Lion dancers, awards and an address from NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce: Inside this year’s WSLHD Nursing and Midwifery Awards

Celebrations for the 2024 Nursing and Midwifery events have seen a spectacular culmination to a week of festivities, with the district hosting the annual awards ceremony at Westmead Hospital, complete with lion dancers and speeches from esteemed guests.

Over 100 staff members gathered at the Westmead Health Precinct Innovation Centre to acknowledge the stand-out efforts from the cohort of nurses and midwives that care for the western Sydney community.

This included video presentations about in-language antenatal clinic services at the district, the history of nursing in light of Cumberland Hospital’s upcoming 175th anniversary, and even a highlights reel from the recent Unity Games event.

In attendance alongside the WSLHD executive was NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce, who gave a passionate speech and presented the first award of the occasion.

A highlight of the event was the awards ceremony, which recognised the incredible contribution of staff to the health and wellbeing of western Sydney.

“While the WSLHD Nursing and Midwifery awards spotlight excellence, they merely scratch the surface of the countless exceptional nurses and midwives within our district,” WSLHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery Maria Lingam said.

“As a fellow nurse, I stand in admiration of their tireless dedication and kindness towards both patients and colleagues.

“Congratulations to all winners and finalists. Your achievements as nurses and midwives are truly commendable, and I eagerly anticipate witnessing the transformative impact you continue to make in the future.”

WINNERS

New to Practice Nurse – Midwife of the Year Award: Trishala Singh, Registered Nurse, Mental Health Inpatient Service, Blacktown Hospital

Excellence in Leadership Award: Sarah Melov, Clinical Midwife Consultant, Women’s Health Research, Westmead Hospital

WSLHD Healing Heart Colleague Nominated Award: Ahmad Ghafoor, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nursing Respiratory Medicine, Parramatta Chest Clinic

WSLHD Healing Heart Consumer Nominated Award: Sharon Mei, Nurse Unit Manager, Surgical Ward, Auburn Hospital

Aboriginal Nurse – Midwife of the Year Award: Georgia Dunbar-Mortimer, Enrolled Nurse, Supportive and Palliative Care Unit, Auburn Hospital

Team of the Year Award: Hospital in the Home Team, Integrated and Community Health

Lifetime Achievement Award: Riki Richards, Nurse Unit Manager, Surgery, Auburn Hospital

Midwife of the Year: Sarah Johnson-Clarke, Clinical Midwife Consultant, Substance Use in Pregnancy Services, Westmead Hospital

Nurse of the Year: Holly Fuller, Chronic & Complex Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, Paediatrics and Neonatology, Mount Druitt Hospital

WSLHD Unity Award: Integrated Community Health Team

FINALISTS

New to Practice Nurse – Midwife of the Year Award: Katie Heywood, Registered Nurse, Close Observation Unit, Auburn Hospital

Excellence in Leadership Award: Michelle Underwood, Clinical Midwife Consultant, Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Western Sydney Local Health District

WSLHD Healing Heart Colleague Nominated Award: Hadla Darwiche, Clinical Nurse Manager, Emergency Department, Auburn Hospital

WSLHD Healing Heart Consumer Nominated Award: Monika Singh, Endorsed Enrolled Nurse, Radiation Oncology, Westmead Hospital

Aboriginal Nurse – Midwife of the Year Award: Leah Whitton, After Hours Nurse Manager, Blacktown Hospital 

Team of the Year Award: Perioperative Services, Auburn Hospital

Lifetime Achievement Award: Loris Cunial, Registered Nurse, Acadia Unit, Cumberland Hospital

Midwife of the Year: Zuhoor Malas, Registered Midwife, Maternity and Newborn Services, Auburn Hospital

Nurse of the Year: Jason Selmon, Nurse Unit Manager, Palliative Care Unit, Auburn Hospital