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Exceptional People Awards 2021

​The 2021 Exceptional People Awards were held on Friday 25 February 2022 to celebrate and formally recognise staff and volunteers across the district. The awards, although later than originally planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were certainly worth the wait.

Congratulations to all our nominees, our finalists and our winners, who are all truly exceptional and make a positive difference in people's lives each day.​

Healthy Communitiesalternate text 47 


alternate text 47Barbara Triantafilis, Registered Nurse with our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander

Health Service

Barbara's focus has been about raising awareness and advocating for the health needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create better health outcomes.

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Big Red Kidney Vaccination Bus – District Services

alternate text 48The Big Red Kidney Bus team was rapidly converted to become a COVID vaccination site that enabled an increase in vaccination rates within local communities. It sounds simple but it took significant effort and an agile team to achieve this, working collaboratively with teams within the hospital and the community.

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alternate text 48Connected Person-Centred Care 

alternate text 49Dawn Hooper, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner – Mona Vale Hospital

Dawn wins this award after being nominated by a colleague for driving the uptake of corneal donation at the Mona Vale Palliative Care unit to become the leading eye tissue donation centre for NSLHD, an outstanding result in the unit's first year.

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The Oncology/Palliative Care CNSs/CNCs team – District Services

The team has worked with community nurses to provide a high standard of support to the palliative care patients, their families and carers. This has enabled a high number of alternate text 47patients to fulfil their wishes to remain at home to die, in sometimes very challenging circumstances. Cards and letters from families have described how wonderful it was to receive the support required for their loved one to stay at home at the end of their life. This team exemplifies the principles of person centred care.


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alternate text 47Evidence-Based Decision Making 

Inpatient Palliative Care Team – Mona Vale Hospital

alternate text 48In just 12 short months and in the middle of a pandemic, the palliative care service at Mona Vale Hospital has gone above and beyond to achieve the best clinical, pain and spiritual outcomes for their patients, their families and loved ones. They have worked tirelessly to implement the best evidence-based practice and to continuously learn and improve. The patient feedback received about the unit is outstanding.


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alternate text 48Responsive and Adaptable Organisation 


Paediatric Hospital in the Home – District Wide Services

alternate text 49This team met the challenge of being adaptive and innovative throughout the last 12 months by supporting patients and their families, who were often extremely anxious. They led guideline development for care of the COVID-19 positive child in the community and then shared this knowledge and adapted it frequently to meet the changing needs of the community and their patients, while concurrently providing outstanding clinical services. Their models of care were used as templates for similar services across the state including rural centres. 

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  Aaron Owen, M365 Digital Workspaces Project Manager – District Services

alternate text 47Aaron's positive contribution to new ways of working through the implementation of digital platforms has transformed the delivery of services across the district.  Aaron has proactively identified problems and found a resolution that provides value, usability and sustainability, all the while implementing a brand new service model to the district that promotes new ways of working, collaboration and access. 

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alternate text 49Engaged and Empowered Workforce 


Leanne Frizzel, Director Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

alternate text 48Leanne Frizzel's values based leadership and actions continues to promote a just safe culture for both consumers and staff. She leads the services with a continued focus on decisions that are made that are evidence based and that aligns with the policy, procedure and state strategic directions and importantly, are person centred.


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Medical Assessment Unit – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

The MAU team has gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that COVID-19 positive patients were provided the best and safest care possible. Due to COVID-19, alternate text 49many additional unexpected jobs became the nurses' responsibilities. The nurses quietly accepted this and devised a buddy system to ensure that patients' needs were met.  

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Carer Engagement

Laura Robinson, Clinical Psychologist - Macquarie Hospital

Laura is an exceptional advocate for children with mental health concerns and their families. She is empathetic with them regarding how completely overwhelming and alternate text 50exhausting parenting/caring can be on a daily basis. Laura works with the carer community by leading working groups and delivering professional development with teachers from local schools. 

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alternate text 47CORE Values and Behaviours 


 Jenny Gilbert, Clinical Document Application Specialist – District Services

alternate text 47Since the current COVID-19 outbreak, Jenny has rapidly produced many forms and notes for clinicians to use within eMR. These forms were turned around in a period of days, not weeks and were an enabler of the suite of clinical notes that are used in the Virtual Hospital looking after COVID-19 patients. Additionally Jenny developed the Inpatient COVID-19 discharge which was form so successful it was adopted by the state for use in all facilities caring for COVID-19 inpatients.

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alternate text 48Leadership 

Megan Chiu, Former Service Director for Child and Youth Mental Health Service

alternate text 47Megan was outstanding leader because of her authenticity and genuineness in her desire to improve services for young people, families and staff. She was highly regarded everyone that she came in contact with. She always acknowledged and promoted the work of others and her  leadership skills included clarity of vision, capacity to consult and hear the voice of others, think strategically and analytically, with the great ability to look at what was in front her and make astute decisions. Megan's award was collected by her partner Blake Gregory. Vale Megan Chiu.





Dr Adrian Lee, Oncologist – Royal North Shore Hospital

The disruptions of COVID-19 and change in examinations resulted in Adrian running examination preparation from February to October, giving up at least every Saturday alternate text 48(and sometimes Sunday) during that time to be at hospital helping the trainees directly, as well as facilitating additional examiners to assist, ensuring the trainees were still receiving high quality teaching. Adrian's leadership supported trainee doctors to get through the most stressful exams and deliver successful outcomes.

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Board Chair's Commendation

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Nicole Ikenberg, Chief Risk Officer Unit – District Services

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Internal Audit Team – District Services

Chief Executive Awards

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Dr Michelle Mulligan – COVID Response Lead
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NSLHD Research Team – District Services

 A big thank you to our 2021 gold sponsors Ventia, InfraShore, and silver sponsors Medibank and Maxxia

Gold Sponsorship


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Silver Sponsors

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