Bob Fenwick Memorial Program awards

Twelve mental health nurses from around the state will today receive their awards, at a ceremony in Sydney, for completing the Bob Fenwick Memorial Mentoring Program, which gets experienced mental health nurses or clinicians to mentor less‐experienced colleagues for the betterment of mental health service provision in NSW.

Program funding is provided by the NSW Ministry of Health and administered by the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association. The 12 nurses receiving their awards today are:



Emma Butler
from Bloomfield Hospital, Orange Health Service, Western NSW LHD

Elizabeth Roberts
from Forensic Hospital, Forensic Mental Health LHD

Dianne Dolan from
Aged Care Assessment Team,  Northern

Jenny Kelly from St Vincent’s
Hospital, St Vincent’s Health Network

Brendan Garry from Bega Mental
Health Unit, Southern NSW LHD

Emma Harrington
from Forensic Hospital, Forensic Mental Health LHD

Hayley Lewis
from Bega Mental Health Unit, Southern NSW LHD

Grant Kinghorn
from Forensic Hospital, Forensic Mental Health LHD

Rebecca McCracken from Parks Community
Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Service Western NSW LHD

Duncan Howard from St George
Sutherland Mental Health Service, South Eastern Sydney LHD

Timothy Montilla
from Macquarie Hospital, Northern Sydney LHD

Nirav Thakker from Cumberland
Hospital, Sydney West LHD

Allison Pennings from Child and
Adolescent Mental Health Service, Hunter New England LHD

Paul O’Keefe from Walker Unit,
Concord Centre for Mental Health, Sydney LHD

Kaylene Schulze
from Dareton Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Service, Far West LHD

Margaret Flynn from Specialist
Mental Health Services for Older People,
Northern Sydney LHD

Tamara Stein
from Lismore Community Mental Health Team, Northern NSW LHD

Neil Hepple from Hornsby
Hospital Mental Health ICU, Northern Sydney LHD

Eliza Zhao
from Macquarie Hospital, Northern Sydney LHD

Jean Forbes from Camperdown
Community Mental Health Service, Sydney LHD

Melissa Wilkinson
from St George Hospital, South Eastern Sydney LHD

Rui Rodrigues from Wagga Wagga
Base Hospital, Murrumbidgee LHD

Brendan Sheahan
from Dareton Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Service, Far West LHD

Katherine Alford from Illawarra Drug
and Alcohol Services, Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD


These nurses completed the program between March and July this year and are the second group of nurses to complete the program, which was established in 2011. Thirteen nurses completed the first program round in 2011-12.

Applications for round three will open today and mental health nurses from around the state are invited to apply. The first two rounds of the program prioritised rural and regional nurses, but round three is open to mental health nurses from anywhere in the state including Sydney.

NSWNMA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said this excellent and important program was established in 2011 to allow new mental health nurses:

• increase their knowledge, competence and confidence in mental health nursing, which will positively impact on their professional practice; • expand their professional support networks, which is particularly important for rural and regional mental health nurses; and • experience a different health setting, providing a better understanding of other clinical environments.

“On behalf of the NSWNMA and the mental health nurses and patients of NSW I would like to thank the state Government for ensuring the perpetuation of this innovative grants program and the benefits it will continue to provide. The Bob Fenwick Memorial Mentoring Program is a fitting recognition of Bob Fenwick’s leadership, passion and his work as role model and mentor to his colleagues, especially newer nurses continuing their learning in the mental health field.

“I congratulate the 12 nurses who have completed Round Two of the program and who are receiving their awards today. I trust the experiences and friendships formed during their placement will help them be even better mental health nurses in their local communities. Mental health has rightly come out of the shadows in recent years and there is much greater recognition of its prevalence in every community. That is why mental health nurses and mental health programs such as this are a vital part of the health system.

“In fact, dedicated frontline mental health nurses are fundamental to improving service delivery and providing the best possible care. This is especially true in rural and remote areas. Rural communities not only have to contend with economic, social and environmental stressors, but with pressures compounded by their isolation.

“The distance to services and the limited availability of specialist skills make the work load much more difficult in many respects. We must be continually looking for innovative ways to support and engage our skilled nursing clinicians in providing equitable, quality and evidence-based care across the State.

“It is only through a skilled and competent workforce that we can do this. The Bob Fenwick Memorial Mentoring Program is helping build and support that mental health nursing workforce,” Mr Holmes said.

The Bob Fenwick Memorial Mentoring Program was established in honour of Bob Fenwick who tragically died in a work-related incident in January 2011 and who was well known as an excellent mental health nurse and a mentor of younger and less experienced nurses.

The program provides an opportunity for registered nurses working in the area of mental health and employed by the public health system to undertake a five-day placement in a mental health service other than their usual place of employment. It assists with travel, meals and accommodation along with a payment to their employer to help cover backfill costs whilst the nurse is on placement and a small contribution is provided for host LHDs to cover any costs. Mentees can undertake specific placements to complement their own experience and help develop their local service expansion.

Members of the Fenwick and Pritchard families will be at today’s Round Two award ceremony.

Media inquiries: Brett Holmes 0414-550 324 Marc Hopkins (to arrange interviews with your local nurses) 0437-990 146 or John Moran 0410-603 278

Bob Fenwick Memorial Mentoring Program Round Two (2012-13) awards ceremony Friday, 30 August 2013 Mercure Hotel, George St Sydney

9.30 Award Ceremony Introduction Marc Hopkins MC
9.40 Welcome to Country Uncle Chicka Madden, Gadigal Elder

9.55 Program Background Brett Holmes, General Secretary, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association

10.15 Opening Address Karen Price, Associate Director, Mental Health Clinical Policy, Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office.

10.30 Presentation of Awards Karen Price & Ms. Kate Fenwick

11.00 Opportunities Provided by the 2012/13 Grant’s Initiative Mentees & Mentors – Overview of Placement by Round 2 participants

11.15 2011/12 Achievements Short video followed by Summary of Evaluation Outcomes

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