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Southern celebrates excellence in care at annual Quality Awards

22 June 2022

Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) held its annual Quality Awards ceremony at Narooma Golf Club today.

Awards were presented to more than 50 individuals and teams across 19 categories.

Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner for Resilience NSW, presented the keynote address and inaugural Resilience Award in recognition of the District’s response to bushfires and COVID-19.

Chief Executive Margaret Bennett said the high standard and diversity of nominees and award winners showcase SNSWLHD’s commitment to providing the best care across all its services.

“More than 90 nominations were received from across a variety of facilities, work areas and specialties,” Ms Bennett said.

“It is fitting that many of today’s winners were awarded for their contribution to Southern’s COVID-19 response over the past two years. So many people went above and beyond to keep our communities safe.”

The award winners and nominees:

Team Awards

Delivering Integrated Care
Winner: Oral Health goes virtual – A paediatric specialist model of care
Location: District-wide

A virtual model of care developed by Oral Health team members at SNSWLHD. Oral Health professionals can remotely conduct live consultations via MyVC with a paediatric oral health specialist. The new project has saved hundreds of hours in patient travel. Children requiring specialist treatment during the COVID-19 restrictions were able to access treatment they required.

Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare
Winner: Going above and beyond during a global pandemic
Location: District-wide

The SNSWLHD Aboriginal Health team went above and beyond to support local Aboriginal communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They provided appropriate and culturally sensitive care and built strong partnerships with network of partner organisations and community groups.

Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services
Winner: Virtual care for Clozapine consumers
Location: District-wide

A new trial conducted by the Clinical Change Team in Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs. It offered Clozapine consumers more choice in how they access services. A virtual option was introduced so consumers can receive care at home. It reduced the burden and cost of travel, increased consumer independence, and in some cases helped consumers retain employment.

Health Research and Innovation
Winner: Providing medical imaging services that are greener, leaner and safer for our patients Location: Queanbeyan District Hospital

The increased use of radiographic contrast media (CM) dramatically impacted the volume of non-recyclable waste produced within the medical imaging department at Queanbeyan District Hospital. The team wanted to lessen its environmental footprint by cost-effectively reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. A new syringe system was introduced to reduce consumable waste.

Keeping People Healthy
Winner: COVID-19 Vaccination program
Location: District-wide

The COVID-19 vaccination program was a huge effort resulting in SNSWLHD becoming the first Local Health District in NSW to reach 90% double vaccination, and in October 2021, having the highest rate for people aged 12 years and over. The SNSWLHD vaccination team set up static vaccination clinics, mobile pop-up clinics, and outreach clinics in sporting clubhouses, women’s refuges, parks and community halls across the District to ensure everyone eligible had easy access to COVID-19 vaccinations.


  • COVID-19 tried to make us fall but we are still standing.
  • Paediatric clinics at South East Regional Health Service.
  • Consumer COVID-19 vaccination action MHAOD inpatient services.
  • Aboriginal health chronic disease management program - Aunty Jeans.


Patient Safety First
Winner: Resource specific approaches to perioperative opioid stewardship in rural hospitals
Location: Goulburn Base Hospital

The aim of this project was to improve patient-specific and evidence-based opioid prescribing through perioperative documentation practices. Documentation templates were introduced, so discharge summaries can consistently include quantity of opioids supplied, patient-friendly instructions of analgesia use (including non-opioid analgesia) and weaning plans for general practitioners.

People and Culture
Winner: Reducing the use of seclusion and restraint in mental health inpatient services
Location: District-wide

This project aims to reduce seclusion and restraint practices in mental health inpatient units and Emergency Departments (EDs) across SNSWLHD. Staff in mental health inpatient units and EDs are learning practical alternative tools.

Transforming Patient Experience
Winner: Virtual enhanced COVID-19 care
Location: District-wide

Virtual enhanced COVID-19 Care (VeCC) is a remote monitoring system providing timely, efficient and effective individualised care to community members with COVID-19. It identifies people at risk of serious of deterioration and aims to keep people well and out of hospital wherever possible.


  • Co-designed peer STOC model of care development.
  • Creation of family friendly spaces in mental health inpatient units.
  • SERH Telestroke implementation at South East Regional Hospital.
  • My rehab, my journey.


Individual Awards

Collaborative Staff Member
Winner: Dr Louise Tuckwell, Medical Officer
Location: Moruya Hospital

Dr Louise Tuckwell is an experienced Medical Officer supporting Moruya Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED). She has continuously encouraged and supported colleague’s professional and personal development. Dr Tuckwell created her own Emergency Medicine podcast to help ED colleagues stay up to date with reliable information.

Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Brad Rossiter OAM
Location: Eurobodalla

Brad Rossiter has been the chair of the Eurobodalla Community Representative Committee (CRC) since 2013. Brad is an enthusiastic volunteer who works on many projects to promote health and health advocacy in the community. He is an excellent role model for other volunteers and supports the CRC members to enhance their contribution to the Eurobodalla Health Service.

Emerging Leader
Winner: Skyan Fernando, Aboriginal Health Acting Team Leader
Location: Queanbeyan, Yass, Goulburn, Cooma

Skyan’s leadership skills were on full display over the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting testing and vaccination outreach for local Aboriginal communities. Skyan’s presence at the vaccination clinic provided the reassurance many people needed to feel safe and welcome. Skyan also stepped out of her comfort zone to take part in media interviews promoting the vaccination clinics.

Outstanding Leadership
Winner: Kimberley Green, Aboriginal Mental Health, Alcohol & Other Drugs District Coordinator
Location: Goulburn Community Mental Health Service

Kimberley is the District Coordinator of Aboriginal Mental Health. Her empathy and compassion empower people in local Aboriginal communities to improve their mental health, and she helps staff provide culturally safe care to Aboriginal mental health consumers.

Care and Kindness
Winner: Clancy Tucker, Clinical Nurse Specialist
Location: South East Regional Hospital, Bega

Clancy is well known as a mentor for mental health staff at South East Regional Hospital, including nursing students, new graduates and experienced clinicians. Clancy has an innate ability to support others due to his excellent clinical knowledge, and he consistently shows care and kindness.

Patient Safety Hero
Winner: Emily Laszuk, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Wound Care
Location: South East Regional Hospital, Bega

Emily managed a project to improve patient flow in the Emergency Department (ED) at South East Regional Hospital. She liaises with general practitioners and relevant physicians at the hospital to have patients’ wounds assessed and treated in the Hospital in the Home department rather than the ED.

Other Awards

Chief Executive Award: Queanbeyan Hospital CNMS “Growing Great Leaders”
Location: Queanbeyan Hospital

Board Chair Award: Oral Health Contact Centre – reducing the wait
Location: District-wide

Agency for Clinical Innovation Award: Patient transport cardiac monitoring and escalating and notifying of deteriorating patient
Location: District-wide

Resilience Award: Jennifer Mozina (Health Promotion Coordinator)
Location: South East Regional Hospital, Bega

Elevate Award: Dani McParland (Executive Assistance to Tablelands Network General Manager) and Simon Thomson (Senior People & Wellbeing Partner – Tablelands and Monaro) Location: Goulburn Base Hospital

Last updated: 24 January 2023