2023 inductees -Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives Honour Roll
Congratulations to the 2023 Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives Honour Roll inductees. Read on to learn more about their professional careers.
Elizabeth Dawson is a nursing professional of exceptional calibre, with a career spanning over 47 years. Elizabeth is inducted to the Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives Honour Roll in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing in Tasmania. Her unwavering commitment to the profession is an inspiration to all who aspire to make a meaningful contribution to healthcare services in their communities.
Elizabeth completed her nursing training in 1976 at the Launceston General Hospital. In 1989, Elizabeth made the decision to complete a Bachelor of Health (Nursing) including Family and Child Health. She later undertook research into postnatal depression and gained a Masters Degree in Nursing (Rural and Remote) from University of Southern Queensland and a Postgraduate Diploma in Infant Mental Health from the Institute of Psychiatry, NSW.
In addition to her professional commitments, Elizabeth has represented the state on various national peak body committees and forums, showcasing her dedication to improving health services on a national level. With her outstanding expertise in the field of infant mental health and rural and remote nursing, Elizabeth has made a significant contribution to the nursing profession in Tasmania. Elizabeth has also demonstrated exemplary professionalism as part of a liaison committee between the Tasmanian Health Service and University of Tasmania (UTAS). In this role, Elizabeth advocated and supported the development of a postgraduate qualification with UTAS, ensuring post graduate students studying child health are given appropriate precepting, contemporary practice guidance and placement opportunities that compliment university based theoretical knowledge. Elizabeth herself is an accomplished Child Health Nurse. Elizabeth is most proud of her role in the development of a home visiting program for young first time mothers across Tasmania – CU @ Home program. Since 1993, she has worked across critical Child Health and Parenting Services (CHaPS) roles including Clinician and Nurse Unit Manager in the North of the State, Assistant Director of Nursing for North, North West since 2017 and has acted in the Assistant Director of Nursing role in the South of the state. Elizabeth also undertook the Director of Nursing for the CHaPS service state wide for a period in 2019 in an acting capacity. She has demonstrated a deep commitment to nursing and has always strived for excellence in her work. With her outstanding expertise in the field of infant mental health and rural and remote nursing, Elizabeth has made a significant contribution to the nursing profession in Tasmania.
She has been an exceptionally motivated member of the Tasmanian College of Child and Family Health Nurses, as an executive member since 1997. She has represented the Tasmanian group, within the peak body association of Maternal Child and Family Health Nurses Australia (MCaFHNA) board since 1997. She responded to proposed changes legislated by State Parliament and was a voice for Child and Family Health nurses statewide as well as nationally. Her involvement on the MCaFHNA Board enabled the development of a national MCaFHNA constitution bringing together all states for a stronger voice for Child Health in various federal government and non-government committees.
Elizabeth has always been passionate about client care and team service delivery. Her unwavering commitment to patient care has earned her the respect and admiration of her colleagues and patients alike. Her contributions to the nursing profession have been immense, and her vision for CHaPS nursing in Tasmania will continue to inspire generations of nurses and midwives to come.
Throughout her career, Deanna has demonstrated a deep commitment to the nursing profession and a passion for helping other nurses succeed. Deanna is inducted to the Tasmanian Nurses Honour Role for her work with the Launceston General Hospital Ex-Trainee Nurses’ Association which was established in 1937. Deanna’s tireless efforts to support and assist her colleagues across all stages of their life and careers is a demonstration of the culture and support we strive for, for all Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives.
Deanna Ellis began her career as a Hospital Trained Nurse at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) in 1959 and continued until 2010. Throughout her career, Deanna explored the nursing profession in a range of specialities including General Practice, Pathology and Angiography and Nursing Education, eventually serving as the Director of Nursing Education at LGH. During this time, Deanna lead and managed the Regional Professional Development Unit. From 2000 until her retirement, Deanna used her passion for nursing education to deliver state-wide professional development programs for Registered Nurses and Enrolled Nurses. as a Professional Development Nurse in the Office of the Chief Nurse.
Deanna’s service to the professions of nursing and midwifery continues after retirement. The Launceston General Hospital Ex-Trainee Nurses’ Association Committee and also the committee’s Facebook group sees her lead a series of activities that aim to bring LGH Ex-Trainee nurses across Tasmania, interstate and overseas, and across generations together. This enables nurses to support each other across their career journeys, including their transition to retirement. Thanks to Deanna’s work, Launceston is home to a community of support that includes nurses at all stages of their careers; from early career practitioners through to retired nurses who are supported by community connection reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation in retirement.
Not only does the Association bring joy to many nurses, it also facilitates an avenue for peer support and sharing of past and present experiences. As a result of this community, barriers and misunderstandings between hospital and university-trained nurses, and the experienced and early-career nurses has been diminished.
Deanna’s work includes reconnecting nurses, identifying and recording families with a tradition of nursing. As chair of the Associations Scholarship Committee Deanna administers nursing student scholarships and scholarships for registered nurses seeking to advance their practice in the areas of leadership and palliative care nursing. As a member of the Launceston General Hospital Historical Committee since 2011 and Chair since 2017, Deanna has been active in documenting and sharing nursing history through a number of publications, seminars and presentations to community groups.
As a member of the Launceston General Hospital Ex-Trainee Nurses’ Association since 1981 and currently as President, Deanna works tirelessly to provide members with ongoing support, guidance, and advocacy.
Deanna has been instrumental in the development and administration of the successful Launceston General Hospital Ex-Trainee Nurses’ Facebook group. This private members-only group has grown to beyond 600-members locally, interstate and overseas. It has become the go-to source of information for relevant news, meetings and scholarship awards. The social network also seeks to support those members across their life stages and significant life events, acknowledges the significant work of nurses on their retirement and pays tribute to nurses who have passed away.
Lynette Johnson is a highly esteemed figure in the nursing and midwifery professions, having served for over 45 years before retiring a decade ago. Throughout her career, Lynette was known for her exceptional leadership and clinical skills, particularly in the field of maternity care.
As a Senior Midwife at Mersey Community Hospital, Lyn played a pivotal role in the Antenatal Clinic, where she provided expert care and guidance to countless women and families. Her extensive experience and knowledge proved invaluable in a service that underwent significant changes over the years, including numerous relocations to various campuses throughout Tasmania.
Lyn was a workplace delegate and Branch Councillor with the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and was honoured as a Lifetime Member. Similarly, Lyn is a Fellow and Life Member of the Australian College of Midwives in recognition of her huge contributions to the profession and to the ACM over her career.
Lynette’s dedication and commitment to her patients were unwavering throughout her career, earning her immense respect and admiration from colleagues and patients alike. Her compassion and professionalism were evident in every interaction, and her contributions to the field have had a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals.
In 2001, Lyn was diagnosed with sarcoma which resulted in a below knee amputation. Lyn worked hard with her rehabilitation program provider to return to work as a midwife. Since that time, she has used her experience to support others facing or going through amputation. Since 2003, Lyn has been actively involved with the Tasmania Amputee Society (TAS), an organisation established to provide peer support to amputees and their families. Lyn has served as President, Tasmanian delegate to the National Amputee Advisory Council, a Peer Support Coordinator and advocate for better funding for prosthetics for amputees. Lyn has shared her story through public speaking and feels passionate about addressing the stigma associated with amputation. Lyn continues to live with positivity and resilience.
Despite being retired, Lyn continues to give back to the community. She is actively involved with many community organisations including the catering team at St John's Anglican Church, ‘Grans Van’ as well as supporting ‘White Ribbon Day’ which serves to inform the community about domestic violence against women.
Since 2001, Lynette has been a member of Soroptimist International Devonport and in 2012 she coordinated the club’s involvement in Birthing in the Pacific. In 2010 and 2012 Lynette received The Service to Midwifery Award from Tasmanian branch of Australian College of Midwives.
In 2012, Lyn was one of 33 women acknowledged as a ‘Diamond of Devonport’ for inspiring others through their community contributions.
In recognition of her impressive career, Lyn is being inducted into the Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives Honour Roll, a well-deserved honour that reflects her exceptional contributions to the nursing and midwifery profession. Her legacy of excellence, leadership, and dedication will undoubtedly inspire future generations of nurses and midwives for years to come.
Julie is an accomplished and highly regarded mental health nurse with a passion for providing exceptional care to consumers. Julie is inducted to the Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives Honour Roll for her dedication to accessible, contemporary Mental Health Nursing education. Julie's extensive experience, impressive achievements, and unwavering dedication to providing exceptional care make her a valuable asset to the nursing community.
Originally from New Zealand and training in Christchurch, Julie lived in Queensland for a period of time and has practised in Tasmania for the past twelve years.
Julie is always looking for opportunities to promote Mental Health Nursing as a specialty area and support her colleagues outside of her direct area to ensure they can learn and improve their own practice. A Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing (ACMHN) and Australian College of Nurses (ACN), Chair of the Special Interest Group for Nurse Education for the ACMHN and currently included in a Joint Curriculum Review Committee for the development of a Nurse Education Program with Columbia University. Julie is a frequent presenter at National and International Conferences with over twenty presentations.
Julie's commitment to continuous development is further evidenced by her own lifelong learning and involvement in professional committees and organizations. Her commitment to quality education is evidenced by her role as a reviewer for endorsing mental health nursing courses, as well as membership of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine and has been a Nurse Expert for Mental Health with the International Council of Nurses.
Julie was pivotal in establishing the Statewide Mental Health Services (SMHS) CPD SharePoint site including the SMHS lecture series into an online education series available for future viewing. The platform enables effective communication about educational opportunities across the state. This allows not just Tasmanian nurses and midwives to access contemporary education; the lecture series supports the attendance of interstate and international nurses and midwives and our multidisciplinary colleagues as well. As the series is now on a digital platform, it is often viewed by over 600 attendees, a significant increase in reach from the original 10 attendees!
In conjunction with a colleague, Dr Kathryn Marsden, Julie undertook a COVID-19 research project, funded by a Florence Nightingale grant about Tasmanian nurses and midwives experiences, now published in a peer review journal.
Beyond her professional achievements, Julie is also a skilled leader and mentor. In 2001, she completed the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) Asia-Pacific Region Leaders Qualification for Girl Guides, demonstrating her ability to guide and inspire young people. Most recently, following her passion for the ocean and sailing, she established the Not for Profit entity Heritage Sailing Tasmania, which has health promotion as a core component of the mission to promote traditional sailing and marine conservation on an historic, small tall ship.
Julie's dedication to serving rural and remote communities has also been recognised through her receipt of the Mental Health Nursing Scholarship for Graduate Certificate Rural and Remote Mental Health in 1999. Additionally, she was awarded a Rotary Australia Pride of Workmanship Award in 1998.
Julie’s induction into the Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives Honour Roll is a testament to her continued contributions to ensuring accessible, contemporary education for the profession.
Rachel Thomson is a highly accomplished and dedicated nursing professional, specialising in infection prevention and control. With extensive experience in this area, Rachel has made significant contributions to the Tasmanian Health Service.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Rachel has played a vital role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff. She has been instrumental in the development of evidence-based protocols and guidelines that have helped to minimise the spread of the virus across the facilities. Rachel's exceptional leadership, knowledge and determination have been critical in guiding and supporting staff through the extraordinary challenges posed by the pandemic.
Aside from her contributions to infection prevention and control, Rachel is known for her compassionate care and dedication to patients. Her ability to build rapport with patients and families, while ensuring the highest standards of care, demonstrates her professionalism and commitment to the nursing profession.
Rachel's area of expertise and passion is predominantly in infection prevention and control working in the field for over 25 years, a former National President of the peak Infection Control professional body in Australia. With a background of intensive care nursing, research and nursing education. She is strongly committed to her job and has made a significant impact on infection control practices within the THS. Throughout her time as Manager of the Infection Prevention and Control Unit for Hospitals South, she has played a substantial role in the development and implementation of evidence-based harm-reduction strategies. Her dedication to improving the safety and functionality of the RHH as a whole is inspiring. She is committed to the improvement of services and has a strong focus on patient flow and ensuring patients are managed in the most appropriate way. This commitment is inspiring to clinical staff and Rachel has a strong focus on education. She is always willing to take time to educate others to improve clinical practice.
In 2022, Rachel was a finalist at the Tasmanian Public Sector Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Nursing or Midwifery Leadership. This nomination was an accurate reflection of the incredible care, compassion and respect Rachel shows for staff, colleagues and patients across the THS.
Above all, Rachel Thomson is an exceptional nurse whose work has undoubtedly made a significant impact on the Tasmanian Health Service. She is a true asset to the nursing community and serves as an inspiring role model for colleagues and future generations of nurses.
As a result of her outstanding service and commitment to nursing, Rachel Thomson has been inducted into the Tasmanian Nurses and Midwives Honour Roll. This is a well-earned recognition of Rachel's achievements, which include improving the safety and function of the hospital system.