media release


16 April 2024


Extraordinary work of nation's nurses and midwives on show as HESTA announces annual Nursing and Midwifery awards finalists



Nine of Australia’s most outstanding nurses, midwives and organisations have been announced as finalists in the 2024 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards.


A nurse from the Northern Territory who opened the first private nurse practitioners’ general practice in her community after the only medical clinic closed; a midwife from Victoria who created the nation’s first stillbirth support guide for Aboriginal families, and a Queensland-based organisation who developed a new approach to diagnosing and treating Hepatitis C were named among the finalists.


HESTA CEO Debby Blakey congratulated the finalists, selected from hundreds of nominations from around the country.


"Congratulations to all finalists, who represent the epitome of dedication, compassion, and professionalism in the fields of nursing and midwifery. It’s fantastic to learn about their individual stories and accomplishments,” Ms Blakey said.


"We owe a great deal to our nurses, midwives, and the organisations whose work makes a meaningful difference for their communities and healthcare industries around Australia. It’s fantastic the HESTA Awards can help showcase their outstanding work,” she added.


The widely recognised awards - now in their 18th year - acknowledge the outstanding contribution of Australia’s nurses, midwives, nurse educators, researchers and personal care workers’ dedication to improving health outcomes.


A group of industry experts from across the health sector evaluated several exceptional nominations and chose finalists for the categories of Nurse of the Year, Midwife of the Year, and Outstanding Organisation.


Long-time awards supporter ME has contributed $30,000 in prize money to be split equally between the winners, to be used for professional development or to improve delivery of services or processes.


BOQ Group Executive of Retail Banking, Greg Boyle said: “ME appreciates and acknowledges all the finalists for their tireless and invaluable contributions to healthcare. The past few years have starkly illustrated that our healthcare system heavily depends on nurses, midwives, personal care workers, and those who train them.”


The winners will be announced on Thursday May 16.




Midwife of the Year:

Bonnie Hughes

Armadale Health Service

Mount Nasura, WA

Bonnie is recognised for using film and photography to advocate on behalf of all women and midwives in her community. Her podcast “Making a Midwife” enabled midwifery students to share research and tips and helped provide connection for those feeling isolated throughout the pandemic. Bonnie is a strong leader in her workplace, passionately advocating for better treatment, retention, and acknowledgement of midwives within the healthcare system.


Skye Stewart

Red Nose Australia 

Woomelang, VIC

Skye is recognised for creating the nation's first stillbirth support guide for Aboriginal families, having seen the unacceptable gap in stillbirth rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and the impact it left on communities. Skye travelled more than 32,000 kilometres over 20 months to communities across the country to ensure the stillbirth guide was as relevant as possible to the lived experience of Aboriginal families.


Tiffany Cattermole

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation

Broken Hill, NSW

Tiffany is recognised for her work as a midwife in the Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service in Broken Hill, supporting more than 40 pregnant women each year. Tiffany provides specialised care to the women in her community and understands the difficulties associated with providing pre and postnatal care in outback areas. Tiffany’s advocacy helps break down the cultural barriers to women centred Midwifery care. 



Nurse of the Year:


Kylie Straube

Remote Territory Healthcare 

Berry Springs, NT

Kylie is recognised for her 20-year career delivering healthcare services in remote communities. After her local community’s only medical clinic closed its doors, Kylie opened the first private nurse practitioners’ general practice in the community, ensuring 7,500 residents could receive the medical care they needed. 


Cathy Halmarick

Peninsula Health 

Frankston, VIC

Cathy is recognised for her work over 25 years as a nurse and midwife. She helped establish the Sexual and Reproductive Health Hub in Southeastern Victoria which ensured access to sexual health services for the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. When she identified that many women were finding the Intra Uterine Device (IUD) process painful, she initiated the use of a ‘green whistle’ to reduce women’s pain experience with excellent results. 


Meaghan Springett


Maroondah, VIC

For more than 16 years, Meaghan has worked in disability services. Meaghan established the Hospital to Home (H2H) program, which assists people moving out of hospital. Over 18 months, this program has saved 2,347 hospital bed days. She also set up the Young Onset Dementia (YOD) service, the first accommodation service in Victoria supporting young people with dementia in a social model setting and not an aged care setting.    


Outstanding Organisation:

The Healthy Communities Foundation Australia

Collarenebri, NSW

The Healthy Communities Foundation Australia is recognised for improving access to primary healthcare services in remote and Aboriginal communities. In addition to providing local access to health care, it has established the Dhirri-li Education for Work Centre to train Aboriginal people for entry level roles in the health and social care system to address lack of employment opportunities, and the social determinants of health. 


Pancare Foundation

Heidelberg, VIC

Together with the Pancreatic Cancer sector, Pancare contributed successfully in advocating for a $20 million investment into improving the health outcomes of those living with pancreatic cancer. Since then, Pancare has developed the world first state of the national report into Upper GI cancers, which has been recognised and prioritised by federal government and has triggered funding into the Pancare PanSupport services.


Ipswich AODS, West Moreton Health

Ipswich, QLD

The Ipswich Alcohol and Other Drug Service (AODS) is recognised for efficient practice in diagnosing and treating consumers with hepatitis C. The testing system produces results within an hour, meaning consumers can be tested and diagnosed for hepatitis C in the same visit. Since March 2022, the team has tested more than 170 people for hepatitis C, resulting in 24 positive diagnoses and eight successful treatments.




Media contact:

Sam Riley

General Manager Media Relations and Corporate Affairs

(03) 8660 1684


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