August 3, 2023

Stepping into the future: Northern Health holds the Nursing and Midwifery Graduation Ceremony

Last Friday, 28 July, Northern Health held the Nursing and Midwifery Graduation ceremony for the 2022 programs, marking the first face-to-face event since 2019.

The event was held at the NCHER Lecture Theatre, and was a celebration of the following programs: Enrolled Nurse Graduate program, Graduate Nurse Midwifery program, Supported Transition to Excellence in Practice program (STEP), Postgraduate programs and Preceptor award.

The ceremony marking the students’ graduation was not just a culmination of years of hard work and dedication, but also a celebration of their commitment to caring for others. Surrounded by friends, family, and mentors, the graduates stepped into a future that promises to be both challenging and rewarding.

The graduation ceremony commenced with an Acknowledgement of Country by Karen Bryant, Senior Aboriginal Liaison Officer, followed by welcome messages from Lisa Cox, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, and Anthony McGillion, Divisional Director Education.

“Graduates have worked hard to complete their programs supported by staff and nursing midwifery education, as well as the executive. It takes a community to support our learners and the graduation is an accumulation of their fantastic result,” said Annabel Milonas, Director Education, Nursing and Midwifery.

“We congratulate all 2022 award winners and graduates and wish them well in their future nursing and midwifery careers.”

During the ceremony, four graduate and postgraduate students and one preceptor were presented with awards by Lisa Cox for outstanding performance.

“The Nursing and Midwifery Graduation ceremony is a special time to acknowledge the achievements of not only all graduates through Northern Health but recognise and reward some exceptional graduates of various programs,” said Lisa.

“From Graduate EN’s, RN’s, through to specialty transition and post-graduate, this demonstrates the vast amount of education and professional development opportunities available at Northern Health.”

“Thank you to every nurse and midwife who go out of their way to support and teach our graduates of all courses, and a very special thanks to our Nursing and Midwifery Education Team, who are amazing.”

Dion Zaverdinos was awarded Enrolled Nurse Graduate of the Year 2022 for demonstrating a strong commitment to delivering quality, holistic patient care and for going above and beyond to ensure the comfort of those in his care.

“Dion has been recognised by both his peers and family members for the compassionate care that he provides to his patients,” said Rae-Chal Burgess, Enrolled Nurse Clinical Nurse Educator, when presenting the award.

Tayla McDonald was the recipient of the Mari Stewart Graduate Nurse Midwife of the Year 2022.

“A caring and compassionate nurse showing diligence in her work and lives the Northern health values of safe, kind and together in her everyday practice. During her time as a GNP, she was able to work well in the spirt of camaraderie with the multidisciplinary team, and has found a passion for ED nursing,” said Kate Duggan, Graduate Nurse Midwifery Program (GNMP) Coordinator.

The Postgraduate of the Year 2022 Award went to Kaytlin Wills, who was awarded the Aboriginal Postgraduate Nursing Scholarship to support her studies. Kaytlin was praised for being dependable and working hard to successfully complete her studies, resulting in an above average GPA and outstanding academic result.

“A warm, cheerful attitude to our patients and staff, she is a team member who always tries to lift the spirits of those around her, reflecting Northern Health values, and a dedicated staff member who provides the highest quality of care to her patients,” said Nicole Psaila, Postgraduate Program Coordinator.

The Nicole Browne Preceptor of the Year 2022 was awarded to Ashly Varghese for demonstrating a passion for mentoring the junior staff, and always striving to assist these staff in furthering their skill and knowledge base.

“Ashley projects a warm, cheerful attitude towards our patients and staff and displays impeccable attention to detail for our undergraduate students and graduates,” said Katia Forbes, GNMP Coordinator.

Lastly, the Danielle Waddell Supported Transition to Excellence in Practice (STEP) Student of the Year 2022 Award went to Tara Hardy for demonstrating strong work ethic and professionalism and brilliant communication with staff, patients and family members.

“Tara puts a smile on everyone’s face as a team player and has always demonstrated the Northern Health values of safe, kind, together,” said Annabel Milonas.

Congratulations to the nursing and midwifery graduates as they embark on a journey of compassion and care, transforming lives with their dedication and expertise.

Pictured in featured image (L-R); Kaytlin Wills, Dion Zaverdinos, Lisa Cox, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Tayla McDonald and Tara Hardy.