award helps improve emergency care


HESTA recently caught up with 2019 HESTA Nurse of the Year, Professor Kate Curtis from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District in Wollongong, to find out how the award has helped her work.


Professor Kate Curtis was recognised by HESTA for her work as a trauma nurse tirelessly advocating to reduce the impact of trauma injuries on patients and improve emergency hospital care across Australia and internationally, particularly for children.

Combining her clinical work with academic roles to produce ground-breaking studies on paediatric and emergency trauma care, Kate also founded the Childhood Injury Prevention Alliance (CHIPA) to improve injury treatment and prevention.


Kombi Clinic bucket hat and van


Professor Kate Curtis, 2019 HESTA Nurse of the Year, receiving her first COVID vaccination.


Back in 2019, Kate had vowed to use her prize money to continue to develop emergency nursing education nights, which presents the latest evidence to clinicians so they can use that in their own clinical practice.


How have you been able to use the prize money you received and has the award helped you in the long-term?

The prize money I received from ME Bank enabled me to attend a course in London at the Centre for Behavioural Change on how to help make major change in the clinical environment. As a result of my learnings in London, I’ve been able to embark on a project that’s improved the way we provide care for people with hip fractures, and mentored other nurses in the process.

We’re also working on a project to improve care for those at the end of their life in the emergency department at the moment. I’ve found being able to use the award title has been really helpful for me to get research funding.


"The prize money I received from ME Bank enabled me to attend a course in London on how to help make major change in the clinical environment."


The prize money also allowed me to host an education event for 200 emergency nurses, doctors and paramedics in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region. It was a great night of clinical updates, sharing stories and meeting people.


How did you feel when you won the award?

I was honoured, excited, embarrassed and humbled to receive the award from HESTA because so many of my amazing nurse colleagues make a huge difference every day - and I’m no different to them.

I think HESTA is providing a wonderful service to nursing.

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