VIRTUAL AWARDS GALA EVENT

DATE: 16 JUNE 2022, 7:00 – 8:00 PM

Since 2005 the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) with the support of the Victorian Department of Health has proudly hosted the annual Victorian Rural Health Awards (VRHA). These awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by health professionals and champions of rural health excellence, working in regional and rural communities.

The Victorian Rural Health Awards (VRHA) honour the exceptional medical professionals, nurses, allied health professionals, Aboriginal health workers and practice managers working across rural Victoria.

The Victorian Rural Health Awards are supported by the Victorian Government.

2022 VRHA CATEGORIES

The Victorian Rural Health Awards are carefully curated each year to ensure relevance for the communities we support. They are a reminder that a rural career is not just about lifestyle but an opportunity for professional achievement, team work, and most of all about the communities across regional and rural Victoria.

Length of Service Award (35+ years of service)

The Length of Service Award acknowledges the lifetime of dedication and commitment from rural doctors to the well-being of our Victorian rural communities.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award celebrates the future of rural health care. Each year we recognise a junior health professional who has shown a true passion for rural health and is intent on dedicating their career to rural communities.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Allied Health

This award recognises an allied health professional who has shown professional and personal commitment to regional and rural communities, and has gone above the expectations of their role to provide services to the community.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Practice Management

This award recognises a practice manager who has gone above the expectations of their role shown professional and personal commitment to regional and rural communities through their leadership, mentoring and innovation.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural GP or Rural Generalist

This award recognises a rural doctor who has shown ongoing commitment to providing exceptional care to meet the current and future healthcare needs of their community.

Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

This award recognises a health professional, team or organisation that has made significant contributions in providing care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and communities.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Team

This award recognises an exceptional team contribution to create a positive difference in the delivery of health care in rural Victoria. This award also recognises the importance of a team contribution in providing excellence in service delivery and improved client outcomes.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Outreach Provision

This award recognises a health professional, team or organisation that has made significant contributions in providing outreach services to rural and regional communities.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Consumer Advocate

This award recognises the contribution of a consumer, carer or community member from rural Victoria that has made a significant contribution to healthcare, by using their lived experience to engage with health professionals or health services to improve the quality, accessibility or safety of healthcare.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Primary Care Nursing

The Outstanding Contribution to Rural Primary Care Nursing award recognises an exceptional rural nurse or midwife who has delivered outstanding patient care, positive outcomes and who performs above the expectations of their role.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION BY A RURAL MEDICAL SPECIALIST

The Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Medical Specialist Award recognises a rural non-GP specialist who has shown an ongoing commitment to providing exceptional care to the community.

About Our 2022 Host

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S’up F*#@kers!

Geraldine Hickey, MC

The host and MC of the 2022 VRHA, Geraldine Hickey, Gez, is not only a world class Australian comedian. She also hails from the country Victoria and, when not travelling around the globe, bringing laughter to unsuspecting audiences, resides in our own rural Gippsland. From 2016 to 2021 Geraldine was a co-host on the much-revered breakfast radio show Breakfasters on RRR, and has made multiple appearances on ABC Radio, Triple M and the Hit Network as well as on The Project, Have You Been Paying Attention? Geraldine is an award-winning comedy stand-up performer. Her deceptively effortless knack for turning low-key yarns about agapanthuses and bouncy-castles into high-stakes, helplessly funny narrative rollercoasters, has culminated in her Most Outstanding Show award at the 2021 Melbourne Comedy Festival for What A Surprise.

About Our 2022 Speakers

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The Hon. Martin Foley
Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services, Minister for Equality
Martin Foley has been a Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 2007, representing Albert Park. He has been Minister for Equality in the First and Second Andrews Ministry since December 2014 and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services since September 2020. He was previously the Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Creative Industries prior to September 2020.
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Associate Professor Grant Phelps
Board Member, Chair VRHA Committee
Assoc Prof Phelps has practiced as a Gastroenterologist and Acute Physician in regional Victoria for more than 20 years. He trained in safety and quality at Dr Brent James’ Institute at Intermountain Healthcare in the US and has held management and leadership roles in Victoria and Tasmania. Grant currently works as an independent consultant providing advice to hospitals and organisations on clinical leadership and safety and quality.
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Lauren Cordwell
GM Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement, RWAV
Lauren Cordwell commenced in the role of General Manager in February 2020. Lauren is an experienced senior manager and health policy analyst. She is committed to finding practical solutions to address the challenges preventing communities in rural Australia from accessing affordable and safe health care. For over 20 years, Lauren has designed and implemented innovative programs with communities, health professionals, diverse organisations and government agencies that continue to have a lasting benefit.
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Dr Libby Garoni
2021 Winner, Rural Generalist Award
Dr Libby Garoni has been in rural medicine for most of her working life. She is also a volunteer with the Gundowring CFA and actively fought the Corryong fires on New Year’s Eve 2019. She volunteers her services for multiple Equine Events in rural locations, has been a past member of School Council and has as many other qualities that make her a special part of the local community
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Adjunct Associate Professor Morton Rawlin AM
Board Chair
Assoc Prof Rawlin is an experienced General Practitioner and medical educator. He is currently in clinical general practice in suburban Melbourne and previously practiced in rural Victoria for 10 years. Assoc Prof Rawlin is Chair of the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaborative and a past Chair of the Mental Health Professionals Association and is a board member of the Mental Health Professionals Network.
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Trevor Carr
CEO, RWAV
Trevor has built an extensive career in governance, policy evaluation and advocacy, and the operation of public healthcare and aged care services. Trevor has been involved with rural and regional health and aged care policy and service delivery since commencing his working life. Prior to joining RWAV, Trevor was the CEO of Leading Age Services Australia Victoria (LASA Victoria), and before this, he was CEO of the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA).
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Louise Holland
2021 Winner of the Rural Primary Care Nursing Award
Bendigo Community Health Services, Nurse Practitioner Louise Holland, has been at the forefront of sexual and reproductive health and women’s health in rural and regional areas for over 25 years. Louise is well versed in the challenges of addressing topics traditionally swept under the carpet. She plays a vital role in responding to the health care needs of the community often working with agencies where sexual health is not core business, but who have an interest from working with the initiative’s target groups.
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Muhammad Yousuf
2021 Winner of the Rising Star Award
Muhammad joined the team at HeadtoHelp Wellington as a provisional psychologist after recognising increased demand following drought, bushfires and more recently Covid-19. To meet the needs of his clients, he has undertaken further studies and is currently completing a Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy.

Who Should Attend

The Victorian Rural Health Awards are a celebration for our regional and rural communities. We welcome all health professionals, practice managers, rural health and medical students, community leaders to join us and acknowledge the winning achievements and the future of rural health in Victoria.

Registration form

Please fill out the form below to register in 2022 VRHA event.
F E E D B A C K

Msc (Fin), FCCA, FGIA, CA

Shay brings over 20 years of financial
management experience in commercial and not-for-profit organizations. He has a
rich and varied experience in multiple finance and leadership roles in the
United Kingdom and Australia, including CFO, GM Finance & IT, Commercial
Manager Operations, Finance Manager and Accountant.

His extensive leadership experience is
augmented by an FGIA, FCCA, CA, a Masters in Finance and an undergraduate degree in
accounting and finance.

RN, GradDip(Health Promotion), PRINCE2, Mini MBA

Kate is a Registered Nurse highly experienced in health promotion and project management. Her people and program management skills enable her to be agile and adaptable while maintaining an outcomes focus on improving quality access to primary healthcare.

Kate’s extensive experience working with all levels of government, the community and stakeholders across the sector have provided her with insights into the challenges rural communities and health professionals face. Kate has led the design and delivery of many innovative and strategic health promotion and grants programs, supporting better access to health services, health information and activities across communities. Whilst at RWAV, Kate has led the transformation of the RWAV grants program, enhanced the administration of a number of programs and developed the RWAV allied health portfolio. She has also led the development of the RWAV research program of activities.

Having worked at RWAV since 2020, Kate will continue positively influencing the rural healthcare workforce and access to services.

Social Work (BA Hons), DipSW

With a background in social work and a proven record in recruitment, project management, and business development, Jo brings strategic leadership and a wealth of experience in driving positive outcomes within the health, human services, and State Government sectors.

Jo specialises in managing health professional recruitment and outreach programs, including the More Doctors for Rural Australia and 3GA programs. Her focus is on implementing innovative workforce strategies and clinical governance to bolster RWAV’s mission of enhancing healthcare accessibility in rural and regional Victoria.

Having previously excelled at RWAV, Jo spearheaded successful internal change initiatives while fostering strong relationships with external stakeholders. Her efforts consistently align with RWAV’s strategic direction, ensuring a cohesive approach to driving impactful change.

Beyond her professional expertise, Jo’s passion lies in uniting communities and championing positive transformations in rural healthcare in Victoria.

Martin is a governance professional and lawyer with experience in private practice and in-house legal roles. He has been a company secretary for public and private sector organisations across a range of industries including VicTrack, Regis Healthcare Limited and Dairy Australia Limited. He holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) and is a fellow of the GIA.

With a rich background of consulting and in-house people and culture roles with the corporate, government and community sectors, Andrea is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Andrea has significant experience in leading teams across culture, capability, diversity, equity, leadership, organisational development and learning programs as well as core human resources partnering.

With a strong focus on building and maintaining psychologically safe organisations, Andrea’s team is dedicated to ensuring that RWAV is a place where people can work well and be well at work.

B Comm MPP EdD DipEd MAICD

Rosemary has had a varied career as an academic teaching economics, public policy and industrial relations, and as a consultant, advocate, health union official and as a director.

She brings strong governance and strategic skills to the Board, as well as knowledge and depth of experience in health policy, economics and investment.

Rosemary was a Director of Aware Super for nine years, and Chair of the Investment Committee for three years. She was also a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, the Governance Committee and the REM and HR Committee. Rosemary is currently a member of the Investment Committee of Cbus.

She was the Secretary of the Victorian Psychologists Association Inc for 20 years and knows first-hand the difficulties in attracting and retaining health professionals in rural and regional Victoria.

Dr Louise Manning is a rural GP Obstetrics trainee practising in Central Victoria where she delivers general practice, obstetric and sexual health services. Growing up in a small town she has lived experience of the difficulties accessing healthcare in rural and regional areas, and is dedicated to advocating for equitable health outcomes regardless of geography.

Louise is also a Board Director of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Victoria.

BAppSci GradDipBus MBus GAICD FIML

John Biviano is an experienced senior executive who has held many senior roles in government (Health Dept) and also in professional associations related to healthcare. Until recently, John was the CEO of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, where he oversaw the digitisation of a range of Member offerings, including aspects of training. 

BA (Politics/Philosophy) BEc GDipBus MBA GAICD FGIA

Roger is an accomplished CEO, Non-Executive Director and Chair with experience in the health, human services, law enforcement, education, transport, and environmental industries – across private, public sector and not-for-profit organisations

.He brings strong governance experience, commercial acumen, risk management and strategy skills combined with a passion for innovation and business development having also been Chair of numerous Finance, Audit, Risk, Investment and Community Advisory Committees.

BMBS MBA FRACP FRACMA FAICD FIML

Assoc Prof Phelps has practiced as a Gastroenterologist and Acute Physician in regional Victoria for more than 20 years.

He trained in safety and quality at Dr Brent James’ Institute at Intermountain Healthcare in the US and has held management and leadership roles in Victoria and Tasmania. More recently he completed a two-year project as Director of Clinical Governance for Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Grant currently works as an independent consultant providing advice to hospitals and organisations on clinical leadership and safety and quality

LLB BSc MMgt (Strategic Foresight) GAICD

As a lawyer and business consultant Jane has worked with company boards and senior management across a range of areas including IP commercialisation, internet-based businesses, healthcare products/services, privacy and data/IT security. Jane is currently general counsel for .id Consulting – population demographers, economists and forecasters.

Jane served as a director of BreastScreen Victoria for 10 years, is a current director of Ballarat Health Services and chairs RWAV’s Governance Committee.

BMed MMedSci FRACGP FARGP FACRRM DipPractDerm DipMedHyp DipFP DipBusAdmin GAICD

Assoc Prof Rawlin is an experienced General Practitioner and medical educator. He is currently in clinical general practice in suburban Melbourne and previously practiced in rural Victoria for 10 years.

Assoc Prof Rawlin is Chair of the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaborative and a past Chair of the Mental Health Professionals Association and is a board member of the Mental Health Professionals Network. He is also the Medical Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Victoria.
He is a member of the RACGP Victoria Council.

CPA
Albert Giorgini is the Senior Advisor to CEO at RWAV.

As an experienced finance executive, with an extensive career in public transport and in the automotive and industrial gas sectors, Albert has honed his skills in driving financial performance improvements with a commercial and business transformation focus.

Through his strategic financial skills, Albert has demonstrated an exceptional capacity to lead and develop large teams in complex and changing environments to achieve the financial and regulatory requirements of the business. His extensive experience has given him a deep understanding of the industry and its challenges, equipping him with the expertise to drive impactful change.

Albert has highly developed communication and stakeholder management skills to support his strong planning, analytical and financial performance improvement acumen, always striving to create innovative solutions that drive growth and success.

BBus(HRM)

Lauren commenced in the role of Manager People and Culture in August 2018 and is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Lauren’s team is committed to implementing activities and initiatives to support the achievement of RWAV’s strategies and strengthen RWAV’s position as an ‘Employer of Choice’.

Lauren is an experienced Manager and HR professional, with a career spanning the professional services, automotive, defence, and not-for-profit sectors.

BHlthSci(Hons) MPH PostGradDipMgt GAICD AFCHSM

Lauren Cordwell commenced in the role of Chief Executive Officer in August 2023. She took on the role of Acting CEO in April 2023 and previously served as the General Manager since February 2020.
Lauren has leadership responsibilities for strategy, communications, data, stakeholder engagement and program delivery.

Lauren’s team is committed to supporting communities in rural and regional Victoria to have timely access to affordable and safe health care.

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