Cassandra Nest is a Ngunnawal woman and descendent of the Fish River People of Pajong. Cassandra grew up on Yugambeh and Bundjalung country of the Gold Coast where she now raises her family. Cassandra was the first, First Peoples graduate from Griffith Universities Bachelor of Midwifery in 2012 and more recently the recipient of the First Peoples Alumni award for the health group for demonstrating sustained and remarkable achievements, and the NAIDOC “Because of her we can” award. In 2020, Cassandra received the Australian Hesta Midwife of the Year Award for her work to improve culturally safe maternity care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the Gold Coast.
Cassandra is the inaugural First Peoples Midwifery Lecturer at Griffith University and a Clinical Midwife Consultant and Project Lead for the Waijungbah Jarjums model of care. Cassandra’s passion lies with providing women and their families with culturally safe maternity care, challenging the deficient discourse that surrounds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to health and wellbeing and transforming maternity care.