South Eastern Sydney Local Health District triumphs in NSW Health Awards

The outstanding individuals and work taking place in South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) are being celebrated, after the district took out three of the 12 categories in the NSW Health Awards on Thursday 10 October, 2019.

Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Service’s PACER – Police, Ambulance, Clinical, Early, Response Program won Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services; Kirketon Road Centre’s Wendy Machin won Collaborative Leader of the Year and Isabelle Wilson was awarded Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Youth Reference Group at headspace Bondi Junction.

A finalist in these awards - Overdose Response with Take Home Naloxone, led by SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Services, was a finalist in the NSW Health Awards and has been announced as a finalist in the 2019 NSW Premier's Awards in the category 'Tackling Longstanding Social Challenges'. PACER has also been named a finalist in this category of the Premier's Awards.

The 21st annual NSW Health Awards were attended by almost 600 people from across NSW, and were joined by the Hon. Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health and Medical Research, the Hon. Bronnie Taylor, Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women, and the Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary for Health.

This year, there were 37 finalists competing for 12 award categories.

Wendy Machin, Clinical Services Manager, Kirketon Road Centre (KRC) was awarded Collaborative Leader of the Year for “providing inspiration and leadership at the KRC for more than 20 years.”
“I feel very proud receiving this award, most of all because of the generosity and kindness of my team in putting me forward,” Ms Machin said.

“I feel very lucky to work with such a great team of dedicated and hardworking staff and with a client group who show such courage and resilience in the face of some major life challenges.”

Volunteer of the Year, Isabelle Wilson, was one of the night’s youngest winners honoured for her leadership to the district, including training as a youth mental health first aid facilitator. Ms Wilson has been a consumer representative for headspace Bondi Junction - and a member of the Youth Reference Group, for over three years. Currently completing her nursing training, she has been a committed youth advocate.  

Angela Karooz, Acting Director of Mental Health Services, SESLHD, said she was proud that an interagency collaboration, like PACER, had received an award.

PACER offers on-scene and phone assistance to people experiencing a mental health issue, significantly reducing emergency department (ED) visits.

“The award celebrates best practice and an integrated emergency service system to respond effectively to people in urgent need. It was a pleasure to work with the St George Local Area Command, which has embraced the program,” Ms Karooz said.

“Special acknowledgement must go to Superintendents Maloney and Griffiths, Inspector Daley and Cst Sonia Krcalovic who worked tirelessly and shared the vision with SESLHD Mental Health Service, to make this program a success.”

SESLHD’s entrants were selected from a field of a record 193 entrants across NSW Health organisations.


Group of staff at awards collecting PACER award for Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services