Annual Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards

Logo of Nurses and Midwives Awards 2023

What are the annual Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards?

Around the world, nurses and midwives are recognised through the International Day of the Midwife (5th May) and International Nurses Day (12th May).

In the ACT, we celebrate the exemplary professional contributions made by nurses and midwives across our region with the Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards.

The Awards are open to enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives in the ACT, including those from private and public health facilities, and community and primary healthcare sectors.

2022 Winners

2022 Nurse and Midwives Award Winners

The 2022 ACT Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards were celebrated on Thursday 12 May.

Congratulations to all winners of the 2022 ACT Excellence Awards!

Nurse of the Year 2022 - Rebekah Ogilvie - COVID REACH Team/Covid Assessment Clinical, Canberra Health Services

Rebekah is passionate about nursing and has always held a strong focus on improving clinical practice and systems that impact a patient’s experience. Working as Clinical Lead in the COVID REACH Team, Rebekah led a response to a Covid outbreak in social housing which evolved as the needs of the community emerged. Across a career spanning over 20 years, Rebekah has left the nurses she has worked with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and passion for their profession. Rebekah’s encouragement has led to her colleagues presenting at national conferences, strengthening the professionalism of that subspecialty area and positively impacting patient outcomes.

Nurse of the Year 2022 - Rebekah Ogilvie, COVID REACH Team, Canberra Health Services

Midwife of the Year 2022 - Melanee McMahon - Maternity, Calvary Bruce Public Hospital

Melanee is an extraordinary Midwife who has gone above and beyond in her commitment to providing women centred care in the face of enormous staffing shortages in Maternity from COVID-19. Melanee’s primary role and responsibility is the oversight of training and provision of ongoing education to the Calvary Maternity unit. Despite working in this demanding educational role, Melanee has worked many additional clinical shifts in birthing. Melanee undertakes these major shifts in role willingly, always motivated to support her colleagues in keeping the needs of women and their family as her primary focus.

Midwife of the Year - Melanee McMahon, Maternity, Calvary Bruce Private Hospital

Team of the Year 2022 - Intensive Care Unit Education Team, Canberra Health Services

The Intensive Care Unit Education Team at Canberra Health Services apply adult learning principals when delivering education by simulation, skills station, group work and didactic presentation. This learning environment achieves mastery and autonomy which promotes optimal outcomes. While the ICU expansion project has impacted the traditional delivery of education, the team have adapted to ensure education continues as demonstrated by taking our equipment (ventilators and CRRT) across campus to building 8 for our specialty courses. Feedback from staff continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with learners using words such as "encouraging, supportive and kind" when describing the ICU education team.

Team of the Year 2022 – Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Education Team, Canberra Health Service

Team of the Year 2022 - Workforce Capability Unit, Canberra Health Services

Canberra Health Services (CHS) Workforce Capability (WC) nursing and midwifery education team developed new, innovative ways to continue providing quality education in the face of COVID-19 pandemic challenges. Throughout lockdowns and periods of restrictions, the team were determined to utilise the time and resources at their disposal to train staff and enable exceptional care for the Canberra community. As a dedicated group they went into clinical areas such as Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care, Emergency Department (ED) and COVID-19 designated wards, providing timely, simulated learning opportunities to many staff who may have only been working together for a few days.

Team of the Year 2022 - Workforce Capability Unit, Canberra Health Service

Excellence in COVID-19 Response - COVID-19 Care @ Home Program Team, Canberra Health Services

The ACT COVID 19 - Care @ Home Program is an innovative nursing telehealth service established in August 2021 with the increase in patient numbers during the pandemic. The Program provides support and guidance in managing the symptoms and treatment of COVID-19, whilst supporting the patient in isolation. The main aim of the Program was to provide patient centred care to support mechanisms in keeping the patient at home and escalating clinically and appropriately if and when requiring admission to hospital or review by a specialist. Adult and Paediatric nurses designed and developed the program content with priority of meeting cultural, socially at risk, mental health, and the most vulnerable groups of patients’ cohorts.

Excellence in COVID-19 Response - COVID-19 Care @ Home Program Team, Canberra Health Services

Excellence in Quality Improvement or Research Practice - Delilah Shelley, Haematology Cancer Unit, Canberra Health Services

Delilah is a passionate advocate whose vision is promoting, ensuring, and nurturing best practice. She has been diligent in driving a culture of continuous improvement within the Haematology Cancer Unit that she currently works as the clinical development nurse. Through her work in the Manual patient identification overrides project, she scrutinised data and created new education programs to reduce the number of overrides from more than 600 in 2019 to 10 in April 2021. Furthermore, through her SYNERGY scholarship funding in 2018-2020, Delilah examined nursing and medical management of cancer patients with febrile neutropenia post chemotherapy, developing training for staff and contributing to the development of febrile neutropenia care pathway with key stakeholders within the division and hospital.

Excellence in Quality Improvement or Research Practice - Delilah Shelley, Haematology Cancer Unit, Canberra Health Services

Excellence in Management Practice - Louise Murphy, Maternal and Child Health, Canberra Health Services

Louise has been the Maternal and Child Health (MACH) Manager for the last 5 years. She is responsible for the operational management and clinical oversight of MACH, Canberra Maternity Options Service (CMOS), the Parent Enhancement Program, the Integrating Multi-agencies Parents and Children Together (IMPACT) and Early Childhood Immunisation. 
She fosters clinical excellence within a safe, collaborative and inspiring environment. Always leading by example, Louise makes sure to be transparent and actively embraces innovation while nurturing the wellbeing of her staff. As a result of Louise’s transitional style of management, her team is highly dedicated and passionate to grow their knowledge and skills to improve consumer care.

Excellence in Management Practice - Louise Murphy, Maternal and Child Health, Canberra Health Services

Excellence in Leadership Practice - Caroline Bouloukos, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Calvary Public Hospital Bruce

Caroline’s communication and leadership style of “can do” towards the 4W Team, Division and Organisation has enabled them to identify and work towards reaching their full potential of ward processes and service delivery. This is demonstrated by Caroline's instrumental role in empowering her divisions’ Clinical Nurse Educators and Safewards Leads and Champions (multidisciplinary) of their service to collectively implement the Safewards model and interventions to a high standard. Noting Caroline's leadership and empowerment of her staff to implement the model, Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services has requested the 4W Team present at their state-wide Safewards Community of Practice, believing they are leading implementation of Safewards outside of an inpatient mental health setting.

Excellence in Leadership Practice - Caroline Bouloukos, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Canberra Health Services

Excellence in Educational Practice - Courtney Hayes, LDK Seniors’ Living

Courtney demonstrates an outstanding commitment to education through the proactive identification of clinical and care training programs at LDK Seniors’ Living that enhance her staff’s skills, knowledge and competency in a Home Care Environment. Her passion for education has seen her develop robust training and education programs for personal care assistants, clinical and non-clinical staff, and maintain LDK Academy learning during the COVID-19 response. Furthermore, Courtney’s leadership as LDK’s COVID Infection Prevention and Control Lead throughout the outbreak was measured and clinically exceptional, with her role providing staff with the practical knowledge required to effectively manage an outbreak.

Excellence in Educational Practice - Courtney Hayes, LDK’s Senior Living

Excellence in Clinical Practice - Thimitra Panteleon, Intensive Care Unit, Canberra Health Services

Thim is a strong and passionate advocate for patients who generously makes space for other people’s experiences and goes above and beyond to bring lightness into heavy times. Utilising current understanding of the patient and family experience in ICU, Thim initiated evidence-based education for staff on Family Centred Care, aimed at embedding in ICU practice a philosophy of care that values, respects and prioritises family participation.
Thim consistently develops an authentic therapeutic relationship with her patients that reminds them of their wholeness and demonstrates how they can reconnect with who they are, well beyond and in spite of their illness.

Excellence in Clinical Practice - Thimitra Panteleon, Intensive Care Unit, Canberra Health Services

Assistant in Nursing Recognition - Narelle King, St Andrew’s Village

Narelle is a proud Indigenous woman who has been working with St Andrews Village since 24th April 2012. Narelle provides consistently high-quality care and support for those residents living with memory loss and at times living with cognitive distress. She is a senior member of the care staff team and she regularly mentors newer members of staff, with a firm hand and a high expectation to provide person centred care to the residents in her care. Narelle is a committed aged care worker and a vital part of the caring team working at ST Andrews.

Assistant in Nursing Recognition - Narelle King, St Andrew’s Village

Nursing Student Recognition - Janet (Rei) Edge, Canberra Institute of Technology

Rei has demonstrated qualities of an extraordinary student from the beginning of her training. She recognises the importance of evidence-based practice and demonstrates a deep understanding of the rationale behind the knowledge and practice of nursing. She focuses on safety and high-quality care in the provision of healthcare and demonstrates this in all aspects of her learning.
Rei not only demonstrates these skills during her nursing studies, but she also uses her skills in the wider community. For example, recently Rei stopped to assist a First Aid Officer administer first aid to a member of the public, where she remained calm in an unpleasant situation and provided reassurance to the injured person.

Nursing Student Recognition - Janet (Rei) Edge, Canberra Institute of Technology 1

Midwifery Student Recognition - Bek Messner, University of Canberra

Bek Messner is outstanding academically and particularly person-centred in her approach to working with people, their babies, and their families. She provides peer support and supports other students’ learning in the classroom and is an active member of the University of Canberra Midwifery Society. 
Clinically, Bek is a very proactive learner who routinely seeks further information to expand her knowledge base and consolidates her learning during simulated skills workshops. Bek is a calm mature presence who has voiced a passion for moving to a rural area to pursue her midwifery care and provide support for women who have less access to health services.

Midwifery Student Recognition - Bek Messner, University of Canberra

Consumer Recognition - Kaela Graham-Bowman, Emergency Department, Canberra Health Services

Kaela went above and beyond her normal nurse duties when she made a patient feel supported and safe while experiencing a new and scary episode. Kaela comforted the patient’s nerves, explaining that everything was normal and even took the time to contact the patient’s family to update them and explain next steps. She provided recommendations of what foods to eat during treatment, and regularly checked in to ensure the patient was physically and mentally comfortable throughout their stay. The patient’s family felt reassured that the patient will be safe and cared for by the great staff and are forever grateful to Kaela and her care.

Kaela Graham-Bowman – Emergency Department, Canberra Health Services

Consumer Recognition - Madeleine Charlton-Owen, Canberra Clinic, IVF Australia

Madeleine went above and beyond when working with an IVF patient with severe needle phobia. She worked through the fears of the patient and their family, listened to their concerns, took utmost care to not startle or hurt the patient in anyway, and successfully supported the patient through blood tests and injections without causing a panic attack. While the IVF cycle was unsuccessful, she has given the patient the confidence to try again with the knowledge that she will be there offering support every step of the way. Madeleine’s genuine compassion, care and respect for the patient goes to the heart of nursing ethos.

Consumer Recognition - Neala Jocumsen, Intensive Care Unit, Canberra Health Services

Neala exhibited exceptional interpersonal skills when she helped a parent split between NICU and SCN during COVID-19 restrictions. Although a newer staff member, she was extremely thorough, knowledgeable, and understanding, and eager to learn. The parent and her children felt safe with Neala, and chatted over the weeks, discussing the NICU journey, what was hard as a parent and how as a nurse she could make things better.

Neala Jocumsen - Intensive Care Unit, Canberra Health Services

Consumer Recognition - Immunology Nursing Team, Immunology Outpatient Clinic, Canberra Health Services

The Immunology Nursing Team at TCH display a patient centred nature of the care they provide. When treating a patient, they were kind, took time to explain medical language in accessible ways, and went above and beyond to support all their patients. Interactions with the patient were forward looking, with the patient feeling that they were being treated as a person, not a problem. Thanks to their care, the immunology nurses helped the patient restore their trust in the healthcare system.

Immunology Nursing Team - Immunology Outpatient Clinic, Canberra Health Services

Consumer Recognition - Hospital in the Home (HITH), Canberra Health Services

The Hospital in the Home (HITH) Team are being recognised for the exemplary care of a patient over the course of 7 years. The entire team demonstrated outstanding care, patient advocacy, commitment to ongoing learning and development, and including the patient’s family in their care providing guidance, information and support. The care they provided not only gave the patient more time, but allowed him to spend more time out of hospital and with his family. The family will eternally be grateful to every member of the team and expressed that they are the best nurses across the system. With the HITH team the patient and family always felt that they were given the best chance.

Hospital in the Home - Canberra Health Services

Consumer Recognition - Renal Supportive Care, Canberra Health Services

The Renal Supportive Care team cared for a patient from 2018 to 2021, from her first dialysis session to her last. The team gave so much support to the patient’s daughter as a carer - they always had time to listen to her concerns and answer any questions. There were many occasions when their support went beyond the patient’s renal condition. When her mental health was severely affected, they helped the patient’s daughter be her advocate. They also made time to contact her outside of the patient’s renal appointment to see if she needed more support. The Renal Supportive Care team offered kindness, support, understanding and were a calming presence when the patient and family were overwhelmed. The team made the family feel heard, seen and understood, and assisted the family to have incredibly hard conversations about the reality of the patient’s treatment. They were gentle, never judging and always had the patient’s best interest in mind.

Renal Supportive Care unit - Canberra Health Services
2021 winners

The 2021 ACT Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards were celebrated on Thursday 6 May.

Congratulations to all winners of the 2021 ACT Excellence Awards!

Nurse of the Year 2021 - Kirsty Cummin, Weston Creek Walk in Centre, Canberra Health Services

An outstanding team leader the Walk in Centre, Kirsty Cummin was nominated for her strong communications and exceptional listening skills. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Kirsty extended her role to the Respiratory Assessment Clinic, assisting with COVID testing. More recently her responsibilities were extended to delivering care to those in hotel quarantine and overseeing staff delivering care in the medi-hotel. Despite extended responsibilities, Kirsty consistently maintained high levels of professionalism with exceptional communication to all staff, ancillary staff, patients, and relatives.

Nurse of the Year 2021, Kirsty Cummin


Midwife of the Year 2021 - Jessica Boutzos, Maternity Services Calvary Public Hospital, Bruce

As a midwife at Calvary Public Hospital, Jessica Boutzos is parent-focussed, caring, and collaborative. This year, in collaboration with a nurse practitioner from the Emergency Department, Jessica developed an early pregnancy loss support package to assist staff – initially intended for the emergency department but applicable to all areas of the hospital. 

Midwife of the Year 2021, Jessica Boutzos


Team of the Year 2021 - Ward 11B, Aged Care, Canberra Health Services

By communicating with patients and family members compassionately and understanding how confronting and stressful a hospital admission can be, the team is dedicated to providing their patients positive end of life care. Throughout this communication they build positive and meaningful relationships with patients and their families.

Team of the Year 2021, Ward 11B


Excellence in Management Practice - Nicole Slater, Emergency Department, Canberra Health Services

As Assistant Director of Nursing in the emergency department at Canberra Health Services, Nicole Slater fosters leadership and knowledge among her team of senior nurses. She consistently strives for improvements to the working environment of the emergency department and is an advocate for professional and personal growth, encouraging staff development opportunities.

Excellence in Management Practice, Nicole Slater


Excellence in Leadership Practice - Wendy Beckingham, Infection Prevention and Control, Canberra Health Services

Wendy Beckingham leads a team of dedicated health professionals with the role of minimising infection risks for patients, health care workers, and the public. She has developed a dedicated team of infection prevention and control experts, training and mentoring her own staff and nurses from across the territory both in public and private health services. 

Excellence in Leadership Practice, Wendy Beckingham


Excellence in Clinical Practice - Nicole Shiels, Tuggeranong Community Nursing Team

Nicole Shiels is well-respected in her role as Southside Complex Care Clinical Nurse Consultant. She demonstrates compassion and care in her role supporting clinicians to manage patients with complex care needs and support patients to navigate health service systems. Nicole brings exceptional insight and an ability to work with people at their most vulnerable, assisting both patients and clinicians during difficult care decisions.

Excellence in Clinical Practice, Nicole Shiels


Excellence in Educational Practice - Jodie Murray, Learning and Development, Calvary Bruce Private Hospital

Jodie Murray developed the Learning and Development team from its beginning, growing it to a team of six who provide educational support across Calvary Bruce Private Hospital. This included developing a two-day orientation program for new staff members structured around the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.

Excellence in Educational Practice, Jodie Murray


Excellence in Quality Improvement or Research Practice - Stephanie Parry, Justice Health, Canberra Health Services

Stephanie Parry is a registered nurse at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, where she demonstrates outstanding commitment to her work.  By continually improving her knowledge and skills she ensures positive patient outcomes, empathising with her clients and providing considerate care to some the community’s most vulnerable members.

2020 winners

The 2020 ACT Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards were celebrated on Tuesday 12 May.

Congratulations to all winners of the 2020 ACT Excellence Awards!

Christopher Harris

ACT Nurse of the Year – Christopher Harris, University of Canberra Hospital, Canberra Health Services

Kathy Coonan

ACT Midwife of the Year – Kathy Coonan, Calvary Public Hospital Bruce

Britt Shephard and Shannon Narracott

Team of the Year – Britt Shephard and Shannon Narracott, Canberra Health Services

Ward 11A Nursing Team

Excellence in Clinical Practice – Ward 11A Nursing Team, Canberra Health Services

Rachel Bilton-Simek

Excellence in Educational Practice – Rachel Bilton-Simek, Clare Holland House

Heather Needham

Excellence in Leadership – Heather Needham, Canberra Health Services

Mercy Lukose

Excellence in Management – Mercy Lukose, Canberra Health Services

Nikki Johnston

Excellence in Quality Improvement or Research – Nikki Johnston, Clare Holland House

Page last updated on: 14 Mar 2023