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Meet the 2019 CRANAplus Award Winners

7 Dec 2019

The CRANAplus awards are always a highlight for conference delegates, and in maintaining tradition they were awarded at the conference dinner in 2019. The awards are an opportunity to recognise those remote and isolated health professionals who have made a significant contribution to remote health and are outstanding health professionals. Congratulations to all of our award winners in 2019!

The pres­ti­gious Auro­ra Award was ini­ti­at­ed by CRANAplus to recog­nise indi­vid­u­als who have made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to remote health. This year’s recip­i­ent, Susan Mark­well, was no excep­tion and is an inspi­ra­tion and leader in her field. Con­grat­u­la­tions Susan!

Susan is a flight nurse employed by the Roy­al Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice, Queens­land Sec­tion. Com­menc­ing her career over 28 years ago, as the only flight nurse based in Charleville, she relo­cat­ed to Cairns in the 1990s as the senior flight nurse to lead the nurs­ing team in the pro­vi­sion of pri­ma­ry health care and aeromed­ical retrievals. 

Susan is con­sid­ered by her col­leagues and peers as a shin­ing light, a pro­fes­sion­al role mod­el with­in remote health practice. 

Well recog­nised for her astute­ness and knowl­edge of the local ser­vice area, the peo­ple who reside there, as well as the com­mu­ni­ties RFDS serve.

She is well loved by her col­leagues and patients and con­tin­ues her work with great pas­sion, dri­ve and clin­i­cal excel­lence to pro­vide the high­est stan­dard of patient care.

She works close­ly with the peo­ple of the Cape and north-west­ern com­mu­ni­ties in pri­ma­ry health care, mater­ni­ty ser­vices and emer­gency work and is high­ly-respect­ed, extreme­ly knowl­edge­able, an excel­lent team play­er and an expe­ri­enced clin­i­cian. In addi­tion, Susan man­ages an enor­mous work­load and inspires great team­work and team building.

Susan is known for her gen­eros­i­ty of spir­it and zest for men­tor­ing of flight nurs­es, med­ical offi­cers, RANs and allied health professionals.

She is a strong advo­cate for build­ing the capa­bil­i­ties of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander Health Work­ers through men­tor­ing, edu­ca­tion and training.

The tena­cious­ness Susan pos­sess­es is char­ac­terised by her com­mit­ment, pas­sion and ener­gy, from dri­ving excel­lence in clin­i­cal care to lead­ing high-per­form­ing teams, embrac­ing change through state and nation­al health care pro­grams, ini­tia­tives and projects. In addi­tion, she is an active par­tic­i­pant in RFDS forums
and meet­ings for child health, mater­ni­ty and emer­gency ser­vices at a local lev­el with­in the Cairns health district.

As a high­ly-devel­oped leader and a pro­fes­sion­al role mod­el with­in RFDS and broad­er nurs­ing pro­fes­sion, Susan is a dynam­ic woman who walks the talk, an out­stand­ing shin­ing light for remote and iso­lat­ed health care prac­tice and a deserved win­ner of the 2019 CRANAplus Auro­ra Award.


Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Win­ner: Johan­na Neville 

Spon­sored by: James Cook Uni­ver­si­ty – Rur­al and Remote Health

Johan­na is a strong advo­cate for remote com­mu­ni­ties and the right of indi­vid­u­als to access qual­i­ty pri­ma­ry health care and pop­u­la­tion health services.

Johan­na is a Reg­is­tered Nurse and Mid­wife employed by Apunip­i­ma Cape York Health Coun­cil. As a pro­gram advi­sor for mater­nal and child health, she pro­vides pro­fes­sion­al lead­er­ship, strate­gic direc­tion and clin­i­cal guid­ance to mater­nal and child health staff who deliv­er pri­ma­ry health care ser­vices to 11 remote Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander com­mu­ni­ties in Cape York. In 1993 Johan­na became a Reg­is­tered Nurse and, as an ear­ly career nurse, was drawn to rur­al, remote and iso­lat­ed posts which broad­ened her expe­ri­ences and expertise.


Excel­lence in Research in Remote Health Win­ner: Katie Pen­ning­ton

Spon­sored by: Cen­tre for Remote Health

Katie has led a crit­i­cal research project Reg­is­tered nurs­es in very remote Aus­tralia, med­i­cines and the law’, inves­ti­gat­ing the impact that cur­rent med­i­cines and poi­sons leg­is­la­tion has on the abil­i­ty of reg­is­tered nurs­es to pro­vide health care in the very remote and iso­lat­ed con­text.

Katie is a Reg­is­tered Nurse, researcher who cur­rent­ly works with Pun­turkunu Abo­rig­i­nal Med­ical Ser­vice in West­ern Aus­tralia where her role is focused on improv­ing clin­i­cal sys­tems, clin­i­cal gov­er­nance and sup­port for clin­i­cians.

As well, Katie works a tad clos­er to home at St Helens Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal in Tas­ma­nia.

Katie’s first expo­sure to remote and iso­lat­ed health care prac­tice occurred in the late 1990s and ear­ly 2000s dur­ing her time as a medic in the Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF).

Since leav­ing the ADF and becom­ing a Reg­is­tered Nurse in 2005, Katie has worked pre­dom­i­nant­ly in rur­al and remote loca­tions in West­ern Aus­tralia with Inter­na­tion­al Health and Med­ical Ser­vices in deten­tion health, and in South Aus­tralia with SAHM­RI Wardli­par­ing­ga Abo­rig­i­nal Research Unit.


Out­stand­ing Novice/​Encouragement Win­ner: Tiffany Callanan

Spon­sored by: Remote Area Health Corp

As an ear­ly career Reg­is­tered Nurse, Tiffany con­tin­ues to strive for excel­lence through pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment, and is con­sid­er­ing under­tak­ing fur­ther qual­i­fi­ca­tions and CRANAplus’ remote emer­gency and mater­ni­ty emer­gency cours­es in the near future.

Tiffany began her nurs­ing career in aged care. In 2017 she com­plet­ed a Bach­e­lor of Nurs­ing at Charles Sturt Uni­ver­si­ty. In 2018 she entered a grad­u­ate nurse pro­gram and under­took remote place­ment at Porm­pu­raaw Pri­ma­ry Health Care Clin­ic in the west coast of Gulf Car­pen­taria, where she remains as the clin­i­cal nurse.