allied health awards

We are proud to present the finalists across the two categories of Outstanding Organisation and Team Excellence in the 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards.



Outstanding Organisation finalists


Little Wings


Little Wings Limited

Bankstown Aerodrome NSW

Little Wings is recognised for their innovation in supporting children from regional and remote NSW to continue accessing life-saving medical treatment.

Little Wings is a free aero-medical service, transporting seriously ill children and their families to hospital. When the pandemic hit, attending hospital became unsafe for many immunocompromised children. As a result, Medical Wings was born. The program sees medical specialists fly to regular pop-up clinics in regional and remote locations, removing barriers for children to receive care during COVID.

The program’s impact has exceeded expectations. In 18 months, approximately 4000 children were treated through Medical Wings, which has reduced unnecessary hospital referrals by 85% and relieved 8000+ hospital beds annually. 

Little Wings plans to use the prize money to cover the costs of five additional clinics, assisting up to 500 seriously ill children.

Advance Rehab Centre
12 Points Psychology

Bayswater VIC

12 Points Psychology is recognised for improving access to mental health support. The practice strives to create a ‘ripple effect’ of mental wellness. They do this through creative initiatives such as animal-assisted therapy and online psychoeducation resources.

Therapy Bytes is one of the programs. An eight-week online course that aims to demystify psychology, the program provides easy-to-understand therapeutic skills, concepts and material, accessible any time from a mobile phone, tablet or computer. Topics include breathing techniques to counter stress responses, managing intense emotions and negative thoughts and more. Well-received by clients and clinicians, Therapy Bytes has resulted in significant improvements to participants’ mental wellbeing.

12 Points Psychology plans to use the prize money to continue improving the accessibility of the program. It plans to cut costs, customise content for different demographics and help organisations share the program with clients.



Mayfield North NSW

Firstchance is recognised for supporting the development of children with disabilities for over 40 years. 

A not-for-profit organisation, Firstchance has a dedicated team of allied health specialists, educators and support staff that delivers early intervention and school-aged programs to nearly 400 children and families in the Greater Newcastle region.

Their work is changing lives. Earlier this year, Firstchance worked with community organisations to implement ‘Welcome to Touch Football’, an inclusive group program that helps children develop their motor and social skills in a natural, rather than clinical, setting. The organisation also launched a suite of video modelling resources, helping children on the autism spectrum learn new skills and behaviours at their own pace, in a safe environment.

Firstchance plans to implement another inclusive group activity, providing an alternative to Touch Football for children with different interests.


Team Excellence finalists



Epworth Clinic Eating Disorders Team

Camberwell VIC

The Epworth Clinic’s eating disorders team is recognised for their transformation of care for consumers experiencing eating disorders within a general mental unit. 

After identifying a higher-than-expected prevalence of eating disorders among consumers, the team set about creating a new care pathway at the clinic. This included implementing critical pre-admission screening, supportive meal therapy and specialist referrals. Training and upskilling staff has been vital, ensuring care is embedded across the ward and not just left to a few experts. 

The Epworth Clinic now provides a specialist eating disorder program, delivered by a skilled team of nurses, allied health clinicians, psychiatrists and food service staff that ensures a holistic and comprehensive approach to care.

The team plans to provide professional supervision for all staff working with consumers with eating disorders and expand the service to better support consumers following discharge.

The Baby Play Academy Team, Western Kids Health

Mount Hawthorn WA

Western Kids Health’s Baby Play Academy Team is recognised for going above and beyond to empower parents to support baby development.

When COVID hit, Western Kids Health was inundated with messages from anxious parents concerned about their baby’s growth. To address the lack of accessible and affordable support and information for parents, the team developed the Baby Play Academy.

The Academy is an online education and support pathway for parents and caregivers, combining digital resources, community forums, telehealth consultations and referrals. The team spent a year creating video and written content covering infant motor, language, social and cognitive skills development, all based in play and attachment principals. The Academy has since grown to support over 2000 members, improving parent knowledge, skills and confidence. The Team also utilises Instagram to support parents all over the world, with over 130,000 followers.

The team plans to continue developing Academy content, including utilising specialist guest speakers and building the online community.


Mental Health Co-Responders (MH CORE), SA Health partnership

Oaklands Park SA

The Mental Health Co-Responders partnership (MH CORE) is recognised for spearheading an innovative approach to mental health care, reducing pressure on the South Australian health system.

MH CORE has partnered South Australian paramedics with mental health clinicians to respond to Triple Zero (000) callers experiencing a mental health crisis and help them avoid a hospital emergency department. 

MH CORE is a partnership between SA Ambulance Service and the Central, Southern and Northern Adelaide Local Health Networks’ community mental health teams.

One of the key successes of MH CORE is that around 80% of people attended by MH CORE have been able to be supported in the community, whereas previously almost all would have been taken to a hospital emergency department.

MH CORE also sets people up for a more sustainable recovery and self-management of their mental health by connecting them to community-based services and engaging them in decision-making about their care.



Check out the other 2022 HESTA Excellence Awards finalists

aged care | community services | disability services

2021  finalists and winners:   allied health  | aged care  |  community services  |  disability services

2020  finalists and winners:   allied health  | aged care  |  community services  |  disability services



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Learn more about the HESTA Excellence Awards