied roles across the healthcare spectrum. 

It is clear that no two paths are exactly alike, but these journeys have resulted in similar outcomes.

In line with the network’s celebration of the Filipino Nursing Diaspora Day on 7 May 2020, we showcase some Filipino nurses who are currently working and living in Australia.


QLD – Joemer Maravilla, RN, PhD

Joemer-Maravilla
Joemer-Maravilla, RN, PhD

Joemer Maravilla, RN, PhD obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Queensland – Australia where he is doing his post-doctoral fellowship. 

He has published more than 30 research articles in high impact peer-reviewed journals such as Lancet and British Medical Journal (BMJ), and has successfully presented his research papers in local and international conferences. His research demonstrates a strong focus on reproductive health, adolescent health and mental health using epidemiological methodologies including pragmatic approaches to identify social determinants and mental health risks across life course. Apart from applications of modelling techniques on cross-sectional and panel data, he has expertise in conducting evidence synthesis including meta-analytic methodologies.

Joemer also has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation of health and social programs. He has worked with government and not-for-profit agencies including the Department of Health Philippines and the World Health Organization to evaluate reproductive health and urban health programs respectively. He also worked for projects on evaluation of service integration programs on mental health and gender-based violence screening in the Australian context.


NSW – Jayson Catiwa, RN, MSN

Jayson-Catiwa
Jayson-Catiwa, RN, MSN

Jayson Catiwa, RN, MSN is one of the Renal Vascular Access Nurse Consultants at a large tertiary teaching hospital in Sydney. He is a haemodialysis clinician with over ten years of renal nursing experience encompassing clinical nurse specialist roles for vascular access and haemodialysis. 

He has worked across Australia looking after both paediatric and adult renal patients. He has completed a Masters

Degree in Clinical Nursing with Renal specialisation at the University of Tasmania and currently involved in facilitating students for various nursing institutions. At present, he is an active member of the European Vascular Access Society and the Renal Society of Australasia, where he has been an invited speaker/presenter in few vascular access roadshow and annual conferences.

He has strong passion for vein preservation, vascular access coordination and improvement of vascular access outcomes of adult patients with end-stage kidney disease in the acute and satellite haemodialysis settings.


NSW – Naguie Ibrahim, RN, LLB

Naguie Ibrahim, RN, LLB
Naguie Ibrahim, RN, LLB

Naguie Ibrahim, RN, LLB is a Sydney-based nurse lawyer who combines his experience and passion for nursing and the law in representing, advising, educating and advocating the interests of nurses and other professionals.

Naguie has been practicing as a solicitor since March 2019. He graduated with his Bachelor of Laws from University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Law. He received his undergraduate nursing degree from San Pedro College Philippines in 2007.

He has a breadth of experience in the nursing field, having worked in Emergency Department and Nursing Professional Development Units both in New Zealand and Australia for more than a decade. 

Much of his socio-civic work has sought to raise the awareness of Filipino migrants’ legal issues. 

Naguie is admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.


NSW – Dr Maria Cynthia (Cindy) Leigh

Dr Maria Cynthia Leigh
Dr Maria Cynthia (Cindy) Leigh

Dr Maria Cynthia (Cindy) Leigh was an Honorary Fellow (2016 to 2019) of the Australian Catholic University, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing Midwifery and Paramedicine based at Sydney, Australia. She received her BSc degree and taught for 10 years at the Department of Botany/Institute of Biology in Diliman before she was awarded a Colombo Plan Scholarship to complete a Ph.D. (Biotechnology) at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

While working as an NH&MRC research associate at the School of Microbiology, UNSW, she pursued a degree in Nursing at Sydney University in the Prince of Wales/Prince Henry Hospitals, Sydney. Upon graduation, she was offered an academic position at the School of Nursing, Australian Catholic University (North Sydney Campus) where she served in several teaching, research and administrative positions for 25 years until she retired from fulltime teaching in 2016. 

As a nurse academic, particularly as Head of School of Nursing for 7 years, she created a strong research base with record supervision & completion for Honours; Masters Nursing students, set up a Virtual Health Environment that developed into state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Wards, initiated strong undergraduate and articulation Nursing programs for registration as nurses, and developed a wide national and international network of colleagues collaborating in teaching & learning, curriculum development, research & research supervision and community engagement. She was a Balik Scientist awarded by PCHRD/DOST in 2017. 

Her current focus is to assist in Filipino capacity building towards improved care delivery by creating opportunities for local and global partnerships of health care workers.


NSW – Violeta Lopez, RN, PhD, FACN

Violeta Lopez, RN, PhD, FACN
Violeta Lopez, RN, PhD, FACN

Violeta Lopez, RN, Ph.D., FACN  is the President of the Filipino Nursing Diaspora Network. She is also currently the Chair Professor, School of Nursing, Hubei University of Medicine, China, Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing, University of Tasmania, and Board of Director of the World Federation of Critical Care Nurses. 

She is also a Transcultural Nursing Scholar and International Editor (China), Journal of Nursing Management. She has acted as a consultant to develop and review undergraduate and postgraduate nursing curricula. 

She is an active researcher and mentor for PhD students, novice nurses, academics and researchers.


For information about the Filipino Nursing Diaspora Network, visit www.findnetwork.org or follow the Facebook page, or YouTube channel.


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