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Creator of the first Aboriginal-led maternity model of care recognised

[supplied by HESTA ]

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Image: supplied

Melanie Briggs is recognised for her work to improve First Nations’ maternal and infant health. A descendant of the Dharawal and Gumbayngirr peoples, Melanie is the Director and Founder of Binjilaani, the first Aboriginal-led maternity model of care in Australia.

The extraordinary work of nurses and midwives to improve health outcomes during the pandemic was today recognised with eight finalists announced for the 2022 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards.


Finalist achievements included establishing a program to provide specialised care to those experiencing family violence, leadership in the face of two ‘waves’ of COVID-19 outbreaks and developing the first Aboriginal-led maternity model of care in Australia.


HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said she was humbled by the finalists’ hard work to provide exceptional healthcare to their communities, which was critical during the pandemic.
“Australia owes a great debt to our nurses and midwives,” Ms Blakey said.


“They are a critical part of our healthcare system and have worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe. The work done, not only by our finalists but by all in the sector, to advocate for their patients’ care and long-term wellbeing is truly inspirational.


“Congratulations and thank you to every single nominee and finalist for their leadership and dedication – we are so proud of the incredible contribution you make and we feel very privileged to have this opportunity to help shine a spotlight on your achievements.”


These widely recognised national Awards, now in their 16th year, pay tribute to the outstanding contribution Australia’s nurses, midwives, nurse educators, researchers and personal care workers make to improving health outcomes.


An independent judging panel, comprised of sector representatives, reviewed many outstanding nominations to select finalists across the Nurse of the Year, Midwife of the Year and Outstanding Organisation categories.


Long-time Awards supporter ME – the bank for you – has donated $30,000 in prize money to be split equally between the winners for professional development or to improve workplace services or processes.


ME CEO Martine Jager said the bank was thrilled to continue recognising the amazing efforts and achievements of these health professionals.


“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the healthcare system simply couldn’t function without nurses, midwives and personal care workers and those who train them,” Ms Jager said.


“We acknowledge and thank all of this year’s finalists for their commitment, dedication and incredibly hard work, especially during these challenging times.”


Winners will be revealed on 19 May 2022 at an Awards ceremony in Melbourne, subject to COVID-19 safety restrictions.

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