Annual Staff Awards

Our 2021-2022 Staff Awards recognise the academic, professional and research endeavours of our staff, and thank those who have dedicated many years of service to Northeast Health Wangaratta.

Scholarship awards

Board Directors’ Scholarship 2022-23 – Lydia Cobham & Paul Jones

Lydia is a Nurse Practitioner in our Emergency Department and will use her scholarship to attend the Advanced Paediatric Life Support program in November 2023. Lydia will embed this knowledge into her role as PALS Instructor for Northeast Health Wangaratta, which will benefit all of our medical nursing staff across ED, theatre, paediatrics, and ICU and to our outreach programs across the Hume region.

Paul is an ICU Acting Nurse Unit Manager and will attend the Royal Congress of Vascular Access in Canada, a three-day conference in April 2023. Paul’s goal is to understand any gaps in our knowledge and opportunities to improve our vascular access package, bringing best evidence and best practice into this area of clinical care.

Jack Hughes Memorial Palliative Care Scholarship – Annemaree Hansen

Annemaree has worked in both Oncology and Medical units and will undertake the Banksia Palliative Care Course to build her skills to support patients towards end of life care.

Jack Hughes Memorial Oncology Scholarship – Katrina Watts & Samantha Cooper

Katrina is a Palliative Care Social Worker and will use this opportunity to extend her skills by attending a short course ‘Responding to Complicated Grief’ to advance her skills to appraise the symptoms and clinical presentation of complicated grief.

Samantha is a Breast Care nurse and will use this scholarship to attend the three-day Australasian International Breast Congress in Brisbane to enhance her knowledge around the issues facing health professionals in their daily practice while supporting patients through their breast cancer journey.

Jo Bevan Memorial Oncology Scholarship – Wendy Jordan & Carolyn Hancock

Wendy works in our Oncology unit and will use this opportunity to attend the 2023 Cancer Survivorship Conference in Adelaide to gain access to valuable and up-to-date information in survivorship care to support our patients to live as health and active lifestyles for as long as possible.

Carolyn is and will attend the Australian Lung Cancer Conference in 2023, which will present on the most recent research findings and practice guidelines pertaining to lung cancer care.

Community Palliative Care Scholarship – Rose Sexton

 Rose is and she has developed a passion for Palliative Care. Rose will undertake a Graduate Diploma in Palliative care to enhance her ability to influence others in the delivery of high-quality care and strengthen palliative care practices in our service.

Anne Bell Memorial Scholarship – Samantha Cooper


Samantha is a Breast Care Nurse and will use this scholarship to provide support, education and information to people with breast cancer, their families and the people who care for them.

Rick Hiskins Memorial Scholarship – Kelsey Moss

Kelsey is a Clinical Support Nurse on our surgical wards and will undertake a Diploma in Acute Care. These postgraduate studies will enhance Kelsey’s skills to support students, graduates and other staff to ensure optimum patient care and positive outcomes.

Sarah Redman Memorial Midwifery Scholarship – Karli Vincent

Karli is Team Leader of the Midwifery Group Practice and will undertake training as part of the Australian College of Midwives Leadership series to build confidence in decision-making, conflict resolution, and embedding positive and respectful workplace culture.

Anna Margaret Suter Memorial Scholarship – Education and Research Unit

 The Education and Research Unit will replace basic life support mannequins that have reached their end of life. These mannequins are used across the health service for staff undertaking basic life support training in order to retain their competency and fulfil the mandatory training requirements of the National Safety and Quality Health Standards.  This scholarship will also provide important funds for the purchase of an AED machine, which will align education with the equipment utilised in the clinical setting, to ensure high-quality teaching.

Jess McLennan Memorial Prize in Rural Critical/Emergency Care – Riancy John & William Wallace

Rian has worked within the Surgical ward as a Registered Nurse and Associate Nurse Unit Manager before entering the Critical Care program. Throughout the critical care program Rian demonstrated a high level of leadership, initiative and team work, as well as a clear commitment to patient-centred care.

Wil joined Northeast Health Wangaratta as part of our graduate program and has worked steadily to gain knowledge, confidence and skills across various clinical areas in the pursuit of his goal to become a critical care nurse. Wil has performed at a high academic standard through the post graduate program and has

an exemplar attitude to team work, including involvement in a number of quality improvement initiatives.

Excellence Awards (incorporating 2021-22)


Excellence in Support Services

2021 – Karly Kent

Karly was nominated for her care and care and support on the Paediatric Ward. Karly is wonderful with patients and their families, going out of her way to make sure they are looked after and comfortable, and being a friendly, bright presence on the ward.

2022 – Sandra O’Neil

Sandra demonstrates excellence in customer service and strives to improve the workplace.  Sandra shows leadership in food monitoring and supports her team by mentoring and educating new food monitors. She shows skills in developing partnership with the speech team and continues to improve patient wellbeing and safety.

Excellence in Corporate Services

2021 Edwina Spencer

Edwina constantly strives to provide exceptional support and service to every member of the workforce. Edwina thinks outside of the box to meet requests and has a talent for making others happy. Edwina has taken on additional responsibilities, including projects and mentoring multiple trainees, and steps up to take on extra work. Edwina meets the description of excellence in every aspect of her work and exudes positivity and comradery.

 2020 – Specialist Clinics and Community Health Admin Teams

The Specialist Clinic administration team supports the functioning of 35 specialist clinics. The Community Health administration team supports a number of interdisciplinary community services.  All team members show professionalism through positive, client-centred care and excellent customer service. They display respect and provide supportive assistance, working together to support each other.

Excellence in Allied Health – Therapies

2021 Elizabeth Walker

 Liz is a senior clinician and our lead in Food Services. She displays commitment to excellence and quality improvement, particularly in the projects undertaken to improve quality and safety of our food provision. Liz shows strong communication, engagement and collaboration skills, takes on leadership roles and teaching and supervision to support students. Liz consistently works to the values of our service, with a strong work ethic and a caring and supportive nature, and is a strong advocate for patients and the dietetic profession.

2022 Emily Hourigan

 Emily is a highly valued member of the Allied Health team, RITH and broader SACS programs. Her calm and positive attitude speaks volumes for her passion and enjoyment of her job. She strives to set up each day for success, pre-empting issues and keeping the team connected and informed. Her leadership within the team is exceptional, she is a great role model and mentor.

Excellence in Allied Health – Science

2021 Nicole Seager

 Nicole leads the mammography services and Breast Screen Victoria services. She lives and breathes the organisational values in her role, with the Breast Screen Victoria service exceeding service delivery targets with excellent results in quality service provision, team work, education and support. Nicole has adapted to her leadership role with ease and is a great asset to the Radiology Leadership Team.

2022 Kirsten Stockdale

Kirsten Stockdale is an outstanding pharmacist, professional and an outstanding person. With her inherent leadership qualities, she took on the role on intern preceptor for our 2022 interns. Kristen has received written compliments from patients and staff for her work and kindness, she was one of the first people to be awarded the Living the Values awards, Kirsten consistently displays all the values of NHW and is the most delightful person to meet, is an excellent pharmacist, well respected and regarded by her peers and colleagues.

Excellence in Women’s and Children’s Health

2021 Danielle Dalrymple

Dani is a long-standing committed member of the maternity team. She worked tirelessly to establish a clear triage process to capture and consider potential risks during pregnancy. She worked with local GPs striving to ensure NHW receive quality and complete referrals. Dani goes above and beyond in her role as BOS coordinator and has been an active member of the PPH Safer Care Victoria collaborative. She is a great team player and a proactive and passionate midwife.

2022 Amelia Bock

Amelia has demonstrated continued commitment to the delivery of women’s health services to the Central Hume region for many years. She has demonstrated objective leadership skills and worked hard to support junior staff and professional colleagues. Amelia worked valiantly to steer her department through the challenges of the pandemic, workforce resourcing limitations and redevelopment. She has remained committed to the region and building capacity in local services.

Excellence in Aged Care (in memory of Charles Neal)

2021 Jennifer Tull

Jennifer is compassionate, fair, dedicated, leads by example and goes well and truly above and beyond. The overwhelming response from residents families and staff is that Jennifer deserves recognition. She takes the time to consider the welfare of residents and gives her time. The leadership of her team shows her commitment to the standard of care, evidenced by an outstanding accreditation outcome recently. Jennifer’s leadership has helped the TCP unit staff endure and thrive difficult times throughout the pandemic. 

2022 Estelle Corrigan

 Estelle continously strives for excellence at Illoura and has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in her role. She has developed and maintained professional relationships with the RSA staff and been active in recruitment and redesign of roles. Estelle leads change with confidence and integrity, providing mentorship and teamwork. She always considers and prioritises the residents needs and requests, and goes above and beyond to provide kindness and respect.

Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery – WB Richardson

2021 Megan Coppolino

Megan is a Clinical Support Nurse, who has helped hold her team together when they were under pressure, providing support, guidance and calm. She helped with policy, guidelines, education, organising SIMs and keeping the team of nurses, consultants and technicians up to date, reassured, organised, and educated. Megan lives all of the six values of the organisation, demonstrating a commitment and passion for nursing that inspires her colleagues.

2022 Jenny Glover

Jenny has an extensive career in community nursing . She is compassionate, committed to evidence-based practice, and provides dedicated care and consultation to clients and their families. The assists them to achieve the best outcomes in their care. Jenny’s care is always a holistic, respectful, kind, well-organise and planned. She demonstrates a high degree of integrity and spends extra time ensuring clients receive the best care. She is also the OHS rep ensuring the safety of staff, clients and their families.

Excellence in Research


2021 David Ford and the Pharmacy team

The involvement of the Pharmacy team is a significant enabler in developing the capacity of our service to participate in clinical trials. Their involvement has required specific training from pharmacy staff, meetings with sponsors and sharing knowledge and expertise of many pharmaceuticals. The team consistently demonstrate their attitude to improve patient experience and outcomes, collaboration and developing partnership and innovating the workplace. They support the Pharmacy interns with mandatory research projects/audits each year and David is an active member on the Research committee.

2022 Jacqueline Lake

Jackie is a Clinical Trial Assistant in our rapidly expanding Clinical Trials Service. Jackie shows initiative, dedication and perseverance in her ability to complete a projects  including  clinical trial orientation package for new staff members, preparation for an electronic file management system and development of our Teletrial Standard Operating Procedures. Jackie displays values including integrity, excellence and respect daily in her communication and collaboration with other members of the organisation and external partners.

Excellence in Medical Services

2021 Mr Michael Falkenberg

Mr Falkenberg is an Orthopaedic Surgeon has provided a faithful and high standard of orthopaedic service to the community. His surgical skills are of a uniformly high standard, but his greatest strength are his mentoring, teaching and examination of roles. His colleagues speak highly of the support and compassion he extends to his team as they grow and develop skills and gain confidence. He remains ‘patient-centric’ and the best outcome for the patient is what drives his work and actions. Mr Falkenberg was awarded the 2022 Australian Orthopaedic Association’s award for meritorious service this year for his contribution to the work of the Association.

2022 Dr Sara Baqar

Sara has helped our service progress its goals, particularly in improving bed flow and access which sparked a pilot project for patient flow in the Central Hume. She brought all the stakeholders together in a long stay ward round that helps complex long stay patients return home, and virtual ward rounds to enable patients to return to their local health service in a timely way.  She has implemented Mortality and Morbidity audits for Internal Medicine, bringing the department up to speed with contemporary clinical governance. Sara is always kind, approachable and respectful to everyone and the clinical team see her as a mentor, education and a rich resource in endocrinology.

Leaders of the Future Award

2021 Sheree Bennett

Sheree has been an outstanding employee and leader in the role of Interim Speech Pathology Manager. In supporting the Social Work team and as a clinician, Sheree consistently goes above and beyond for her team and the whole organisation. She takes the time to get to know staff, actively strengthens her team and improves staff satisfaction through team building activities, team morale and encouraging self-care and work-life balance. Sheree has a positive outlook, has been a strong advocate for building partnerships and demonstrates high level leadership.

2022 Dr Scott Anderson

Scott puts in 100% every day to go above and beyond. He is a pleasure to work with on medical rotations, demonstrating initiative and a commitment to improve services.  Scott has participated in a working group to improve IT for the hospital staff and patients, and volunteered his time to make an IT program for the medical team to assist with workflow. His input and perspective have been very welcome in the organisation.

Excellence in Leadership

2021 Bree Broomfield

Bree displays excellence every day in her role as a manager, clinician and colleague. She demonstrates excellence in service delivery through her patient care, professionalism and commitment to patient-centred care. Her clinical knowledge is exemplary and Bree builds the workforce through mentoring students, colleagues, engaging in professional development of self and others. Bree is actively interested in research, demonstrated through her collaborative research in oncology services.

2022 Jess Widdop

Jess is a leader who consistently strives for the best outcomes for everyone she works with, exemplifying the values of care, respect and kindness.  Jess advocates for thoughtful and inclusive decisions, by taking the time to listen and ensure everyone is included in conversations. Her honesty, work ethic and approachable nature are qualities that make Jess an natural leader. Jess demonstrates many attributes that make a leader – care, respect, humility, commitment, humour, honesty, integrity, empathy, transparency, hard work and resilience.

Excellence in Customer Service and Kindness

2021 CSSD Team

The CSSD team has shown amazing resilience and hard work under the extreme pressure they endured during the national sterilisation crisis that started early in 2021.  They have strived as a team to provide a service with kindness and respect. This ward recognises the entire CSSD team and validates the essential role they play in providing the best care to our patients at Northeast Health Wangaratta and the support they provide to our broader team.

2022 Melissa Nolan

Melissa consistently strives to work to our organisational values.  She displays kindness in her interaction with patients, and her customer service is exemplary. Melissa is always respectful and fair and goes out of her way each day to ensure patients are receiving the best care possible. Melissa models organisational values of kindness, calm, respect and empathy. She uses her initiative to assist patients, working in a high pressure and extremely busy space. She is caring and kind with patients who are often anxious and in pain.