Occupational Therapist – SGC/SGD Wards – Sunshine Hospital

Adam regularly demonstrates flexibility in his practice for all of those that he works with. He is always willing to make time for others, even during the busiest of times. Adam demonstrates the utmost compassion for the patients he works with across the palliative care, GEM, and DMU wards. He empathetically listens to his clients and their families and tailors his approach and recommendations to individual needs, simultaneously respecting their wishes/beliefs while optimising their safety. Adam will regularly go the extra mile to assist his colleagues, especially regarding the care of patients, even if they are not necessarily allocated to him. Keep up the great work and positive vibe!

Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) – Ward 2A

Aleja lives, models, and promotes positivity within the workplace every day, which has been particularly apparent during the COVID pandemic, where she has promoted kindness, tolerance, and positivity. Even during the worst of times, the most challenging of circumstances, and where the pressure was unprecedented, she still ensured a kind word, an offer of support, and unwavering advocacy for staff, patients, and loved ones. She welcomed and embraced the neuro-multidisciplinary team as part of the 2A team and family during their redevelopment and provided a smooth transition. Aleja always shows respect for anyone she comes into contact with and promotes and sets a standard of excellence for herself, the ward, and her staff. She is always accountable and never avoids responsibility. We not only survived but in many areas thrived because of her leadership, and I can think of no more worthy candidate for an Inspire Award than Aleja, who inspires me every day. During these trying times, Aleja took on the permanent role of NUM, developed a Leadership Group, promoted 2A’s EMR Committee, completed multiple projects, ensured participation in the Nurses Day video, promoted staff to new and exciting roles, supported 4 staff through post-graduate qualifications AND never wavered in creating not only an environment of positivity but one where people grow, shine, and feel respected, valued and heard.

Allied Health Assistant / Physiotherapy – Inpatient Rehabilitation

Alleyne is a dedicated, passionate, and hardworking Allied Health Assistant who forms an integral part of the Physiotherapy Therapy service in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Ward. Alleyne is our early bird, always the first on the ward, ensuring everything is ready and organised to the highest standard in preparation for the Physiotherapy Team to start the workday. Alleyne’s cheerful attitude is highlighted by ‘welcoming patients in the gym with a smile, singing and dancing with them, and ensuring they have the best possible stay at the Rehabilitation Ward. Alleyne is an excellent supervisor for Allied Health Assistant students. She goes above and beyond to ensure they gain the experience and knowledge necessary to become the best clinicians. In addition, Alleyne has been a dedicated worker for Western Health for over 30 years, and her enthusiasm, positivity, and confidence inspired the students to believe that they can become valuable Allied Health Assistants upon completing their placement at Sunshine Hospital. Her commitment is one of the reasons she is an excellent Allied Health Assistant.

Grade 4 Dietitian – Sunshine Nutrition Department

Allison contributes to a positive workplace by taking the time to check in with individual staff to see how they are going in both clinical and personal aspects of their job. She is genuine and approachable and demonstrates compassion and respect for all staff in the department. She assists staff in reflecting on their behaviours and their use of time or contributors to their stress levels to make positive changes. She has implemented things in the department, such as our weekly ‘Academy Award of Awesomeness’ to acknowledge positive staff contributions. Allison demonstrates excellence as she role models a growth mindset as she steps into new clinical areas to assist the department with their high level of clinical demands.

Paediatric Social Worker – Children’s Emergency Department – Sunshine

Anne is a passionate and dedicated Social Worker who often goes above and beyond to ensure that children and their families presenting to ED feel heard, have their needs met, and receive ‘best patient care’. Anne is devoted to her work in Trauma Responsive Care and demonstrates this by keeping up to date with the latest research and incorporating the latest evidence into her practice. She is warm and kind and always looking for ways to support our women and children, and staff in ED and Paediatric Outpatient Clinics. I have observed Anne provide ‘best patient care’ to young people presenting in distress to the Emergency Department. I have also observed her provide continuity of care to young people and their parents in the Adolescent Clinic. Anne’s gentle nature and kindness immediately put young patients at ease. Her devoted attention helps them open up and speak about their experiences and identify their strengths amid crisis.

Deputy Director of Pharmacy – Sunshine Hospital

Ashlea demonstrates a very positive mindset and remains calm and professional during stressful times. She is very supportive of her team and consistently shows empathy and compassion for staff, particularly those going through difficult times. Ashlea respects everyone in the pharmacy department and always acknowledges and appreciates the contribution of others. Since she has been in the management role, she has always taken the time to complete the positive/compliment section at the daily DOS meetings to ensure that staff are recognised and appreciated. There have been many workforce challenges within the department, and Ashlea consistently manages to rearrange and prioritise workflow with minimal disruptions to patient care. The wellbeing of staff is also essential to her, and she encourages staff to take regular breaks, so they are not exhausted. Ashlea always generates a positive can-do working climate demonstrated during the daily DOS meetings at the start of every day, where she consistently looks for the positive aspect. Ashlea is an excellent communicator and ensures that staff receives and understands the critical information they need, including safety messages such as alerts from the safer care Victoria, Western Health’s change of emergency numbers, and staff attestations. Ashlea is an excellent manager and is well-liked and respected by her team.

Oncology Consultant – Sunshine Oncology

Dr Catherine Oakman, in her years in Oncology, has always been very compassionate with patients. She has a very caring and, at the same time, professional manner. Dr Oakman listens intently to patients and their relatives and manages their care and concerns in a very supportive and respectful way. Working with Dr Oakman on a professional level, I have observed her respect for her colleagues and patients. She is always happy to stop and make time to discuss matters relating to patients and their care with you, whether you are a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or from another discipline. She is very open and receptive to your ideas and input and listens and discusses how best to manage immediate care and ongoing matters for future management of an individual’s care. Being very approachable, you can openly and honestly give her your contribution, and I believe this greatly enhances the level of safety and excellence in care that her patients receive. Her devotion to her job and her compassion impact her patients in a very positive manner. Through her work in Oncology Clinical trials, she always discusses the appropriate treatment options with patients, ensuring they fully understand and have time to think and discuss what is involved. She works tirelessly to bring new treatment options, always being accountable for the high quality of care delivered as Principal investigator of numerous trials so that there are many more treatment choices available to all patients.

Manager – Allied Health Strategy, Planning, Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) Unit

Chris joined the organisation just as the COVID pandemic hit. Despite the challenges in transitioning into a new network during this time, he has demonstrated an exceptional ability to map processes and improve care. Chris was instrumental in setting up ‘Virtual Visiting’ very quickly by the Allied Health team and ensuring they had all the support they needed to support our patients and families when visitor restrictions were in place. Chris is an excellent communicator and will support others with his knowledge and skills to build them up. He has a great relationship with all of the staff and stakeholders he interacts with. No ask is too big of Chris. He takes on any task calmly and confidently. Chris always delivers when he says he will and is a comprehensive systems thinker. He has led the Allied Health ASPIRE team across their functions of strategy, planning, innovation, research, and education. He has set the direction of their work plan and has been pivotal to the planning of all major projects across the network such as EMR Phase 2, amalgamation with Djerriwarrh health service, and New Footscray Hospital for Allied Health. Chris has a quiet, caring, and respectful approach. He consults widely and thoughtfully before providing considered, patient-centred advice. Chris understands thoroughly the standards that guide ‘best care’ and good governance and will always advocate for these choices. Chris will speak up if something is not right or aligned with the values of the organisation. He also goes out of his way to check in with staff, anticipating any challenges they might be going through and ensuring they are alright. He also will share thoughts and experiences that will lighten your day.


Basic Physician Training Hospital Medical Officer & Junior Medical Officer (JMO) Society Co-president.

As the current co-president of JMO society, Christina has demonstrated accountability for multiple responsibilities such as improving morale, JMO education, rostering, and workforce shortage. Christina is always lovely to work with and is a great team worker! She has advocated for a positive workplace for everyone particularly junior doctors by being the medium of communication and feedback with higher management! She also initiated Junior Medical Staff (JMS) Friday lunches or ‘bubble tea’ to improve morale (particularly when we were short on staff). Christina is always looking to improve the workplace for others and has actively sought feedback to improve rosters, workplace culture, and resident quarters. Christina is a very compassionate person who shows an active interest in patients and fellow staff members alike with a listening ear. Her interactions with others are always kind and respectful.

Advanced Trainee Registrar – Geriatrics

Claire was fundamental in providing care and advocating for a highly complex patient who had an extended stay (over 100 days) on the rehabilitation ward. Claire exemplified all of the CARES values in her care of this patient, who displayed serious behaviours of concerns on multiple occasions. Rather than shy away, Claire worked extremely hard to develop a positive therapeutic relationship with them. She was patient, empathetic, and maintained composure throughout her dealings with the patient, role-modelling what the CARES values are to all in the team.

Grade 4 Speech Pathologist

Courtney is the best!! She is a quiet, unassuming, and stable influence in the Speech Pathology team and across the broader Allied Health teams. Having worked at Western Health for many years, she is a well-known and highly respected colleague and friend. Courtney is incredibly capable with a positive, can-do attitude at all times. She is wise, strategic, and sensitive and is a trusted colleague who always has someone sharing their story. Over the past two years, and particularly through the challenges of COVID, Courtney has had to step up to cover the Manager Speech and Audiology role several times at very short notice and with very little handover. Despite this, she has been able to maintain stability and meet the demands of the role (and that of her position). Courtney lives the Western Health values and strives for excellence, has compassion, and is very collaborative. She fosters a positive workplace through her caring support and encouragement of everyone around her. She cares about her colleagues, always remembers the personal details that matter (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), and can tell a story to make you smile. Everybody loves Courtney!!

Midwives – Ambulatory Services – Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s

Kylie and Cynthia have provided extraordinary care for our high-risk maternity patients over many years. On top of this, they have faithfully looked after the vulnerable Obstetric patients housed at the Dame Phyllis Frost Prison Facility with great care. They include women who are in custody with very complex social, medical and economic issues. Their commitment, compassion & indeed camaraderie with these women is a joy to watch and often rekindles in many of us the passion we all have for the art of Obstetrics. They work wonderfully in tandem, and they know each patient in great detail – bettering most of our computer systems as well! Their work often goes beyond what is required of them – advocating appropriately for the women in their care while being respectful of each woman’s different circumstances. They are never ones to seek the limelight, and no task is too difficult. They are truly an inspiration to us all.

Alcohol & Other Drug Clinicians – Drug Health Services

Danielle and Kim recently worked with a complex client of our service with some significant issues around her safety relating to a family violence (FV) situation (the client’s ex-partner/perpetrator currently incarcerated relating to serious FV against the client). The perpetrator was being released from prison, which caused the client to have some significant concerns about her safety. The client had tried to engage with FV and housing services but had been unable to articulate her situation and had not been linked in with services to adequately support or address her needs. The client has a complex social situation and is very vulnerable as she also has an intellectual disability. The client attended the service very distressed. Danielle and Kim worked very closely with her and advocated on her behalf to ensure her immediate safety needs were met and that she was linked in with the appropriate services. Danielle and Kim displayed a tremendous amount of care and compassion in advocating on the client’s behalf and often went over and above the call of duty. They showed great tenacity and professionalism in dealing with this very complex, stressful, and often frustrating situation, drawing on their extensive knowledge and experience to navigate across various health and social care systems, trying to achieve the best outcome. Danielle and Kim dealt with the client and other services with a great deal of respect. They ensured that the client understood and was in control of what was happening at all times. The professionalism, excellent standards of care and compassion shown in this challenging situation were inspiring, and I am very proud to call them my colleagues.

Obstetrician and Clinical Lead – Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s Department of Obstetrics

Dr Edwina Coghlan has led substantive changes to the structure and experience of the O&G Hospital Medical Officer (HMO) position at the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Approximately 30 HMOs and 4 Senior HMOs work for 3-12 months with the O&G team each year. While previously, this position was frequently regarded by junior medical staff as a rotation to be endured and survived, Edwina has taken up this challenge to instate change with energy, enthusiasm, and a passion to turn things around. The result within two years is a revitalised HMO rotation, now so highly regarded and sought after by our junior medical staff that we are unable to allocate the term to all the HMOs who want to do it! Edwina has been both sympathetic and strategic, taking feedback from junior staff while maintaining the big picture of providing excellent and safe patient care, instituting incremental changes each term, and continually observing and seeking feedback to adjust and adapt. Edwina has also facilitated improved access to formal training opportunities for junior medical staff, including participation in departmental research and completion of formal training, including the Certificate of Women’s Health or Diploma of Obstetrics for HMOs in the unit. This will have a substantial flow-on effect in terms of retaining high calibre junior medical staff to continue as registrars with us at Western Health, as well as disseminating these skills into the community for junior doctors pursuing GP training as well as within the hospital for ED, ICU, and anaesthetic trainees. Edwina has further extended the benefits of these changes while mentoring the unit Chief Registrar and Senior HMOs in change processes and implementation, imparting invaluable skills for these senior trainees. Edwina’s determination to implement positive changes that lead to EXCELLENCE in patient care both directly and indirectly, her collegiate and collaborative approach demonstrating RESPECT for her colleagues and her COMPASSION and empathy for junior medical staff in her unit are truly impressive. I am exceptionally grateful for Edwina’s tireless efforts to create a positive workplace for junior medical staff, and it is without hesitation that I nominate Edwina for an INSPIRE award as someone who truly upholds and lives the CARES values at Western Health.

Occupational Therapist – Inpatient Rehabilitation

Liz is a patient-focused, occupation-based clinician who consistently achieves excellent outcomes by enabling her patients to return home through the facilitation of complex NDIS plans. Her positive working relationships with external stakeholders facilitate the unique sourcing of equipment for her patients, such as the ‘ShowerBuddy.’ She is also a team player and promotes a positive staff culture. More recently, she spent her own time developing positive affirmation cards and coffee vouchers for her colleagues.

Occupational Therapist – Hand Therapy – Footscray Outpatients

Liz has provided consistency and stability during unprecedented times. In the past year, Liz has contributed to the development of hand therapists, internally and externally, by regularly presenting exceptionally high-quality clinical presentations and publications via the Australian Hand Therapy Association. In addition to her teaching and research skills, Liz provides excellent clinical care and is a delight to work with. Liz embodies Western Health’s values for excellence, with a focus on promoting learning and improvement in clinical skills. She has lead two PD sessions recently examining evidence-based care for triquetral fractures and complex intra-articular finger fractures. In addition to this, Liz has also submitted two publications to the Australian Hand Therapy Association newsletter. In addition to providing multiple learning opportunities for those working in hand therapy, Liz maintains an exceptional level of clinical care for complex patients and is always respectful of their unique personal situations and goals. She demonstrates compassion and empathy when patients are frustrated at the occupational deprivation that can arise from hand injuries.

Grade 4 Social Worker – Allied Health

Fiona was nominated for the tremendous role she played as the Acting Manager of Social Work and Pastoral Care throughout the COVID pandemic for several months when the permanent Manager was seconded to the DHHS. Fiona exemplified the essence of what her profession and management roles should be – practical, compassionate, sensible, supportive, and available. Throughout that time, Fiona could not have been kinder, more steadying, or more helpful. She took an interest in the workings of the team and supported the various ways in which we strive to integrate our department into the running and processes of Western Health. Excellent patient care always begins from above, and if staff feel supported and valued by their managers, they are far more likely to offer their very best efforts, go a little further, and pass on the compassion that has been shown to them. Fiona certainly proved that point. Staff felt supported, valued and heard, from the very first day. In short, Fiona was a joy to work for and displayed every single one of the CARES values throughout her whole time in that role.

Manager of Paediatric Services – Bacchus Marsh & Melton

Genevieve manages a large and diverse group of employees and consistently demonstrates a compassionate approach to every staff member. Her protectiveness and pro-activity against burnout during the pandemic have been exemplary. She has an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and experience in service development and management, which she shares and empowers us with, embodying excellence. She ensures that she understands how each craft group works and acknowledges her limitations, approaching issues with curiosity. Genevieve maintains calmness, compassion, and high levels of professionalism through all her interactions, embodying respect. Genevieve has normalised and modelled work-life balance, instituted ‘Cheers for Peers’, the very popular team cohesion activity in our monthly meeting, and supported our multidisciplinary autism assessment to continually flex and change delivery models as the pandemic risk levels have changed. Genevieve remains continually approachable and only ever closes her door when she is in a meeting out of respect for those in the meeting. She is responsive and supportive, and her encouragement and advice to our team have been utterly invaluable.

Physiotherapist – Ward 3B

Hannah is an excellent clinician who is enthusiastic, caring, and very passionate about her work with the aged care cohort. She continually advocates for ‘best care’ for her patients, who are often very complex, and she communicates with compassion and clarity with patients and their families. Hannah demonstrates excellence in being able to consider not only the Physiotherapy related issues to a patient’s care but also the wider picture – she works in the most holistic manner possible. Hannah also takes the time to support and encourage other team members and is an excellent resource to the team as a whole.

Women’s & Children’s Administration Development Manager

Nomination 1:

Jade has been an extremely valuable leader within the Women’s and Children’s Outpatient space. Over the last few years Jade has brought a clear vision, strong leadership, responsive management, and problem-solving to the administration team, and in turn the clinical teams. She is an asset to the organisation and has a wealth of knowledge, technical skills, and organisational smarts. She has a clear understanding of mandatory reporting requirements for outpatient clinics and has developed her team’s workflows to maximise efficiency and improve the patient experience. In particular, thanks must go out for her assistance in ably coordinating the transition to centralised referral management and administrative support for Allied Health who work within Women and Children of the west. The past 15 months have brought regular and frequent adjustments to clinical services provision due to COVID. Every time a service has changed extensive administrative support is needed. Jade and her team have ensured prompt patient communication and clear processes such as screening text messages, reminder notifications, and carer/visitor limits notifications. Thanks Jade for your hard work and dedication. It has been greatly appreciated and the patients are better for your leadership.

Nomination 2:

Jade and her team have been instrumental in supporting and providing a positive experience to students who have been placed with her team for the Year 10 Work Experience Program. Jade has supported the program for several years and has hosted a very large number of students in this time. Her support and energy around these placements have been greatly appreciated by the People and Culture team, but more importantly, the students that have had the opportunity to experience a week in the life of the Women’s & Children’s Outpatients Department. COVID has had a profound impact on us all over the last two years but Jade very graciously continued to support the program through all the cancellations and a large amount of rescheduling that took place. The students that have so far been able to complete their placement have responded with such positive feedback and appreciation around feeling included, respected, and above all in the current COVID environment, safe.

Physiotherapist – Footscray Physiotherapy

Jan volunteered to act as our wellness representative and has been finding ways big and small to support staff throughout and beyond the pandemic. Jan goes out of her way to check in on staff members, encouraging staff to share their experiences and perspectives and to break the ice during our online huddles during the height of the pandemic. Jan has been circulating thoughtful and practical well-being activities in the weekly email update which have included – gardening, how to cope with uncertainty, journaling, how to use stress to your advantage, the benefits of sunlight, mindfulness apps, how to ‘start by starting’ and sharing things we do to sustain ourselves and bring joy. Jan has fostered well-being and connection in our team through events such as socially distanced bush walks, sharing photos of what brought joy to our weekends, and her latest winter activity – learn to knit or crochet to make a rug to donate to charity. Jan has been a valuable member of the Western Health team for many years, and her work in the well-being space should be highly commended.

Patient Services Assistant (PSA) – Ward 2A

Jean is a remarkable PSA, colleague, and human being. She is the living embodiment of compassion, accountability, respect, excellence & safety. Jean treats everyone with kindness and compassion at all times and regardless of situation or stress level. She greets patients and their families, colleagues, and visitors with a smile and welcoming attitude. Jean is an exceptional worker at Western Health who has a wealth of experience and skills that meets all expectations that a hospital environment requires. Similarly, she is a person who is passionate about her role by encompassing a positive disposition whenever she interacts with colleagues, patients, and their families. Jean embodies good values when completing each task, she practices great listening abilities, shows essential skills of empathy when interacting with others, can articulate relevant information, and supports Ward 2A extremely well. Jean is approachable and reliable when needed in Ward 2A, hence works extremely hard to complete all tasks before the end of her shift and to finish her duties without any complaints. Jean is a proficient developer, has advanced organisational skills, and is motivated and inspiring in all her undertakings. She is a natural educator and mentor, is very approachable and is someone who is actively sought out by others.

Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Ward 3East

Josephine (Jo), during a challenging staffing period on Ward 3East, was positive and calm every day over a two-week period. Jo inspired her team to persevere through this difficult time and helped improve the experience of her fellow workers. No matter the situation, Jo always had a smile on her face, communicated respectfully with staff and patients, and effectively used the resources at her disposal to keep everyone safe. She was a great example of being aware of how your behaviour affects others and was inspirational for the team.

Acting Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Ward 2A

Karen demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to Western Health as well as to Ward 2A. Karen takes it upon herself to provide exceptional support to the organisation, Ward 2A, and staff. She is an extraordinary person and clinician, highly skilled and knowledgeable, compassionate team player, who consistently displays and promotes the highest ethical standards. She truly demonstrates the true meaning of patient/family partner and advocate, respect Western Health values. She is also a role model and collaborative interdisciplinary team player. She continually advances her knowledge and exemplifies what it means to be a lifelong learner. In addition, she mentors and coaches others in achieving professional goals and development. Karen was our graduate nurse almost four years ago, became Clinical Nurse Consultant in 2019, and is now seconded for the acting Associate Nurse Unit Manager role. She is considered a clinical expert in many areas of nursing. All staff in Ward 2A view Karen as an interdisciplinary team player. She is devoted to the evidence-based practice process and has championed/led many ward-based projects, for example, Better Care Victoria (Predicted Discharge), ‘FALLS, SCAN WHEN YOU CAN’, and the current Ward 2A pilot project ‘SAFEWARDS’. Karen gives of her time selflessly. Because of her clinical expertise and commitment, she is often asked to participate in any organisational or ward projects. She is also our EMR Lead and has successfully led the implementation of EMR in Ward 2A. Because of her dedication, Ward 2A has always been regarded as one of the best wards in utilising EMR across Western Health. Many of these projects would not succeed if it weren’t for Karen’s commitment, knowledge, persistence, and dedication. It is my privilege to work with such a wonderful person.

Manager, Consumers and Inclusion

Khanh demonstrated the qualities of compassion and respect by being a leader and driver in developing Western Health’s inclusion statement – ‘your Culture, your Ability, your Identity. We welcome you at Western Health.’ Through his engagement with hospital staff, volunteers and consumers, he ensured that the statement reflected feedback from all those involved in the consultation process. Khanh also contributed to developing a positive workplace by engaging WH staff in the Pride March and promoting and delivering positive and inclusive messages for the International Day Against LGBTQI+ Discrimination (IDAHOBIT).

Patient Services Assistant – Footscray Emergency Department

Kevin consistently brings positive energy to the night shift in ED. If you have ever worked with Kev, you will understand. Kevin shows compassion through his unique ability to build rapport with patients and his positive attitude – even at 05:30 am. He displays accountability through his hard work – he is always running around attending to what needs to be done throughout his entire shift. Respect is always paramount with Kevin. He is consistently respectful in all of his communications with staff, visitors, and patients. His positive attitude and great sense of humour create a positive workplace for everyone around him, and he is a pleasure to work with. Thanks for the laughs Kev!

Hospital Medical Office (HMO) – Orthopaedics

Kyle is a wonderful example of a fantastic young doctor and is a valued asset to ward 1 West and the Orthopaedic team. He is organised, efficient, and communicates exceptionally well with the multidisciplinary team and all patients within his care. Kyle understands hospital-wide discharge pressures and the need to ensure prescriptions are completed, weight-bearing statuses confirmed, regular communication with OT/PT in facilitating timely discharges of patients, and assisting in addressing any medical concerns promptly. Kyle is hard-working and often goes above and beyond to help his Orthopaedic colleagues by taking time out of his day to provide thorough handover and orientation to new colleagues or Interns to ensure the smooth transition of patient care. He is friendly, approachable and will always follow up on requests made in a timely manner. Kyle advocates strongly for his patients- an example of this was his persistence in following up a confirmed surgery date for an elderly lady with a humeral fracture who had her surgery cancelled multiple times after days of repeated fasting. Kyle consistently demonstrates Western Health Best Care values and is a role model for many around him.

Interpreters – Language Services

Kyaw is a Burmese Interpreter and Ying is a Cantonese/Mandarin Interpreter. Kyaw and Ying are the gems in the Language Services team. They are an inspiration and the epitome of our values of Compassion, Respect, and Excellence. From the moment they enter the office, to the moment they say their goodbyes (rushing to catch the train together), their cheerful disposition lifts our spirits and makes the challenges of work easier to bear. If laughter is the best medicine, Kyaw and Ying are in exceptional health, and we are in excellent company. Ying and Kyaw’s compassion and respect towards patients and other staff are exemplary, and their dedication is second to none. It comes as no surprise that they are liked by a whole range of clinicians at Western Health, as their pleasant demeanour compliments their interpersonal skills and professionalism. They are always happy to help within our team, and nothing is ever too difficult for them. Their ‘can do’ attitude is an inspiration to us all.

Geriatrician – Sunshine, Ortho-Geriatric Service (OGS)

Lauren is a highly dedicated clinician who goes above and beyond in her work to improve the care and experience of others. I have observed Lauren provide comprehensive and holistic patient-centred care for her patients, most recently in ED. Lauren is committed to making sure her patients are not only managed appropriately in ED but collaborates with the multidisciplinary team to ensure appropriate follow-up and preventative care. Lauren is very generous with her time and has shown fantastic leadership in the Ortho-Geriatric Service (OGS) space, leading initiatives such as reviewing and revamping the OGS team meetings and working on the hip fracture journey board. In particular, Lauren’s work in relation to hip fracture patients at Western Health has been above and beyond her role as chair. The progress made in this space is certainly a testament to her perseverance and commitment.

Radiographer – Radiology

A patient had a lumbar and pelvis x-ray ordered, but Leanne noticed from her routine checks that this patient had also had a CT scan of his lower body some hours prior. Leanne was able to retrospectively reconstruct the patient’s CT scan and extract lumbar and pelvis bone data to make a dataset for the Radiologist to read. With appropriate notification and permission, she saved the patient from re-presenting to Radiology on the same day. This ultimately saved the patient’s pain from manual handling, another radiation dose, and staff and was able to get more diagnostic information as a CT scan is much better than a plain x-ray. She showed compassion for her patient and staff members, was accountable by informing all parties taking care of this patient, respected the patient’s health, and increased safety by not adding more pain through manual handling and radiation exposure. Her work ethic should be praised. She is a quiet worker who does her best for her patients and colleagues.

Acting Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) – Dialysis Unit – Melton Health

Linda creates a positive work environment from the moment she walks into the room. She greets everyone with a smile and a kind word. Linda has stepped up into the Acting Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) role with ease. She has always been a meticulous nurse, but this, often challenging role, has further developed her character of providing excellence. Our unit was short-staffed recently, and Linda often had to juggle her Acting NUM role with taking a patient load. She does this without hesitation while maintaining her excellent standard of nursing care. Some of our patients get anxious about being needled or when problems arise with their fistulas. Linda has such a compassionate and respectful bedside manner that she quickly puts patients at ease. Linda’s kindness is evident, but so too is her ability to make staff accountable for ensuring that paperwork is up-to-date. The manner in which she goes about asking the primary nurses to make sure their patient’s falls risk assessments and pressure area risk assessments are up to date is matter of fact and in no way punitive. Her laugh is infectious and can often be heard around the unit.

Ward Clerk – Ward 2A

Luisa is the most positive and inspiring person. She makes sure everyone feels safe, supported, and included and advocates for and shows kindness, empathy, and respect for patients and visitors. Luisa listens to what people have to say and makes them valued and valuable. She will sit with and listen to a patient, hear their stories, remember their name, and follow up on previous conversations and concerns. She is a kind and gentle person who is a role model for positive, productive, and purposeful relationships. Luisa participates in projects, educates staff on IT and administrative tasks and systems, and coordinates and stream-lines processes. She is tirelessly patient with patients, families, and visitors and knows when someone needs a kind word, someone to talk to, or to show that they care. Luisa is an amazing Western Health employee who does not always see her worth or value and the fantastic contribution she makes to so many people’s lives.

Social Worker – Ward 2H

Madeleine (Maddy) has worked at Western Health for almost a year, and during that short time, she is appreciated by her co-workers as a person who truly cares not only about her patients but also the staff she works with. I am constantly impressed by her commitment and willingness to assist patients and their families in achieving the best outcomes. Maddy promotes ‘Best Care’ for patients in her daily interactions and often going 110% in addressing any problems they may have. Maddy shows compassion for staff and patients through truly listening in conversations and trying to help, support, and encourage where possible. She demonstrates clear reflective practice, which encourages and promotes accountability and excellence through her supervision, ensuring she always delivers the ‘Best Care.’ Maddy is very supportive of her colleagues and team and is always willing to step in to assist in other locations when staffing shortages pose problems for discharge planning. Maddy is always respectful in her interactions with colleagues and patients and is a real asset to Western Health.

Clinical Nurse Educator – Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Mark has shown outstanding development, performance, and commitment to his role as a Clinical Nurse Educator in ICU in a number of ways across 2020-2021. While on his way to work in December 2021, Mark sustained significant injuries in an accident, which would see him away from work for a couple of months. Mark’s immediate concern was to notify his workplace, calling in from the accident site to let them know that it was only minor and he was just going for a quick check-up (whilst being loaded into the back of an ambulance). Fast forward to February 2021, and, following multiple surgeries and complications, Mark requested alternate work he could undertake from home to support the ICU Education Team and the ICUs themselves. Without any previous education/qualification/experience in internet/intranet design or support, Mark stepped up with great enthusiasm to develop these skills to create the ICU Intranet page. This included creating, finding, and developing resources and liaising with colleagues external to ICU to ensure as much information as possible was accessible for the ICU staff. Mark has since returned to working on-site for two days a week, educating staff in ICU and assessing postgraduate students, and working from home for the remaining days to continue to build the intranet site. Mark has consistently remained engaged with the ICU Education Team, offering to take on as much as possible while on-site or when working from home, for which the ICU Education Team is extremely grateful! Over the last nine months, Mark’s journey and contribution to Western Health demonstrate his immeasurable commitment to the organisation and our CARES values.

Clinical Nurse Educator – JKWC Theatre

Mary Anne has taken on the role of a clinical nurse educator for perioperative services at Western Health and is primarily based at Joan Kirner Theatre. She is very passionate about the need for the ongoing quality education of staff to deliver perioperative care. This includes ongoing education for undergraduate nurses, graduate nurses, experienced perioperative nurses, theatre technicians, and medical staff. Mary Anne shows much concern for the safety of the patient’s during their perioperative journey and for the safety of staff during their working day. Examples of Safety include education about correct hand-washing techniques or the safe counting technique of accountable items. I believe Mary Anne understands that as a nurse educator, she is accountable for the delivery of clear, concise, and up-to-date education for perioperative staff. She demonstrates this by delivering frequent emails to nursing staff with updates, news, and procedures relevant to perioperative nursing. I believe Mary Anne’s dedication and passion for nursing education are evident by how she makes contact with the department even on her days off to check in on new staff or the emails that she sends out late in the evening after she has finished work for the day. Mary Anne understands the importance of quality education in the perioperative setting.

Manager – Cognitive Dementia & Memory Service

Michele is passionate about her role and supporting patients and families through the process of diagnosis. Michele’s expertise in dementia ensures patients and families receive a professional and supportive experience in the clinic. Michele is also a very supportive manager who works hard to support and encourage team members, including medical, allied health, and administrative staff. This has been particularly evident during the COVID pandemic, where she has helped the team through lock-downs, closures, and changes to practice, such as utilising telehealth and telephone assessment. Michele has always been on hand to discuss issues and is always willing to assist staff in problem-solving. Through this process, Michele has ensured that patients and families receive a high standard of service throughout this challenging time. This has included contacting families and clients regarding changing assessments to telehealth and ensuring that the process works well while providing a high standard of practice and answering any questions or concerns.

Patient Services Assistant Supervisor – Sunshine Hospital

Murali was involved in a very distressing Code Blue on Ward 2E in October 2020. Murali’s response was immediate and outstanding. From the very beginning and without hesitation, he jumped in to perform CPR to give the Nursing staff and doctors a break. His assistance was invaluable and greatly appreciated by all involved. Unfortunately for those involved, the patient passed away. Murali then assisted in moving the (deceased) patient onto the bed using the Hoverjack and then progressed with packing up and cleaning a genuinely awful scene. It was truly amazing to see his response considering that this would not ordinarily be part of his day-to-day experience in his role. Murali’s diligence, self-motivation, dedication, and willingness to go the extra mile to achieve the best possible results were truly inspirational and greatly appreciated.

Diversional Therapists – Sunshine Ward GC (DMU)

My and Narinderjeet joined the DMU team in early 2020 to support the provision of patient-centred care in DMU. While they bring different approaches to the role, the outcome of patient care has been phenomenal. They represent patient-centred care in every action that they take. They are extraordinarily respectful of this highly challenging patient cohort, often advocating for patient care needs. Families have provided several compliments over the past year about the compassion they are providing patients and staff daily. Both My and Narinderjeet work together as a dynamic team. Their skills and knowledge have contributed significantly to creating a ‘quality of life care’ culture for all patients in Ward GC.

Clinical Pharmacist & Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator – Footscray Pharmacy

Phuong is a senior clinical pharmacist and co-clinical coordinator at Footscray Hospital. Phuong is a truly inspiring individual who has coordinated the pharmacy response on several big projects, including the set-up of pharmacy operations at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital and, more recently, as the pharmacy coordinator of operations at the COVID vaccination hubs. Ever since the COVID vaccination hubs were announced, Phuong has worked long hours to ensure the planning, set up, and delivery of pharmacy services has gone smoothly. Phuong’s commitment to leading the project has demonstrated her compassion towards our community and her accountability to ensure operations run smoothly and vaccine doses are available to the highest standard. Phuong has demonstrated respect and excellence through her professionalism and ability to communicate and work with other stakeholders, such as nursing staff in the vaccination hubs. She demonstrated commitment to safety by ensuring that the hubs had adequate pharmacy staff working and rostered appropriately. Phuong’s ability to plan and execute such important initiatives and projects is a testament to her dedication to Western Health and our community, and this award is thoroughly deserved.

Pharmacist – Sunshine Pharmacy

Priscilla was our pharmacist from July to December 2019. She would consistently provide us with a time frame for discharge medications to be ready so that we could advise the family members when they could come and pick up their patients, avoiding a long wait for them. Priscilla worked hard and often went above and beyond to ensure that she provided discharge medications at the promised time. She understood how difficult it was for families to wait for medications during COVID lock-down. To be able to coordinate this involved having to contact multiple doctors to fix up the scripts. Even this did not hinder her work. Priscilla used to check all of the patient’s medications during discharge and would advise them appropriately. During Victoria’s lock-down, no visitors were allowed to come to the ward to pick up the patients. Often we would have patients who could not speak English, and she made sure that she talked to the family members to advise them of the medications. Sometimes she would accompany the patients to the entrance to speak to the family members about the medications personally, demonstrating her compassion and dedication to providing a safe and high-quality service for our patients.

Recruitment Advisor – Bacchus Marsh Melton

It has been a pleasure having Rachel support us with our recruitment. I have found her to be very caring and compassionate, and she listens and takes on board the urgency of our recruitment needs. I have had staff commence employment within 2 to 3 weeks from the interview due to her commitment and dedication. Her work ethic, in my opinion, is excellent, as is her communication. I love the emails Rachel provides with important recruitment updates. Rachel’s positivity and ‘can do’ attitude make her a pleasure to work with.

Registered Nurse – Ward 3East

Regina (Reggie) is always supportive of all staff on the ward and helps us all work together as a team. She is a great nurse in charge. At the start of my rotation, we had a lengthy discussion on how the UGIG team could be more efficient on the ward, which was very helpful. I was then able to hand this over to the junior doctors on the team. I have since noticed how our communication with the ward has improved, workflow is more efficient, and people are discharged in a timely-efficient way. Reggie is a very caring nurse, and I have personally witnessed how she goes above and beyond for her patients. She is also very skilled and has assisted me personally with difficult cannulations and handling complex patient interactions. I have always felt supported when Reggie has been around and have found her to be very approachable. She has also treated her junior doctors with respect, and there was never a time where I felt uncomfortable working with her. I am sure the rest of my team feels the same way. Reggie has inspired me to become a better doctor and has made me more aware of how vital communication is to patient care.

Manager – Speech and Audiology

Sally is always going above and beyond to achieve a high standard and has been incredibly flexible with multiple redeployments to the COVID response team (often with very short notice). She has also remained accessible to the speech pathology and audiology teams to ensure they are supported, even when redeployed. Sally has stepped in every time the workload increases to be a senior leader helping the staff enquiry line team. She works hard and long hours supporting Kate Cranwell and the team, staying with them until the work begins to abate as she knows this is where the organisation needs her most. She responds and functions well under stress and uncertain situations, so it was no surprise that Sally has performed at a high level in the Western Health COVID pandemic response. Sally consistently demonstrates authentic leadership. She genuinely cares about her team and ensuring their wellbeing while ensuring they continue to grow and develop. Sally lives the values of Western Health and is a compassionate and resilient leader.

Occupational Therapist – Sunshine Acute

Sally has taken on a leadership role in Occupational Therapy related to the roll-out of EMR phase 2. She has done a fantastic job at supporting her colleagues during this roll-out. Sally always takes the time to explain to her colleagues what needs to be done and supports them in implementing any actions to contribute to progressing EMR phase 2 efficiently. Her hard work and accountability make the process easier for her team, which will contribute to an appropriately designed EMR system for their needs and a system that promotes excellence and safety within clinical care for patients. Sally’s commitment to supporting her team in the EMR build is also having an immediate impact on patient care as her hard work frees up the time of other clinicians to be providing direct patient care.

Administration Officer – Woman’s and Children Specialist Clinic

Samantha (Sam) consistently achieves very high standards in her work and willingly shares her knowledge and expertise with others to ensure service improvement and positive outcomes for the department. She is very patient when training other staff members and has a unique ability to make things very easy to learn and understand. Sam always demonstrates a positive attitude and is always happy to help others in any way that she can. Nothing is ever too much to ask. Sam sets an example for all in terms of quality in her approach to her work. She treats everyone with the utmost respect and kindness and always makes an effort to ensure we all feel welcome and comfortable.

Registered Nurse – Ward 3E

While travelling to work for an AM shift at Sunshine Hospital, Samila encountered a motorbike accident. She selflessly performed CPR on the rider until Ambulance Victoria (AV) arrived, giving the patient the best possible chance of survival. Incredibly, she continued to work after this and completed her shift. Samila is a humble, beautifully selfless human being who, when asked how she found the strength to continue to complete her shift following this very traumatic event, stated, “I didn’t want to let my team down” – WOW! Not only did Samila display courage and quick thinking, but she exemplified ALL of the Western Health CARES values. What an amazing individual effort – well done!

ACAS Clinician (Physiotherapist) – Western ACAS

Sarah has demonstrated excellence within her role by continually improving her clinical practice and leading and teaching peers to enhance their clinical practice. Sarah is a very flexible ACAS Clinician who can fulfill all of the roles within Western ACAS to a very high standard. Sarah is respectful of her working colleagues and does a fantastic job when triaging new referrals for clients and their families. Sarah’s communication skills are of a very high standard, remaining professional at all times with other staff members, managers, clients, client’s families, and the general public. Sarah is very accountable in her role, taking ownership of her work and displaying open and honest communications. Sarah can understand the client’s presentation and empathise with them. Overall, Sarah is an asset to the Western Aged Care Assessment Team, who peers admire and respect, contributing to a happier workplace.

Grade 4 Occupational Therapist – Sunshine Inpatient Rehabilitation

Sharon is an outstanding leader within her team. Sharon offers extensive support and leadership to the team on Sunshine inpatient rehabilitation to help staff provide excellent and safe care to all patients. In particular, she has been pivotal in facilitating excellence and safety in supporting the team to develop plans to help patients on NDIS pathways. Sharon promotes accountability and excellence within the teams in which she works by fostering clear communication and contributing to establishing pathways, processes, and improvement initiatives to support NDIS service delivery. Sharon does all of this in a respectful manner that supports staff whilst always ensuring that ‘best care’ of patients is front of mind within the teams in which she works. Her passion, drive, and enthusiasm are infectious.

Registered Nurse – Sunshine Rehabilitation Unit

Nomination 1:

Shirley’s compassion for her patients has been unwavering. She treats each patient as an individual and attends to all their needs. She maintains open communication with family members to keep them updated with their care plans. Her accountability when it comes to resources is maintained at all times by not wasting expensive products. Shirley is always positive and has a smile for all around her. Shirley works with a team of nurses from very diverse backgrounds. She enjoys hearing their knowledge and likes to learn new ideas. She maintains respect for all her patients and their family members from different cultural and religious backgrounds. Shirley has worked in the Rehabilitation Unit for 21 years. She is always punctual, she has been a preceptor for 20 years, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with the students and guiding the graduate nurses throughout their time in the unit. Shirley is always happy and willing to help everyone. We all admire her work ethic, knowledge, and team spirit that we will miss when she retires at the end of the year.

Nomination 2:

Shirley has a kind heart and an unwavering dedication to her patients. She has a unique ability to connect with patients and be sensitive to their needs. She goes above and beyond to provide outstanding care with a smile. When difficult patients arise, which is not uncommon, Shirley has a unique ability to calm them down and explain the situation at hand without coming across as condescending. All patients warm up to her eventually. Shirley is a hardworking, motivated, charismatic, and reliable employee. Her enthusiasm, positive energy, attentiveness, and wealth of knowledge and experience has motivated and guided junior staff to optimize their strength. She is detailed orientated and completes tasks in a timely manner. She is extremely accountable to deadlines and skilled at promoting teamwork. She displays a strong work ethic and sets an excellent example for others. Shirley promotes a positive team environment that is reflective of the organisation’s culture and values.


Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Ward 1West

Susan (Sue) is a wonderful nurse in charge who prides herself on creating a positive environment and experience for all patients, their families, and staff members. She is efficient and reliable and will often volunteer to follow things up on behalf of the team, for example, finding out where to source a brace or the status of a referral. Sue is prompt in delivering updated information, including changes following a medical review or ward round. She develops positive relationships with all staff, including those who are regularly on the ward and staff that work weekends or covering shifts. Her helpful nature and ability to make junior staff feel comfortable and supported on the ward is consistently commented on by nursing, medical, and allied health staff. It is a pleasure to work alongside Sue, who always ensures that staff is supported and patients are informed and cared for.

Social Workers – Oncology 1E

It takes a special person to be a Social Worker and the Day Oncology Unit is lucky enough to have two of them. I’m talking about Tee Pham and Fiona Nguyen. These two ladies are remarkable and so dedicated in what they do. They go above and beyond for all of their patients. Their compassionate care, empathy, and kindness are what units/wards like Day Oncology need. Tee and Fiona feel what the patients are going through, and always seem to turn the patient’s sadness and nerves around and make them feel comfortable and at ease. Tee and Fiona take pride and compassion in everything they do every day. Not only do they respect the patients, but they also respect the staff in Day Oncology. They are so supportive and caring to all of the Day Oncology Unit and are so positive in everything they do. With the year we had last year and even this year, I have never seen Tee or Fiona unhappy. They always arrive at work in good spirits and leave the same way. No day ever seems to be a challenging one for them. They are so professional in what they do. I’m so glad to say that these ladies are part of the Western Health Family.

Medical Imaging Technologist – Radiology

Nomination 1:

Tony developed our new online protocolling system for MRI, which essentially removed a mass amount of paper referrals. He worked tirelessly at work and on his own time to develop a system that was beneficial to the doctors, supporting admin staff, and the radiology team. The effectiveness and process of this task made MRI more effective in delivering a service orientated around patient care. He streamlined the process for the referrer to make it more accessible to refer patients for our services. As a result, it improved the infrastructure for sourcing information concerning MRI safety and patient history. The RIS task enabled the radiologists to cater examination for patients more efficiently, limiting the risk of errors. He was fundamental to initiating the change management process that allowed the transition to electronic referral and protocoling. Tony displays compassion and empathy daily with his patient interactions. He treats all patients with respect and care and has a unique ability to put vulnerable, claustrophobic patients at ease during MRI scans. I have witnessed how thankful they are to him afterward. Tony is also well respected in our department and has been extremely helpful in mentoring and training trainee MRI techs. He puts a lot of effort into teaching and ensuring that trainees can reach their full potential.

Nomination 2:

Tony has been heavily involved in the transition of paper referrals to EMR MRI referrals. It is an especially tough job that involves extensive planning, many meetings, and changes. He worked tirelessly and often on his own time to ensure the success of this project. The result of this was a lot of time saved in MRI, a new improved workflow and better patient care.

Purchasing Officer – Footscray Pharmacy

Yi Ling is a joy to work with. She works behind the scenes at the back door of the pharmacy with little fuss or complaint. Despite her not having direct patient contact, every patient and clinical staff member at Western Health is affected by her actions. The hospital would not function without her work, and she does her job thoroughly above and beyond what is required. Her role at our hospital ensures that medicines are ordered in a timely manner. She finds alternatives from overseas when medicines are out of stock, which is quite common, although rarely would staff know there is an issue as it’s managed so well – on average, we have 70 medicines out of stock at any one time. She recognises the critical role of purchasing essential medicines in patient safety – going through the appropriate safety checks and considerations before purchasing. Yi Ling also assists with staff training, supervising new staff and students, and helping her colleagues where we are short-staffed. Her manner is calm, efficient and I have never heard her say a bad word about anyone or any situation – she always highlights the brighter side. Yi Ling demonstrates accountability by taking responsibility for all allocated tasks and follows up in a timely manner. You know when you’ve asked Yi Ling to do something, it will be done! Yi Ling demonstrates excellence through the quality of her work, which is always of an extremely high standard. She communicates appropriately with internal and external stakeholders and respects the boundaries of everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Yi Ling demonstrates empathy for colleagues, often going above and beyond when they require specific specialized medicines for their patients. Yi Ling’s positive can-do attitude radiates to all that come in contact with her. Her presence at meetings and catch-ups ensures a positive workplace and culture in our department. Yi Ling is an unsung hero and an exemplary model of Western Health values and how to create a positive workplace.


Andrew Mueller and Clara Latina

Andrew and Clara have been adaptable, accommodating, and flexible in an ever-changing COVID pandemic. They have met urgent requests for both PPE, sometimes dealing with 100 orders at once, and “Fit Test” appointments in their stride. Having witnessed this first hand, their amazing work is greatly appreciated. Andrew and Clara consistently and patiently promote and demonstrate the correct PPE to ensure the safety of staff, patients, and visitors at Western Health. They display excellent work ethic and customer service and constantly adapt to the frequent PPE changes without complaint. Andrew and Clara are both very respectful in their dealings with staff. I’m sure they hear the same questions time and time again, but no query is too difficult for them. Andrew and Clara contribute to a positive workplace through their friendly and approachable manner. They are the epitome of service with a smile. Even under times of extreme pressure, they still come across as friendly and accommodating.

Williamstown Hospital

The Food Services staff at Williamstown Hospital generously supports the Occupational Therapy (OT) team to offer meal preparation therapy on the wards. The therapy provided would not be possible without the collaboration and support of this fantastic team. They provide an excellent, client-centred service that enables the OT team to provide ‘best care’. The Food Services team shows exceptional accountability by reliably adjusting meal orders when patients participate in meal preparation therapy with Occupational Therapy. They consistently look after the safety of patients by providing client-appropriate ingredients to the OT team for food preparation therapy sessions. The Food Services team demonstrates compassion by happily responding to requests for meal trays to be prepared at the last minute when the patient’s meal preparation therapy cannot go ahead.

Sunshine Hospital

Nomination 1:

I want to acknowledge and thank the GC-GEM team for their caring attitude, compassion, and dedication to provide ‘best care’ to all of our patients despite the challenges they may face daily, including working understaffed, caring for patients with challenging behaviours, and supporting families whom can be difficult at times. This happens because of the phenomenal teamwork on GC-GEM. They all support one another and work together as one team. This team recently looked after a patient who displayed challenging behaviors towards staff, such as throwing food at them when entering the room and swearing at them. The team all worked together in conjunction with security services to ensure a safe management plan that ensured the provision of ‘best care’ to this patient despite the obstacles they faced.

Nomination 2:

The GC team was formed at the beginning of 2020 after a realignment of service provision and now provides standalone care for GEM and DMU patients. This was an extremely difficult change for the team, especially when COVID became a reality. Despite this, the entire team has worked together to support each other. Where it would have been very easy not to focus on improving patient outcomes, the entire team has continued to work together to implement a successful falls reduction strategy, reduced the incidence of pressure injury development, and has worked to ensure that we advocate for timely access to the service so that patients are receiving the right care in the right place. The team is putting patient care first, and hearing staff asking to take challenging patients as they believe they are providing ‘best care’ (and they work hard to do this) has been a significant positive cultural change. Every time you walk onto the ward you are greeted with a smile. Every member works extremely hard to demonstrate every one of the CARES values daily. This includes the nursing team, medical team, occupational therapy team, physiotherapy team, social work team, diversional therapy team, SNAP team, and all other teams that support the ward.

Mark Ryan, Kim Spalding, Owen Newman, Kylie Chalmers, Rachel Garnick and Tegan Webster

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Education Team has worked tirelessly to support the students and staff across both ICUs. This team has gone through an exceptional amount of change, so reaching this level of cohesion as a team is outstanding. The implementation of a junior Educator role (Clinical Nurse Instructor) within the team has been embraced with the Clinical Nurse Educators working closely with the new CNI’s to provide support, mentorship, and share their experiences. The ICU Education team has developed and continues to create online learning packages for staff to increase education in ICU and, in turn, support the vision of excellence in the delivery of care and improve patient safety. The ICU Education Team is involved in developing and reviewing procedures and guidelines to provide staff with Western Health endorsed resources based upon best practice. They liaised with various stakeholders from research nurses to medical staff, allied health, and pharmacy to ensure all guidelines were based upon the best available evidence. The ICU Education Team has provided outstanding support to large postgraduate and Discovery student numbers (totalling 40 students across both sites!) in 2021, working with each student individually to ensure the best educational experience possible and provide flexibility around individual students’ needs and circumstances.










Sunshine Hospital

A patient’s mother nominated the Palliative Care Ward for the care they took of her daughter. She had the following to say. “I am writing to thank all of the staff in Sunshine Palliative Care for the care that they provided my daughter in her last days. The Palliative Care staff, including the doctors, nurses, allied health staff, cleaners, and security staff, were my rock throughout the whole time that my daughter was a patient there. I cannot express my heartfelt feelings enough. They gave me the courage to keep going and to take one day at a time. They showed compassion and care for all of us and, most importantly, provided dignity and safe care for my daughter. They made us feel at home and also provided some well-needed fun and laughter for us. My love for them will always be in my heart. So I thank you very much for providing my daughter a home in her last days and for helping me.”

Rapid Allied Health (RAH) – Bianca Silcox, Jess Rau and Mina Botros and Caitlin Duggan and

Community Based Transitional Care Program (CB-TCP) – Karen Creighton and Coskun Donmez


CB-TCP Occupational Therapy (OT) and RAH Occupational Therapy (OT) have been integral in ensuring that patients discharged from the ward can continue to be looked after. These services regularly work with very complex patients who often discharge from Hospital at a lower level of function and may have some risks associated with their discharge home. These teams allow these patients to continue to stay at home whilst receiving appropriate input and help make sure that the patient and families can manage. Without these two services, earlier discharges as per the patient’s wishes would not always be facilitated. Both these services are not only committed to providing ‘best care’ to the patient and their families, but the members of these teams are always ready and open to having a chat with other OT colleagues to help improve understanding of the referral criteria for their service. They take the time to provide clinical support and feedback as needed, which helps to boost other OT colleagues’ capacity and knowledge in their practice. These services often work with patients and families who may be undergoing a new transition phase in their lives and provide them with the support that makes them feel like they are not alone and have a network of support to help guide them along. It’s reassuring to know that these services exist to help improve the safety of our patients and provide continued support to our patients and their families. Great work!

Elysia Azzopardi, Dorah Nkomo, Kathryn Elliot, Susan Bolt and Helen Do

The Women’s and Children’s Social Work team is a team of dedicated and passionate Social Workers. They work across Women and Children services providing patient-centred care from evidence-based practice. They deal with challenging behaviours and complex situations every day, but their primary goal is to ensure that women and children are discharged to a safe and nurturing environment. They ensure that patients receiving outpatient care have their needs met promptly and efficiently, feel heard and supported, and have access to community support services. I have observed the team provide timely responses to inpatient needs, provide crisis intervention and manage complex situations involving children and women at risk. In outpatient clinics, they provide prompt and effective early intervention that impacts women and children’s health journey, ensuring their safety and well-being and contributing to access to health care. During the last 18 months, the team has adapted to all the changes COVID-19 brought and did this effortlessly and with minimal to no interruption to patient care.

Kathleen Halliday, Jessica Hughes, Johanna Van Dreumel, Gabby McLeish, Eleanor Johnson, Jessica Huynh and Jamie Errico

Maternity Services


The Lactation Service is committed to delivering high-quality care aligned with Western Health’s Best Care Framework and CARES values within Maternity Services, Newborn Services, Children’s Ward, Intensive Care Unit, Medical and Surgical Units, and the Emergency Department at Sunshine Hospital. They provide clinical expertise with the management of breastfeeding and lactation, counselling mothers and their families on the initiation, exclusivity, and duration of breastfeeding and lactation, and assist amidst any difficulties or high-risk situations. The Lactation Consultants and Breastfeeding Support are compassionate, accountable, and empathetic when supporting the needs of mothers and their family structures in working towards breastfeeding and lactation goals. The Lactation Service continually advocates for and advances the organisation’s status as a facility accredited by the Baby-Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI). The role of the BFHI is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and lactation. It is also a quality assurance measure demonstrating a facility’s commitment to offering the highest standard of maternity care to women and their families. Furthermore, the Lactation Consultants and Breastfeeding Support create a positive learning environment and workplace culture, enabling them to successfully action their responsibility of designing and delivering lactation and infant feeding education to all staff. The Lactation Service ensures that services provided are woman-focused, integrated, consistent, evidence-based, and aligned with WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) ‘Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.’ The Lactation Service is an integral part of Maternity Services. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful team at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s.


Allied Health – Sunshine Hospital

This nomination is to acknowledge the phenomenal effort of the ASPIRE Unit team in supporting our staff, students, and patients throughout the Covid pandemic. They displayed all of the Western Health values in the initiatives that they have provided including but not limited to the following: Led and implemented roll out of Virtual Visiting programme across Western Health in matter of weeks in first wave of Covid-19, to provide best care to our patients so they could connect with their loved ones virtually via an iPad; rolled out 10 part digital series from ‘The Resilience Project’ to Allied Health (AH) staff to support their health and wellbeing throughout Covid; provided guidance, and recorded and distributed supporting videos to staff on such topics as resilience, dealing with grief, and self-care; provided timely and expert advice and training on ever changing PPE Guidance to all AH staff; pivoted to online learning programs to continue to support training and professional development requirements of all AH staff throughout the pandemic; successfully converted the whole of ‘Allied Health Week’ to an online forum, with fun activities to provide light relief for staff during particularly challenging working conditions, plus plan and execute Covid safe AH staff site lunches as a treat for staff; sought out and offered external expert key note speakers to speak with staff virtually around challenges of Covid and so much more!

Sunshine Hospital

The Sunshine Children’s Emergency Department (ED) Multi-disciplinary team provides a consistently positive culture for patients and as a workplace. The patients and carers that are treated in the Children’s ED are prioritised not just for medical care but as valuable consumers of the health care system. I see staff show compassion and respect even when there is enormous pressure on the department. As a team member, I have experienced the warmest welcome and been shown respect for my professional area of knowledge. A truly wonderful department.

Recruitment Team: Laura Mulcahy, Cindy Buttigieg, Christina Iakovidis, Natalie Bucello, Vanessa Reay, Kayla Bucello and Mariko Adlercreutz

Operations Team: Leigh Evans, Rosanna Marchione, Tracey Nguyen, Liz Buttacavoli, Catherine North and Chelsea Pellegatta

In the second half of 2021, Western Health took control of Community Chef and transitioned it to the Western Health Central Production Kitchen (Western CPK). This significant change project involved transferring approximately 75 Community Chef & Melbourne Health staff across to Western Health with all prior service and leave balances being recognised/maintained. The entire Recruitment and Operations Teams, under the leadership of Joe Debono were OUTSTANDING! Not only was the transfer of staff completed, but it was also achieved in a very dynamic environment with what seemed like constantly changing requirements. Nothing was too much trouble. No matter how many changes were thrown at them, they rose to the challenge on every occasion with high levels of competence and good humour. This project could not have been delivered without their hard work. They were an absolute joy to work with, and the project was supported in a way that made the complex look easy, all done in a cheerful, constructive, and professional manner. This is just one example of the incredible work and support that this group of employees provides for the organisation. They all work together as a team to ensure the needs of the organisation are met. They are integral to our operation but often work in the background and very much fall into the category of nobody understanding what they do until they don’t do it. A huge thank you and recognition could not be better deserved.

Tom Gottwein, Anthony Blackstock, Peter Hatziordanos and Benjamin Churchill

Tom, Anthony, Peter, and Ben assisted with a very complex situation with the utmost professionalism. A planned Code Grey was called to contain a severely agitated young man. The patient had a history of quite significant trauma and was not able to rationalize his behaviour. After a careful briefing, the team of Tom, Anthony, Peter, and Ben really embodied the Western Health values. They were compassionate, calm, and patient despite the volatility of the situation. They recognized how being restrained could be triggering for the patient and spoke gently with him. Ben had previously established a good rapport during the patient’s very extended stay in Orygen and used this to convince him to lie on the bed. They were accountable, listening carefully to the pre-brief and taking medical direction while being aware of the risk of genuine harm. They were respectful, treating the patient as a human being first rather than as a problem. This went a long way to achieving the best possible outcome. They displayed excellence by constantly asking appropriate questions and checking in on each other and the medical and nursing team involved. Most importantly of all, they recognised the priority of staff safety. They could have gone in heavy-handed, but by listening to the patient’s and emergency staff’s needs, they resolved the problem with the minimum of fuss or frustration, and nobody was hurt. It is working with a team like this that makes me proud to work at Western Health.

Divisional Director – Perioperative and Critical Care Services

Jason showed authentic leadership through the whole of 2020 in the midst of a Pandemic and was an inspiration. In a time where there was so much uncertainty and change was occurring at a rapid pace, he was quickly able to take control and provide the required direction and leadership. Jason made us feel ‘safe.’ His can-do attitude and positivity are infectious and drives those around him to perform at their best, and the amazing work ethic he displays makes those around him want to be better. Jason brings out the best in people and is an inspiration for our organisation.

Clinical Nurse Consultant – Palliative Care

Loretta goes above and beyond to perform random acts of kindness for our most vulnerable patients who are faced with a life-limited illness or actively dying. She exhibits compassion, respect, and excellence in her daily practice by listening to what will bring joy and comfort to our patients, especially those who are often isolated from family and friends. When a dying man told her how he missed Austria and his love of the film, The Sound of Music, Loretta brought in her daughter’s portable DVD player and her copy of the DVD for him to watch. She has used her own money to purchase colouring books and pencils for an intellectually disabled patient, a t-shirt and thongs for a patient who had nothing but tracksuit pants to wear home. She even purchased a requested favourite drink for a patient who was used to swab his mouth while dying. Loretta’s generous spirit and compassion for the vulnerable knows no limits and makes her very worthy of this award.

EA to Director Of Nursing/Director Acute Services, Bacchus Marsh

Nomination 1:

Stacey constantly provides invaluable advice, assistance, and guidance to so many in the organisation. She consistently demonstrates accountability by taking on work that sometimes is not her responsibility, but she aims to resolve and help others. Stacey is an excellent example of what an Executive Assistant does, always ten steps ahead of everyone else and always looking for new ways to improve and enhance the organisation. Stacey is a very compassionate person who genuinely cares and is committed to helping others. On numerous occasions, I have seen vulnerable staff approach Stacey for just a chat, debrief, and someone to talk to. Staff feel comfortable approaching her to discuss their problems and concerns, often showing their appreciation later with little gifts. She then generously shares those little gifts with her peers. Stacey is very respectful and caring in her all of her interactions with others. She always has time for everyone, regardless of their position, and is loved and respected by all. Stacey always has a positive ‘can-do attitude, and like she always says, ‘she’s living the dream.’ I think it’s so important to have humour and good vibes in the workplace, now more than ever.

Nomination 2:

While transitioning to Western Health, Stacey not only did her substantive role but supported our new GM as required. Stacey is a well-liked and respected member of the Bacchus Marsh team who is prepared to support anyone that requires help, even with her increased workload. With a wealth of knowledge across many areas of our service, staff from all directorates at some point visit Stacey for assistance.