Award Win­ners

2018 Auro­ra Award 

Win­ner: Mon­i­ca Frain 

Monica’s career in remote health launched fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of a Mas­ters in Pub­lic Health and Trop­i­cal Med­i­cine in the late 1990’s. For more than a decade Mon­i­ca was a Remote Area Nurse in one of Australia’s most iso­lat­ed com­mu­ni­ties at Kalum­baru, in the East Kim­ber­ley of far North, West­ern Australia. 

Mon­i­ca is held in high esteem by the Elders and Tra­di­tion­al Own­ers in the Kalum­baru area has been described as a pas­sion­ate advo­cate for Abo­rig­i­nal Health Work­ers, sup­port­ing their stud­ies through the Kim­ber­ley Abo­rig­i­nal Med­ical Ser­vices Coun­cils School of Health Studies. 

As the Region­al Remote Nurse Man­ag­er, Mon­i­ca was instru­men­tal in devel­op­ing the capa­bil­i­ty of her nurse col­leagues. Mon­i­ca led the intro­duc­tion of Phar­ma­cother­a­peu­tics for RANs into remote health ser­vices in WA. In addi­tion she was the first to recruit nurs­es into remote prac­tice using the Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Remote Health Prac­tice in Wyndham. 

After mov­ing to Broome, Mon­i­ca under­took a lead­er­ship role with­in the Pop­u­la­tion Health Unit, of West­ern Aus­tralian Coun­try Health Ser­vice. Dur­ing her time Mon­i­ca has influ­enced the health out­comes of peo­ple across her region by imple­ment­ing stan­dard­ised evi­dence-based prac­tice, includ­ing intro­duc­ing a shared chron­ic dis­ease records across the Kimberley. 

Mon­i­ca is an active Fel­low of CRANAplus and reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to con­fer­ences. Mon­i­ca strong­ly lob­bied’ for CRANAplus to bring our last Con­fer­ence to Broome and also Perth in 2010, both times active­ly seek­ing peo­ple and finan­cial sup­port to ensure it was a success. 

Mon­i­ca is admired by her col­leagues and is con­sid­ered a leader in remote health prac­tice through her com­mit­ment to con­tin­u­ous­ly improv­ing the skills of the remote health workforce. 

Mon­i­ca has a clear vision and sees health care as a vehi­cle for clos­ing the gap’ and works tire­less­ly with com­mu­ni­ty groups and Abo­rig­i­nal Com­mu­ni­ty Con­trolled Health Organ­i­sa­tions to ensure Abo­rig­i­nal voic­es are heard at the deci­sion-mak­ing table. 

Mon­i­ca is known by her peers, col­leagues and friends as loy­al, hard­work­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tive, coura­geous, hum­ble, dili­gent and the ulti­mate opti­mist. Most impor­tant­ly she is a lov­ing moth­er and grandmother. 

2018 CRANAplus Award Winners 

Excel­lence in Remote and Iso­lat­ed Health Prac­tice Award 

Spon­sored by Mount Isa Cen­tre for Rur­al & Remote Health

Win­ner: Natal­ie Thaiday 

Natal­ie is an endorsed enrolled nurse employed by Tor­res and Cape Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice as an Indige­nous Nurse Nav­i­ga­tor Sup­port Offi­cer. Natal­ie works togeth­er with the Nurse Nav­i­ga­tors and is rec­og­nized for her enthu­si­asm, pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion to the peo­ple of the Cape York and Tor­res Straits. 

Her peers say she is a force to be reck­on with’ in her posi­tion, and a role mod­el ensur­ing the suc­cess of the ser­vice. Natal­ie has con­tributed to reduc­ing the num­ber of no shows’ episodes and dis­charges against med­ical advice, as well as improv­ing health lit­er­a­cy for Tor­res and Cape Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice clients attend­ing Cairns base appointments. 

Excel­lence in Edu­ca­tion or Research in Remote Health Award 

Spon­sored by Cen­tre for Remote Health

Win­ner: Tor­res and Cape Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Edu­ca­tion Team 

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Tor­res and Cape Edu­ca­tion Team, they are known for hav­ing a pas­sion for liv­ing and work­ing with­in remote areas, work­ing tire­less­ly with all health pro­fes­sion­als, edu­cat­ing and set­ting the stan­dard for excel­lence in remote area prac­tice. They are strong dri­vers, fos­ter­ing engage­ment with the indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties with the over­all goal of clos­ing the gap’ and empow­er­ment of local staff members. 

Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing in Remote and Iso­lat­ed Health Award 

Spon­sored by Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC)

Win­ner: Josh Stafford 

Josh Stafford is the Direc­tor of Nurs­ing at the Lock­hart Riv­er and Coen Pri­ma­ry Health Care Cen­tre. Josh has worked in Cape York the past 10 years as a Remote Area Nurse and now a Direc­tor of Nurs­ing. He is a com­mit­ted RAN and is ded­i­cat­ed to improv­ing the health out­comes of the com­mu­ni­ties in North Queensland. 

His peers describe him as being an excel­lent, kind and engag­ing clin­i­cian in remote prac­tice and a very capa­ble and car­ing man­ag­er. With this exper­tise, Josh shows excel­lence in men­tor­ing for the devel­op­ment of remote nurs­es. He is cur­rent­ly involved in a pro­gram which sup­ports the intro­duc­tion of ear­ly career nurs­es’ into remote pri­ma­ry health care cen­tres, as well as being sup­port­ive to all mem­bers of his staff. Josh has been described as an ambas­sador to the vital and con­tin­u­ing devel­op­ment of the remote nurs­ing workforce. 

Out­stand­ing Novice/​Encouragement Award: 

Spon­sored by Aussiewide Econ­o­my Transport

Win­ner: Desi Aji 

Desi Aji is a Remote Area Nurse employed since 2016 at the Billilu­na Health Clin­ic at the East Kim­ber­ley Abo­rig­i­nal Med­ical Ser­vices. Desi is seen as a dri­ving force as well as an excel­lent clin­i­cian and com­mu­ni­ca­tor, well respect­ed by the com­mu­ni­ty, and known for her enthu­si­asm and com­mit­ment to remote and iso­lat­ed health. 

Through Desi’s qui­et con­fi­dence and com­pe­tent approach, she has been instru­men­tal in arrang­ing and com­plet­ing many adult health checks which result­ed in iden­ti­fy­ing a large cohort of women with sex­u­al health needs. By the end of 2017 Desi had achieved 100% com­pli­ance for atten­dance and treat­ment. This is only one exam­ple of her influ­en­tial nature and the qual­i­ty of pri­ma­ry health care deliv­ered by Desi. Her peers describe Desi as a warm, high­ly moti­vat­ed, and sup­port­ive col­league, and is seen as a future leader and advo­cate in the field of remote nursing. 

Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award 

Spon­sored by Bel­lette Web Design

Win­ner: Nurse Nav­i­ga­tor Team 

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Nurse Nav­i­ga­tor Teams locat­ed in Cairns, Thurs­day Island, Weipa and Cook­town, this team is com­prised of nurs­es, mid­wives and indige­nous sup­port offi­cers who are all very expe­ri­enced in remote health. 

The Nurse Nav­i­ga­tion team is ded­i­cat­ed to improv­ing the health out­comes for Far North Queens­land remote com­mu­ni­ties. This inno­v­a­tive new ser­vice, in its first year or so of oper­a­tion, report­ed an out­stand­ing achieve­ment where­by more than 900 peo­ple from the Tor­res and Cape York had received their support. 

The aim of the Nurse Nav­i­ga­tor team is to facil­i­tate the health care jour­ney for com­plex patients to improve their health out­comes in both the short and long term. 4 key prin­ci­ples dri­ve the prac­tice of this service: 

  • Coor­di­nat­ing per­son cen­tered care 
  • Cre­at­ing partnerships 
  • Sup­port­ing indi­vid­u­als through a reg­u­lar­ly frag­ment­ed health care journey 
  • Facil­i­tat­ing sys­tem improvements. 

Past Award Winners


Auro­ra Award: Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor Sue Lenthall

CRANAplus Awards:

Excel­lence in Education/​or Research in Remote Health: The Nurs­ing Edu­ca­tion Team, Tor­res & Cape Hos­pi­tal & Health Ser­vice
Excel­lence in Remote and Iso­lat­ed Health Prac­tice Award: Ms Kathy Arthurs
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan
Novice/​Encouragement Award: Isabel Pearce
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing Award: Steve Brown 


Auro­ra Award: Glen­da Lucas 

CRANAplus Awards:
Excel­lence in Education/​or Research in Remote Health: Tobias Speare
Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Award: Rita Appelt
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Coop­er Basin RFDS Team
Novice/​Encouragement Award: Daphne De Jer­sey
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing Award: Joanne Mahony


Auro­ra Award: San­dra McElligott

CRANAplus Awards:
Excel­lence in Education/​or Research in Remote Health: Sal­ly Foxley
Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Award: Annette Jones
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Uti­ra Kulin­t­jaku (UK) Team, NPY Women’s Council
Novice/​Encouragement Award: Ben­jamin Crough
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing Award: Pauline (Pol­ly) Rubin


Auro­ra Award: Judy Whitehead

CRANAplus Awards:
Excel­lence in Education/​or Research in Remote Health: Annette Olsen
Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Award: Dinah Northcott
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Mid­wifery Group Prac­tice, Cen­tral Aus­tralia & Apunip­i­ma Cape York Health Council’s Mater­nal and Child Health Team
Novice/​Encouragement Award: Cather­ine Jurd
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing Award: Jonathon Wright


Auro­ra Award: Don­na Hindmarsh

CRANAplus Awards:
Excel­lence in Education/​or Research in Remote Health: Vic­ki Gordon
Pri­ma­ry Health Care Cham­pi­on Award: Yvonne Tan
Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Award: Chris­tine Foletti
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Indi­an Ocean Ter­ri­to­ries Health Service
Novice/​Encouragement Award: Emi­ly Taylor
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing Award: Sheryl Alexander


Auro­ra Award: Sue Kildea & Karen Schnitzerling

CRANAplus Awards:
Excel­lence in Remote Health Man­age­ment Award: Les­ley Pearson
Pri­ma­ry Health Care Cham­pi­on Award: Deb­bie Thompson
Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Award: Rebec­ca Vele
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Fron­tier Ser­vices – Savan­nah Region­al Health Service
Novice/​Encouragement Award: Sarah Marsh


Auro­ra Award: Kary Sachse

CRANAplus Awards:
Excel­lence in Remote Health Man­age­ment Award: Mon­i­ca Frain
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing in Remote Health Award: Theo Allan
Pri­ma­ry Health Care Cham­pi­on Award: Katie Pennington
Excel­lence in Edu­ca­tion and/​or Research in Remote Health Award: Julia Stewart
Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Award: Deb­bie Moon


Auro­ra Award: Isabelle Ellis

CRANAplus Awards:
Clin­i­cal Excel­lence Award: Nazlin Remtula
Excel­lence in Pri­ma­ry Health Care Award: Sharon Liversey
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing Award: Seli­na Kulitja
Excel­lence in Remote Health Man­age­ment: Emma Barritt


Auro­ra Award: Robyn White

CRANAplus Awards:
Clin­i­cal Excel­lence Award: Doune Hepner
Excel­lence in Remote Health Man­age­ment Award: John Wilson
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Tor­res Strait Out­er Islands remote area nurses
Excel­lence in Pri­ma­ry Health Care Award: Bev Hamer­ton
Novice/​Encouragement Award: Lisa Hall
Excel­lence in Research and/​or Edu­ca­tion Award: Sue Lenthall


Auro­ra Award: Vic­ki Gordon

WA: Vanes­sa Page
NT: Sharon Weymouth
SA: Beth Hummerston
QLD: Bev Hamerton
VIC: Caitlin Stein­er


Auro­ra Award: Lib­by Bowell

NT: Mary Stafford
TAS: Mark McKenna