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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Southern celebrates achievement and innovation at 2023 Excellence Awards

Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) held its annual Excellence Awards ceremony at Bay Pavilions in Batemans Bay today.

Awards were presented to more than 160 individuals and teams across 20 categories.

Quality improvement and patient safety continue to be the focus of the Awards, with new

categories also recognising achievements in innovation, collaboration and sustainability.

A highlight of the ceremony was the unveiling of the inaugural Dr Allan Hawke AC Outstanding Leadership Award, honouring the legacy of SNSWLHD’s late Board Chair. Manager, Patient Flow, Waitlist, and Whole of Health Program, Matthew Stephenson, was named the first recipient of this special award.

Chief Executive Margaret Bennett said the high standard and diversity of nominees and award winners showcase the District’s commitment to providing excellence in care across all services and locations.

“More than 250 nominations were submitted from across a variety of health facilities, work

areas and specialties, making the 2023 Excellence Awards more representative of our

Southern workforce than ever before.”

“The Excellence Awards ceremony is an uplifting celebration of innovation and achievement. I extend my congratulations and thanks to all nominees and award winners, who work so diligently in service of our community.”

The 2023 Excellence Award Winners are listed below.


Individual Awards Dr Allan Hawke AC Award for Outstanding Leadership

Winner: Matthew Stephenson, Manager, Patient Flow, Waitlist, & Whole of Health Program

Location: District-wide (Matthew is based in Cooma)

Board Chair Award

Winner: Jenni Hudson, Mental Health School-Link Coordinator Location: District-wide (Jenni is based in Yass)

Care and Kindness Award (Joint Winners)

Winner: Donna Saddler, Nurse Unit Manager

Location: Cooma Community Health Service Winner: Sam Mundi, Clinical Nurse Educator

Location: Queanbeyan Hospital


Collaborative Staff Member of the Year

Winner: Dr Nathan Oates, Anaesthetist

Location: South East Regional Hospital, Bega

Patient Safety Award

Winner: Meredith Fleming, Clinical Lead, Adult Community Mental Health

Location: Cooma Hospital and Health Service

Emerging Leader Award

Winner: Nicole Jorgensen, Aboriginal Mental Health Clinician

Location: Goulburn

Closing the Gap Award

Winner: Emma Woolley, Media and Communications Officer

Location: District-wide

Elevate Award (Joint Winners)

Winner: Rochelle Woolf, Nurse Unit Manager, Operating Theatres

Location: Cooma Hospital and Health Service Winner: Rebekah O’Reilly, Deputy Director of Nursing

Location: Batemans Bay District Hospital

Team Awards

Chief Executive’s Award

Winner: Safe Care Project

Location: District-wide

Transforming Patient Experience Award

Winner: Rural Kids GPS — Paediatric Care Coordination

Location: District-wide

Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Eurobodalla Palliative Care Volunteers

Location: Eurobodalla

Patient Safety First

Winner: Dental Unit Waterlines Project – Reducing Biofilm

Location: District-wide

Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services

Winner: South East Regional Hospital (SERH) Mental Health Inpatient Unit

Location: South East Regional Hospital, Bega

People and Culture Award

Winner: Respecting the Difference, Be the Difference

Location: District-wide


Keeping People Healthy

Winner: Multicultural Healthy Eating Program

Location: District-wide

Delivering Integrated Care Award

Winner: Transitional Aged Care Program (TACP) – It’s What Matters, Not What is the Matter

Location: District-wide

Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare Award

Winner: Trusted Locals Encourage Screening

Location: Goulburn, Queanbeyan, and Moruya

Health Research and Digital Innovation Award

Winner: Antenatal Care Research Collaboration

Location: District-wide

Environmental Sustainability Award

Winner: Queanbeyan Hotel Services Food Waste Project

Location: Queanbeyan

ACI Award for Rural Innovation

Winner: Golden Angels Spreading Their Wings

Location: District-wide



Above: Alison Porritt, Barbara Pitkin, Neil Benson, Susan Rowland, Stephanie Pidcock and Lauren Hare - Eurobodalla Palliative Care Volunteers

Above: left to right : Neil Benson, Alison Porritt, Rosemary Mylott, Barbara Pitkin, Stephanie Pidcock, Lauren Hare, Susan Rowland, Helen Maxwell - Eurobodalla Palliative Care Volunteers

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