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Meet the 2020 Victorian Rural Health Award Winners

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Meet the 2020 Victorian Rural Health Award Winners

The 2020 Victorian Rural Health Awards took place virtually on Thursday 15 October, celebrating over 30 health professionals from across regional and rural Victoria. 

Meet our Victorian Rural Health Award winners:

Winner of Outstanding Contribution by a Rural GP: Dr Jeffrey Robinson

Dr Jeffrey Robinson from Mount Beauty Medical Centre is recognised for his longstanding dedication to serving the community of Mount Beauty, not only in a medical capacity but also as a volunteer fire-fighter, which saw him at the front-line earlier this year battling the bushfires while continuing to provide medical services during these disastrous conditions.

Winner of Outstanding Contribution by a Rural GP VMO and length of service award: Dr Peter Keppel

Dr Peter Keppel has worked as a GP Anaesthetist at Yarrawonga Health since 1985. From 2018, he has been a VMO Anaesthetist and GP at Kerang District Health where he is one of two GP Anaesthetists providing much needed theatre services to the hospital.

Dr Keppel is recognised for his longstanding contributions in supporting rural communities and sustaining access to specialist services
in his region and beyond.

Winner of Outstanding Contribution by a Rural SPECIALIST: MR PETER MORTENSEN

Mr Peter Mortensen is a Specialist Urologist and surgeon servicing health providers across Shepparton. 

Mr Mortensen is recognised for his outstanding commitment to Victorian rural communities spanning over 30 years, much of which he has operated as a sole urologist, while seeking to build and ensure the sustainability of local services.

Winner of Outstanding Contribution by a Rural NURSE/MIDWIFE: VICKI BROAD

Vicki Broad is a Midwife working at Robinvale District Health Services. As a solo midwife based in Robinvale for the last 13 years, she is recognised for her dedication to providing midwifery services and supporting countless women during their antenatal period.

Winner of Outstanding Contribution by a Rural ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL: MEGAN GREEN

Megan Green is a Dietitian working at Colac Area Health. Megan is recognised for her leadership and commitment to improving the treatment, screening and identification of malnutrition of in-patients at Colac Area Health.

RISING STAR AWARD: HARLEY HAYES

Harley Hayes is an Occupational Therapist from Everyday Independence Bendigo. Despite being only in his third year of practice, Harley is recognised for his extensive contribution to the occupational therapy profession and advocacy for developing and building a rural workforce.

CLOSING THE GAP AWARD: DR EDMUND POLINESS

Dr Edmund Poliness from Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative is a GP and Medical Educator who has provided extensive GP clinical service support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

Dr Poliness is recognised for his work improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Geelong and surrounding regions.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: DR LESLEY CADZOW

Dr Lesley Cadzow is a GP locum who regularly provides services to Apollo Bay and Yarram. Dr Cadzow is recognised by her colleagues and patients for her unwavering commitment and enthusiasm, and for consistently filling the need for GP locum relief to rural health services over the last decade.

LENGTH OF SERVICE AWARD: DR DALE FORD

Dr Dale Ford is the Chief Medical Officer for Western District Health Service in Hamilton, and continues to work part-time in general practice at Hamilton Medical Group, where he has been since 1985. When asked about his career highlights:

“The privilege of looking after many patients as their GP over the “long haul”; my current position as CMO which I believe brings all of the skills that I have learnt from various programs and training together; and the great feeling of achievement that occurred with seeing practices achieve long lasting system improvements with the Primary Care Collaboratives.”

Working in country Victoria has given Dr Ford great satisfaction knowing that he can serve communities where there is great need for GPs.

LENGTH OF SERVICE AWARD: DR SUZANNE HARRISON

Dr Suzanne Harrison was born in Sale and raised in multiple towns in rural Victoria. Since 1984, Dr Harrison has lived and worked in Echuca-Moama in general practice, Aboriginal Health and as a VMO providing anaesthetic and emergency services at Echuca Regional Health.

For the last 15 years she has had an interest in medical education and workforce, and has been at various times a Hub Educator for the University of Melbourne Extended Rural Cohort, Director of Intern Training at ERH and a supervisor of registrars at her practice. She currently has governance roles with ACRRM, MCCC and RDAV.

The highlight of Dr Harrison's career is being able to work with many great young doctors, many of whom she has had the pleasure of contributing to their training and rural experience, including her daughter.

LENGTH OF SERVICE AWARD: DR NEIL JACKSON

Dr Neil Jackson is based in Terang in the Western District and has been practising medicine in this district for 35 years. For the past 15 years, Dr Jackson has operated as a solo rural GP in his Civic Medical Terang practice.

There have been many highlights in her career including working in Perth, WA, the UK and with the Royal Flying Doctor Service based in outback Western Australia as well as a long period spent in Western Victoria. Dr Jackson loves being part of the local community where he “knows the story” of many patients and their families over several generations.

Dr Jackson has enjoyed being able to provide comprehensive medical care with access to the local hospital and supporting the local nursing home.

LENGTH OF SERVICE AWARD: DR IAIN NICOLSON

Dr Iain Nicolson was born and raised in London. Dr Nicolson relocated to rural Victoria, where he has spent the last 43 years in rural practice, initially in Toora South Gippsland and since February 1985 in Sale.

Dr Nicolson's career highlights include teaching undergraduates and registrars and being involved with the Sale Hospital.

"I enjoy being part of the community and living on the block of land purchased in 1986 with chooks, goats, alpacas and a horse and a wonderful veggie garden and orchard and the support of my wonderful family."

LENGTH OF SERVICE AWARD: DR SIMON SNEYD

Dr Simon Sneyd graduated from Melbourne University in 1980 and completed his training with the college of GP’s family medicine program in Shepparton in 1984 with a Diploma of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Having discovered the many attractions of Shepparton and the surrounding region, Dr Sneyd joined Wyndham House Clinic at the beginning of 1985 and has continued to practise family medicine, feeling privileged to have been involved with multiple generations of local families.

His current interests are on the benefits of nutrition and lifestyle medicine with a focus on chronic disease and hormonal management of men and women throughout life.  He also has interests in aged and palliative care along with mental health, especially in the field of mind body medicine.

Dr Sneyd is also passionate about ongoing medical education for the next generation of doctors.

All Length of Service Award Winners

  • Dr John Beaumont - Aireys Inlet Medical Centre
  • Dr John Bergin - Inglis Medical Centre, Sale
  • Dr Santino Bronchinetti - Bacchus Marsh Medical Centre
  • Dr David Cruickshanks - UFS Medical - Sturt Street, Ballarat
  • Dr Frank Del Rio - Surf Coast Medical Centre, Torquay
  • Dr Dale Ford - Hamilton Medical Group
  • Dr Kulbir Gill - Gisborne Medical Centre
  • Dr Suzanne Harrison - Echuca Moama Family Medical Practice
  • Dr Deborah Henty - Ballarat Group Practice - Victoria Street
  • Dr William Howson - Wonthaggi Medical Group
  • Dr Neil Jackson - Civic Medical, Terang
  • Dr Peter Keppel – Yarrawonga Denis Medical Group
  • Dr Patrick Kinsella - Gippsland Lakes Complete Health, Lakes Entrance
  • Dr Soo Lim - Ely Street Clinic, Wangaratta
  • Dr Paul Malcher - Portarlington Medical Centre
  • Dr Jennifer Murray - Ovens Medical Group, Wangaratta 
  • Dr Iain Nicolson - Sale Medical Centre
  • Dr Terence Norwood - Newborough Health
  • Dr Alan Randell - Beechworth Surgery
  • Dr Barry Reid - Ocean Grove Medical Clinic
  • Dr David Schepisi - Sandhurst Medical Practice, Bendigo
  • Dr Simon Sneyd - Wyndham House Clinic, Shepparton
  • Dr Peter Trigg - Yarra Valley Clinic, Healesville
  • Dr William Twycross - Central General Practice, Mansfield
  • Dr John Urie - Bairnsdale Medical Group

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