WSLHD COVID-19 vaccination lead Megan Byrne and WSLHD physiotherapist Cameron Edwards are two of 24 finalists to be nominated for the NSW Excellence in Allied Health Awards.
This is the first year NSW Excellence in Allied Health Awards have been hosted with 24 finalists across the six categories:
• Allied Health Professional of the Year
• Aboriginal Allied Health Professional of the Year
• Early Career Allied Health Professional of the Year
• Allied Health Assistant or Technician of the Year
• Allied Health Educator or Researcher of the Year
• Allied Health Leader of the Year.
Megan is a finalist for the Allied Health Leader of the Year award, an award that highlights an outstanding Allied Health Leader; who continually exhibit excellence in leadership, focusing on values of teamwork, innovation, service, quality, compassion and integrity.
Cameron is a finalist for the Aboriginal Allied Health Professional of the Year Award for demonstrating exceptional commitment, professionalism and compassionate care, and for advocating for culturally appropriate health care of Aboriginal peoples and communities.
The Excellence in Allied Health Awards aim to promote and recognise the high-quality work of allied health professionals, and their support staff within NSW Health.
About our WSLHD finalists:
Coined a “champion of Qudos”, Megan was responsible for the flow of people through the Vaccination Centre.
“My role is oversight of the day-to-day operations, ensuring a constant and safe flow of vaccine recipients, and that it’s happening in an efficient way,” Megan explains.
“We have over 1,200 staff on site, so I’m responsible for overall coordination of those staff and ensuring that translates into the best experience for our recipients that come through the centre.
“I’ve really enjoyed the challenge. Every day is so different, and I’m working with an amazing team.”
In 2021, Megan stepped away from her role as head of dietetics at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospital to run the Blacktown Hospital Vaccination Clinic.
She said she appreciates the “wealth of experience” brought to the operation by the staff who ran the Westmead Hospital vaccination hub – the first clinic in western Sydney that has since relocated to Qudos Bank Arena.
She also values the partnerships with organisations including Qantas, PwC Australia, NSW Police, NSW Transport, Baxter Healthcare and Western Sydney University.
“I think I’ve been very fortunate to play a part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Megan said.
In 2021, physiotherapist Cameron underwent training to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
“As an Aboriginal health care worker, I feel a sense of responsibility to be a leader in my community,” said Cameron.
“When Allied Health professionals in NSW were recently granted the opportunity to train in administering COVID-19 vaccinations, I jumped at the opportunity.
“Nurses and doctors have been working day-in and day-out, trying to vaccinate as many eligible community members as possible and I want to help them. I want people of all backgrounds to have someone to look up to and someone they can come to if they have questions.”
Cameron is an advocate for keeping the community safe.
“Getting vaccinated is about more than yourself; you need to think of the bigger picture and think of the ones you love the most,” said Cameron.
“I am vaccinated and now I can vaccinate!”