The winners in the NSW Health 2021 Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards have been announced and celebrated today in a virtual awards show.
The 2021 Awards, held over from November last year due to COVID-19, premiered online today allowing people across the state to join in virtually and celebrate this important event.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard and Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor extended their heartfelt congratulations to the winners and finalists in each of the eight categories, acknowledging the exceptional leadership, skill and compassion they have shown in challenging times.
“Nurses and midwives across the state faced one of our most confronting years in 2021 and these awards recognise their outstanding commitment, skills and professionalism during this unprecedented time,” Mr Hazzard said.
“As a former nurse myself, I know how these nurses and midwives make a real difference each and every day not only within their teams but, most importantly, to the patients they care for,” Mrs Taylor said.
The eight winners, half of whom come from rural and regional parts of the state and half from metropolitan areas, first found out they were award recipients when their names were announced during the streamed event.
The Awards were announced by Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, former Secretary NSW Health, Elizabeth Koff, Deputy Secretary People, Culture and Governance NSW Health, Phil Minns, and the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer NSW, Jacqui Cross.
Ms Cross said the diversity of where nurses and midwives work and what they do is truly remarkable.
“I thank them all for their stunning contributions and achievements last year. Their commitment in the face of such challenge is truly inspirational,” Ms Cross said.
NSW Health Secretary, Susan Pearce, introduced the virtual awards show and added her congratulations to the finalists.
“To each and every one of the finalists, my congratulations to you for the effort you have put into your career as a nurse or midwife,” Ms Pearce said.
“These are exceptional professions to be a part of and something that I still hold very close to my heart and to this day as a registered nurse.”
The winners in each of the eight categories are:
Nurse of the Year
Joanne Taylor – St Vincent’s Hospital, St Vincent’s Health Network
Midwife of the Year
Claire Devonport – Canterbury Hospital, Sydney Local Health District
Aboriginal Nurse/Midwife of the Year
Dawn Evans – Wilcannia Health Service, Far West Local Health District
New to Practice Nurse/Midwife of the Year
Sonia Kokuru – Bankstown Lidcombe Hospital, South Western Sydney Local Health District
Nursing/Midwifery Team of the Year
The Special Health Accommodation Nursing Team – Sydney Local Health District
Judith Meppem Leadership Award
Deborah Cameron – Director Nursing, Midwifery and Clinical Governance, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District
Healing Heart (colleague) Award for exceptional care
Tim O’Neill – Nurse Manager Leadership and Workforce Development, Far West Local Health District
Healing Heart (consumer) Award for exceptional care
Alison Millar – Palliative After Hours, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District
Original content from NSW Health. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.