Gallery: Highest honours for the nurses and midwives of western Sydney

The annual Western Sydney Local Health District Nursing and Midwifery Awards was held this morning, 13 May, to acknowledge and recognise the exceptional contributions of nurses and midwives working across western Sydney.

The awards took place in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic and celebrated the empathy, professionalism, round-the-clock service and care that our nurses and midwives have continuously provided to patients, families and carers.

“This year we received many nominations across the eight award categories, and although the selection of the winners and finalists was difficult, it was a pleasure to see the number of nurses and midwives who have been recognised for their excellence in nursing or midwifery,” said WSLHD director of nursing and midwifery Caroline Farmer.

“The awards are a great appreciation of their hard work and commitment by patients and their colleagues.”

The winners are…..

Nurse of the Year

  • Winner: Caroline O’Donnell, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Chronic and Complex Care, Blacktown Hospital
  • Finalist: Julieta Penano, Registered Nurse, Paringa, Mental Health Services

Midwife of the Year

  • Winner: Fiona Donnelly, Clinical Midwife Specialist, Outpatients, Auburn Hospital
  • Finalist: Elizabeth Glover, Clinical Midwife Educator, Women’s and Newborn Health, Westmead Hospital

Excellence in Leadership

  • Winner: Jyoti Devkota, Registered Nurse, B45 Surgical, Blacktown Hospital
  • Finalist: Carol Denne, Nurse Manager, Education, Integrated and Community Health

New to Practice Nurse/Midwife of the Year

  • Winner: Francesca Cruz, Registered Midwife, Maternity Services, Auburn Hospital
  • Finalist: Joseph Leung, Registered Nurse, Paringa, Mental Health Services

Aboriginal Nurse/ Midwife of the Year

  • Winner: Courtney James, Registered Midwife, Aboriginal Midwifery Caseload Model, Westmead Hospital
  • Finalist: Vicki Lee, Aboriginal Child and Family Health Nurse, Aboriginal Health Hub, New Directions

Team of the Year

  • Winner: Youth Health Nursing Team, Integrated and Community Health
  • Finalist: Paringa, Productive Mental Health Ward, Mental Health Services

WSLHD Healing Hearts Award – Colleague Nominated Award

  • Winner: Maria Abella, Registered Nurse, Paringa, Mental Health Services
  • Finalist: Kevin Morris, Clinical Nurse Educator, Respiratory Close Observation Unit, Westmead Hospital

WSLHD Healing Hearts Award – Consumer Nominated Award

  • Winner: Tracey McCreanor, Registered Midwife, Non-Inpatient Service, Westmead Hospital
  • Finalist: Hannah Grant, Registered Midwife, Blacktown Midwifery Group Practice, Blacktown Hospital

Nurse of the Year, Caroline O’Donnell, was honoured for her excellence as a clinical nurse at Blacktown Hospital, with director of midwifery at Blacktown Hospital, Marie Baxter commenting “to say that Caroline is passionate, compassionate and committed is an absolute understatement.”

Midwife of the Year, Fiona Donnelly, was overwhelmed with her win saying “it feels surreal; you go to work thinking you’re just doing your job so you don’t expect to be recognised for what you do. It’s really humbling.”

Aboriginal Midwife/Nurse of the Year, Courtney James, is in her third year of midwifery and was thrilled at her win saying, “I never imagined that something like this would happen in such a short span of being a midwife, but to be Aboriginal myself and working in an identified program, and to now be acknowledged for an Aboriginal award is amazing.”