The SESLHD 2023 CORE Awards recognise innovation and excellence in the delivery of health programs and services within SESLHD. In these extraordinary times we take this opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the achievements of our staff and SESLHD community.

This year, the CORE Awards categories have been broadened to recognise the excellent work being carried out by clinical and non-clinical staff. The awards will continue to focus on meeting the objectives of the NSW State Health Plan and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our healthcare system. This will be achieved through innovation in delivering an integrated health system, creative partnerships and improving efficiencies to support better health for the people of SESLHD.  


Award Categories

Team Awards

1. Integrated Value Based Care

2. Keeping people Healthy

3. Excellence in Aboriginal Health Care

4. Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services

5. Health Research and Innovation

6. Patient Safety First

7. People and Culture

8. Transforming Patient Experience

9. Excellence in Environmental Sustainability

10. Excellence in Digital Innovation

Individual Awards

11. Collaborative Staff Member of the Year Award

12. Volunteer of the Year Award

13. Emerging Leader

14. Rising Star

15. Core Values in Action

16. Outstanding Service

Peak Awards

17. Board Member’s Choice

18. Consumer’s Choice for Person Centred Care


(See below for Descriptions of Award Categories)


Submitting an Application

You may use this online form to submit your nomination for the 2023 CORE Awards. This form can be completed on your work or personal device, and you do not need to be connected to the hospital network to obtain access.

Your completed submission will automatically be forwarded to the relevant Local Liaison Officer for each Facility or Directorate.

Please review your submissions carefully, taking into account the below Award category descriptions and judging criteria. It is the responsibility of entrant to submit projects into the most relevant award category, which is an explicit factor in judging.

For further information and support with completing your application, please contact your Local Liaison Officers.


Team Awards Judging Criteria

You will be required to answer the questions below when completing the online nomination form. Please review these questions as well as the marking criteria prior to submitting your responses

Nomination Questions

1. Abstract (200 words)
Provide a clear succinct outline of the project/program, and how the project / program relates to the Award category

2. Innovation and Originality (100 words)        
Explain the extent to which the project/program demonstrates an original or innovative approach (new or known) to an existing issue.

3. Sustainable and Scalable (100 words)           
a) Provide evidence showing the project / program has resulted in systemic changes which are embedded within the organisation and are sustainable over time.
b) Identify the extent to which the project/program is scalable, able to be replicated and has been (or has potential to be) successfully transferred to other health services/settings.

4. Better Patient or Community Outcomes (100 words)
Provide evidence showing how the project/program has improved outcomes for patients and community groups. These may be either direct or flow-on depending on the nature of the project.

5. Productivity and efficiency (100 words)       
Show the project /program demonstrates an improvement in efficiency and productivity.

6. Improved teamwork and partnerships and CORE values – Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment (short sentence)
Please provide a short sentence explaining how this team demonstrates each of the CORE values selected in the previous question.




Innovation and originality

The extent to which the project/program demonstrates an original or innovative approach (new or known) to an existing issue. If the project/program is using a known innovation, the extent to which it has been implemented differently/innovatively. 

The project should show resourcefulness and creativity. It may include workforce or other innovation and use of enabling technologies with support for a sustainable service model.


Sustainable and scalable

Evidence showing the project/program has resulted in systemic and tangible changes which are embedded within the organisation and are sustainable over time. Identifies/demonstrates the extent to which the project/program is scalable, able to be replicated and has been (or has potential to be) successfully transferred to other health services/settings.


Better Patient or community outcomes

Evidence showing how the project/program has improved outcomes for patients and community groups. This may be either direct or flow-on depending on the nature of the project. For example, reduced length of stay or reduced morbidity. This can also focus on better outcomes in the community, including social and emotional wellbeing.  


Teamwork, partnership, and CORE Values

The extent to which the project/program demonstrates and promotes the CORE Value- Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment.


Productivity and value for money

The project /program demonstrates evidence-based improvement in productivity and efficiency/value for money.


Logical coherence and rigour

The overall logic of the submission and the rigour of the method and results are clear.


Quality of Presentation

The overall clarity of expression and organisation of the material presented in the submission is sound.






Individual Awards Judging Criteria

You will be required to answer the questions below when completing the online nomination form. Please review these questions as well as the marking criteria prior to submitting your responses

Nomination Questions

1. Relevance to the entry category (100 words)     
Succinct statement of how the individual meets the Award Category and meets the aims as described in the relevant Award Criteria.

2. Individual Achievement (300 words)     
Statement of the individual's specific achievement in relation to this award. To include:
a) Outline of the individuals contribution to NSW Health and the health sector more broadly
b) Evidence of the individual's contribution to each of the specific award criteria for the award being applied for.

3. Relationship to CORE Values (50 words)
Describe how the individual promotes or enacts any, or all of, the CORE values of Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment.




Provides Excellent Services

As part of their clinical or support role in SESLHD, provides excellence in service and support for staff, patients, carers, or families.


Positive Cultural Change

Acts as a role model for promoting positive cultural change and inspiring other staff/volunteers within SESLHD.


Innovative Approaches

Evidence that the individual uses new and innovative ways to engage staff, patients, carers or families.


CORE - Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment 

The staff member / volunteer demonstrates a commitment to promoting / demonstrating any, or all of, the CORE values of Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment.






Selection Process

All CORE Award submissions will be automatically forwarded to the Local Liaison Officers for each Facility or Directorate to review. Each Facility and Directorate is then permitted to select one team or individual from these nominations as a finalist for each of the CORE Awards categories.

The finalists’ submissions from each Facility and Directorate will be reviewed by the District Executive Team to determine a final winner and runner up, the decisions of which are final. The winners from each category will be announced at the 2023 SESLHD CORE Awards cocktail ceremony on 22 June 2023.

The team and individual winners for the categories below, which align with the NSW Health Awards categories, will also progress as SESLHDs nominees for the 2023 NSW Health Awards.

  • Integrated Value Based Care
  • Keeping people Healthy
  • Excellence in Aboriginal Health Care
  • Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services
  • Health Research and Innovation
  • Patient Safety First
  • People and Culture
  • Transforming Patient Experience
  • Excellence in Environmental Sustainability
  • Excellence in Digital Innovation
  • Collaborative Staff Member of the Year Award
  • Volunteer of the Year Award

Submissions that do not comply substantially with entry requirements or are not sufficiently relevant may not be judged.


Key Dates and Actions

2023 CORE Awards Submissions Open Thursday 27 April 2023
2023 CORE Awards Submissions Close Friday 26 May 2023
SESLHD Judging Panels convene Friday 2 June 2023
2023 CORE Awards Ceremony Thursday 22 June 2023


CORE Awards Local Liaison Officers

Prince of Wales Hospital Collette Coughlin 9382 3148
Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital Ann Hodge 9382 7186
Royal Hospital Women Victoria Walton 9382 6846
War Memorial Hospital Katherine Gardiner 9553 3142
St George Hospital Sandra Grove 9113 2187
Sutherland Hospital Josie Julian 9540 8489
Garrawarra Centre Cathy Wynn 8545 4700
Calvary Hospital Lynelle Bartram 9553 3070
Mental Health Services Stephanie North 9113 4083
Population and Community Health Alana Garcia 8748 9357
District Services David Lindsay 9540 8529


Proudly Supported by CORE Award sponsors


CORE Awards Category Descriptions

This Award recognises initiatives that support SESLHD’s vision for a sustainable health system that delivers outcomes that matter to patients, is personalised, invests in wellness, and is digitally enabled. The nominations for this category must demonstrate ‘value’ through equity of access, health outcomes that matter to patients, and positive experience in receiving and providing care. 

The award acknowledges innovative projects and programs which promote:  

  • Building new and innovative partnerships between the public, private and/or non-government sectors to ensure access to the best possible health care for all.
  • Defining business models that improve productivity and efficiency. 
  • Creating formal links between primary, community and hospital services to deliver health care that meets the needs of patients over time and delivers the best possible health outcomes.  
  • Care provided in cost-effective settings that are close to home and keep people out of hospital. 
  • Continuity of care between hospital, primary, community, residential and aged care settings.  
  • Innovative funding models, governance arrangements, and information technology solutions that support a sustainable, integrated system of care.  
  • Engaging consumers and clinicians to develop person-centred models of care that are efficient, effective, and sustainable, and promote individual responsibility for health.   

SESLHD is committed to improving the wellbeing of the community through preventative healthcare and by collaborating with our partners and consumers. This award aims to acknowledge innovative projects and programs which promote: 

 Reducing negative health impacts through improvements in environmental health 

  • Action to support individuals, families, and communities to make healthy lifestyle choices 
  • Closing the gap in Aboriginal health outcomes 
  • Improving lifestyles by targeting public health priorities such as tobacco control, physical activity, obesity, infectious disease, oral health, diabetes prevention and addressing harmful risk factors 
  • Identifying and improving health outcomes for risk groups, e.g., children, youth, older people, workers, and disadvantaged groups 
  • Primary, secondary and population health prevention. 

Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare recognises exceptional healthcare delivery through strong partnerships across NSW Health and external agencies. This may include:

  • Valuing and fostering respect for the expertise and knowledge of ACCHSs and their staff.
  • Collaboration in designing and delivering services.
  • Strong consultation, strategic collaboration and/or partnership, and sharing of resources.
  • Responsiveness to the local Aboriginal community's health needs, as identified by the Aboriginal Health Unit.
  • Capacity building and utilisation of relevant Partnership Agreements or Burudi Muru Yagu Action Plan. 
  • Partnership with the Aboriginal people and communities in the design, implementation, evaluation, and evidence building.

Mental Health is a priority area for the NSW Government and SESLHD. This award recognises and showcases innovation in improving the quality and safety of mental health patient care within programs which display:

Best practice, excellence, and innovation in mental health service delivery

  • Development of consumer-focused services
  • Positive mental health and wellbeing through consumer and carer participation
  • Improved prevention and early intervention.

SESLHD is committed to translating research and innovation into clinical service models that deliver positive health outcomes for our community. As part of this commitment, SESLHD aims to build research and innovation capacity and capability within SESLHD, increase community access to research and innovation and foster a culture of innovation, research, and translation within SESLHD.  

Awardees may have demonstrated outstanding and innovative achievements by establishing:

  • Ways of assisting clinicians and health decision makers to find or use research effectively
  • Research partnerships or collaborations involving clinicians, health service providers, decision makers and/or consumers that have led to outstanding examples of research that have positively changed policy or practice. This includes innovative future focused infrastructure and digital health initiatives. 
  • Acknowledgement by decision makers of the impact of research on their policy or practice
  • eHealth, health information and data analytics to support and harness health & medical research and innovation
  • Clinical practices and processes delivered through innovative built spaces including new approaches to effective and efficient building outcomes to deliver clinical outcomes.

In SESLHD, our goal is for everyone in our community to have access to safe, compassionate, and high-quality healthcare. In addition, we continue to focus on fostering innovation and translational research into clinical service models to deliver positive health outcomes. Providing world-class clinical care where patient safety comes first, is a key priority for NSW Health and SESLHD. NSW Health has a shared vision that patient safety is everybody’s business. This award acknowledges a commitment to putting patient safety first, every day. Projects within this category will display patient safety first in:

  • Leading quality improvement to ensure safer patient care.
  • Delivering innovative approaches to improving patient safety.
  • Engaging patients in approaches to improve patient safety.
  • Demonstrating leadership or role modelling behaviour that puts patient safety first.

The People and Culture Award recognises teams who develop and support our people and culture and ensure a safe and healthy environment for patients and staff. Initiatives within this category will show support for people within NSW Health by:

  • Working collaboratively within the NSW Health system to improve health outcomes. 
  • Growing and supporting a skilled workforce by hiring and developing the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. 
  • Developing effective health professional managers and leaders. 
  • Improved systems and efficiencies to support better workplace safety and health outcomes. 
  • Ownership and adoption of workplace health and safety practices. 
  • Support for long-term behaviour change to strengthen the staff health safety culture.
  • Increased awareness of the importance of personal safety alongside patient safety. 
  • Enhanced access and training in workplace health and safety. 
  • Fostering a culture that reflects the NSW Health CORE values and respects diversity.

Partnering with our community is a critical component of SESLHDs Exceptional Care, Healthier Lives Strategic Plan 2022-25. This award recognises that patients are partners in their health care and aims to acknowledge projects or programs that promote collaboration between the patient and the health care team. Entries should be able to demonstrate innovation in:  

  • Empowering patients to take control of their health and be supported in managing their own health conditions.
  • Shared decision making, with the patient as the expert in their own values and needs.
  • Clinicians planning and delivering care in partnership with the patient.
  • Enhancing access to patient-centred care for people living with chronic illness.
  • Engaging consumers in strategic planning and governance processes. 

This award recognises a team that has demonstrated outstanding commitment and achievements in promoting and implementing environmentally sustainable practices within SESLHD. The recipient/s will have shown leadership and embedded environmentally sustainable improvements that reduce our consumption of resources and/or reduce the environmental impact in the way our services are provided.  

The award aims to encourage and recognise initiatives that contribute to reducing environmental impact of the health sector, whilst promoting a culture of environmental sustainability at SESLHD.  

This category includes programs, initiatives, innovations that:  

  • Create sustainable of models of care, by either decarbonised high value care or culling low value or harmful care. 
  • Reduce waste, either by targeting reduction in procurement, encouraging re-use opportunities, or improving diversion of waste from landfill. 
  • Support mental and physical well-being with prevention, intervention strategies and delivery of services for improved community health outcomes. 
  • Deliver integration and efficiency across infrastructure, utilities and transport that support the NSW government Net Zero objectives. 
  • Create communities where people love to work and patients are able to access spaces that promote a healthy lifestyle, improve air quality and urban biodiversity. 
  • Demonstrate leadership or role model behaviour that creates an environmentally sustainable movement. 

This award recognises demonstrated excellence in digital innovation by a team, securing better outcomes for our patients & the communities we serve. The recipient/s will have harnessed the power of digital innovation and data to make Health services more accessible, affordable, equitable, efficient, and effective. This category includes programs, initiatives, innovations, or improvements that: 

  • Boost innovation and cultural change and digitally transform the way we work and deliver services to our customers 
  • Design and deliver better tools and solutions using data and analytics to drive data insights, for better and more responsive decision making 
  • Support innovation led productivity in the way we use technology 
  • Support digital capability uplift in the health sector 
  • Support technology development and technology skills of the future. 

This award brings together two individual awards, staff member of the year and collaborative leader of the year. It aims to recognise NSW Health employees who have made an exceptional contribution through effective collaboration to the NSW health system. This award aims to acknowledge an individual who:

 As part of their clinical or support role in NSW Health, provides excellence in service to support staff, patients, carers or families.

  • Is a role model for promoting positive cultural change and inspiring other staff within NSW Health.
  • Uses new and innovative ways to collaborate with staff, patients, carers, or families. 
  • Supports effective teamwork to collaboratively improve patient care. 
  • Demonstrates strong corporate, clinical governance and CORE values in all health services. 

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognises the significant contribution of an individual to volunteering within SESLHD. This award aims to acknowledge an individual who:

  • Provides excellent support for patients, carers, and families.
  • Acts as a role model for volunteering in SESLHD which promotes volunteer services and inspires other volunteers.
  • Uses new and innovative ways to engage patients, carers, and families.

This award recognizes an individual within SESLHD who has demonstrated exceptional leadership potential and is a strong role model for all.  

  • Nominees should be early-mid career professionals who have already made significant contributions to their field and have the potential to become future leaders in the NSW Health system. 
  • An individual who strives to lead by example and motivates their colleagues to continuously improve and challenge the status quo. 
  • This individual demonstrates a growth mindset and passionately contributes to make a difference in their field for the benefit of our patients and/or staff.
  • This individual fosters collaboration, and actively works to promote interprofessional teamwork.

To recognise outstanding achievement by an individual who has demonstrated exceptional talent, potential, and dedication in their role within NSW Health. This award is designed to recognise talent within SESLHD – an individual who is making significant contributions in their role and is likely to continue to be well placed to progress their career in the organisation.

  •  Demonstrates exceptional performance and achievements in their role within SESLHD.
  • Models the way in living the NSW Health values.
  • Demonstrates commitment to their ongoing professional development and to improving the experience of patients and/or staff.
  • Demonstrates clear potential and desire for career progression within SESLHD.

To recognise an individual or team who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to upholding and promoting the CORE values of NSW Health. This award is designed to recognise those who have gone above and beyond in living the CORE values and in doing so, have made a positive impact on their colleagues, patients, and/or the wider community.

  • Demonstrates exceptional commitment to modelling and promoting the CORE values of NSW Health through their work.
  • Demonstrates positive impact on colleagues, patients, and/or the wider community as a result of their commitment to the CORE values.
  • Collaboration: Collaborates effectively with all stakeholders in the healthcare system including clinical and non-clinical staff, consumers, and partners. 
  • Openness: Shares ideas, encourages communication and participation, and provides a safe environment for expression.
  • Respect: Respecting the diverse perspectives and backgrounds present in the workplace.
  • Empowerment: Fostering a positive environment where individuals are encouraged to grow, develop, and succeed.

This award recognises SESLHD staff who consistently demonstrate a strong work ethic, exceptional commitment to service, and dedication to their role in NSW Health.  

  • An individual who consistently goes above and beyond in their role without seeking recognition and may be seen an unsung hero in the organisation.  
  • This individual has a significant impact on their team’s performance and/or functioning/impact and is invaluable to the delivery of support and services to our patients and/or staff.  
  • They are an exemplar in modelling the values of NSW Health.