Conference 2019 ®Evolution

10-12 April 2019

Marlborough Region
New Zealand

Please click on each speakers photo to see their bio.


Karen Akhtar NP Primary Care

Karen Akhtar NP Primary Care

Karen Akhtar NP Primary Care

Karen Akhtar is a Nurse Practitioner in Primary Health (2016) and has worked her entire career in rural and remote locations in New Zealand and Australia.

She currently has a role as the very first permanent Nurse Practitioner in general practice in Taumarunui, working for the Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust.  Karen works both in the general practice setting and also in supporting the Whanau Ora service.

Karen’s career started at Taumarunui Hospital as a Registered Nurse in 1984, moving into education, leadership and quality roles until her appointment as Hospital and Community Manager in 2002.

In 2006 she moved to a new role at the Lake Taupo PHO and was instrumental as the Clinical Service Manager in establishing the Chronic Conditions Healthright programme for the area.

She also was a Clinical Surveyor/Auditor for Quality Health NZ for 10 years.

In 2012 Karen moved to work in remote Australia initially managing a remote primary health clinic in Far North Queensland.

In 2016 she registered as a Nurse Practitioner through the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Authority Nurse Practitioner pathway.

In 2017 Karen moved to the Kimberley’s of Western Australia and became the very first Nurse Practitioner to work in remote clinics in this area.

Karen’s passion and interest remain in rural primary health with a strong focus on holistic health care that empowers self-management.

Karen will share the history and challenges faced by the modern Aboriginal culture that impacted on her nursing practice and life changing experiences and adventures she had working in remote isolation and how they have influenced her current practice and role.



Title“From Taumarunui to the Tropics-Discovering the Dreamtime”

The Adventures of a Kiwi Remote Nurse Practitioner in outback Australia

With 30 years of rural nursing in New Zealand and a Masters of Nursing firmly tucked under my belt I shocked family and friends in 2012 when with hubby with me, I took up a role managing a busy indigenous clinic in a very remote area in Far North Queensland, Australia.

We planned a six month stint but that soon turned into longer as I began relishing the autonomy of practice nurses in the remote Australian setting have.

In 2016 I decided to pursue my lifelong career dream and I applied for registration as a Nurse Practitioner and was ecstatic when I was successful.

To then further my experience I again shocked family and friends and moved across the great expanse of Australia to Western Australia to take up a role as the very first Remote Nurse Practitioner in an even more remote indigenous community, in the picturesque Kimberleys.

In remote communities you are truly on your own managing cases from parasitic infections to premature labour, scabies to snake bites, major road vehicle crashes to malaria!!

As Forrest Gump once said “Every day is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are getting next”.

More importantly than any clinical skill, this Kiwi learnt so much about the history of the aboriginal people and the sometimes very difficult life journey faced , with much of this history hidden by society and governments over the decades.

My presentation will aim to take you a scenic tour of two of the most stunning remote communities in Australia, provide an overview of the experiences this Remote NP had during 6.5 years in Australia, and most importantly share with you the history and challenges faced by the modern Aboriginal culture.

Areas of Interest