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About the award

This award brings together two individual awards, staff member of the year and collaborative leader of the year. It aims to recognise NSW Health employees who have made an exceptional contribution through effective collaboration to the NSW health system.

This award aims to acknowledge an individual who:

  • as part of their clinical or support role in NSW Health, provides excellence in service to support staff, patients, carers or families
  • is a role model for promoting positive cultural change and inspiring other staff within NSW Health
  • uses new and innovative ways to collaborate with staff, patients, carers or families
  • supports effective teamwork to collaboratively improve patient care
  • applies strong corporate and clinical governance and CORE values in all health services.

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Winner - Julie Smith

Hunter New England Local Health District

Transcript: Julie Smith, Hunter New England Local Health District

Julie is a proud Wiradjuri woman and is passionate about her work as Manager of Aboriginal Employment. Julie holds strong and trusted relationships with Aboriginal staff and works collaboratively with colleague’s right across the district to continually increase the number of Aboriginal people employed in a diverse range of roles.

Julie is passionate about improving the futures of Aboriginal people and their families and enjoys seeing the benefits flowing through to the upcoming generations.

Julie’s work has led to Hunter New England Health achieving the highest rates of Aboriginal employment in the state. 

Negotiating, navigating and developing internal sustainable relationships at all levels, along with close engagement with Aboriginal communities, has been key to the success.

All outcomes in Julie’s role have been achieved with minimal human and financial resources and her success stems from believing that a large Aboriginal workforce is key to addressing the health disparities that occur within Aboriginal communities.

As a result of Julie’s work, Hunter New England Health is proudly recognised as the employer of choice for 14 Aboriginal nations including transient Territory and interstate Aboriginal people.

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Finalist - Olivia Tierney

Mid North Coast Local Health District

Transcript: Olivia Tierney, Mid North Coast Local Health District

Olivia Tierney has successfully overseen the implementation of world standard midwifery continuity of care models in the Mid North Coast – and pregnant women love it.

Since starting as Midwife Manager in 2019, Olivia has been determined to make sure all mothers have the option of access to a midwife or a team of midwives throughout their pregnancy journey, from antenatal to birth all the way through to postnatal care.

Olivia leads collaborations with mothers, doctors, midwives, researchers, and policymakers to bring global research to local reality.

New models are now available in Macksville and Coffs Harbour, and codesign underway in Port Macquarie and Kempsey.

Progress has been outstanding, with midwifery-led models of care codesigned and implemented in the Coffs Clinical Network.

Almost 400 mothers have given birth under the new model, and codesign is also underway in the Hastings Macleay Clinical Network with implementation to occur later this year.

The 12-month evaluation of models at Macksville and Coffs Harbour reflect substantial improvements in experience (mothers and staff) and efficiencies.

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Finalist - Kami Dibden

Central Coast Local Health District

Transcript: Kami Dibden, Central Coast Local Health District

In partnership with her volunteers, Kami manages the exceptional District volunteer service program while collaborating with clinical services to ensure volunteer programs meet the current and future needs of the district.

Kami is an extremely positive, motivated and a well-respected leader who epitomises the CORE values. 

Kami is innovative and forward thinking, continually looking to improve the care staff provide to their patients, whilst also supporting the District’s staff.

Since commencing in the role of Volunteer Services Manager in 2018, Kami has built a thriving volunteer service, providing invaluable support across four hospital sites and the community. 

She has also implemented additional meaningful projects to improve patient safety, experience, and volunteer satisfaction.

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Finalist - Dr Melanie Berry

Western NSW Local Health District

Transcript: Melanie Berry - Western NSW Local Health District

Dr Melanie Berry is an experienced emergency medicine physician with an extensive history of working in the hospital and health care industry.

Dr Berry has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the LHD and beyond, by leading the way in the rapid development and implementation of a safe and effective model of care for the holistic management of COVID positive patients across a geographically vast district.

At the start of the COVID (Delta) outbreak in WNSWLHD in August 2021, and despite being a busy senior clinician juggling multiple roles, Dr Berry collaborated vigorously and demonstrated extraordinary clinical judgement to pull together a multidisciplinary team from across a number of directorates, Local Health Districts, the CEC and the Ministry of Health in order to respond to the escalating outbreak in Western NSW.

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Current as at: Thursday 1 December 2022
Contact page owner: NSW Health