Westmead Emergency Department recognised at National Defence Awards

Left to right: ED Dr Chris Cheeseman, Major General Douglas Laidlaw AM and reservist Squadron commander Annalisa Hernan.

The Westmead Hospital Emergency Department (ED) has been formally recognised for outstanding support to Australian Defence Force (ADF) at Defence’s recent National Employer Support Awards.

The ED was one of five winners of the evening, taking home the public sector organisation category.

The awards recognise employers across Australia for continued contribution and support to ADF reservists. Reservists serve in a variety of roles in the Navy, Army or Air Force, where they join as initial recruits and play a vital role in supporting and operating alongside full-time Army personnel.

“Having reservists as part of the ED team is very beneficial,” says Westmead Hospital ED nurse manager Donna Robertson.

“Reservists have different lived experiences, so they can provide a unique lens on situations.”

The Westmead ED supports its reservists by releasing them from their normal duties to attend defence force requested deployments and education opportunities. The department also supports the taking of annual leave post deployment as required.

I am proud that we are able to support our selfless staff in their endeavours to serve our great country,” said WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel, Andrew Gee, said that the contribution civilian employers provided, by supporting their reservist employees, has helped the ADF respond quickly and effectively in a time of crisis.

“I’ve seen first-hand how communities across the country benefited from the support from our ADF during Defence’s COVID-19 response,” Minister Gee said.

“Our reservists are a highly skilled and disciplined workforce, whose service to our country during the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic was made possible by the support of employers.”