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The Women’s and Children’s Health Network acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of Country throughout South Australia. We acknowledge and respect their ongoing and deep spiritual connection and relationship to land, air, sea, waters, community and country. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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Distinguished Service Awards

Distinguished Service Awards 2022

The WCHN Distinguished Service Awards are a special recognition of people who have made a significant contribution to our organisation over the course of their working lives.

The 2020/2021 Distinguished Service Awards were presented on Wednesday, 26 October, 2022 after being delayed due to COVID-19.

All nominees have demonstrated exceptional performance, above and beyond what is expected, have assisted our organisation to achieve our strategic goals, and played a significant role in enhancing WCHN’s reputation.

They have also given exceptional service in at least one of the following areas:

  • Clinical
  • Research
  • Education
  • Community or consumer advocacy, or
  • Leadership in line with our values

On behalf of everyone at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, we thank the following recipients for their incredible service.

2020 Recipients

Dr Hilary Boucaut

Dr Hilary Boucaut was a Senior Consultant at the Women's and Children's Hospital for 30 years and the head of Paediatric Surgery’s Urology Unit for 7 years.

In her 25 years as the hospital’s leading renal surgeon, Hilary demonstrated outstanding technical skills, a passion for innovation, and a career long interest of improving her patients’ quality of life.

Hilary was responsible for the introduction of urodynamics to the hospital and was the first paediatric urologist to provide augmentation cystoplasty to children with bladder conditions.

Her care resulted in a generation of patients surviving into adulthood with improved renal function.

In addition to her own exceptional clinical contributions, Hilary was a highly respected teacher, trainer, and mentor for junior medical staff.

She provided support and education to nursing teams across the hospital and was also seen by other senior consultants as the “go-to” surgeon for advice.

Throughout her career, Hilary maintained a reputation for high quality care and always demonstrated a high level of integrity.

Her contributions to the field have also resulted in WCH being recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons as an accredited training centre for Advanced Paediatric Urology.

Jan James

Jan James

Jan provided high level nursing care at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for 34 years. In that time, she spent 10 years in Neonatal intensive care, 10 years in paediatric intensive care, and 14 years as a nurse consultant with Home Enteral Nutrition Service, or HENS.

Jan’s exceptional leadership and communication skills were applied with a strong focus on patient and family centred care.

She was a highly respected member of the gastroenterology team and a skilled multidisciplinary clinician throughout numerous hospital departments.

Jan’s kind and caring nature were longstanding trademarks of her gentle approach with children and families and this was reflected by consistently positive consumer feedback.

She held a strong passion for providing equitable care – particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, and those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Throughout her time with HENS, Jan was also pivotal in developing an enteral feeding e-learning education resource that enabled the delivery of high-quality care for tube fed children — regardless of geographical location.

In order for this to come to fruition, Jan worked extensively with an interdisciplinary team and was crucial in its delivery, along with coordinating the involvement of patients and families.

Jan is missed by staff and families but has left a strong legacy within HENS for the team to take strides into the future.

Doris Nash

Doris Nash

Doris Nash, Registered Nurse, provided exceptional care to South Australian families in a career spanning more than 40 years.

She completed her training at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and maintained her clinical skills in the specialised area of critical care - becoming one of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit’s first clinical nurses in the 1990s.

Doris’s approach as the PICU Liaison Nurse Consultant can be described as nothing short of exemplary when it comes to her dedication, work ethic, professionalism, and compassion.

She was known as an ‘education specialist’ in the unit, with an ability to translate her vast academic knowledge into excellent clinical practice – frequently providing concise and intelligent solutions to a myriad of challenges. This was perhaps best highlighted by her expertise in improving the Network’s management of central venous lines.

Doris has been responsible for advising, supporting, and educating nursing staff and consistently built confidence with her peers due to her nurturing and ‘can-do’ attitude.

When it came to patients and families, Doris fostered relationships through effective communication, reassurance, and support, in what were often remarkably challenging situations.

Professor Michael Sawyer

Professor Michael Sawyer

Michael was initially appointed the director of the Psychiatry Department at Adelaide Children’s Hospital in 1982 and has provided immense contributions in the area of mental health.

His exceptional leadership in research – reflected by funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council for over 30 years - has been highly valued both in the Network and at an international level.

In 1998, Michael led the first National Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey, which was not only vital in planning Australia’s mental health services over the next decade, but also informed health professionals of the high prevalence of mental health problems within the community.

In 2008 Michael was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for work undertaken with Australian Rotary Health that supported research in mental health and advocacy for people with mental illness.

Michael led Beyond Blue’s school research initiative from 2001 to 2010 and was also the chief investigator for the second national child and adolescent survey, conducted in 2014.

His contribution to mental health research is highly respected across the globe, having published more than 200 manuscripts in peer reviewed publications and holding the position of professor with both Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

Dr Lesley Woodard-Knight

Dr Lesley Woodard-Knight

Lesley was a long-term member of our hospital’s Paediatric Emergency Department, having commenced her paediatrics training at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital in 1985.

From 1994, Lesley held the role of staff specialist, and in that time, she assessed tens of thousands of children who presented to emergency.

Lesley has demonstrated an enormous capacity for hard work, having more than her fair share of shifts during evenings, weekends and public holidays.

In addition to her time in PED, Lesley has provided exceptional clinical service across other many other units including Child Protection Service, Yarrow Place, Immunisation Clinic, and Glenside Hospital.

She maintained a strong advocacy for women’s health and is tireless in her community volunteering – perhaps best represented by her incredible work in Kenyan mission hospital.

Lesley was a multi-skilled physician for the Network as well as valuable mentor for medicine and nursing students beginning their careers.

2021 Recipients

Associate Professor James Martin

Associate Professor James Martin

James was the director of the Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Department for more than 35 years.

In that time, he built the unit from a solitary physician to one of the largest specialist medical services in the Network — and a crucial provider of care for children with complex respiratory and sleep conditions.

In a display of his energy and vision, James set up and led the cystic fibrosis service, which now reports some of the best clinical outcomes in the country.

James was also responsible for introduction of state-wide sleep diagnostics and treatment service, which has changed the lives of children with severe neuromuscular disease and sleep apnoea.

He has been a longstanding advocate for Aboriginal health, and for many years conducted clinics in the Northern Territory for children with respiratory conditions.

James was also deeply committed to research and thanks to his guidance the subsequent cystic fibrosis research team is now internationally recognised.

His tireless work in promoting respiratory issues - and as a member of the national committee for cystic fibrosis care - has undoubtedly enhanced the national reputation of the Network.

James had his services recognised in 2012 with an Order of Australia medal.

Lee Hussey

Lee Hussey

Lee provided more than 35 years of exceptional service to the Queen Victoria Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital as a neonatal nurse and nurse practitioner.

She was critical in implementing the neonatal nurse practitioner role in South Australia and was a tireless leader and exemplary role model for her peers.

Lee has been deeply committed in her support of the neonatal nursing role, not only as an educator and mentor, but also as an advocate for families – acting with great respect for this vulnerable population.

Lee conducted herself with compassion, integrity, honesty, and accountability, and has been a beacon of reassurance for parents due to her gentleness and humanity.

Over more than 30 years, Lee was also actively involved with the Australian College of Neonatal Nurses at both a state and national level. She was on their state group’s inaugural committee and her efforts were recognised with life membership.

Lee has been an excellent representative of the Network both locally and across the world stage, having talked at state, national, and international conferences.

She was also steadfast in her approach to building expertise and bringing this back to her colleagues – especially through visiting overseas nurseries and informing best practice in the hospital.

Her sheer dedication to neonatal nursing has positively impacted countless families in her care.

Dr Stephen Keeley

Dr Stephen Keeley

As a fulltime consultant in paediatric intensive care since the 1980s, Stephen not only served as a clinician, but also as a mentor and teacher to many postgraduate medical and nursing professionals.

Stephen went above and beyond in setting the unit’s ethics surrounding critical care for children and has advocated for essential critical care training and teaching - both locally and across the globe.

He has participated in international clinical trials and been an active contributor to the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand.

Stephen also pioneered teaching critical paediatric critical care skills through education programs for under-resourced countries and was a dedicated volunteer in international cardiac surgery trips.

A strong focus of Stephen’s career has been in consumer advocacy for aboriginal patients and he was responsible for developing a communication and improvement program for indigenous children.

As Medical Unit Head of PICU, Stephen supervised countless training opportunities and had a passion for teaching problem solving skills to those under his tutelage.

His sheer devotion towards improving services for critically ill children has been highly respected by his colleagues and the wider Network.

Andrea McLay

Andrea McLay

Andrea’s career of almost 50 years began with both nursing and midwifery training.

As a midwife she was situated at Flinders Medical Centre before being recruited to the role of Clinical Nurse Midwife in Delivery at Queen Victoria Hospital.

It was here that Andrea was influential in promoting the role of the midwife as a separate and distinct entity.

She was responsible for developing the first midwifery-led birthing centre at QVH and was also involved in the operational planning of amalgamating Queen Victoria Hospital with the Adelaide Children’s Hospital.

In her time with the Network, Andrea has undertaken countless projects in developing midwifery curriculum and has been passionate about improving models of care at every opportunity.

Andrea’s comprehensive clinical knowledge and skills have been unparalleled in the field of midwifery, and she has been a valuable mentor for many students and graduates beginning their careers.

With so much extra-curricular involvement, Andrea remained consistent in her provision of expert, safe and individualised care to women, babies and their families.

Her passion in the field has undoubtedly left both midwifery academia and our own Network in a better place.

Trudi Verrall

Trudi Verrall

Trudi commenced her career with our network in 1998, initially as a Registered Nurse on what was then the ‘Diana’ ward.

In 2003, she was appointed the inaugural Bloodsafe transfusion nurse for WCHN and Country Health.

It was here that she conceived and initiated a wide range of projects, audits, and changes that informed best practice not only in our own network, but across the state.

Trudi was a key driver behind developing online education to improve transfusion practice, and in 2006 she assisted with the first BloodSafe eLearning Australia course.

After taking on the role of Clinical Lead in 2010, Trudi developed and oversaw numerous online courses for doctors, nurses, midwives, and scientists across the country.

Trudi has ensured clinical accuracy and practical application of these courses, while at the same time making WCHN a leader in transfusion practice and education.

Trudi has contributed to the development of international transfusion policy and was integral in the introduction and guidelines of electronic medical records for administering blood products.

Her dedication in the field has undoubtedly resulted in improvements in clinical delivery and ultimately improved the health and wellbeing of our patients.

Dr Lyndall Young

Dr Lyndall Young

For over 25 years, Lyndall displayed an extraordinary dedication to supporting victims of sexual assault.

In this time, she was critical in implementing accessible and timely forensic and medical care services in Adelaide, and has overseen their introduction to our Health Network – shaping what we now know as Yarrow Place.

In her roles as a Forensic Medical Consultant and Medical Coordinator, Lyndall consistently demonstrated a high level of compassion and respect.

She has been steadfast in breaking down barriers that vulnerable people and culturally diverse communities might face when seeking forensic care, and has worked towards introducing equitable services across the state.

Lyndall planned and participated in the provision of 24 clinical care for victims of sexual assault - helping to reduce the impact of trauma – and has been responsible for facilitating vital training for health professionals, police, and legal professionals.

She was a passionate consumer advocate at every turn and has been tireless in her pursuit of transformative change to ensure services and education are tailored to meet the needs of victims.

Lyndall is humble, encouraging, and highly respected amongst her peers.

Dr Cindy Molloy

Dr Cindy Molloy

Cindy began her career with us a Neurosurgery registrar, before returning from overseas fellowships with a wealth of knowledge that helped expand the hospital’s Paediatric Neurosurgery department.

In addition to her role as neurosurgeon Cindy also worked tirelessly to build multidisciplinary treatment into the field of craniofacial surgery.

Cindy brought with her a concise, decisive approach to often extreme clinical challenges and always demonstrated a wonderful team-orientated mentality.

Over a decade ago, Cindy took on the position of the Surgical Division’s director, before assuming the role of Executive Director of Medical Services.

In these roles she was dedicated to strengthening the interface between clinical and administration, to the absolute betterment of the Network and by extension the families in our care.

While Cindy was the first female neurosurgeon in South Australia, she always said that she was first and foremost a well-trained specialist neurosurgeon who just happens to be female.