7 June 2024

Region's health workers honoured for excellence in their community work

| Sally Hopman
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Woman with flowers and award

Midwife Rebekah Bowman won the Dr Allan Hawke AC Award for Outstanding Leadership this week at the Southern NSW Local Health District’s Awards for Excellence. Photo: Supplied.

Moruya’s Midwifery District Manager, Rebekah Bowman, was honoured with the Dr Allan Hawke AC Award for Outstanding Leadership on Wednesday (5 June) at the Southern NSW Local Health District’s (SNSWLHD) annual excellence awards.

SNSWLHD Chief Executive Margaret Bennett said the award was given to a health professional who demonstrated the leadership qualities that Dr Hawke, the former board chair, valued most, specifically as a passionate advocate for regional communities and vulnerable people.

She described Ms Bowman as a remarkable leader, midwife and PhD candidate.

“Since arriving at SNSWLHD in 2022, Bek has faced significant personal and professional challenges including significant workforce shortages,” Ms Bennett said. “Bek took on every challenge with extraordinary resilience and courage.

“She ensured that staff, patients and partner organisations were consulted while embarking on a significant body of work to improve and expand midwifery practice and services across the district.”

Ms Bennett said those peope who worked with Ms Bowman were constantly encouraged and inspired by the sense of privilege that she brought to work every day in service of the communities of southern NSW.

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“She has established strong collaborative relationships with medical staff at SNSWLHD and neighbouring local health districts and tertiary hospitals. She is highly respected across the ACT and NSW Government working closely with midwifery and obstetric colleagues at the Ministry of Health, Clinical Excellence Commission and Canberra hospitals. These relationships have allowed Bek to influence maternity care, and advocate for midwifery, at the policy level.”

Ms Bennett said more than 270 nominations were submitted from across a variety of health facilities, work areas and specialties this year, making the 2024 Excellence Awards “more representative of our southern workforce than ever before”.

“So much good work happens behind the scenes in health service delivery. Our Excellence Awards shine a spotlight on the people who go above and beyond every day, serving the community with passion, skill and kindness.”

In other awards, Queanbeyan’s Janelle Hopwood and Susan Ahearn were named joint winners of the Care and Kindness Award and Commitment to Service while Peter Lawrence was honoured for Commitment to Service.

Four women

Dr Susie Piper, left, Cynthia Lloyd, Louise Casey and Danielle Smith won the Transforming Patient Experience Award for helping to reduce stress for children undergoing painful procedures. Photo: Supplied.

The Closing the Gap Award went to the Mob on the Imaging Job – Southern’s Bespoke Aboriginal Medical Imaging Traineeship Project while the Elevate Award went to Queanbeyan Maternity.

The winner of the Board Chair Award went to the district’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Service Team.

Additional award-winners included Bega’s Paediatric Nitrous Oxide Project, Pambula Spiritual and Pastoral Care Volunteers, Virtual Rural Generalist Service (Braidwood, Bombala, Yass, Crookwell and Delegate), Safe Haven (Bega), Moruya Maternity, Moruya Cancer Services and Green Relief (Bega and Queanbeyan).

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