Western Health nurses and midwives are remarkable! Amazing things are accomplished every day including demonstrations of positive workplace behaviours that align to our values, the delivery of Best Care to our community and going above and beyond to ensure that the needs of those in our care are being met.

This page summarises some examples of our nurses and midwives shining bright:

Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards

Each year Western Health bestows a number of awards to celebrate the accomplishments of our Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses & Midwives. The awards recognise excellence in nursing/midwifery practice and supporting the Best Care vision at Western Health.

There are awards for:

  • Nurse or Midwife of the Year – recognising clinical excellence in nursing or midwifery practice, effective communication, and putting patients first when making decisions. A team player, with a commitment to looking for ways to do things better; contributing to the development of others and actively contributing to a culture of safety.
  • Nursing or Midwifery Team of the Year – recognising a team that is committed to delivering excellent care to our patients/consumers /women, through effective communication, and demonstrated patient-centred care. A team that demonstrates they are constantly looking for ways to do things better; contributing to the development of all members of the team with an active focus on creating and maintaining a positive work environment for everyone within the team and who come into contact with the team.
  • Nursing / Midwifery Legend – recognising a staff member nearing retirement or recently retired whose career has significantly enhanced the nursing or midwifery professions, has led changes that improved care delivery and considered by their peers as a nursing/midwifery clinical leader focused on improving the consumer experience.
  • Nursing / Midwifery Leadership – recognising a leader that demonstrates an innovative approach that contributes to the improvement delivery of quality care, a commitment to the professional development of self and others, utilises leadership, influence and research to enhance patient care, influences a positive culture within their work environment and identifies areas requiring improvement and has actively lead and facilitated change.

The awards are judged on the criteria of demonstrated contribution to supporting the Best Care vision at Western Health. Anyone can nominate a nurse/midwife for the awards, however a nominee must be a Western Health Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife or Enrolled Nurse to be eligible.

The 2023 awards was presented at the Nursing & Midwifery Awards Ceremony on Thursday 14 December 2023. To view a recording of the awards, please click here 

  • 2023 recipients:
    • Nurse or Midwife of the Year – Katelyn Mannix & Louise Aiton 
    • Nursing or Midwifery Team of the Year – Sunshine Emergency Department & Bacchus Marsh Theatre
    • Nursing / Midwifery Legend – Doug Mill (DONM) and Professor Bodil Rasmussen (Chair of Nursing)
    • Nursing / Midwifery Leadership – Jessica Roberson
  • 2022 recipients:
    • Nurse or Midwife of the Year – Karen Garratt (ANUM Ward 2A)
    • Nursing or Midwifery Team of the Year – Newborn Services
    • Nursing / Midwifery Legend – Linda Pocock (NUM Ward 3 East) and Spaso Miljesic (EN Footscray Emergency Department)
    • Nursing / Midwifery Leadership – Julie Spencer (NUM Sunshine Short Stay Unit) and Kylie Van Rooyen (NUM Ward 3B)
  • 2019 recipients:
    • Nurse of the Year – Sharon Collard (Ward 2A)
    • Midwife of the Year – Kerrie Ryan (CMS)
    • Nursing or Midwifery Team of the Year – Adult Specialist Clinics
    • Nursing / Midwifery Legend – Maria Bodnar (NUM Ward 2E)
    • Nursing / Midwifery Leadership – Michelle Read (NMWU)
  • 2018 recipients:
    • Nurse of the Year – Jennifer Orr (Palliative Care)
    • Midwife of the Year – Kylee Ross
    • Nursing or Midwifery Team of the Year – Cardio-Geriatric Health Failure Team
    • Nursing / Midwifery Legend – Janet Dickinson (ACE Team)
    • Nursing / Midwifery Leadership – Melissa Dodsworth (NUM Special Care Nursery)
  • 2017 recipients:
    • Nurse of the Year – Marianne Phillips (Palliative Care)
    • Midwife of the Year – Jennifer Patterson
    • Nursing or Midwifery Team of the Year – Chemotherapy Day Unit

Nursing and Midwifery Research Grants

Each year the Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery bestows a number of Nursing & Midwifery Research Grants to support ongoing nurse-led and midwife-led research at Western Health.

  • 2023 recipients

    This year we continued to receive high caliber submissions. The recipients for 2023 were:

    • Nursing Research Grant ($15,000): was awarded to ‘An analysis of triggers, response, and outcomes for Code Grey events during acute Hospitalisation‘. The research team is Nicole Davies (DONM), Elisa Ilarda (Operations Manager, OVA Program), Associate Professor Debra Kerr, Dr Adam Searby and Professor Bodil Rasmussen.
    • Midwifery Research Grant ($15,000): was awarded to ‘Honouring First Nations Women and Families’ right to Self-Determination throughout their Pregnancy Journey: Discussion Starter Cards‘. The research team is Cara Kennedy (Midwife Unit Manager), Karah Edwards, (Koori Maternity Services Worker),  Jordan Casey (Aboriginal Health Manager), Galinjera Midwifery Team, Professor Linda Sweet, Adjunct Professor Tanya Farrell, Dr Vidanka Vasilevski, Tanya Druce (Research Fellow in Aboriginal Health), Sacha McDonald (Manager of Pastoral and Spiritual Care) and Associate Professor Debra Kerr.
    • Denise Paterson Research Grant of $10,000: was awarded to ‘Impact of an integrated renal supportive care (RSC) service on health-related quality of life of individuals with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD): A single centre prospective cohort study‘. The research team is Lisa Wang (CKD Nurse Practitioner), Sarah McDermott (RSC Clinical Nurse Consultant), Edward Zimbudzi (Senior Lecturer at Monash University) and A/Prof Craig Nelson (Clinical Services Director Chronic and Complex Care).

    Congratulations to all grant recipients, and we look forward to hearing about your research outcomes!

  • 2022 recipients:

    This year we continued to receive high caliber submissions. The recipients for 2022 were:

    • Nursing Research Grant ($15,000) was awarded to Hannah Sharrock to support her work to research the cultural workforce outcomes of the Westwards workforce initiative. Hannah will evaluate the Westwards project using specific workforce outcome metrics. Through a series of short-term quantitative investigations of nursing workforce attitudes and behaviour, and progressive thematic qualitative analysis, this research aims to determine the extent to which the Westwards project offering meets nurses’ engagement and professional developmental needs. The workforce outcomes used to measure this include self-efficacy, job-satisfaction, training-satisfaction, organisational engagement and retention of Westwards nurses.
    • Midwifery Research Grant ($15,000) was awarded to Ciara Noble to support her to conduct the MOMEES study (Mother’s Own Milk, Early Expression & Supply) to improve early expressing rates for mothers of babies admitted within two hours of birth to Newborn Services. This project will investigate whether rates of early initiation of breast milk expression post birth and regular expression of breast milk at minimum 8-12 times per day, improves when an early expressing bundle is introduced to staff working in the birth suite, New Born Services and postnatal environments.
    • The Denise Paterson Research Grant ($10,000) was awarded to Marianne Phillips to support and conduct the Emerging from the pandemic: exploring moral distress among Victorian palliative care staff study. This work will explore the prevalence of moral distress among palliative care nurses employed at Western Health; and their experiences of moral distress during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to identify the personal, occupational and patient impacts of moral distress including the association with turnover intention and psychological wellbeing.

    Congratulations to all grant recipients, and we look forward to reading your research outcomes!

  • 2021 recipients:

    The 2021 recipients were:

    • Nursing Research Grant: was awarded to Paula Lyons, Dr Sara Holton and Prof Bodil Rasmussen, to support their research project on Nurses’ experiences of caring for the deteriorating COVID-19 patient and Medical Emergency Team (MET) response. This study aims to investigate the nurses’ experiences of caring for deteriorating COVID-19 patients in the ward environment and explore their perceptions of MET response escalation for these patients. It will aim to understand the nurses’ experiences of monitoring a COVID-19 patient and delivering time critical care when deterioration occurs, and identify the supportive and challenging aspects that occur during a MET call for COVID-19 patients that may influence a nurses’ experience. The study will then aim to understand how interactions, communication and decision-making with nursing and medical members of the MET team influence the nurses’ experience of caring for COVID-19 patients. Finally the study aims to gain an understanding of the impact of changes in clinical processes due to COVID-19 on nurses’ ability to manage clinical deterioration in the ward environment.
    • Midwifery Research Grant ($15,000): awarded to Katherine O’Driscoll, Tija Blums, Fika Tamiru, Vidanka Vasilevski and Prof Linda Sweet to support their research project on Maternity care of migrant women from refugee backgrounds – ensuring cultural safety and relevance. The aims of the study are to explore the needs of refugee women of childbearing age and the potential enablers and barriers to accessing care within the Western Health maternity care system. The study will also examine the experiences of Western Health midwifery and obstetric staff and their information needs for supporting women from refugee backgrounds in their care.

Mavis Mitchell and Tippet Trust Scholarships

Each year the Mavis Mitchell Scholarship and Tippet Trust Scholarship is awarded to support ongoing nursing and midwifery development at Western Health.

Mavis Mitchell Memorial Scholarship:

The Mavis Mitchell Memorial Scholarship honours the memory of Mavis J Mitchell (pictured right) who was the first Matron of Western Hospital. The intent of this fund, which commenced in 1990, is aimed at supporting early researchers and service improvements by nurses or midwives across Western Health.

It is a $5,000 award or scholarship granted to Registered Nurses and/or Midwives, who are employed within Western Health.

Tippet Trust Scholarship:

The prestigious Tippet Trust Postgraduate Scholarship is aimed at providing significant financial support for nurses or midwives wishing to develop and/or upgrade their knowledge and skills in a clinical or position speciality.

Corporate Scholarships:

Corporate partners, including Plenary Health and Multiplex, generously sponsor full scholarships for a number of our nurses to undertake postgraduate education.

  • 2023 recipients:

    Mavis Mitchell Scholarship:

    • Kate Law – Newborn Services

    Tippet Trust:

    • Rommuel Binuya – Equipment Nurse, ICU Footscray
    • Eric Mihalcic – Nurse Practitioner, Sunshine Emergency Department

    Multiplex Scholarships:

    • Julie Ngo – Sunshine Theatres
    • Rebecca White – Footscray Theatres
    • Bryan Maranga – Footscray Theatres
    • Lydia Clemmens – JKWC Theatres

    Plenary Health Scholarships:

    • Mawite Bualthang – ICU Footscray
    • Axel D’emmerez de Charmony – ICU Sunshine
  • 2022 recipients:

    Mavis Mitchell Scholarship:

    • Jessica Hughes – Lactation Services Team Leader

    Tippet Trust:

    • Rabiyam Hussein – Masters of Advanced Nursing – ICU at Deakin University
    • Rhachell Vergel De Dios – to complete the Graduate Certificate of Addictive Behaviours at Monash University

    Plenary Health Scholarship:

    • Vanessa Clapham – ICU Footscray
    • Emma Philips – ICU
    • Ashpreet Brar – ICU
  • 2021 recipient:

    Mavis Mitchell Scholarship:

    • Anie Edwards (Nurses’ use of P2/N95 masks during the COVID- 19 pandemic: experiences and perceptions of nurses with adverse effects).
  • 2020 recipients:

    Mavis Mitchell Scholarships:

    • Katherine Driscoll (A decade of publicly funded home birth – providing person centred care to women in the west)
    • Julie Spencer (Research study surrounding pre and post implementation of ED based Peer Support Program)
  • 2019 recipients:

    Mavis Mitchell Scholarships:

    • Marianne Philips (End of Life Care in the acute setting Clinical Nurse Consultant)
    • Elisa McDonald (Severe perineal trauma during childbirth: reducing the incidence at Western Health through training and education)
  • 2018 recipient:

    Mavis Mitchell Scholarship:

    • Theresa Wilkie (Evaluating a paediatric pilot program in the ED at Sunshine Hospital)
  • 2017 recipient:

    Mavis Mitchell Scholarship:

    • Lana Van Raay (Exploring prehydration in angiography patients: a pilot study)

Joy Turner Memorial Scholarship

Joy Turner was a Director of Nursing & Midwifery at Western Health from 2014 until 2020, and sadly passed away in March 2023. During her time at Western Health she made long-lasting impacts through her significant leadership to the nursing workforce. She was a strong advocate for our patients and staff, and mentored many people to support their development.

Western Health offers the Joy Turner Memorial Scholarship Program on an annual basis to support frontline nurses/midwives who are involved in local quality improvement initiatives, to attend a health-related conference.

The scholarship of up to $2,000 is awarded annually to five front line nurses/midwives to reduce the cost burden related to attending a health-related conference.

The funds are reimbursed directly to the scholarship recipients once confirmation of conference registration and payment has been received.

Congratulations to the recipients listed below:

  • 2024 recipients

    2024 Recipients:

    • Fiona Groen – NUM Cardiac Cath Lab Sunshine
    • Lauren Matthews – NUM, CCU Footscray
    • Lauren Scardino – CNS, Operating Theatres
    • Teysha Sandford-Hill – Nurse Educator
    • Victorian Green – Continence Nurse
  • 2023 recipients

    2023 Recipients:

    • Ashvin Nursing – CNC, Diabetes Education
    • Ilyana Hussain – RM, Maternity
    • Jessica Hughes – Lactation Consultant
    • Natalia Toumbourou – Clinical Practice Improvement Specialist, Newborn Services
    • Lisa Shaw – RN, Palliative Care

Nursing and Midwifery Inspire Award recipients 2023

The Inspire Awards 2023 ceremony was held on 15 November, and a huge number of nurses and midwives were recognised and received an award.

Congratulations of these individuals and teams that make a real difference to their colleagues, patients and the wider community through the delivery of Best Care and always epitomising Western Health’s values:

Individual awards:

  • Amy Walsh (CNC Cancer Services)
  • Abraham Legaspi (Nurse Educator SHED)
  • Eric Mihelcic (Nurse Practitioner SHED)
  • Andrea Altas (Western@Home)
  • Andrea Locke – (NUM, Ward GC and DMU)
  • Anita Lavcanski (HITH Liaison)
  • Anita Capicchiano (Dialysis)
  • Beth Mazzarella (Midwifery Group Practice)
  • Breanna Poncezek (Ward 1A)
  • Mia Hristovski (ANUM Ward 1A)
  • Madj Rustom (WeLearn team)
  • Chris Raguz (Nurse Educator)
  • Samantha Law (Nurse Educator)
  • Claire Russell (CNS Ward 1 West)
  • Susan Borstner (ANUM Ward 1 West)
  • Fiona Grimaldi (CNC Palliative Care)
  • Grace Crowe (Mental Health Transition Project)
  • Helen Sinnott (Previous DONM)
  • Jessica Robertson (NUM Ward 1B)
  • Daniel Cassar (RN Ward 1B)
  • Karessa Bergue (SNAP Coordinator)
  • Kristen Robinson (NUM, DPU)
  • Leanor Galang (NUM Transit Lounge)
  • Lisa McGee (Research Nurse)
  • Phuong Hoang (RN Pool)
  • Kylie Van Rooyen (NUM Ward 3B)
  • Laurinda Ndenzako (ANUM Ward 3B)
  • Mary Atanasoska (NUM Adult Specialist Clinics)
  • Melissa McGuffle (AOD)
  • Michelle Gomez (AUM Footscray ICU)
  • Nicole McNally (NUM Ward 2 East)
  • Marina Miravalles (RN Ward 2A)
  • Monica Lamb (RN Ward 2A)
  • Rholand Tubban (RN Ward 2A)
  • Shiny Joyce (CNS Ward 2A)
  • Prof Bodil Rasmussen (Chair of Nursing)
  • Sarah Hall (Senior Care Coordinator)
  • Judy Patterson (Perinatal Loss Coordinator)

Team awards:

  • Custodial Health Transition team
  • Wilim Berrbang
  • Ward 2A and Wilim Berrbang
  • Sunshine Acute Aged Care
  • Ward 3 East
  • Sunshine ED Alcohol and other Drugs team
  • Ward 1A
  • Ward 3 East multidisciplinary team
  • Footscray ICU
  • Radiology Breast Care team
  • Footscray Transit Lounge team

Chief Executive’s Positive Workplace Award:

  • Christine Pirotta (Nurse Education Coordinator)

Congratulations also to our colleagues from other disciplines and roles that were also recognised with an Inspire Award. It is a team effort to deliver Best Care to the community and you all do amazing work!