Transcript of: Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards 2022

Jacqui Cross, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, NSW Health - Welcome to the 10th annual NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards. And what a thrill it is to have reached our 10th birthday. I'm so excited to be sharing the awards with you today, no matter where you are across the state.

This is our third year of presenting these awards in a virtual format, and while we started it because of COVID, we're continuing it because it means that all of you out there can be part of the celebration of our truly inspiring nurses and midwives.

So, I hope that you enjoy the show and thank you for being with us. So, let's settle in and get ready to cheer.

Elise McCarthy-McPhan, Principal Advisor Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Strategy - Hello, I am Elise McCarthy-McPhan, a proud Dharug and Bidjigial woman of the Eora Nation.

I would like to acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands in which we, as NSW Health Staff work in each day. Our connection to country is intrinsic. It is our being. It is our connection to our ancestors, our Dreaming.

It is through our connection to country that we, as nurses and midwives, are able to draw on the strength to be the voice for our people.

So, please walk with me to respect the Elders, both past and present, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working within NSW Health today. Please collaborate with us to lead lasting change for my people, whose land it is, was, and will always be.

Jacqui Cross - What a beautiful Acknowledgement to Country. Thank you, Elise. I too would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands on which we're meeting today, right across the state. And I pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and of course to any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people that are joining us today in this celebration.

In today's show, we'll meet our 30 finalists across eight categories in the 2022 Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

As a group, they really showcase the diversity of ways and settings in which nurses and midwives make a difference each and every day.

We'll be joined today by the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, the Minister for Regional Health Mental Health in Women Bronnie Taylor, and the Secretary for NSW Health, Susan Pearce.

So, let's get started with the awards. Please join me in welcoming Minister Hazzard.

Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, MP - Good afternoon, everybody. It's my honour again to be with you for the 10th Annual Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards. And my congratulations to all who've reached this very significant milestone.

These awards are obviously so important to acknowledge all of the nurses and midwives in NSW Health who do amazing work, day after day, and I look forward to this annual event every year.

In my capacity, obviously, as Minister for Health, I have the privilege of visiting hospitals, community health centres, many of the other facilities that we have across the state, and I see firsthand, what each of you, nurses and midwives, do every day, and you do it with compassion and commitment.

It doesn't matter what area you are working in, what area you're practicing in, celebrating decades working in the community, or even if you've only been there a very short time, whether you're working in the rural settings or in the city, one thing is absolutely certain, it takes teamwork to achieve the absolute maximum of what we could all do.

I'm here to present the Team of the Year Award for 2022.

From drug and alcohol treatment to mental health and maternal and infant services, our Team of the Year finalists for 2022 hail from the inner city, from Western Sydney and regional NSW.

Now, here are the three finalists for the Team of the Year, all of whom, in my view, epitomise collaboration, commitment, dedication, and professionalism.

Donna Beeson, Camperdown, Marrickville and Redfern Acute Care Services team - So we are a team of 25 FTE and we work in the community. We go out and see people in the community that are experiencing mental health crisis in their own homes.

I think, when you decide to be a nurse, you obviously decide to help people. So, I think all nurses are a certain kind of person because they want to help people.

For our team in particular in community mental health and working on an acute care team, we go above and beyond what is expected of us, particularly over the last two years where we've doubled our referrals, and people keep staying on the ACS because they want to be there, they want to go out in into the community, see people in their homes, and live their best life in the community.

And I think we do it as a team, we don't expect thanks, we are very humble, we love our job, we're passionate about our job, and I think it's a really amazing thing to be considered for this award.

Renee Golding, Liverpool Hospital - Our clients are often judged a lot. So, that's why it's important that we advocate and are always there for our clients. Beause a lot of them are disadvantaged.

The majority of our clients come from custody, trying integrate back into society, so we are their main support system when they first come out.

When we see our clients doing really well, it makes us very proud. We build trust by just regularly meeting up with them, letting know that we're always there.

When they have an issue, we get onto it straight away, not making them wait, try and sort it out as soon as possible.

My team deserves this award because they are hard working, compassionate, caring, and always come to work every day, always willing to put our clients first and foremost in everything that they do.

Kelly Drury, Birra Li Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Service - So, we provide antenatal care, postnatal care, and all to give women and Aboriginal babies the best start in life that we can.

Trust and respect is incredibly important for working with our Aboriginal communities.

So, we work closely with the families to build that rapport. We do that through having incredibly culturally proficient and intelligent staff, and that's a basis, and that's where we start from.

I'd like to say Murruubu - thank you - to my incredible team who go above and beyond every day to provide the very best healthcare that we can to the Awabakal and Worimi Aboriginal communities.

Minister Hazzard - So as you've just seen, each of our three teams make a tremendous difference to the health and wellbeing of our communities.

And it's really impressive to see that two of those teams work out in the community because as we all know, our health work doesn't just happen in our hospitals and clinics.

The winner of the 10th Annual Team of the Year award is the Camperdown, Marrickville and Redfern Acute Service team from the Sydney Local Health District.

Donna Beeson - Look, it's an amazing achievement and we're so thankful for the acknowledgement for the work that we do every day.

I'd like to thank every single person that works on the acute care team and their dedication, and the work that they do every day. But I'd also particularly like to thank our Director of Nursing, Lance Takiari and his predecessor Clair Edwards, for showing me what leadership looks like and for listening and for showing me what you can achieve.

I think once the team finds out that they're the winners, they're going to be very excited and really thrilled about the work that they do. I think in acute care, mental health, it's sometimes really hard to keep going because every day you're doing really tough work.

So, it'll be a huge boost, a real tribute to them. It's a real thanks to them and and a sense of achievement in what we do every day.

The message that I would have to my team is they're amazing. Thanks so much for all the work they've done. It's been a huge achievement and I'm so thankful to work as part of that team.

Happy Anniversary vox pops - Happy 10th birthday, Nursing and Midwifery Awards!

Happy 10th anniversary!

Happy 10 year anniversary to the Nurses and Midwifery Awards. Thank you, see you in 10 years' time.

Happy anniversary!


Jacqui Cross - Now, please welcome the Secretary of NSW Health, Susan Pearce.

Susan Pearce, Secretary, NSW Health - I am very proud to have started these awards back in 2013 when I was the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer as a way to recognise and celebrate the fabulous professions of nursing and midwifery.

It's been wonderful to see them continue to grow and evolve. Today there are more than 53,000 nurses and midwives working in NSW Health.

I've loved watching nurses and midwives embrace growth and change and develop into leaders who have been integral to transforming health for the people of NSW. I've seen them continue to step up. I've relished seeing the growing focus on the professions as their roles and skills continue to expand.

Nurses and midwives genuinely change health outcomes and are an important voice in shaping healthcare decisions at all levels of the health system. I'll certainly never forget my experience as a nurse, and this has been foundational to me in what drives me to always strive for high quality, person-centred care and the very best health outcomes for the people of this great state.

For me, that has meant being a passionate advocate for the public health system and its incredible workforce. Recent events have highlighted the pivotal roles nurses and midwives play in healthcare and that's been immensely satisfying to see. We all owe so much to our nurses and midwives, and I thank them for their incredible efforts and commitment every day in every way.

Here's a little insight into a day in the life of a clinical nurse with the help of some of our very young consumers.

Children in hospital vox pops - A nurse is like somebody that helps you.

Someone who helps the patients get better.

That they help patients in the hospital.

Someone that takes care of people when they're sick.

The frontline workers in the hospital, you know, they always checking in.

They're just like basically always there for you when you need it. And they also know a lot about medical stuff, which is good.

They give me medicine when I'm sick.

If you had a really, really bad accident, they have to help you.

You ring the bell, you need to get unplugged to go to the toilet. They come and help you with that.

They paint my nails.

A nurse does make me feel happy. Somebody who can make jokes and make you laugh and just, you know, be really funny.

They take care of me, make me feel special each day.

Someone who's able to like talk about pets and that because the best nurses have pets I've found. Like some of the nurses in here have become some of my closest friends. The hospital didn't become a dread for me. It actually became exciting.

I think I'd really like to be a nurse.


I don't think so, but I'm not so good at medical stuff.

I am absolutely horrible with things like blood, vomit, no, no way. I think it takes someone with a real brave soul to clean up after people.

Thank you nurses.

Thank you nurses for everything that you do.

Thank you nurses.

I want to thank them for supporting me and it really helps that they're really nice to me.

Thank you nurses.

Thank you for taking care of me and making me feel special.

Thank you nurses so much for everything. You're our angels in blue.

Susan Pearce - Well, children certainly do have a special way with words. And now let's hear from the finalists for the 2022 Nurse of the Year.

And it is so pleasing to see the diversity of settings these nurses work in, from children's health to community care and support, to infection prevention and also digital health. Our nurses really do provide expert skill and care for people across the lifespan.

Beckie Petulla, Sydney Children's Hospitals Network - The team and I work really closely together with patients and their families who have complex artificial airways, potentially ventilators also.

We teach them and their families how to self-manage and then we get them back into their community.

These kids are thriving, they are breaking glass ceilings, they're going back into their schools and their preschools and they are showing society that nothing can stop them.

One little guy comes to mind, who recently in a clinic told me that he'd changed the securing tapes that we use to keep the tracheostomy in. And he said, "Listen Becky, I do a lot of sport and the velcros, you know, if they come undone, I'll have to stop what I'm doing, change my tracheostomy, it just takes too long.

So, I've gone back to cottons because I'm going to win the cross country.

Disability isn't a disadvantage and we're seeing that firsthand and I really enjoy that aspect of my job as well.

Elsie Mari, Community Chronic and Complex Care, Central Coast - As an immigrant nurse, I feel like I'm making a contribution to this country that I've chosen to call home and representing other immigrant nurses who have chosen to call this country home.

We are working on a project of where we can support all the vulnerable people better to make sure that we try as much as possible when safe to do so to deliver care for the vulnerable, residential aged care home residents in their usual place of residence.

"She's a great role model to many and is quietly achieving amazing outcomes."

Oh my gosh.

I feel like this is what I'm supposed to be doing, so it is amazing when you read it on paper because that's what I do and I'm hoping that's what I'm doing. So yeah, it's beautiful to hear.

Tamra Langley, St Vincent's Hospital Network - My role as Digital Health Nurse Manager is about bringing the clinical and the digital worlds together to create resources and ultimately provide a better experience in healthcare for patients, staff, and their families.

Five years ago, I didn't see myself ever working in digital health and an opportunity came about and I put my hand up and I think the one thing that I've learned is that you don't have to have all of the answers.

It was a huge leap of faith and a big challenge stepping out of my comfort zone. I encourage any nurse to take on new opportunities, even if they feel they may not be ready. To tap into the expertise that is out there and to believe in what you're doing is going to make a difference.

Cecilia Desousa, Liverpool Hospital - Our main job outside of COVID land is managing and preventing hospital-acquired infections. And patient safety is a main focus for us.

"She could be found performing COVID testing out in the winter elements at the Crossroads Hotel to visiting residential aged care facilities within Sydney South West Local Health District to empower aged care staff and increased confidence in the infection prevention strategies.

Although Cecilia herself was under immense pressure, she could always be heard asking her peers, 'How are you and are you okay?' promoting a culture of support and togetherness."

And I feel proud that I made a difference to someone and people notice that that's what I was trying to do.

Susan Pearce - What a remarkable group of finalists from CNCs to nurse managers and nurse practitioners, highlighting the career potential of nursing in NSW Health in our cities and in our regional areas.

And the winner of the Nurse of the Year Award for 2022 is Cecilia Desousa from Liverpool Hospital in South Western Sydney Local Health District.

Cecilia Desousa - To have won Nurse of the Year, I'm so honoured and happy and I can't believe that that happened. I'm lost for words.

I would like to thank my amazing team that I work with at Infection Prevention Unit at Liverpool. Maya, Poder and Michelle, they are are amazing. We've stuck together through the COVID and I always say to them, "teamwork makes the dream work", and also the Liverpool Hospital executive team, they've been beyond supportive of me during this time, especially our ONM Kelly Paddock. She's been beyond helpful to me.

Nurses are a really integral part of the healthcare team in every setting, and I think COVID has really highlighted that. And the fact that we get our award ceremony to ourselves is just excellent.

And I think, hopefully it encourages other people to want to come and join the nursing team.

I think I'm going to put my award next to my Nurse at the Year Award from Liverpool Hospital and remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Jacqui Cross - Congratulations to the 2022 Nurse of the Year, Cecilia Desousa, who provides patient safety and infection prevention with skill and collaboration. So now it's time to highlight the work of the Aboriginal Nurses and Midwives in NSW and to recognise their commitment to help Close the Gap with a focus on culturally safe and appropriate care for patients and for staff.

The finalists in this year's Aboriginal Nurse or Midwife of the Year Award features both regional and metro finalists. We've got two nurses and two midwives, and we've got a nurse with more than 20 years' experience as well as a new graduate making her mark.

All with a focus to make a real and sustainable difference to the health outcomes for Aboriginal families and for their communities. So here are the finalists for the Aboriginal Nurse or Midwife of the Year for 2022.

Tracey Bryan, Nepean Hospital - I think if we look back at our past and the things that Indigenous women especially have been through in maternity care, I think having an Indigenous midwife to provide that culturally safe space is really, really important.

Why aren't I proud to be a midwife? And its amazing role again, you know, being an advocate for a woman in some of the most private and exciting times of her life as well and being there as they welcome their child into the world is fantastic.

And I may cry at most births, but yeah, being a midwife is really special.

My proudest moment as a midwife I think would be graduation, I guess to walk across that stage, wearing my Indigenous sash and seeing my family and my friends out there cheering really sunk in that, you know, I'd done it and I was there and now I can just enjoy the journey that is midwifery.

Courtney James, Westmead Hospital - So Dragonfly is a new program that we started at Westmead.

What our service provides is an on call continuity experience. So, the women have an allocated midwife that follows them on throughout the course of their pregnancy. We're on call for those women so they can call us night and day with any issues through the pregnancy.

We're on call for their labour and birth, and then we follow them up after baby is born for up to six weeks at home.

"Courtney has become well known in the community and is highly sought after by women. The womens and newborns health service is very fortunate to have such a dedicated and skilled midwife."

Just to be recognised within the service for, you know, only being there a short period, not even two years yet is just, yeah, it's huge.

And look, it is a testament. We've had women come back through the service. Like I said, we've had cousins of cousins, sisters of sisters. So, it's nice to know that the community is catching onto Dragonfly, but also myself as a midwife that works a part of that program, it's huge.

Sonia Robinson, St Vincent's Hospital - I became a nurse because my mum's a nurse and she's still nursing at 77, 3 days a week. Can you believe it?

So, every opportunity that is around St Vincent's in regards to First Nations patients, I put my hand up for.

For me, I've worked in ED 26 years, and I've identified just from my own experience with First Nations patients that you can only move at the speed of trust.

How do my family feel about me being a nurse? I'm going to cry.

Out of the eight kids in my family, I'm the only one that went to uni. I was so fortunate that I did get the opportunity to go.

I make sure I give my patients time and create that safety.

Sarah-Kathleen Colliss, Nunyara Aboriginal Health Unit, Central Coast - My mum was a member of Darkinjung Land Council for 25 years before she passed away. She introduced me to so many people who I recognise because they're an Aunt or they're an Uncle.

And being able to use those connections in relation to improving Aboriginal health in my own hometown, there's no feeling better.

"She demonstrates excellence in nursing through her ongoing commitment to improving healthcare and advocating for better delivery of healthcare services to the Aboriginal community. They trust Sarah as our Aboriginal nurse."

I'm overwhelmed that my team feel that way because it's exactly the way I feel about my team. We as a whole, we collectively work to provide better patient health outcomes to reduce the burden of disease and to improve quality of life for Aboriginal people on the Central Coast.

Jacqui Cross - And the winner is, Sarah-Kathleen Colliss. from Nunyara Aboriginal Health Unit in the Central Coast Local Health District.

Sarah-Kathleen Colliss - I'm incredibly overwhelmed and thrilled to be able to represent my team and the Central Coast Local Health District and to highlight the work that we do within our local Aboriginal community.

I'd like to thank Shanell Bacon and Steve Ella and Lynne Bickerstaff and all the team I work with, the nurses, the Aboriginal health workers, and everyone here at Central Coast Health.

I'd also like to thank my husband Nick, my father Alan, and my sisters Rachel, Julia, for their support throughout the years in finalising my degree and becoming who I am as a person in order to give back to my community.

I would really like for nurses in the future to understand that though this award is incredibly prestigious and I'm incredibly honoured to have won it, that we do what we do for the benefit of others and not for acknowledgement, not for accolades, but to improve health outcomes in the future.

Happy anniversary vox pops - Happy 10th anniversary!

 Happy 10th anniversary.

Happy anniversary Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

Happy anniversary Excellence in Midwifery and Nursing Awards.

Happy 10th anniversary everyone. One shot.

Minister for Women, Regional Health and Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor, MLC - Hi, I'm Bronnie Taylor and I'm your Minister for Women, Regional Health and Mental Health.

I'm so honoured to be a part of these celebrations that recognise the nurses and the midwives of NSW Health to add my thanks and most of all my gratitude to all of you and for the people of NSW and what you do for them.

So, taking this time to pause, reflect and acknowledge the exceptional care that our nurses and midwives give, it's really important. I'm particularly thrilled to present the New to Practice Award for 2022 because this award recognises our newest recruits who've joined us in pretty extraordinary times and extraordinary circumstances.

The environment, while challenging, has allowed people to excel and to show us how capable our nurses and midwives entering the workforce really are. You've taken up opportunities, you've learned from colleagues, and you've provided absolutely excellent care for your patients.

So here are the finalists for the 10th Annual Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards. The New to Practice Award.

Stacey-Lee Cossar-Denny, Gilgandra Multipurpose Service - Something I really love about regional nursing is being down the street and running into a patient that you've treated previously and them recognising you and thanking you for all the great work that you've done.

"Stacey has an incredible ability to form therapeutic relationships with patients in a very short period of time. Observing her triage assessments is like watching a 20-year pro form a relationship with the patient.

Patients seem to warm to her jovial, caring communication style quickly and this develops a level of trust I have personally not seen in a new grad in my past experiences."

I feel so honoured and humbled and just, you know, it makes me feel actually very emotional. I get quite teary thinking about it, but you come to work and you work so hard every day and it's just very rewarding to be recognised.

Sarah Buckton, Corowa Hospital - So I'm originally from the Central Coast. I moved to Corowa, it's a small rural town on the borderline of Victoria.

So, when a new grad moves rurally, I would highly suggest getting involved in the community. I found that for me it really helped just build relationships and get to meet new people and just learn their stories and stuff and learn that some of them in the same boat as me, some other people have moved from other rural towns into smaller rural towns.

So, it's just really good just to get out there and get to know people. The advice that I'd give to new grads starting would be just to go for it. Just to experience everything and take in everything, jump at every new opportunity that you can get. Yeah, you're going to have times when it's really hard and you feel like you're not good at your job or that you're not doing as well as you thought you could, but I think yeah, you'll get the experience behind you and you'll love it.

 It'll be really good, but yeah, you've just got to dive in and go all in.

Rachael Roach, Port Macquarie Base Hospital - I'm a local Port Macquarie girl, born and bred. A great place to be brought up and a great place to start my full-time career.

When I come to work, I am always very excited, I am tired sometimes, but the excitement just overtakes the tiredness just due to learning and seeing new things and progressing my skills.

I love working with the team that I'm in. We're very professional, but yet we can manage to have a good time with our friends and colleagues, and obviously hanging out with my patients. I love making them feel better and proving to myself that I am a good nurse.

Seeing that my first rotation was emergency department, the first week I was like, this is overwhelming, but I've got this and I can do this.

Matthew Weiss, Ryde Hospital - So I graduated in 2020 and started last year. I started off in theatres as a scrub scout and then I transitioned after about four months there into critical care into ICU where I am now.

I love that it's a fast-paced work environment. Everything is always changing, it's always a dynamic workspace, there's always something to do, always something to learn and no day is like the previous.

"Matt stands out as an exemplar of the commitment, dedication, capability and compassion of NSW Health's nursing and midwifery staff."

Sort of got butterflies a little bit reading that, but it's really generous and lovely words.

I try to have my practice reflect how I would engage with my family or my friends. When you sort of put them in that position, it makes it, you know, very easy to want to go above and beyond and you know, do everything that you can for them.

Emily Green, Lismore Base Hospital - On the day of the floods, it was absolute chaos at the hospital because a lot of our nursing staff are in surrounding areas and I was flooded out from my house where my family was trapped at the time and I just wanted to help in some way that I could be useful rather than just sitting there worrying.

So, I came to work and helped with all of that. It took a long time and it's still taking a long time to rebuild. My house is exactly the same, it went under to the roof.

So, we are still, you know, just sleeping, staying with people instead of being in our own home.

Being able to come to work during the times of the floods and just have a sense of normality during such a chaotic time and being able to give back and contribute was invaluable.

Minister Taylor - These are fabulous shining examples of our newest recruits and how reassuring it is to know that NSW Health is attracting the calibre of these new graduates.

So, in fact, the calibre is so high that this year the judges have chosen two winners.


So please join with me in congratulating Rachael Roach, who is from Port Macquarie Base Hospital in the mid-North Coast Local Health District. And also Stacy-Lee Cossar-Denny from the Gilgandra Multipurpose Service in the Western NSW Local Health District. Well done, just amazing.

Stacey-Lee Cossar-Denny - Oh, I feel like I'm going to cry. No, I feel overwhelmed and honoured and so excited for the future.

I guess I would love to thank everybody that I work with at Gilgandra Multipurpose Centre. It's been a very big 12 months for me, and I don't feel like I would get to where I was without the support and you know, just the friendliness of our team.

It's really made coming to work and doing so well that much easier. And I'd just love to thank my partner who's very supportive of all my very different crazy hours and different shifts and all my family and I just feel so humbled and so privileged to have firstly been nominated but then to be the winner.

It's just very overwhelming and I feel so proud to be a nurse and come to work with my uniform every day. And to just be a committed person in our Gilgandra community really makes it so much better.

Rachael Roach - I am shocked that I have won this award. I feel very honoured and privileged. Thank you to everyone who nominated me. I think that we're all winners, we are nurses, we are all winners and I'm very excited.

I would like to thank Donna my NUM and Angela who nominated me for this award. I would also like to thank all my fellow colleagues at the Port Base Hospital in emergency.

Without them I wouldn't be the nurse that I am.

Would also love to thank my parents and my family. I wouldn't be the hard worker that I am today without them.

My passion for nursing, there's no words that describe it. The excitement of loving your job is mind-blowing to me. I have never been so passionate to come to work in my life.

So, to be in a job where I love coming to work, passionate, being able to care for the people that I care for and knowing that I'm going to be doing this for a very long time is very exciting.

And all the nurses in Australia, I think that we are doing a good job and I'm proud of us.

Minister Hazzard - Now for the next award, you would all remember that last year for the first time we introduced the Healing Heart Colleague Award.

I think that's a really special award because obviously it's nominations from colleagues as to one of their colleagues who they think is doing extraordinary work.

And for this year's submissions, we had a bounty of nominations for outstanding colleagues.

I've got to say it's inspiring to see so many people jump at the opportunity to celebrate and recognise colleagues, and I for one, I'm delighted about how that illustrates just a very positive culture and strong camaraderie that we have in our workforce here in NSW Health.

From executive workplace education and research to emergency medicine, COVID and cancer treatment, and even volunteer nursing in the Ukraine during the height of that conflict.

Here are some of the quotes from the nominations. "Strives for excellence and never cuts corners.

A true leader who grows others by listening to them, guiding them and respecting the integrity of their humanity.

A compassionate nursing leader who provides person-centred leadership every day.

Enthusiastic and works collaboratively promoting a work environment that is respectful and ethical.

Now, as you can imagine, it was nearly impossible for the judges to narrow the field to three finalists. So here are the four finalists for the Healing Heart Colleague Award for 2022.

Denise Burns, Campbelltown Hospital - I started my nursing career in 1970 and I have been working with cancer patients or patients who have cancer since 1976.

We provide a chemotherapy service to our patients. My aim is to try and meet all new patients and their families and to follow them through with their journey through our department.

You usually know what their dog's name is or the cat's name or whatever because they come to us for quite a period of time most times, and so you do become their extended family.

There probably aren't too many days that go by where you don't have that warm and fuzzy feeling when you've just made a positive difference, as small as it may be. And so every chance I get to go and be with a patient, I snaffle that opportunity. It keeps me in touch with what I went nursing for in the first place and I really enjoy that interaction.

Kate Frampton, Prince of Wales Hospital - I'm the Nurse Unit Manager of the respiratory and infectious diseases ward at Prince Wales Hospital.

COVID-19 really impacted our team. I can't quite get over how we actually got through it. And I feel like as a team, that's how we got there. And it was as a team.

"There are no words that can explain how lucky we are that she is the one that leads us. She truly is our fearless leader."

Oh my gosh, that's beautiful. It does actually make me feel really proud of the achievements that my colleagues have obviously seen within me.

So that, yeah, I feel great, it's amazing.

Lenore Maitland, Sydney Children's Hospitals Network - When the war in Ukraine broke out, yeah, they called me to respond as a nurse in the emergency field hospital. And I was there in the Ukraine for one month.

I mostly lived underground for the whole entire month.

So, I lived under there, slept under there and also worked there. So, I think that was a challenging time.

So, the sorts of patients that we would see, a lot of them had had to flee their homes quite quickly. Burns, we saw shrapnel injuries, yeah, a lot of wounds and things that had gone untreated for some time.

Something that really struck me when I was there was that these people are just like us and have left their homes with absolutely nothing and had been separated from their families. And yeah, how could we say no when we would also really appreciate that support as well in return.

Mary Mulcahy, Prince of Wales Hospital - I began my nursing career at 17 Years of age, ever since that day one, I continue to love it.

I am a nurse educator for person-centred care and within that portfolio I have leadership development, clinical supervision, and staff wellbeing.

I've always had a passion for teaching and preceptoring and guiding and mentoring. It's beyond my wildest dreams really to be in the role that I'm in because I've got so much scope in terms of defining our workplace culture, making it more compassionate, making it more caring, and ensuring that our nurses provide safe, effective, quality care.

One of the mottos that I use in my day, you know, I might be struggling with, you know, an email that I've got to create or a program that I'm developing, or I'm having a conversation with somebody and I just use the motto, "Mary, just do the next right thing and try and do it with love."

And when I do it with love I never go wrong.

Minister Hazzard - Now I'm sure you'd agree with me that having seen the videos, all of those finalists are to be congratulated for their exemplary, their amazing work and commitment.

The winner though of the Healing Heart Colleague Award for 2022 is, Denise Burns from Campbelltown Hospital in the South Western Sydney Local Health District.

Denise Burns - Oh my goodness, I'm just so proud. I'm so overwhelmed. I feel terribly honoured by this award.

I'm so appreciative of all of the hard work that went into the actual nomination that was put in for me. I'd really like to thank Professor Stephen Della-Fiorentina thank you for always being there for me through thick and thin, for always having my back, for always having the confidence and the belief that I could do the things that I do sometimes when I don't have that belief.

And thank you for always just being you.

To our Director of Nursing, Karen Kenmir, for always being there for me, for being supportive of me and my team and the Cancer Therapy Centre.

And to thank my family for always being my support people no matter what.

And all of the patients and the carers and my staff, my wonderful, my amazing nursing team who are always supportive of me and to me, just everybody that I work with every day.

Thank you very much everybody.

Happy anniversary vox pops - Happy 10th anniversary.

Murrook, 10 year anniversary to the Excellence Awards.

Happy 10th anniversary. Happy anniversary.

Happy 10 year anniversary.

Happy anniversary to the Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards.

Jacqui Cross - Nursing and midwifery are rich and rewarding professions and as we've seen it can take you all across the state, and even across the world.

They are professions also capable of building resilient, clever, and inspirational leaders.

And joining me to help present the 2022 Judith Meppem Leadership Award is our first ever recipient of the award in 2013, Kaye Spence AM.

Kaye is also an adjunct associate professor at Western Sydney University and clinical nurse consultant for the Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care at the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

So, Kaye, I had the great privilege of working with you when we were at the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

So, I got to see your leadership in action. Can you tell me what you think a good leader looks like?

Kaye Spence AM, Sydney Childrens Hospitals Network - Well, I think a good leader is somebody who has passion and has energy, because it requires the energy and looks after the people that they're leading.

Jacqui Cross - So is there something that you want to tell your younger self when you first started nursing, about what you can achieve through leadership? What would that be?

Kaye Spence - I think one, perseverance. I'd tell myself to persevere with it. And I think looking forward now as where I am now and looking back to my younger self, I think part of the leadership is having a vision and that passion to achieve that vision and looking at the people that you're working with.

I think part of it is the potential in others and working alongside those nurses to achieve not only my potential but their potential. And I think, I don't think you set consciously set out to be a leader. I think it's just something that happens as you move along in your career.

Jacqui Cross - I think it's a really key thing, isn't it, Kaye? Oftentimes people don't see their own potential.

And that's a wonderful thing about leadership is that we can actually help them to recognise that in themselves and go forward, it's a lovely thing to be able to do for other people, isn't it?

Kaye Spence- It is, yes, and when I think of particular people, you know, often they're quiet, shy, retiring types and you think, but you can see the leadership potential in them and you need to encourage them to become that leader.

And the leader may be in clinical practice being an expert clinician. The leadership may be in research, something dear to my heart.

But it could also be in taking, you know, an innovative way of teaching a new nurse that's coming in.

Jacqui Cross - So another bit I suppose around being a leader is making sure that we look after ourselves and what you've described, we have to be pretty resilient and well connected. What are the things that you've done that have kept you refreshed?

Kaye Spence - Having an interest outside of nursing, outside of work, having a good family that supports you, but also I think your network of friends. I think that strong network sees you through. And I've still got friends today that I made 40 years ago, you know, in those first few weeks of nursing.

Jacqui Cross - So, just thinking back to when you received the award, what did it mean for you and was there anything that it changed around your leadership?

Kaye Spence - Well, it was the recognition that it meant that you know, that someone had nominated you and you'd been selected by a vote. And that was really encouraging.

And I think having that award and the title gives you certain kudos.

And so, it can open doors and I tend to mention in everything I have that I have that award so that people are aware that you've received that recognition.

And recently it's helped very much in, when we are looking at getting grants for, you know, a research project, be able to put that on your CV.

Wear the award with pride, and let everybody know that you have it, you know, put it out there on your social media sites and in your hospital and let the junior nurses know that you've received it. Because I think that then gives them hope that, you know, one day perhaps they too can achieve it.

Jacqui Cross - So, on that note, let's meet this year's finalists.

Michelle Keir, Tamworth Hospital - I love the challenge of health. I think health is so dynamic, it's innovative. It's somewhere where you can really give back to your community and that's what I love about my role.

I can see, you know, the most vulnerable times for families, but also the best times from someone giving childbirth to, you know, someone at the end of their life and supporting families through that.

So, I'm just so passionate about healthcare and being able to have that patient focus. But also for my team, it's really important that, you know, we are leaders and we support that whole philosophy of patient-centred care.

I think that what I see a leader is absolute compassion, empathetic, listening to the needs of our community, listening to each other, being collaborative and really being able to advocate for not only our staff but also our patients every day.

And you know, I have leaders every day. My NUMs on the floor, my team leaders after hours, they're leaders. They're leading their teams every single day to make sure that we're making a difference to patients.

Debbie Deasey, Port Macquarie Base Hospital - My name is Debbie Deasey. I'm a Nurse Practitioner for age care at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

Great leadership looks like allowing that person to become who they are and not trying to force them into something that they're not.

So, it's giving the person the space and the time and the confidence to become that person on their own because everyone will be very different.

They just need someone to believe in them. So, if I can believe in someone that they will then go forth and become a leader, especially in aged care, that's what I want.

My motto throughout my nursing career is to keep going until I fail, and I haven't failed. And I've learned that even if one door shuts, there's always a window to go through to the same avenue.

So, it's been pretty good.

Sonia Marshall, South Western Sydney LHD - I've always been proud to be a nurse. And I think having a nurse at the leadership of the COVID response in South Western Sydney sent a very strong message to not only the community of South West who I was meeting with regularly, but the staff in South West that actually the nursing leadership was where you could put your trust in to provide that way forward through the COVID response.

"Sonia is an extraordinary and highly resilient leader who deserves to be recognised and celebrated for... Celebrated for her unselfish and tenacious commitment to providing safe, compassionate healthcare always."

I come to work every day and do what comes naturally to me because of the, my passion for what we do and the difference that we can truly make to our communities.

Jacqui Cross - So, what a great group of leaders, what do you think Kaye?

Kaye Spence - I think they're fantastic and the fact that they come from both rural and metropolitan areas is really great.

Jacqui Cross - So Kaye, I'll hand over to you to announce this year's winner.

Kaye Spence - Thank you, Jacqui. And the winner of the 10th annual Judith Meppem Leadership Award is Sonia Marshall, the Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Performance in the South Western Sydney Local Health District.

Sonia Marshall - I was really overwhelmed with the nomination, but to actually win the Judith Meppem Leadership in Nursing Award is amazing.

I am so overwhelmed and humbled that my team felt strongly enough to actually put a nomination forward for me and to win. I'm incredibly proud.

Firstly, I would actually like to thank NSW Health for the ongoing support of the Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

To my chief executive, I say thank you and my incredible team that I work with in South Western Sydney, the directors of nursing and midwifery of all of the sites and services, the nurses and midwives who turn up day in, day out and provide the best care in South Western Sydney. I wouldn't have been nominated for this award without the actual work that they do. They provide amazing care in sometimes really challenging circumstances and they keep turning up and doing it day in and day out.

This award is for all of you.

Jacqui Cross - So my congratulations to Sonia for her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery in NSW.

So, one of the busiest hospitals lies in Sonia's district and that's Liverpool Hospital in one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. And its midwives help deliver more than 3000 babies each and every year.

Midwife - Welcome to Liverpool Hospital. I'm Kelly, one of the midwives that works here. What's your name?

Sasha - I'm Sasha.

Hugo - I'm Hugo.

Midwife - Are you excited today to have a look around and?

Sasha and Hugo - Yeah, we're super excited.

Midwife - That's awesome, do you know what midwives do?

Sasha and Hugo - Not really. No. Not much.

Midwife - We'll go on around on a tour and see what it's all about.

Welcome to the birthing unit at Liverpool. This is one of the rooms that the mums come into to have their babies.

Hugo - I have a question. Yeah, what's that? Why do babies cry when they get born?

Midwife - When they come out, you kind of want them to cry because it's their first big breath.

So, midwives actually rub them and we hope that they're going to go. Because that means that they're starting to breathe and then they don't stop crying, right?

Sasha - And what do you ask a mother if she's feeling pain?

Midwife - I like to find out if she is coping okay with the pain. So, does she think she needs some help with it? Like there's all sorts of things you can use for the pain. I know there's a lot of pain. Yeah, did your Mum tell you that?

Maybe you're going to be midwives? Boys can be midwives.

They're still called midwives because midwife means with women. I'm going to have a little listen with this.

It's a dopler to hear baby's heartbeat. Do you want to hear the baby's heartbeat? Most people they say it sounds like a horse galloping or something like that.

Sasha - Oh yeah, it does sound like a horse galloping. Yeah. Do you know what you're having?

Woman - It's a girl.

Sasha - Do you have any ideas for the name of your baby?

Woman - I do, but it's a surprise. Ooh. Unless you ask my four year old, in which case he will tell you everything.

Sasha - Was it like painful?

Woman - It was painful but it was worth it.

Sasha - Would've been worth it. Yeah, so how were your midwives and like how did they help you.

Woman - Really well because it's my first child. They guided me through the whole process.

Hugo - I think midwives are awesome because they always help the ladies to deliver their babies.

Sasha - Well, they're very helpful and they just help you get through the process of having a baby.

Midwife - Midwives are awesome.

Sasha and Hugo - Midwives are awesome.

Minister Taylor – Empowering women and families through their pregnancy and through their birthing journeys. The support and guidance that they provide is absolutely invaluable to ensuring the best possible start to life.

And they achieve this with their passion, their commitment, and an unwavering focus on the woman's experience.

So, the finalists for the 2022 Midwife of the Year Award have between them about 60 years of service to women, babies and families in NSW. How incredible is that?

So, from Liverpool to the Blue Mountains and south to Queanbeyan, here are the finalists for Midwife of the Year.

Madeleine Simpson, Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital - I'm the Nurse Unit Manager of the Women and Children's Health Unit at Blue Mountains Hospital.

I like the sense of family you get in a smaller hospital, like you're a really close knit, cohesive team.

"A subject matter expert who is an asset to the Blue Mountains community in leading and supporting women-centred and children's care."

When I come to work every day, I'm mostly looking forward to working with my team, supporting them, and just working together to provide really good quality, woman-centred and family-centred care.

It's all about supporting each other, being open, being transparent, and just trying to create a really positive workspace for everybody where we feel free and part of the team.

Kim Wood, Liverpool Hospital - I'm the after hours Clinical Midwifery Specialist at Liverpool Hospital. Being a tertiary hospital, it gets very busy.

So, my role is to provide all after hours leadership support to all of the maternity services as well as the paediatrics as well.

What I enjoy about my job is just being there at the birth, being there with the woman and her family and just, it's a privilege to be with her and to bring life into the world, support her, bring the life into the world.

And it's just, yeah, it's just so special.

"Kim is an all-rounder with her expertise, her knowledge, her positive culture, her leadership. She is the shining light of South Western Sydney's midwifery services.

It's a team effort, it's not just about me, it's about everyone at Liverpool Hospital that works so hard and, but yeah, I'm so honoured, I really am.

Jenny Flaherty, Queanbeyan Hospital - To have successful patient interaction, it has to be tailored to the needs and the wants of the woman and their family at that time. If I can come away at the end of the day feeling that I've connected with a woman, that's the most important thing of a patient interaction.

My philosophy to patient care is to ensure that every single woman that's accessing our care can access it equally and it's equitable.

That we will all show compassion, but also be able to provide evidence-based care to all of the women and their families that access our care.

The most rewarding part of my job, it's seeing someone come in who's maybe frightened, anxious, because they're in labour and at the end of that labour or as they walk out the door that they're happy, they've got a healthy baby and they're starting a new life as a new family together.

I'm lucky because I come to work and do a job I love every day.

Minister Taylor - These are amazing examples of committed and professional midwives that we just heard from. So, congratulations to the three of you.

I also want to quickly take a moment and give a shout out to all of our midwives in NSW Health to let you know how much we absolutely value you. And we really appreciate you and all the work that you do.

And now, may I congratulate the winner of the 2022 Midwife of the Year, Kim Wood from Liverpool Hospital in the South Western Sydney Local Health District.

Kim Wood - What a beautiful surprise. When I was told that I was nominated for a finalist of NSW Midwife of the Year, I felt so honoured.

But now to find out that I'm the winner, it's so amazing, such a good feeling, I feel over the moon, I feel so privileged and yeah, it's, I just feel like everyone works so hard and yeah, but I do feel that it just feels good, feels good.

I'd like to thank all my colleagues who have supported me in this role and have worked alongside me to provide safe, quality, compassionate, women-centred care to our women.

I'd also like to thank my family, my husband, and my three kids as well as my mum and dad for always supporting me.

It's a great job and I feel so fortunate to be able to do this. I enjoy it so much and I love being a midwife and I'm proud to say I'm a midwife.

Happy anniversary vox pops - Happy anniversary Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

Happy 10th birthday.

Happy anniversary. Happy anniversary.

Happy anniversary.

Happy anniversary.

Susan Pearce - Well, what an absolutely wonderful acknowledgement today has been for our nursing and midwifery workforce. It's also been important to appreciate that everything these amazing individuals do is ultimately about the patient or human experience.

Delivering an exceptional experience can make the world of difference to a patient's recovery. And elevating the human experience is NSW Health's first state-wide strategy for ensuring that experience is exceptional.

And that means more than just receiving quality clinical care. How patients, carers, families, and our communities receive that care is as important as the care itself.

 It's empowering and our nurses and midwives are right at the centre of that experience.

The final award in today's 10th annual awards is the Healing Heart Consumer Award. The nominations for this award are submitted by consumers.

I think it speaks volumes that consumers, carers, and family members have been so moved by the quality of care that they took the time to nominate these finalists.

In the submissions they've used words like deep compassion, patient-centred support, empowerment, and motivation.

I'm so deeply impressed and very grateful to these finalists who are making a significant difference for consumers. Here are the 2022 Healing Heart Consumer finalists.

Judy Boynton, Sustaining NSW Families, Nowra - Why do I love my job? I don't know, I just feel I'm really fortunate to work with families and I think it's a real privilege to actually be invited into people's homes.

"When I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child, I had just moved an hour and a half away from my family and friends. Our unexpected surprise was due only 12 months after our third child whose pregnancy and birth was traumatic.

Judy's visits offered me respite. With every visit, she gave me the time to think about my baby and plan for a life with a fourth child.

Judy was able to successfully walk that fine line between maintaining professionalism and building the trust and security of a friend."

All those little moments meant a lot to her and her family. And so that makes you feel very special because I don't think as nurses, any sort of nurse, we actually realise the impact we can have with just a sentence or just an action.

Hayley Fisher, Sydney Children's Hospitals Network - Working with young people, I think they're incredible, especially in the space that I work in, suicide prevention.

I think they face a lot of challenges, especially in this day and age with social media and the pandemic.

But I really enjoy, yeah, kind of seeing their goals and their dreams come true as they recover and working with their families as well.

"At an extremely difficult time in my son's life, Hayley was an absolute lifesaver.

My son was suicidal, extremely depressed and avoiding school. Her compassion, expertise and kindness kept my son and me and the family supported through an extremely difficult time."

 When I meet young people, I'm sort of meeting them probably at their worst time in their life. So, it can seem quite hard.

It is outweighed by when you do see that person recover or kind of come through the other end, it's really worth it.

Danielle Gardner, Sydney Children's Hospitals Network - My role is the Cleft and Craniofacial CNC at Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick.

I look after children from newborn to round about 16, but sometimes into their twenties and just help coordinate their surgeries and their care throughout birth onto childhood and into the teenage years.

So, we look after children that have craniofacial differences.

"I'm completing this nomination to reflect my appreciation and the professionalism, compassion and quality of care demonstrated by Ms. Gardner through the process of my son's diagnosis, craniosynostoses.

In our family, Ms. Gardner is referred to as Thomas's fairy godmother because of her unique ability to make things happen.

An asset in a complex environment."

When a family gets a diagnosis of cleft lip and palette or some kind of craniofacial difference, and then coming in to, to realise that this is what's happening for the next part of their life, it's everything to them.

So, we have to be adaptable to that.

Barbara Scott, Ryde Hospital - Death to me, it's the end of end of someone's life. But it's something to me as a palliative care nurse that people can actually have a nice death.

The gentleman had been in hospital for a few weeks. The family were hoping, well, their wishes were to have him at home for, to be able to die at home.

Sometimes we've only got a very small, short window of opportunity to be able to do that. And we got him home on the Wednesday morning and it was beautiful because he was in the room overlooking his garden, which he loved, with his family around him.

And he was home for about a day and a half with the family.

 "What a better place the world is with Barbara and her team helping so many patients at the end of their lives. And in doing that, helping so many families."

It's just lovely, it's just lovely. Yeah, that's really nice.

Susan Pearce - And the winner of the Healing Heart Consumer Award for 2022 is Judy Boynton from the Sustaining Families team in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

Judy Boynton - Oh my goodness, to be the winner is amazing. Absolutely amazing. I'm jumping up and down really in my soul. I'm jumping up and down, I can't believe it.

Being nominated and now won award for the care I give to patients or to this family who took the time is very moving because it shows that the effort and time over two years and the care that I've provided has really impacted them.

And they might not know, but it has impacted me as well in a very positive way. I would like to thank the person that nominated me.

How privileged am I for her to do that? For me, it's just lovely.

And my children did say, can they get a mention? So, thanks Tilly and Lucy. I better thank Matt, my husband.

Where am I going to put the trophy? I'm going to take it straight to the pool room.

Jacqui Cross - How wonderful to see Judy Boynton from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, recognised as our 2022 Healing Heart Consumer recipient.

So much of what nurses and midwives do happens in the background or is a conglomerate of a million small acts of kindness that creates such meaningful human connections.

Thank you so much for helping us to recognise our fabulous nurses and midwives in this, our 10th annual year of the awards.

My personal congratulations go to all of the winners and the finalists today, as well as to the entire nursing and midwifery workforce, whose enthusiasm, compassion, and skill results in outstanding achievements and makes me so proud of everything that you do.

That brings us to the end of the 10th annual NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

And we're going now leave you with some of the thoughts from our finalists and winners about what their hopes and dreams are for nursing and midwifery in the next 10 years.

I look forward to seeing you all again next year.

End of Show vox pops - I would love for doctors and nurses to come out to the rural areas and regions and experience our lifestyle and our work environment.

I can see nurses and midwives in the system really taking that next step to be the influencers of healthcare.

I'm so hopeful that there is a huge change in the gap for healthcare for First Nations patients.

I would love to see it as the professional profession that it is, but it to be recognised that it is just more than at the bedside.

Nursing will change the future. I can see that nursing leaders will lead services and will be very autonomous and very advanced in their practice.

I feel that this, that the future is secure in the hands of the people that are moving into this workforce right now and I just hope that that continues.

I would still obviously love to be doing nursing.

I will be retired and I will be a grey nomad and I'll be traveling the countryside.

I think I'll be still in this role. I'd love to still be in this role because there's so much to learn and I'm still learning it.

I would very much like to be a powerhouse in Aboriginal health and influence Ministry decisions that can have a positive influence on Aboriginal health on the Central Coast.

I'd love to develop my skills and my practice even more.

I still see myself at the bedside as a bedside clinician Um, drinking cocktails by the sea, feet up, reminiscing over my wonderful nursing career.

Current as at: Friday 18 November 2022
Contact page owner: Nursing and Midwifery