Award Win­ners

2020 Auro­ra Award 

Win­ner: Pro­fes­sor Sabi­na Knight

Pro­fes­sor Sabi­na Knight, Direc­tor of the Cen­tre for Rur­al and Remote Health at James Cook Uni­ver­si­ty, based in Mount Isa, is the 2020 recip­i­ent of the pres­ti­gious Auro­ra Award from CRANAplus, the peak nation­al body for remote health.

The award each year recog­nis­es an indi­vid­ual who has made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to remote health. This year’s awards focus on recog­nis­ing those who have respond­ed to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic in an excep­tion­al way.

Fed­er­al Region­al Health Min­is­ter, Mark Coul­ton pre­sent­ed the award vir­tu­al­ly via video to Sabi­na today (Fri­day Decem­ber 4). The award pre­sen­ta­tion is nor­mal­ly a high­light of the organisation’s annu­al con­fer­ence which did not occur this year because of the pandemic.

This year, Sabi­na, who iden­ti­fies first and fore­most as a remote area nurse and health advo­cate, was appoint­ed as the CRANAplus rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Nation­al COVID-19 Clin­i­cal Evi­dence Taskforce. 

Sabi­na has been con­tribut­ing to CRANA since its incep­tion in 1983, through its growth into CRANAplus in 2008, up to the present day. She was the first CRANA Vice Pres­i­dent, has held the posi­tion of Pres­i­dent sev­er­al times over the years, and has held a vari­ety of oth­er elect­ed roles. 

2019 CRANAplus Award Winners 

Excel­lence in Remote and Iso­lat­ed Health Prac­tice Award 

Spon­sored by James Cook Uni­ver­si­ty, Cen­tre for Rur­al and Remote Health

Win­ner: Di Thornton

Di, who works for the Mallee Bor­der Health Cen­tre, is recog­nised for her inno­v­a­tive approach to the deliv­ery of health care dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, trav­el­ling to dif­fer­ent loca­tions with her team each day as part of her practice.

The clo­sure of the VIC/SA bor­der meant that the res­i­dents of part of remote SA, includ­ing Pin­na­roo, were unable to access health ser­vices, with only one part-time GP remain­ing in the area. 

Di was shocked when advised that the res­i­dents of this region would no longer have rea­son­able or time­ly access to health ser­vices. She demon­strat­ed her lev­el of com­mit­ment to rur­al health by rapid­ly plan­ning and reor­gan­is­ing her prac­tice and staff to ensure ade­quate and essen­tial ser­vices remained either side of the bor­der. In time, the SA gov­ern­ment imple­ment­ed a bor­der bub­ble” which enabled Di to again pro­vide full ser­vices to her entire community. 

She advo­cat­ed for sev­er­al Vic­to­ri­an patients in rela­tion to the bor­der issue, includ­ing one child requir­ing urgent can­cer surgery, with the sup­port of her local MP Dr. Anne Web­ster. Togeth­er with the Aus­tralian Col­lege of Nurse Prac­ti­tion­ers, Di and her team also lob­bied for a change to the bor­der clo­sure to allow for health care. Many peo­ple liv­ing in the region access ter­tiary health­care in Ade­laide, as it is clos­er than Mel­bourne, and they were sud­den­ly cut off from their usu­al spe­cial­ists and services. 

The Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award 

Spon­sored by Remote Area Health Corps

Win­ner: COVID-19 Response and Action Infor­ma­tion Group (CRAIG) at the Top End Health Ser­vice (TEHS)

The TEHS CRAIG team mem­bers are Ruth Derkenne, Kel­ly Hosk­ing, Jane Thomas, Tra­cy Porter and Tere­sa De San­tis. This team, has worked tire­less­ly since the arrival of the pan­dem­ic in Aus­tralia to pro­duce plans and pro­ce­dures for remote clin­ics to fol­low, and have con­tin­u­al­ly kept up to date with the mul­ti­ple changes that have occurred. 

A major move was to design and devel­op easy to wipe down gowns made of para­chute mate­r­i­al so that health work­ers could prac­tice don­ning and doff­ing whilst not hav­ing to throw away pre­cious PPE, trav­el­ling to remote clin­ics to do this training. 

They also cre­at­ed the CRAIG TEHS Pri­ma­ry Health Care newslet­ter, sent out week­ly, now fort­night­ly, updat­ing remote clin­ics with the changes, plans and resources avail­able to them. 

In addi­tion, they have helped train and pull togeth­er Rapid Assess­ment and Rapid Response Teams, who are on call to be deployed into remote loca­tions should a case of COVID be found. 

Team mem­bers have spent count­less nights awake and week­ends at work to devel­op all these things so that remote clin­ics are as best pre­pared as they can be for a pos­i­tive COVID case.

Past Award Winners

2019

Auro­ra Award: Susan Markwell

CRANAplus Awards:

Excel­lence in Remote Health Prac­tice Award: Johan­na Neville
Excel­lence in Education/​or Research in Remote Health:
Katie Pen­ning­ton
Out­stand­ing Novice/​Encouragement Award:
Tiffany Callahan 

2018

Auro­ra Award: Mon­i­ca Frain

CRANAplus Awards:

Excel­lence in Remote and Iso­lat­ed Health Prac­tice Award: Natal­ie Thai­day
Excel­lence in Education/​or Research in Remote Health: Tor­res and cape Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Edu­ca­tion Team
Out­stand­ing Novice/​Encouragement Award: Desi Aji
Excel­lence in Men­tor­ing in Remote and Iso­lat­ed Health Award: Josh Stafford
Col­lab­o­ra­tive Team Award: Nurse Nav­i­ga­tor Team 

2017

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 

2016

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

2015

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

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2011

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

2010

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

2009

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

2008

Auro­ra Award: Vic­ki Gordon

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

2007

Auro­ra Award: Lib­by Bow­ell

NT: Mary Stafford
TAS: Mark McKenna