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Creator of the first Aboriginal-led maternity model of care crowned Midwife of the Year

[supplied by HESTA]


2022 Midwife of the Year, Mel Briggs. Image: supplied

Winners of the 2022 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards were announced last night in a national celebration of the critical contributions of Australia’s nurses and midwives.

Melanie Briggs, a descendant of Dharawal and Gumbaynggirr peoples, was awarded Midwife of the Year for her work to improve First Nations’ maternal and infant health. Ms Briggs is the director and founder of Binjilaanii, the first Aboriginal-led maternity model of care in Australia.


Nurse practitioner Sue Hegarty was revealed as the 2022 Nurse of the Year for her exceptional advocacy and support for women with ovarian cancer, including her leadership in developing Australia’s first ovarian cancer telehealth program.


Outstanding Organisation winner Beaudesert Hospital Maternity was recognised for its high-quality maternity services, demonstrating incredible commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of women and babies in rural Queensland.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey congratulated this year’s winners and finalists, acknowledging the extraordinary impact they have had in delivering improved health outcomes and care for Australians.

“This year’s winners and finalists have demonstrated the very best of their profession: compassion, empathy and dedication to helping improve the lives of others,” Ms Blakey said.

“No matter the hour, no matter the situation, our nurses and midwives are there to answer the call. They have made an immeasurable difference to the health and wellbeing of so many people and it’s so clear why they are the backbone of our healthcare system.


“I want to thank each and every winner and finalist for their amazing work and contributions. HESTA is so proud we can help share these important stories.”

Now in their sixteenth year, the national Awards recognise Australia’s nurses, midwives, nurse educators, researchers and personal care workers for their contributions to improving health outcomes.

The three winners each received $10,000, courtesy of ME – the bank for you, for professional development or to improve services or processes in the workplace.

ME CEO Martine Jager said the bank was proud to be a long-time supporter of the HESTA Awards program.

“Congratulations to these outstanding nurses, midwives and personal care workers. The team and I at ME Bank are so proud to be recognising and celebrating their achievements, which are life changing.”


Prominent Aboriginal Elder joins NT dismal homeless statistic

[Jane Bardon, ABC]

Outside her mother's funeral this week, prominent Larrakia elder June Mills Gudbiling anointed family and community leaders with white ochre she had collected and ground up that morning. After the service, June Mills had nowhere to go but back to but her car.

Indigenous voice to parliament may define Albanese government

[Bridget Brennan, ABC]

First Nations people are accustomed to being left at the back of the queue during election campaigns, which typically shrug off the shameful inequalities experienced by so many Indigenous voters.

Plant Power Sisterhood launch in the rainforest region

[supplied by Jenny Fraser]

The Plant Power Sisterhood anthology is a creative response from the matriarchy celebrating the plant life of Australia and the Pacific Islands, challenging readers to think critically about kinship to the natural world, toward restoring it to the original true splendour. 

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