Queensland to celebrate our incredible nurses and midwives


The incredible work of Queensland nurses and midwives will be celebrated during the Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) Professional Practice Awards next month.

QNMU Secretary Beth Mohle said the awards aim to recognise and celebrate the contributions of QNMU nurses and midwives through four positive practice environment award categories.

Ms Mohle said nurses and midwives deserved recognition. Queensland finalists include a Brisbane Infection Control nurse recently involved with a suspected COVID-19 outbreak, a mental health Clinical Nurse Consultant from the Sunshine Coast, a trail blazing young midwife from Tweed Coast, an experienced and caring aged care nurse from the Cairns’ region and many others.

“The QNMU’s new annual awards coincide with the 2020 World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Year of the Nurse and Midwife,’’ Ms Mohle said.

“These awards highlight positive professional practice environments which we know are linked to improved care quality and outcomes.

“There’s a total prize pool of $20,000 to be won, which will be put towards further professional development for the winning nurses and midwives.’’

Award categories are Excellence in Leadership and Governance Award – supported by QSuper, Positive Practice Environment Champion Award – supported by HESTA, Research and Innovation Award, and the Early Career Award - proudly supported by Union Health.

Finalists come from Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and north and central Queensland. Ms Mohle encouraged local communities and the media to support and celebrate finalists in their regions.

Everyone is invited to dress up and join the awards extravaganza LIVE on the QNMU’s Facebook page Saturday 5 September at 7.30pm at https://www.facebook.com/qnmuofficial

For the LIVE awards ceremony on September 5, the QNMU has partnered with The IsoLate Late Show (a live-streamed variety show created by The Little Red Company) to deliver an evening of entertainment celebrate nurses and midwives across Queensland. The show will be hosted by award-winning Australian theatre star Naomi Price with co-host and stage and screen actor Luke Kennedy. They will be joined by a live band in-studio as they present this tribute to our nursing and midwifery stars.

Award finalists are:

Excellence in Leadership and Governance Award, supported by QSuper:

Brisbane: Belinda Henderson, Princess Alexandra Hospital: Belinda is passionate about promoting the importance of infection prevention control nurses. Belinda was recently deployed to Rockhampton to assist in an aged care facility’s response to COVID-19.

Cairns region: Mary English, OzCare Malanda Aged Care Facility: Mary has 11 years aged care experience and has been described as ‘a role model for all staff and a professional inspiration’. Mary has greatly raised the profile of nursing in a rural setting while creating a culture that supports best practice and excellent workplace relations.

Sunshine Coast: Mark Crocker, Caloundra Hospital: Mark established Australia's first Interventional Clinical Nurse Consultant (ICNC) of Ophthalmology position. This role is Australia's first nurse-led injection service for WET AMD (Australia's leading cause of blindness) and Diabetic Retinopathy.
The ICNC role also performs a one-day post-cataract surgery review appointment for patients, which is another role previously only conducted by medical officers in Queensland.

Positive Practice Environment Champion Award, supported by HESTA:

Frances Calleja, Blackall Hospital: Over the past two years Frances has been the Pathway to Excellence Project Lead for Central West Hospital and Health Service (CWHHS) and has contributed to the development of CWHHS’s Professional Practice Model (PPM). Through this valuable work, Frances has seen a decrease in staff turnover for Registered Nurses (RN) and Enrolled Nurses (ENs), a decreased vacancy rate overall for nursing and midwifery positions, an increase in QI activity being led by nursing and midwifery staff across the HHS and a downward trend in Nurse Sensitive Indicators for falls, pressure injuries, medication and blood transfusion incidents and a decrease in external nursing usages across the HHS.

Christopher Dawber, Sunshine Coast University Hospital: Chris is a Mental Health Clinical Nurse Consultant, credentialed mental health nurse, psychotherapist, group facilitator and clinical supervisor with over 35 years’ mental health nursing experience. Chris juggles working in the public sector and running a small private consultancy, which provides clinical supervision and psychotherapy for health professionals, including nurses, doctors, youth workers and allied health practitioners.

Jasine Leslie, Genesis CancerCare Fraser Coast: Jasine is the Nurse Unit Manager in GenesisCare Oncology, and the founder and Secretary of the Fraser Coast Hospice Association. Jasine works to grow and build a strong nursing team to make the cancer journey for patients as smooth and bearable as possible, passing on skills and knowledge to ensure those in her team are able to nurse autonomously in their roles. As Secretary of the Fraser Coast Hospice Association, Jasine has secured federal funding and council support for land to build a Hervey Bay community hospice which will open its doors in late 2021.

Research and Innovation Award:

Margaret Lehan, The Prince Charles Hospital: Margaret is passionate about creating an innovative and environmentally considerate workplace and has worked hard to implement soft plastics recycling at TPCH. Margaret started with PVC recycling in her ward and registered TPCH with the Vinyl Council of Australia. Since then, recycling of soft plastics from clinical waste has been adopted not only within TPCH campus but more widely among Metro North HHS. The recycled products go back to helping the community and particularly benefit amputee victims as even the collected milk top lids from the kitchens are manufactured into prosthetic limbs.

Emma Shipton, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital: Emma is currently enrolled in a PhD program undertaking a multiphase study looking at midwifery-led continuity of care models during pregnancy and the impact on breastfeeding outcomes. Emma was looking to reinforce, through good quality research and evidence, the positive impact midwifery autonomy can have on patient outcomes and maternal satisfaction with quality of care experience. Emma hopes that she will be able to demonstrate that through midwifery continuity of care and the personalised support this model of care brings, more women meet their infant feeding goals.

Leonie Higgs, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital: Leonie is an experienced Emergency Department (ED) Registered Nurse at the RBWH. She is extremely passionate about advocating for the provision of quality and safe care of older people in the ED. Leonie’s clinical practice demonstrates high performance, respect, compassion, integrity and teamwork, while promoting a work environment that allows staff to develop and learn evidence-based practice in caring for older people in ED. Leonie designed a specific intervention to assist with the prevention of delirium and responsive behaviours in patients presenting with a diagnosis of dementia. Leonie’s "Therapeutic Activity Kit" is a game-changing initiative in the area of dementia care within an ED setting.

Early Career Award, supported by Union Health:

Christine Sutton, John Flynn Private Hospital: Christine is a passionate antenatal educator at John Flynn Hospital. She was nominated by her Nurse Unit Manager, who felt deserved to be recognised not only as a midwife, but also as a future leader in health care. Christine encompasses the qualities looked for in both a student and the next generation of midwives – dedication, enthusiasm, compassion, patient focused care and a willingness to learn. During COVID-19, Christine was one of the founding midwives who planned, initiated and taught antenatal education online via Zoom.

Madeleine Macintyre, Central Queensland (Rockhampton) Public Health Unit: Madeleine became a Registered Nurse in mid-2018 and during her time in the Adult Chemotherapy Unit, led a project that introduced sterilisation services and associated new skills within their clean utility. She is now undergoing a Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing and has since transferred to the Paediatric Unit at the Rockhampton Base Hospital. Madeleine plans to continue to advance her skills with her Graduate Certificate transitioning to a Masters of Advanced Practice Nursing (Paediatric Major).

Kortney Whittaker-Deegan, Baillie Henderson Hospital – Toowoomba: A newly Registered Nurse, Kortney is passionate about nursing and is always trying to find ways to create the most effective nursing practices for individual patients. She has helped create a positive work environment through her participation in team discussions, investing time to empower colleagues and demonstrating professional practices daily. Kortney has championed positive changes and is motivated to deliver person-centered care.

Community Employment & Training Health & Wellness

Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) :
GPO Box 1289, Brisbane Q 4001, Queensland Wide
07 3840 1444
1800 177 273
07 3844 9387
Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU)
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