reducing trauma impact


Kate is the winner of Nurse of the Year in the 2019 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards. She works for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District in Wollongong, NSW

Professor Kate Curtis is recognised 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.


Kate was instrumental in developing a National Injury Prevention Strategy. She is an internationally renowned emergency and trauma nurse clinical researcher, whose studies into injury prevention and treatment has improved clinical practice both in Australia and around the world.

“The most rewarding thing about this work is knowing that we’re making a difference through research and advocacy for this pandemic that is childhood injury. Injury is the leading cause of death and disability in Australian kids,” said Kate.

One of the most published emergency and trauma nurses in the world, her evidence-based models of trauma care has improved equitable access to quality emergency treatment.

“Part of what I do is to ensure that everyone gets equitable access to emergency and trauma care so that no matter where you get injured in Australia you have the same opportunity for survival,” said Kate.

“Emergency and trauma care is an opportunity to help people at the worst time of their lives. It’s also an opportunity to apply science and clinical skills to save lives.”

Kate combines 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 and tirelessly advocated for a national injury prevention strategy.

Kate said she will use the prize money to share her research with other clinicians.

“I plan to use the 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. This means our patients will then get the best possible care,” Kate said. 

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