NSW Health Manager Leadership Awards 2021

NSW Health Management Leadership Awards: Aged Care

The 2021 ACHSM NSW Health Manager Leadership Awards are now open. 

Once again it has been an incredibly tough year for health service managers across NSW.

Thank you for your service to your teams and communities across NSW.

In 2020 we acknowledged and celebrated the value of health management leadership across all health service contexts.

This year,  the Awards will focus on recognising outstanding health management leadership in the aged care sector.

Health managers working in aged care have been required to draw on their leadership skills and attributes in 2021, demonstrating resilience, perseverance and a strong commitment to teamwork when leading through uncertainty.

Through our conversations with those working in the sector, the enormous amount of dedication, desire for improvement and genuine passion for improving the experience and quality of life of elderly Australians living in aged care is a recurring message.

Leadership happens at every level. Tell us, in a few paragraphs, about a health manager colleague, peer or manager working in the NSW aged care system who has displayed outstanding health management leadership qualities.

Eligibility criteria:

The nominated person must:

  • must work and reside in NSW
  • must work in the aged care sector (public, private or not for profit)
  • must have shown outstanding leadership in 2021 has an aged care health management professional
  • does not have to be an ACHSM member

There will be no single award winner. All nominated health managers who meet the above criteria will be publicly announced as winners and receive an award at an awards event later in 2021 (due to the COVID pandemic, this year’s event will be virtual, with hardcopy awards sent to award winners).


  • Nomination form

Feedback from some of the 2020 NSW Health Manager Leadership Award Nominees

“I am overwhelmed by the nomination and humbled by the experience.   It has been a tough year all round both personally and professionally and I always try to ensure the kinks aren’t shown in the armour we wear each day, supporting our staff/ teams and patients and families we serve.  I work in a dynamic team of paediatric Health Service Managers that grow in strength to strength. We have all adapted to the new challenges that have been brought with Covid and continue grow, develop and support each other.  It’s a privilege to work with the team and be recognised.”

  • Chrissy Ceely: Head of Clinical Governance Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital Network

“I am so very humbled. This achievement was only possible due to the wonderful team that I work with both at a District and State Level. With their support, hard work, contributions and dedication we have been able to navigate and address the challenges of this year to ensure safe and quality care for our patients and the community across the State whilst supporting the wellbeing of our staff in this Marathon. I am so very proud to be a Leader in NSW Health and believe Health Manager leadership is worthy of celebration.”

  • Anne Smith: Physiotherapy Head of Discipline & Associate Director of Allied Health, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District

“2020 started the same as any other year – busy and focussed. Within a matter of weeks life changed. We were tasked with setting up COVID testing clinics with existing staff and minimal resources and with positive cases to treat. As a manager and leader I realised very quickly that I had to be clear and concise with my communication, work on my own resilience and develop a toolkit so I could be the support person to the rest of my team.” 

  • Colleen Ryan: Manager of Community and Allied Health Services Hastings Macleay clinical network Mid North Coast Local Health District, Mid North Coast Local Health District

“Feeling very humble, I absolutely love what I do and just so grateful to be able to contribute and make a difference to our health system, staff patients and community. I have an amazing team that continue to go above and beyond and an amazing and supportive work environment of inspirational and awe inspiring people.”

  • Kathy Dempsey: Senior Manager, Healthcare Acquired Infections, Clinical Excellence Commission

“I am deeply honoured to be nominated for the inaugural NSW Health Manager Leadership Awards. Receiving this recognition is a testament to my mentor and supervisor Dr Liz Mullins, whose unwavering leadership as the Director of Medical Services of the Bega Valley Health Service has been inspirational. Additionally the leadership and management of the Bega Valley Health Services Executive Team has been phenomenal.”

  • Lachlan Gordon: Medical Administration Registrar, South East Regional Hospital

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be nominated. I truly appreciate this nomination and recognition of the NSW Branch ACHSM awards, especially in its inauguration. The fact that ACHSM is the peak organization for health service management in Australasia is an added honour.”

  • Eva Ballai: Captain (Army Reservist) and RACF Manager, ADF & Hall and Prior Health and Aged Care Group

“This award is very unexpected but it really made my day to receive it in my inbox and know that a colleague had nominated me. It is such a privilege to work as a public health employee in a position of leadership and this pandemic has pushed my capabilities as a leader and senior executive beyond what I thought was possible. I take my job and responsibilities very seriously and not only have always been driven to ensure the allied health workforce is not only safe and supported every day at work but can thrive to be the best they can for the patients we look after. I really love developing future health managers and leaders and seeing people grow and achieve their best.”

  • Jacqueline Dominish: Director Allied Health, Western Sydney Local Health District

“It’s been a difficult year for all, but unimaginable for some. This inaugural award and recognition of health leadership by the ACHSM NSW is a timely reminder of the impact leaders can have at all levels, in all circumstances. Whilst it has been a fatiguing year in health, I have been inspired by those around to dig a little deeper, as many have. This nomination is recognition of the hard work of the teams I have had the privilege in leading.”

  • Glenn Sisson: Officer Commanding, Health Company, 5 Combat Service Support Battalion (5CSSB) and Manager (RN) of the NSW Institute of Trauma and Injury Management, Australian Defence Force - Army Reserve and Ministry of Health

Award Recipients

2020 award recipients

2020 recipient interviews (coming soon)