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Exceptional People Awards 2019

The 2019 Exceptional People Awards were held on Friday 27 September to celebrate and formally recognise staff and volunteers across the district. The uplifting event featured 16 award presentations along with videos and a touching story of a patient and their family's healthcare journey.

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.

To see a full list of finalists and nominees, please PDF icon click here.

The winners of the 2019 Exceptional People Awards are:


Healthy Communities Healthy Communities

Award Winner Dr David Lillystone

Dr David Lillystone has provided outstanding care to children and their families in the Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai communities for over 40 years.

He is passionate about providing specialist paediatric services to all families who require it, and always happy to answer clinical questions to his colleagues, no matter the professional discipline.

David is described by those who work with him as someone who consistently goes above and beyond for the patients to whom he provides care.

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Connected Person-Centred Care Connected Person-Centred Care

Award Winner Individual Award
Joint Winner: Alison Hession

Alison is a Clinical Nurse Consultant who works each day to ensure the comfort of patients at the end of life. Alison generates a rapport with families, and advocates for patients in pain. Her person centred approach brings families and carers into the conversation with the multi-disciplinary team.

She assists other staff to provide high quality end of live care through her high level of knowledge and her caring approach.

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Award Winner Joint Winner: Meaghan Jacob

Meaghan is a nurse who leads by example and contributes her best to her work always. She is so friendly and willing to help, and is known for her strong work ethic.

Meaghan is an inspiration in her approach to how she supports her colleagues and her patients, she is passionate, caring and positive and is often described by colleagues and patients as an exceptional nurse.

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Award Winner Team Award
Graythwaite 5, Ryde Hospital

The team at Graythwaite 5 are a multidisciplinary group of staff who work together to ensure that all patients are seen as individuals and achieve their goals.

They always have a smile on their face and are always ready to lend a hand. They connect with patients, developing an understanding of them at a deeper level, and making them and their families feel at home. Nothing is ever too much for the staff on this ward.

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Award Winner Consumer Nominated Individual Award
Michelle Noon

Michelle is a stomal therapy nurse working at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. She was nominated by a patient or consumer who said:

"I nominated Michelle because she's an absolutely amazing nurse. I admire her so much for all the love and care that she's given me and to other patients. She's always there if you need her. The first time I came in to meet her she was amazing and she really went above and beyond caring for me. I don't know what I would do without an empathetic nurse like her."

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Award Winner Consumer Nominated Team Award
Intensive Care Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital

The team from the Intensive Care Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital was nominated by a patient or consumer who said:

"I nominated the team at the Royal North Shore Intensive Care Unit because they are absolutely amazing. They saved my wife's life. They brought her to the start of the journey to recovery that she's still on today. They looked after me, they looked after my family. They helped me and our three boys through this harrowing journey and for that, I am forever grateful."

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Evidence-Based Decision Making Evidence-Based Decision Making

Award Winner Chronic Disease Community Rehabilitation Service (CDCRS)

The Chronic Disease Community Rehabilitation Service is a multi-disciplinary team, providing pulmonary and heart failure rehabilitation across the district.

They actively participate in quality and research to support their planning an implementation process. They foster an environment where research is considered a vital component of person centred care, which enhances the skills of the team and improves outcomes for patients.

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Responsive and Adaptable Organisation Responsive and Adaptable Organisation

Award Winner Peter Woollett

Peter is an exercise physiologist who works to increase access to exercise programs for clients of the mental health service, many who have not been able to commit to exercise for months or years.

Peter's contributions have added a significant physical health dimension to the structure and systems that support the delivery of mental health services within the community.

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Engaged and Empowered Workforce Engaged and Empowered Workforce

Award Winner Individual Award
Tim Yi

Tim Yi has been an outstanding member of the Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital pharmacy team for over 10 years.

Tim is always very calm and caring, and tries to promote these qualities in others. He initiated the Medication Safety Committee at Hornsby Hospital, which brings a multidisciplinary approach to medication safety. Tim is knowledgeable, approachable and a pleasure to work with.

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Award Winner Team Award
Vascular Access Service

The Vascular Access Service co-odinates the insertion of central venous access devices and difficult cannulation within the hospital.

A collaboration of ICU, Anaesthetics and Medical Imaging, the service ensures the patient is at the centre of all decision making, and the benefit to our patients and staff has been enormous. The service demonstrates what can be achieved with a common focus.

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CORE Values and Behaviours CORE Values and Behaviours

Award Winner Staff Nominated Award
Rick Soars

Rick has been a wardsperson at Mona Vale Hospital for 40 years. He is committed and hard-working, and has a smile and calmness that always helps in any situation. He is always respectful to his colleagues and anyone he meets during his day.

Rick has a natural way of putting patients at ease, there is nothing he doesn't do to keep the wards moving along to ensure that good quality care is provided to all patients.

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Award Winner Consumer Nominated Award
Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital

The team from the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre at Royal North Shore Hospital was nominated by a patient or consumer who said:

"I nominated this team because I have observed a fantastic team working together. The way in which everyone works together to take care of us is extraordinary. They have big smiles, happy faces, welcoming us with genuine care and we are all treated with a great deal of respect. It's important that everyone should know that we really appreciate it."

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Award Winner Volunteer or Consumer Advocate Award
Chris Jackson

Chris has been a volunteer for over 6 years. She is an integral part of the office, having a wealth of knowledge and goes beyond the norm to ensure it works effectively and efficiently.

She is extremely helpful and cooperative, assisting wherever possible, nothing is too much trouble. Her can do attitude is a credit to the organisation.

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Leadership Leadership

Award Winner Joint Winner: Matt Svenson

Matt is committed to excellence in the provision of engineering services at Ryde Hospital. He is focussed on keeping the complex array of hospital infrastructure running smoothly to support clinical staff to provide excellent patient care.

He is highly engaged with staff and patients and is always willing to help.

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Award Winner Joint Winner: Mary Separovich

Mary has spent 35 years in the Emergency Department at Royal North Shore Hospita, with 20ty years as the Nurse Unit Manager.

Mary is professional, compassionate and possesses an innate quality that her staff strive to emulate. She leads by example and is passionate about improving the patient experience.

It is a testament to Mary's excellence that she is referred to as the heart and soul of the Emergency Department.

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Chief Executive Award


Award Winner

Dr Marty Sterrett

Dr Marty Sterrett is both an emergency medicine physician and the Chief Medical Information Officer, (CMIO) for the Northern Sydney Local Health District.

Marty's positive approach really helps our patients through the difficult times. His ICT expertise along with his clinical experience is pivotal to the success experienced for our LHD in leading and advocating the transformation to digital clinical information systems.

Marty says he is still learning every day, and he really enjoys the opportunity to help. Marty is an absolute gentleman and is the very model of what our CORE values mean.




Video: Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing: the patient and consumer voice




A big thank you to our 2019 sponsors

The awards wouldn't be possible without the support of our wonderful sponsors AMP Capital, First State Super, Ventia and Dexus.

AMP Capital     First State Super      ​Ventia      Dexus