2020 St Vincent's Nursing Awards

2020 St Vincent's Nursing Awards

14 Dec 2020

This year,  International Year of the Nurse and Midwife coincided with a global pandemic beyond what we could have imagined, and the response from the Nursing profession across the entire globe has been nothing short of extraordinary. Regardless of their role - Nurses were impacted in a way that most will never know or understand.  We pay tribute to each and every one of them.

Locally, the leadership from our own Nursing workforce in steering our health facilities through this health crisis was outstanding. To all of our Nurses, thank you.

St Vincent's Health Network Sydney 2020 Nursing Awards


Congratulations to the following recipients.

Lizzie Roberts
2020 Nurse of the Year - Elizabeth Roberts

Elizabeth has contributed significantly to the zero harm- culture of safety practice by leading by example in her own clinical unit. She has utilised her leadership skills and transformed the nursing practice in particular relating to falls, pressure injuries, intentional rounding and delirium. She has empowered her staff to critically think and provided a space where they can learn and grow as clinicians. This work led to over 100 days with no hospital acquired pressure injuries or falls- and an increase in patient satisfaction and a decrease in complaints. Elizabeth has worked with staff members on the ward, members of the MDT and even reached out to NUMs in other health districts to learn from their success. She is always willing to assist others in achieving their goals of zero harm, and is leading the way in not only how to work with teams but how to work with colleagues to ensure patients are always receiving the best possible care. Lizzie is an exceptional nurse, leader and clinician. Congratulations Lizzie!

Dan and Rach
CEO Award - Rachel McFarlane & Danielle Austin

The CEO Award is an award that acknowledges a nurse who demonstrates our values of compassion, justice, integrity and excellence - and a nurse who in the spirit of Sr Baptist De Lacy, our very first nurse and first hospital administrator. 

Baptist De Lacy rolled up her sleeves, she got things done and she wasn't afraid to take on those who said "it couldn't be done". The CEO Award recognises a nurse who demonstrates these values and attitudes in action and a nurse that our CEO is proud to call a St Vincent's nurse.

Rachel and Dan have held leadership roles in our community response to multiple disasters. As our Emergency Response Managers, Dan and Rach have represented St Vincent's in the 2020 Bushfire Response with Dan working in the State Emergency Operations Centre and Rachel was in the field as part of AUSMAT in Darwin as well as in the South Coast.

As part of COVID-19, they held leadership roles working day and night, 7 days a week.

Congratulations to both Dan and Rachel.

elizabeth tomlinson
Clinical Innovation Award - Elizabeth Tomlinson

Liz is a dedicated renal nurse with over 10 years’ experience. Over the last 2 years Liz has led significant clinical innovation in the St Vincent's Dialysis unit. These include the ‘Foot Care Project’ which has seen a huge reduction in leg amputations for our diabetic renal community, a project that won an award as a finalist in the Clinical Innovation and Excellence Awards in 2018. Liz also developed and implemented a patient satisfaction data collection program which has resulted in patient satisfaction growing to over 90% for all of our patients. She has also implemented Intentional rounding, developed a patient newsletter and initiated education for patients on how to set up their own dialysis machines. Liz is an exceptional nurse and clinical innovator to our dialysis unit, working to improve the lives of our renal patients at St Vincents. Congratulations Liz. 

travis brown
Clinical Teaching Award - Travis Brown

Travis is exceptional on a daily basis, however during the COVID-19 pandemic he never faltered. He has educated and provided leadership to the Emergency Department nurses through the most challenging of circumstances including the need to upskill the team quickly, change and update practices, processes and policies and create a COVID-19 red zone. He leads by example, keeping the staff calm, motivated and ensuring we keep our patients safe. Most importantly he did all of this, and more, with the greatest sense of humour. He showed true leadership, mentorship and tenacity to get us through an unprecedented time. Thank you Travis, you are truly exceptional and very much appreciated. 

Julie Gawthorn_last time
Nursing Research Award - Julie Gawthorn

Julie Gawthorne is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with 25 years’ experience in emergency nursing at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. Julie has been a on secondment to the Nursing Research Institute undertaking our first research internship which we co-funded with the NHRMC accredited Maridulu Budyari Gumal, the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE). Julie has coordinated the implementation science strategic platform for SPHERE, is a member of the SPHERE Nursing and Midwifery Implementation Science Academy and led two nursing research studies currently under peer review for publication. Her commitment to the research team and to St Vincents is to be commended. Congratulations Julie.

Jessada Phuntuya
Living our Values Award - Jessada Phuntuya

Jessada exemplifies what it means to not only be a fantastic nurse but a fantastic St Vincent's nurse. Jessada is kind, compassionate and always strives to provide the care possible. He is always working to practice at the top of his licence and share his knowledge with all of those around him. Jessada actively teaches students and other staff members which he does with passion and skill far past his experience level. He is always happy to put in the extra time and effort to ensure his patients receive the best care and that they are the in the safest hands. He is a key member of the team and is always putting the team before himself. Jessada is the first to put his hand up to help out at any time and is proactive with everything he does. Congratulations Jessada!

lisa nolan
Emerging Leader - Lisa Nolan

Over the last year Lisa has undertaken an ACI project aimed at improving mental health patients' journeys through hospital. Lisa has tackled this project head whilst leading her team through many difficult challenges including COVID-19. Throughout this project Lisa has implemented improvements in systems, data collection and data reporting. She has grown from strength to strength as a leader and is a committed, hardworking, driven and flexible nurse. She is a team player who constantly puts others ahead of herself and works with compassion and empathy. Lisa strives to succeed and constantly achieves what she puts her mind to. Congratulations Lisa.

courtney lace
Contribution to COVID-19 Award - Courtney Lace

In March this year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Courtney was nominated to lead and coordinate the preparation for our hospital wards and help put systems in place to keep patients and staff safe. Wards were relocated, staff were deployed, new processes needed to be developed, and staff needed to be reassured, upskilled and continually informed of changes. As COVID manager, Courtney was always approachable and maintained a calm, positive and pleasant demeanour during a period when the hospital underwent significant change. Courtney was committed to her role as COVID manager and led by example. She is a highly skilled and well-respected nurse at St Vincent's who embraces change and doesn't shy away from a challenge. Well done Courtney.

Erin Longbottom
Nursing Leadership Award - Erin Longbottom

Erin has a heart of gold. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis to support the Homeless Health service and is one the most incredible, compassionate, kind and empathetic nurses we have on our workforce. She is an outstanding leader and a wonderful support to all of her team. She has forged a clear and considered path through the uncertainty of COVID-19 which has allowed us to provide support and care to some of Sydney’s most vulnerable residents. We cannot speak highly enough of the dedication, compassion and kindness that Erin displays in her interactions with everyone she encounters. She is courageous, brave and humble. Congratulations Erin.

James Cooke
Correctional Health Award - James Cooke

James has led the alcohol and drug care for the population of 1,300 inmates at Parklea. He and his team have been responsible for the mammoth task of reviewing and assessing all patients new to custody who are in acute detox. He oversees the coordination of the alcohol and drug waiting list, and the opioid treatment program. James completes this heavy workload efficiently and effectively, contributing to the overall wellbeing of inmates within the centre. A recent achievement has been his valuable work with introducing a new treatment program for over 130 patients with opioid dependence. He leads the team with diligence, attention to detail, and collaboration. James is committed to excellence and is currently completing two post-graduate certificates. Congratulations!

Mel Kelly
Team Award - Emergency Department

The Emergency Department Nursing team have navigated their way through the most challenging circumstances over the last year including supporting bushfire relief and superbly managing the COVID-19 pandemic all during a complete departmental renovation. Amongst all of this all they have never wavered from striving to deliver the best and safest patient care, and caring for their community. The team deliver expert nursing care to some of Australia’s most challenged communities affected by addiction, mental health, homelessness and poverty, and this care is delivered in a kind, compassionate and person centred manner. Their achievements this year have resulted in being recognised at a state level with a highly commended award at the ‘NSW Health Excellence In Nursing and Midwifery Awards’ We are incredibly proud of our entire Emergency team, congratulations.

Shamus Tickell
Contribution to Nursing Award - Shamus Tickell

As procurement manager during COVID-19 Shamus was responsible for the sourcing and supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the whole hospital as well as our testing clinic sites. From a nursing perspective we could have not been more grateful for his dedication and commitment in ensuring we had access to all the necessary equipment to keep us safe. Shamus worked tirelessly and creatively to negotiate the supply of products, set up systems and processes to allocate and provide us updates every day. During all of this Shamus was calm, professional and always willing to help. Thank you for going above and beyond Shamus! 

David Faktor
Contribution to Nursing - Media & Communications Team

The second Contribution to Nursing Award goes to the Media and Communications Team led by David Faktor. 
The Media and Communications team have been instrumental in supporting the Nursing team throughout 2020. During COVID, they were responsible for creating and coordinating the huge volume of communication, signage and media often turning around requests in 24 hours. They worked tirelessly, with dedication to getting the job done. Nothing was too big or too small to ask of them.

Sandy Middleton
Inaugural Nursing Hall of Fame Award - Professor Sandy Middleton

Sandy Middleton is a Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute. Professor Middleton has a particular interest in stroke and implementation research and has been successful in obtaining grants totalling over $44.8 million. She was the lead investigator on the landmark NHMRC-funded QASC cluster trial demonstrating decreased death and dependency following implementation of nurse-initiated protocols to manage fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing post-stroke, winning multiple national and international awards. These protocols are currently being translated into hospitals in 20 European countries. Professor Middleton is a Ministerial appointment to the NHMRC Health Translation Advisory Committee (HTAC) and sits on the board of directors for the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Clinical Excellence Commission. 
Congratulations Sandy and thank you for all you contribute to St Vincent's Health Network Sydney.