you're all amazing

Health and community services is full of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, day in, day out, across Australia. That's why we created the HESTA Awards Program.



Recent award winners

Advancing Pedagogy & Practice

Karen and the teaching team at Balnarring Pre-School have been leaders in implementing a nature program which involves learning in and with natural environments.

Read their story

Nurse of the Year

Sue Hegarty was recognised for her exceptional advocacy and support for women with ovarian cancer.

Read her story

Team Excellence -Aged Care

Brightwater’s Falls Improvement Program Team was recognised for identifying and implementing evidence-based strategies in falls prevention to reduce fall rates and better support aged care residents.

Read their story

Key dates

HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards

Nominations open:  5 August 2024

Nominations close: 15 December 2024

HESTA Excellence Awards

Finalists announced: 30 July 2024

Winners announced: 29 August 2024

HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards

Finalists announced: 20 August 2024

Winners announced: 19 September 2024


thank you!

The following sponsors are assisting the next generation of health and community service professionals to share in the experience of the HESTA Awards.

We thank them for their generous support.



We have been highlighting the exceptional leadership and work taking place in health and community services since 2007.

It has been our privilege to recognise, reward and share the stories of these exceptional professionals.

2023 finalists and winners

2022 finalists and winners

Midwife of the Year

Melanie Briggs 


Teresa Walsh

Sarah Watts

Nurse of the Year

Sue Hegarty 


Karen Bellamy

Talay Quinlan

Outstanding Organisation

Beaudesert Hospital Maternity


Liverpool Hospital

2021 finalists and winners

Midwife of the Year

Janelle Dillon


Melanie Boulter

Nurse of the Year

Shannon Philp


Raymond Chan

Nicole Cummins

Simone Sheridan

Outstanding Organisation

Ramsay Health Care Australia


Monash University - Nursing & Midwifery

Nursing and Midwifery Health Program, Victoria

Advancing Pedagogy & Practice

Lilyfield Early Learning Centre


KU Isobel Pulsford Memorial Preschool Team

KU West Pymble Preschool


Individual Leadership

Karen Roberts


Natalie Cordukes

Michelle Gujer

Jackie Staudinger

Outstanding Organisation


Forbes Preschool

Jumbunna Community Preschool & Early Learning Centre

2020 finalists and winners

Midwife of the Year

Cassandra Nest


Dawn Reid

Kristy Wiegele


Nurse of the Year

Tania Green


Angela Casey

Rafael Serrano Real

Kate Weger


Outstanding Organisation

Ovarian Cancer Australia


Lavender Mother and Baby Unit



Aged Care

Outstanding Organisation

ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) Inc


Community Based Support (CBS)

Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc

Allied Health

Outstanding Organisation



Advance Rehab Centre

Little Wings Limited

Community Services

Outstanding Organisation

Justice Connect


Little Dreamers Australia

Purple House

Disability Services

Outstanding Organisation

Synapse Australia Ltd


Autism Mates

TAD (Technical Aid to the Disabled)

Team Excellence

Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults


Aged Care Services Team, Footprints in Brisbane Inc

Wound Champions Team, Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc

Team Excellence

PACE (Pulmonary and Cardiac Exercise and Education) Team, Alpine Health


IDHS Allied Health Team, Inglewood & Districts Health Service

RFDS Partnership Speech Team


Team Excellence

Wongee Mia, Ruah Community Services


The Plenty Project, Midlas

Tresillian 2U mobile Early Parenting Service


Team Excellence

Sharon’s 24/7 Support Team, Interchange


NeuroMoves, Spinal Cord Injuries Australia

Start Up, Challenge Community Services

2019 winners and finalists

Team Excellence

INSPIRED Team, Calvary Hospital Bruce- Clare Holland House


Community Outreach Nurse Program, Anam Cara House Geelong

Kidsburns, The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Redevelopment Team, St George Hospital 

2018 winners and finalists

2017 winners and finalists

Unsung Hero

Jenny Glare


Simone Nicole Baird

Margaret Jorgensen

Elizabeth Serpell

Edward Thomson

Outstanding Organisation



Good Shepherd Microfinance

Little Dreamers Australia

Orange Sky Australia

Puuya Foundation

Social Impact

Community Legal Centres Queensland


Blind Citizens Australia

Good Pitch Australia

Jesuit Social Services

WIRE Women's Information

Outstanding Organisation

Southern Cross Care (SA &  NT)


Lifeview Residential Care

Vasey RSL Care

Team Innovation

Aged Care Indigenous Induction Program


Comfort Care Centre

Exercise Physiology in Aged Care Team

Specialist Dialysis Team

Leisure and Lifestyle Team

Individual Distinction

Gordon Manuel


Anna Harrison

Sandra Gilbert

Sara Marmo

Young Leader

Nicole Cockburn


Bertrand Doeuk

Ryan Ebert

Nicole Pates

Nicholas Schuster

Team Excellence

Austin Aphasia Integration Program, Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, Austin Health Melbourne


The Healthy Lifestyle Team and #HerTribe, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

Lymphoedema Senior Management and Clinical Team, Calvary Public Hospital Bruce

Mars Clinic for Children's Continence, Mars Clinic

Paediatric Disability Rehab Team, NAPA Centre Pty Ltd


Individual Distinction

Dr Claire Jones


Teresa DiFranco

Dr Pamela Douglas

Peter Georgilopoulos

Clare MacFarlane



2016 winners and finalists

Outstanding Graduate

Shelley Cook


Ashleigh Morriss

Thembie Ndebele

Team Excellence

Clinical Service Team


Armadale Health Service Intensive Care Unit

Anglican Retirement Villages Goodhew Gardens Leadership Team

Bruce Clare Holland House Palliative Aged Care Consultancy Team

Nurse of the Year

Angie Monk


Gillian Hermosilla-Silva

Joanne Perks

Lisa Smith

Lynette Hernandez

Unsung Hero 

Anne Mitchell 


Dr Claire Jones

Janne Bidenko 

Ronald Briggs 

Outstanding Organisation

Arts Project Australia 


Communicare Inc. 

Youth Involvement Council 

SHINE for Kids Cooperative Ltd

Social Impact

Women with Disabilities Victoria


Advocare Incorporated

Fitted for Work

Justice Connect Not-for-profit Law 

Outstanding Organisation

Southern Cross Care (SA & NT)


Atticus Health

Feros Care

Lifeview Residential Care

Maurice Zeffert Home

Team Innovation

Sub-Acute Care Program


Bloomers Cafe

Flametree Dementia Care Project

Manager in Training Program

Vietnam Veterans Social Group

Individual Distinction

Camille Koch


Stanka Cica

Liz Drew

Himanshu Sing

2015 winners and finalists

Team Innovation

A safe place to call home @ Charles O'Neill Hostel


Holistic Wellness Program @ Southern Cross Care Keon Park

The Companion Therapy @ Bupa Aged Care Berwick

Stronger Carers @ BaptistCare NSW & ACT

Identify Pain: Ask, Observe, Report @ Wesley Mission Brisbane

Individual Distinction

Paul Brophy


Helen Spence

Henry Pan OAM

Sheryl Cain

Frank Naso

2014 winners and finalists

2012 winners and finalists

Why does HESTA run these Awards?

Health and community services is full of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, day in, day out, across Australia. That's why we created the HESTA Awards Program, to recognise outstanding contributions in nursing and midwifery, aged care, allied health, disability, and community services as well as early childhood education and care.


Why should I nominate?

There are many great reasons to nominate:

  • It’s good for the nominee… the person you are nominating will know they are appreciated, and their work is making a real difference to the lives of others.
  • It’s good for your team… you can use the awards as a way to appreciate, recognise and reward your colleagues for the excellent work they have done.
  • It’s good for your business… because showing appreciation not only makes the workplace a more enjoyable environment, it may also help your bottom line and will generate positive stories to share.
  • It’s good for the sector… by showcasing exceptional work and demonstrating your impact as an industry leader.

Every nominee will receive a certificate in recognition of their achievement and outstanding contribution to their sector. Certificates will be made available for nominators to download and present to the person, team, or organisation that they nominated.

All finalists in each category will be presented with a trophy in recognition of their achievement, two tickets to attend the Awards celebration, including flights from the nearest capital city to the event, and one night’s accommodation.

The winner in each category will receive a winner’s trophy and a cash prize of up to $10,000, to be used for personal or professional development or further development of processes or services in the workplace.

Further details can be found in the nomination Terms and Conditions for each Award on our Awards website

Key dates

Key dates will change each season, so please check our Awards website regularly for the most up-to-date information, including:

  • when nominations open and close
  • when the finalists are announced
  • when the Award winners are announced
  •  when you can purchase tickets to our Awards dinners

All finalists will be recognised, and the winners announced during a celebratory Awards event. Please refer to our Awards website for relevant dates and location for each Award.

Who can I nominate?

The awards are open to people working in health and community services. For full eligibility criteria please refer to our Awards website.

No. Anyone who works in health and community services can be nominated, only if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Yes you can, however someone in a senior leadership position, e.g. manager, owner etc. must be aware of the nomination. If your nomination is shortlisted, you will be required to provide the details of two seconders and/or a reference from a program partner or recipient of your services.

Yes. You can nominate more than one person, but you’ll need to complete a separate nomination for each nominee.

Yes, past nominees can be nominated if they fit the current Awards eligibility criteria. Further information can be found on our Awards website.

Yes. There are minimum requirements for nominees in the following Awards:

HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards
  • Nurses and midwives must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and meet the NMBA's registration standards, in order to practise in Australia. You can check here. If you are unsure, you can select 'unsure' and we'll check.
HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards
  • Nominees for the Outstanding Organisation Award must be an Australian in-scope service (birth to eight years of age) approved to operate by their state or territory regulatory body. Services must be at least meeting the National Quality Standards (can be provisional).
  • Individual Leadership Award nominees must have completed an early childhood education qualification (degree or diploma) and must have worked in an early childhood setting (birth to eight years of age) for a minimum of three years.
  • Nominees for the Advancing Pedagogy & Practice Award must be an individual or team with team members holding an early education qualification (diploma or degree) and currently working in an approved or registered education program for young children (birth to eight years of age). The educational setting must be at least meeting the National Quality Standards (can be provisional). 

The categories and eligibility criteria for all the Awards can be found on our Awards website:

Categories may change from year to year, so check our website for up-to-date information on the Award categories.

The nomination process

The nominator is the person who submits the nomination. Nominator details are required in order to verify the nomination. Nominators may be required to provide additional information about the nominee via phone. If your nomination is shortlisted, you will be required to provide the details of a seconder – someone who has direct knowledge of the nominee’s work. Remember that the nominee’s employer must be made aware of the nomination before submitting.

Please visit our Awards website to read about the categories and criteria for the Awards before you proceed:

If you have any questions about categories, criteria and eligibility, please call the HESTA Awards team on 03 8660 1600 or email You can then register online via our Awards website. Please note: the nomination system works best in Google Chrome.

If you don’t receive a confirmation email after registering, please check your junk mailbox. 

Before you start, we recommend you watch this short video which explains the nomination process. 

Then, collect as much of the following information as possible – which you’ll need to include in the nomination:

  • Name and contact details of the person you want to nominate (the nominee)
  • Contact information for their employer – you will need to inform them that you are nominating their employee
  • Information about their qualifications and work history
  • Evidence of the impact they have had – and how it is being measured
  • Any supporting documentation, images, or video clips – you can add up to five attachments.

All nominations need to be submitted online by completing all fields, answering all questions, acknowledging and agreeing to the Awards terms and conditions.

Yes. Nominators are required to inform the nominee's employer before submitting a nomination. Often, the employer is also able to assist with the nomination by providing additional information and evidence of the impact made by the nominee.

You will be asked to provide your name and contact details for yourself (the nominator) as well the name of the person, team, or organisation you are nominating.

Next, you will need to:

  • select the relevant category
  • provide answers to four or five questions (depending on the category), including evidence of the nominee’s impact – try to give specific examples, include facts and figures, and be as concise as you can
  • add any supporting material as attachments (file size 5MB per file; maximum of five files)
  • tell us who you think would attend the awards to accept the trophy
  • acknowledge and agree to the Awards terms and conditions
  • then, don’t forget to click the ‘Submit nomination’ button when you have finished!

No. You can continue to edit your nomination until the closing date. Your entry will be automatically saved by the system continuously, however the automatic save feature does not start until you have saved your entry for the first time. Please do not click the ‘Submit nomination’ button until you are 100% satisfied with the answers and all information provided.

Supporting materials can include references, testimonials, statistics, video, media coverage, financial or business metrics and/or statements, or data reports to boost your submission. However, there are limits to the size (maximum file size of 5MB) and number (five) of attachments that can be uploaded.

If you are having problems uploading a document or file, please let us know. Supporting materials are looked upon favourably by the judges, so consider their content, relevance, and format.

If your nominee/nomination has been shortlisted, you will be required to provide contact details of a seconder/referee who can verify the nomination. We will contact you via phone if you are shortlisted. 

A seconder or referee is someone with direct knowledge of the nominee’s contribution. It needs to be someone within a senior role outside the organisation, someone independent familiar with the nomination. This helps the judging panel understand and research your nominee’s achievements and contributions. One seconder/referee per nomination except if the nominee and nominator is the same person, then two seconders will be required.

You should check that each seconder is willing to support the nomination. It is helpful to send seconder a copy of the nomination, as well – this may help them to understand the nomination and think of relevant information.

Yes. Most questions have a limit of 400 words. There is no word limit for the supporting materials or evidence provided. However, please only include relevant material and consider the amount of reading the judges are required to undertake for each submission.

Yes. Once you are ready to submit your nomination in your online account, you will have the ability to add attachments, where you can upload your video or a link to it. Please make sure that videos are relevant to the nomination.

Depending on the Award you are entering, there are four or five questions to be answered. Please be as specific and concise as you can with your answers. You can make edits to your nomination until the closing date.

You can save and come back to your nomination any time, during the nomination period, before you press the submit button.

This depends on how well you are prepared. We strongly recommend you register on the platform and read through the nomination questions as soon as you can. Then, you can draft answers to each question in your own time, proof-read and copy them into the form.

You can continue to edit your nomination until the closing date.   

Once you have completed the nomination and clicked on the ‘Submit’ button you will receive an email notification confirming that it has been successfully submitted. 

If you don’t receive the confirmation email, please check your junk mailbox.

If it’s not in your junk mail, your organisation may have firewall protections in place that are blocking the email. If so, please contact your IT team and ask them to whitelist the following domains to allow email notifications coming from the HESTA Awards Program:

We've been running the HESTA Awards since 2007 and in that time, we've seen some great nominations. Here are some tips to help you write a nomination that our judges will love to read:

  • Keep your answers relevant to the question being asked.
  • Talk about things that are exceptional and beyond what is expected.
  • Include the facts and figures to explain your impact.
  • Using bullet points helps you to say a lot.
  • Use language that is clear, simple, and easy to understand.
  • Have someone proofread your work for spelling and grammar.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of tips from our judges

The judging process

All nominations are carefully reviewed to ensure they fit the criteria, prior to being assessed by a panel of industry professionals with a broad range of experience.

Judging is allocated to ensure that there is no conflict of interest in respective categories. Each judge will score all qualified submissions. Their scores will determine the finalists of each category.

The information you provide during the nomination process is treated as confidential, and approval will be sought before any publication.

The purpose of collection.

We collect personal information for the primary purpose of promoting the HESTA Awards. This may include verifying nominations, registering attendance at the HESTA Awards events, communicating information about the HESTA Awards, and publicity

We will only collect personal information which is necessary for the purposes of carrying out our functions as promoter of the HESTA Awards. We may disclose personal information to:

  • Judges of the HESTA Awards


  • Third party service providers who assist us in providing products and services including those promoting the HESTA Awards, public relations companies, and technical service providers. Generally, we require that organisations who handle or obtain personal information as service providers to us agree to comply with the HESTA Awards Privacy Policy (see below) and the Privacy Act 1988. We do not disclose any personal information outside of Australia.

H.E.S.T. Australia Ltd ABN 66 006 818 695 AFSL 235249, the Trustee of HESTA ABN 64 971 749 321.The information you provide when nominating, and any subsequent information you provide to us or our service providers in relation to this form, is collected in accordance with the HESTA Awards Privacy Policy available at

Announcements and communications

Not directly. However, as the nominator, we will provide you with an Award certificate that you can present to the person you nominated, after we announce the finalists. Remember, if you are nominating an individual, you are required to notify their employer before submitting the nomination.

All nominators will be notified via email as soon as the finalists are announced. Shortlisted nominations may receive a phone call to confirm details before the final judging round.

The date for the finalists announcement can be found on our Awards website. A media release announcement will be distributed to all nominators and will be published on the website.

All finalists are required to attend the Awards celebration. This may be in person or via broadcast. A representative from the HESTA Awards team will contact you and will provide all required information about the attending the Awards event.

After the official announcement, our Awards team will work with finalists to co-ordinate announcements and approvals of all communications regarding the Awards.

All past winners and their stories are published on our Awards website.

H.E.S.T. Australia Ltd ABN 66 006 818 695 AFSL 235249, the Trustee of HESTA ABN 64 971 749 321. The information you provide when nominating, and any subsequent information you provide to us or our service providers in relation to this form, is collected in accordance with the HESTA Awards Privacy Collection Statement available at