March 5, 2021

Celebrating International Women’s Day

‘A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s choose to challenge!’  is the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD).

As we mark IWD on 8 March, we celebrate women at every level of service and discipline at Northern Health, who took up the challenge and led from the front in what has been an eventful year.

Leading from the front are also our senior management team, which as Dr Sandra Brown, Acting Chief Medical Officer points out has, “a strong history of having women in leadership positions including the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, the head of HR and Allied Health.”

Michelle Fenwick, Executive Director People & Culture believes, “Northern Health’s Executive gender balance provides a strong foundation for delivering a ‘Safe, Kind, Together’ health service for people in the north.”

Reflecting on the qualities required of leaders in a crisis, Jane Poxon, our Chief Operating Officer says, “Times of crisis are times of intense difficulty, stress and complexity. I’m proud to be part of a group of women who lead with compassion, communicated clearly, and created flexible plans to manage the ‘post crisis’ new normal. It’s important to have a philosophy of not waiting for the next crisis to hit, to get yourself prepared.”

“Like everyone, when I reflect on the last 12 months it seems unbelievable that one virus has changed our world so much. It feels like a lifetime has occurred between last year’s International Women’s Day and this year,” says Debra Bourne, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.

“However, it has been a time in which our unique strengths as women have shone. I have been surrounded and supported by women from all areas of Northern Health who have shown resilience, intelligence, and the ability to just ‘get things done’.”

“Most importantly, I have seen and been given overwhelming support steeped in kindness which makes me feel extremely proud to work at Northern Health,” she adds.

“Whilst it has been a tough year, I am reminded how extremely privileged I am to be a part of the health system and health services management during a time like this. International Women’s Day is a moment to feel gratitude for the women that have forged the way to allow me to have the privileged life, from a gender perspective, that I have been fortunate to live,” says Briana Baass, Chief Allied Health Officer and Partnerships.

“I have grown up with so many role models to look up to and I have never been held back by my gender, because of the work they did. This allows me an opportunity to support the many groups in our community that still have to fight to be truly included and be offered opportunities to reach their potential,” says Briana.

Join us this International Women’s Day as we applaud and celebrate the achievements of all women, who chose to challenge.

Featured image (left to right): Debra Bourne, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer; Briana Baass, Chief Allied Health Officer and Partnerships; Michelle Fenwick, Executive Director People & Culture; Jane Poxon, Chief Operating Officer and  Dr Sandra Brown, Acting Chief Medical Officer.