News and Events

International Nurses Day Awards - Outstanding Leadership

The purpose of this award is to recognise the contribution that Nurse Leaders have made at Westmead Hospital over the past twelve months. This award honours the hard work, commitment and dedication necessary to server the health care needs of our organisation. This award acknowledges the productivity of the leader's programs, the leader's demonstrated ability in developing the management and or clinical expertise of others. This award celebrates individual achievements and represents excellence in nursing leadership. Nursing Unit Managers and Nurse Managers can be nominated for this award.

Winner: Ms Jennifer Walsh, Nurse Unit Manager, Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre

The recipient of this award is outstanding in the delivery of care and is recognised by their colleagues.

Please provide information that demonstrates the qualities of the nominee in the following categories:-

Advanced clinical skills:

Jenny is highly qualified in her clinical specialty and has advanced skills in sexual health nursing. She never hesitates to take a clinical load of clients when the clinic is busy and provides safe and quality care in a time-effective manner. She also has a full workload managing and informing clients of results on a daily basis.

Role model:

Jenny is a fantastic role model to all staff, not only nurses, but doctors, social workers and admin staff. She doesn't just "talk the talk" but "walks the walk", putting in many hundreds of extra hours each year, to ensure her own, and others work, is completed to the highest level. She never complains about her workload, and has an open-door policy, welcoming staff to continually consult with her, even when she is extremely busy.

Personal/Professional integrity:

Jenny has a high degree of personal and professional integrity and this is apparent in all her interactions with staff and clients. She always strives for the best outcome for our clinic, rather than any personal gain, and often puts the needs of her staff before her own.

Patient advocate:

Jenny is a strong client advocate. She is up-to-date with the condition/needs of all our regular clients, many of whom refer to her by first name, and ask for her personally if there is a problem. She will drop her management duties, no matter how busy she is, if there is a client need that she can assist with.

Excellent interpersonal skills:

Jenny has wonderful communication skills with staff. She is assertive yet diplomatic when needed, and adapts her communication skills to the individual and the situation. She ensures staff are well informed of whatever is happening in our clinic, through regular meetings, emails and a weekly "The Week Ahead" memo.

Resource person:

Jenny is a great resource for all issues including clinic sexual health issues, management issues, human resources, work health and safety etc. Her experiences in the sector and in nursing means that she is well-informed in all these areas.

Professional development of self and encouragement of others:

Jenny is well qualified in both sexual health nursing and management. She attends, and presents at, the clinic regular inservice program, which she organises. She is extremely supportive of staff doing courses/seminars/workshops as part of their continuing professional development.

Additional supporting comments:

I have worked with Jenny for many years, and she is the best Nurse Unit Manager I have worked with. She is encouraging, compassionate, dedicated, fair, generous and humble but well-grounded and very sensible. She is selfless in always putting the needs of her clinic and her staff before her own, and is a very quiet achiever; never trying to draw attention to her hard work and extra duties she takes on. She is an asset to Westmead and to nursing, and deserves to be recognised for her hard work.

2013 Sydney Medical School Graduation


Christopher Peter Allen

Yu Nandar Aung

Catriona Nesta Boffard

Nina Booysen

Catherine Elizabeth Dowd

Amy Ruth Ehsman

Kristy Maree Innes

John Timothy Lockwood

Tonia Maria Mezzini

Gia Giulia Ravazzotti

Kylie Lynette Rivero-Glover

Katiana de Matos Shaw


Ruth Ngaire Carter


Donna Margaret Tilley

Cleopas Zvidzai

When three become one: Clinical service, research and teaching at Sexual Health Centre

Opening of the new Sexual Health Centre

This Valentine’s Day, three arms of health service including clinical, research and education, have come together to form the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre (WSSHC) - the flagship centre for sexual health in western Sydney.

The service brings together the Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre, which is affiliated with the University of Sydney with the Parramatta and Mt Druitt Sexual Health clinics.

“It’s the beginning of a new era for sexual health in western Sydney,” said Professor Tania Sorrell, Acting Director, WSSHC.

“The new linkages will enhance the service we provide to the community,” she said. “We’ve now got a very active research and teaching program, which is strongly supported by our clinical services.

“Our aim is to respond to new infectious challenges, explore cervical and other cancer prevention and treatment opportunities, and to collaborate with other university departments across Australia and the globe,” said Professor Sorrell.

“Along with all of this, we will continue to provide an efficient, free and confidential service, with a strong focus on individual Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) treatment and HIV management,” she said.

“Overall, we want to improve health outcomes at both an individual and population level,” she said.

”We are well placed to become a premier national sexual health centre.”

Key areas of research currently being conducted at the Centre includes service delivery in primary care and evaluation of HPV vaccination.

The Centre is also committed to expanding development opportunities in the fields of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health, and offers the largest postgraduate course of its kind, through the University of Sydney. It has a strong international capacity building program in HIV and STIs and has received funding from AusAID to work with partner organisations in Africa and Asia.

“In 2012, the course had over 350 enrolments in 16 different postgraduate units of study, making the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre one of the largest global postgraduate providers in the areas of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health,” said Professor Sorrell.

For more information about Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre visit

Fostering a Multidisciplinary Approach to HIV/AIDs Education in Developing Nations

A cross-disciplinary team from the University of Sydney has won an Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships grant to host a delegation of health sector representatives from four developing nations.

The $805,000 grant will enable 23 health sector workers from Botswana, Cambodia, India and Zambia to attend an intensive three-month Professional HIV Program at the University of Sydney in August.

The program will include intensive multidisciplinary training in the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, visits to centres of excellence and leadership workshops, as well as attendance at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference. Those who successfully fulfill all program requirements will also attend the awarding of the International Professional Certificate in HIV Infection (IPC-HIV).

Now in its third year, the program is headed up by the Sydney Medical School's Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Associate Professor Richard Hillman and Professor Adrian Mindel in conjunction with Associate Professor Marylouise Caldwell from the Discipline of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School.

'We believe the grant represents how educators and program managers concerned with public health are increasingly open to integrating marketing principles into their disease prevention and treatment programs," says Dr Caldwell. "More specifically concepts, managers are routinely using marketing concepts and theories such as strategic marketing planning, market segmentation, targeting and positioning and the 7Ps of the marketing mix to enhance the effectiveness of their HIV/AIDS campaigns.'

Dr Sawleshwarkar says that the program has enormous value. 'We firmly believe that the program is an opportunity for people working in the HIV/AIDS sector to engage in the reciprocal exchange of skills, ideas and opinions and underscores the significance of partnership, capacity building and a multidisciplinary approach in HIV prevention and control,' he says. 'From past experience, we know that such projects lead to deeper, more co-operative relationships between individuals, institutions and participating countries to create a network that is likely to contribute to significant improvements in HIV/AIDS programs in the participating countries.'

About the ALA Fellowships
Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Fellowships is a fully funded program managed by the AusAID. The program aims to develop leadership, address priority regional development issues, and build partnerships and linkages between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

New Masters Program in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health (MHSSH)

The new Masters Program in HIV/STIs and Sexual Health (MHSSH) has just been approved by the University of Sydney and will shortly be run from the STI Research Centre of the Western Clinical School. It will be the largest, most professionally diverse postgraduate program of its kind in the world.

Built on a sound biomedical foundation, the course brings together clinical, laboratory, social and psychological aspects of HIV, STIs & Sexual Health treatment and prevention. The curriculum and learning methods have been structured using the latest adult learning theories and give students from a variety of professionals backgrounds (including physicians, counsellors, educators, public health personnel, nurses and laboratory workers) an interdisciplinary, inter-professional study environment. Streaming of learning pathways provides opportunities to develop generic competencies, as well as the flexibility of choice necessary for specific professional needs and specialisations. Students performing well in their coursework and who have an interest in research, will have opportunities to progress to research candidature via the MPhil and PhD components.

The use of the latest e-Learning technologies, including streamed videos and social media, allow geographically remote and time-poor professionals to access the state of the art teaching materials, complimented by short periods of on-campus intensive face to face teaching.
By widening the range of topics covered, including the addition of a number of new units of study such as Adult Sexual Assault, it is anticipated that the 2012 intake will be around 40 EFTSL. This will make it one of the largest Masters programs in the Sydney Medical School.

STIRC awarded funds for Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP)

The University of Sydney, in association with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), has been successful in obtaining the Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) through AusAID.

AusAID has funded the Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre (STIRC) and PHFI to have the unique opportunity for two large institutions to start the process of developing linkages and build local capacity in the field of STIs and HIV education and research and work together to aim to achieve a reduction in the health impacts of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV in India and extend and strengthen India’s response to STIs and HIV.

The programme will contribute in developing International Professional Certificate in STIs/HIV. The course will be delivered to early career professionals pursuing a career in STIs & HIV at the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) in New Delhi and expanded to regional North East India.

The first part of the program (year 1) will consist of course design - objectives, curriculum design and appropriate assessments including two in-country workshops with stakeholders. The jointly developed program will then be open to participants.

The program will be run in presence of STIRC staff in year 2 and 3. Surveys of course participants before and after completing the course will allow the evaluation of course contents, delivery methods, relevance and applicability. The information gathered from these surveys will be used to fine tune the course for subsequent years.

The final draft of the program for the certificate course will be ready in December 2011 to be delivered in the IIPH, New Delhi in 2012.

On completion of IPC-STIs/HIV, fellows will have a comprehensive understanding of STIs and HIV infection, including interactions between HIV and other STIs. This programme will help build capacity in the field of STIs and HIV in India and will empower participants to effectively coordinate responses to STIs and HIV via strengthening human resources and leading to enhanced workforce development. This may subsequently reduce the incidence and prevalence of STIs and HIV in India.

The long-term goal is to further expand the course to regional Institutes after project completion in 2013. It is anticipated that the activity will act as catalyst for improved prevention, control and management of STIs and HIV in India and, in turn, help the country achieve the MDGs in relation to HIV.

STIRC awarded funds for a Short Intensive Professional Program in HIV

The University of Sydney, in association with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), has been successful in obtaining an Australian Leadership Awards – Fellowships (ALAF) for 10 public health professionals in India to build their capacity in research, health program management and policy development.

The award will fund a “Short Intensive Professional Program in HIV“, led by Professor Adrian Mindel, A/Professor Richard Hillman and Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar from the Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre (STIRC), Western Clinical School, University of Sydney and will commence in late August for a period of 3 months. The program includes specialist training, visits to Centres of Excellence, leadership workshops and the award of the International Professional Certificate in HIV Infection (IPC-HIV) for those who successfully complete the program.

HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) present major public health challenges to both developing and developed countries, with millions of adults and children becoming infected and dying each year. The evolving epidemics have particularly affected resource-poor countries, leading to increased demand for both educational opportunities and research skills in these areas. One of the strategies of Phase-III of the Indian National AIDS Control Programme is strengthening human resources and the PHFI is a major contributor to this. STIRC is an internationally renowned research and teaching centre within the University of Sydney. It provides excellent opportunities to achieve very high levels of knowledge and skills in the diagnosis, management and control of STIs & HIV.

HIV/AIDS significantly impacts on the developmental outcomes of countries such as India, where 2.5 million adults currently live with HIV. An adequately supplied and well-trained workforce is thus an essential component of the health care system. This Program complements Australia’s new international development strategy for HIV 'Intensifying the response: Halting the spread of HIV', with regard to the Millennium Development Goal Six - to combat HIV/AIDS and work towards universal access to HIV prevention, support, care and treatment by 2010.

The Short Intensive Professional Program in HIV provides a comprehensive overview of the prevention and management of HIV infection. The program also provides opportunities to enhance professional experience and develop networks, by attendance at the Australasian HIV conference, visits to centres of excellence, work placements and leadership development activities.

As envisaged in the Joint Statement of both Prime Ministers in 2009, India and Australia are building a broad knowledge partnership, including developing collaborative projects in education. The higher education institutions (universities and vocational training institutions) in both nations have an important role to play in such partnership, including cooperation in science and technology.

The Joint Ministerial Statement between the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations of the Government of Australia and the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India, released on 8th April 2010 called for an expansion of the existing exchange program agreement to include greater cooperation across all education sectors –schools, vocational education and training (VET) and higher education including technical and professional education through supporting the exchange of government officials and educationalists for continuous professional development. The University of Sydney’s ‘Short Intensive Professional Program in HIV’ is an excellent example of this Ministerial Statement in action.

At the end of the program, participants will be able to use their skills to build capacity in the prevention and treatment of HIV in India. This program will also provide Fellows with the opportunity to collaborate with Australian counterparts and to develop a network for ongoing advice, assistance and collaboration. It is thus highly likely to contribute to the growing collaborative relationship between the two countries.

ALAF 7 Student Group 2010
About the ALA Fellowships

*The Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Fellowships is an Australian Government initiative under the Australia Awards designed to promote knowledge, education links and enduring ties between Australia and the global community. ALA Fellowships are administered by AusAID with the aim to develop leadership, address priority regional development issues, and build partnerships and linkages between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Australian Leadership awards