International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

International Year of the Nurse and Midwife banner

The World Health Organisation has designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. 2020 is also the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale who is seen by many as the founder of modern nursing. This year is about recognising the outstanding contribution nurses and midwives make in providing healthcare. The ACT has more than 7,000 nurses and midwives all playing a vital role in the health and wellbeing of our community.

This year the role of nurses and midwives have taken on an added significance in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses and midwives have provided intensive and emergency frontline care as well as be an essential part of the ACT COVID-19 response including contact tracing and quarantine support. They have also worked tirelessly to maintain usual services in a challenging and evolving healthcare environment.

Anthony Dombkins, the ACT Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer says:

“COVID-19 does not define nursing and midwifery, it highlights the attributes of resilience, tenacity and a definite commitment to our professions and the people we care for, regardless of the challenge we face in the clinical arena.”

“Nurses and Midwives work tirelessly with great skill and compassion. Nurses and Midwives are leaders, innovators and health care advocates. Nurses and Midwives come from all backgrounds and have different specialties, but they do not waiver in their ability to deliver high quality person centred health care.”

“I hope Nurses and Midwives are acknowledged and feel very proud to be Nurse or a Midwife. I’m very blessed to hold the role of the ACT Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and look forward to working with the Nurses and Midwives to strengthen our professions, improve health outcomes and enhance the community’s healthcare experience.”

Nurse Profiles


Christopher, a Clinical Nurse Consultant is the 2020 Nurse of the Year. With 10 years’ experience, Chris is responsible for Stromlo Ward’s modern-day leadership and management practice that provides excellent patient care and a supportive workplace for staff. Under his leadership Stromlo Ward achieved the highest rating in a staff culture survey.


A role model for staff to aspire to, Kathy began her career as a midwife in Canberra in 1983. Taking out this years Midwife of the Year award, Kathy says, “I come from a family of nurses, my sister, my mother were my inspiration and I always wanted to be a midwife and help women and their babies. Caring for premature and sick babies and helping their parents through a very difficult time is what motivates me to do my best every single day in my job.”

Britt and Shannon

Britt and Shannon are passionate voices and advocates for vulnerable patients with an interest in suicide awareness and education. ‘There are two types of people - those who can choose to sit back or those who want to make change and we wanted to make change happen,’ said Shannon Narracott, who along with Britt Shephard, comprise the ACT’s Nursing Team of the Year.


Nikki is a Nurse Practitioner at Clare Holland House who specialises in palliative care. Nikki has won the excellence award in Quality Improvement and Research Practice. Nikki is committed to improving care for people living in residential aged care facilities and leading the effective integration of evidence-based knowledge into practice through Palliative Care Needs Rounds.


Heather leads the Patient Experience team at Canberra Health Services and has won the excellence award in Leadership Practice. Heather shows great leadership in improving patient care and has led her team to devise innovative strategies to effectively resolve patient complaints and streamline the complaint process.


Mercy is the Clinical Nurse Consultant for Ward 11B at Canberra Health Services. Mercy has won the excellence award in Management Practice. Mercy has built a positive and powerful team spirit and displays a collaborative approach in the provision of person centred care.


Rachel is a Palliative Care Educator at Clare Holland House and has won the excellence award for Educational Practice. Rachel has a caring and professional nature and encourages others to reflect on their practice and assists them to develop plans to engage in further education.

Ward 11A team

The Ward 11A team at Canberra Health Services specialise in taking care of elderly patients and have won the excellence award for Clinical Practice. The team delivers compassionate and patient centred care and treat each patient with respect, professionalism and kindness. Pictured is Rhonda on behalf of the Ward 11A team.


Tracey was just 17 when she started training to become a nurse and has had an exciting career working as a midwife and as a public health nurse.
‘It takes rigorous training to be a nurse, it’s a lot of responsibility and it’s so varied. There are a thousand different jobs you can do as a nurse, and so many opportunities.’


Jodie has been a nurse and midwife for 24 years and is currently working as a public health nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jodie’s favourite thing about being a nurse is knowing that you’ve made a difference to someone’s life.


Scott changed careers mid-way through his life from working in a bank to becoming a nurse. After he moved to Australia he wanted a job that made him feel good and had a positive impact on our community. He loves seeing patients improve and get better.

Page last updated on: 27 Apr 2023