About us



How NPAQ formed


NPAQ stemmed from a discussion between a group of nurses voicing their annoyance at the QNMU being vocal about ‘union opinion’ of the then state LNP government. The QNMU union website and newsletter equally expressed their Labor oriented ‘opinion’. Whether their opinion was right or wrong is irrelevant, and not the issue. 

We have always supported their right to their own political opinions. As the polls and frequently rotating door of the premiers and prime ministers office displays, people have different political opinions.

The nurses’ frustration was that an organisation which existed at the time as their only option for Professional Indemnity Insurance, support and protection, were happy to take their membership money to battle for political causes which quite possibly at least half of their members disagreed with. Even worse, nurses told us that the QNMU were seen as a "Bosses Union".

Interestingly, during the Gilbert case it was revealed that Anne Garahy QLD Health Acting Director Employment Relations was formerly a professional officer at the QNU and current member of the QNMU.

NPAQ has not wavered from its mission to only look after it's members and to eschew party politics. We respect you enough to let you form your own voting intentions.

The executive

NPAQ executive structure is quite different from the QNMU . The elected executive of President, Vice Presidents and Treasurer are now all nurses. They make all decisions. The Secretary is appointed under the constitution and does not make policy decisions. The secretary simply implements the policy decisions of the elected executive. When we say "Run by Nurses for Nurses" we mean it.


Margaret Gilbert



Margaret Gilbert is a Duty Nurse Manager at The Prince Charles Hospital and has been in this position since 2007. During her career, she has worked in Duty Nurse Manager, Nurse Unit Manager and Nursing Director roles in both the public and private sector.

Margaret has fought for and continues to fight for NPAQ's right to represent you in the workplace, including in matters before the Industrial Relations Commission.


Kirsten McAllister

Vice President


Kirsten McAllister is a current Nurse Navigator/CNC working at the Townsville University Hospital. Kirsten has worked in many areas of nursing both acute and community. Kirsten has worked at various levels - RN,CN,CNC and NUM and practiced within a number of Health Services around Australia, both public and private. She joined our NPAQ Team in 2018 and is current Vice President.

Kirsten is passionate about stamping out bullying and harassment in the workplace having experienced bullying herself and regularly speaks to members, nurses and midwives who share their own stories of bullying in the workplace from both private and public sectors. "Sadly, Nurses and Midwives are often too scared to speak up and often HR departments offer little to no support for the employee, often supporting the organisation first and foremost". Kirsten is married and loves living in Townsville North Queensland, in her spare time she enjoys travel and fishing.

Kirsten McAllister

Kara Thomas



Kara Thomas specialised in perioperative nursing early in her career, undertaking postgraduate specialty education and learning multiple specialties over nearly two decades. For Kara nursing is more than a job, it is a calling and a passion. To be able to serve the community during times of vulnerability and to see what is possible with evidence based best practice is a great privilege. Team leading a busy tertiary obstetric and gynaecology theatre was a challenge that I cherished. “I loved my job.”

Kara has also undertaken a Masters of Community and International Development and has used her knowledge to research and contribute to policy discussion. Truth and transparency in policy development are critical to ensuring we build a health care system that creates Public confidence and safety. Trust in practitioners and our institutions relies on professional integrity, open scientific discourse, and accountability.

Kara is one of NPAQ’s founding members, motivated to get involved because NPAQ has no political affiliations and is an organisation run by Nurses for Nurses. An association dedicated to fighting for the best possible health system for practitioners and the patients/clients they serve.

Kara Thomas-1

Aenghas Hopkinson-Pearson



Aenghas’ background is in Law and Justice and he is fully trained to be a practising solicitor. Aenghas has worked in many areas of law including work with Fair Work Employment Lawyers, the legal team that provides Industrial Relations legal advice and services to NPAQ.

During his time at NPAQ, Aenghas has participated in many Enterprise Bargaining negotiations, where he personally helped improve the working conditions of countless nurses. He has fought for nurses on the front line through many industrial fights, and as a case manager has helped nurses through many issues, including bullying, sexual harassment, underpayments, overpayments, discrimination, flexible work agreements, unfair dismissals, leave concerns, and many more workplace issues. 

Aenghas is eager for the upcoming EB11 negotiations and the crisis arising from private employers currently not wishing to negotiate new Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.

Aenghas Profile Photo - Copy - Cropped

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The Nurses' Professional Association of Queensland (NPAQ) is an industrial association of employees, (an unregistered trade union) whose principal purpose is to protect and promote the interests of members in matters concerning their employment. We are a non-party political alternative to the QNMU. Our membership fees are up to $268 lower and we provide all the same services, plus an optional online CPD product.