insight from an industry leader


Lee Thomas. Federal Secretary at ANMF. HESTA Awards judge.


As a recognised personality in the health care industry, Lee chats to us about her career and shares her insights on being a judge for the HESTA Australian Nursing Awards.


As Federal Secretary at the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF), my main priority is…

to ensure the working lives of nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing are protected, that healthcare funding remains a priority, and that the ANMF remains a powerful industrial, professional, political and campaigning union.


Throughout my career, I have learnt to…

never give up. There have been many times during my union career (now almost 20 years) where I have felt like giving up on what I was fighting for, but I’d always forge ahead because ultimately — it’s the patients who either win or lose.


What I find most rewarding about judging the HESTA Australian Nursing Awards is…

seeing how hardworking and dedicated Australia’s nurses are. These awards publicly recognise the lengths that many will go to ensure they are delivering quality care, irrespective of the environment.


Advice I would give young nurses and midwives is…

some shifts are tough, others are terrific, but overall, it’s a great career. It will take you places, and the communities you work in will always respect you.


"HESTA provides a platform to profile the amazing work that many of them do — who would otherwise be unseen in our communities."


I admire…

strong women who excel in traditionally male-dominated professions such as Christine Lagarde (International Monetary Fund), Julia Gillard (former PM), my fellow female national union secretaries — I think you get the picture?


Three words that describe me are…

this question is a tough one! But I would say, determined, outgoing, happy.



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