2023 Excellence in Leadership

Peta Fisher – South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital

Peta is the Coordinator of Nursing and Midwifery at Fiona Stanley Hospital being responsible for Maternity Services, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paediatrics, and 124 surgical beds. Peta provides clinical expertise on external committees and provides high level knowledge and guidance for innovative ways to improve services.  

 Peta is a driven and passionate transformational leader having built her reputation on teamwork, inclusiveness, and appreciation of her staff. She has created a culture of respect, success, and integrity. Peta is an analytical and data driven leader who can critically understand trends and service needs providing a solution-based focus. Her excellent communication skills ensure she delivers what is required in a highly articulate way.  

 Peta is an inspiration to all within the multidisciplinary team due to her compassion, intuition, approachability, dedication to improve the consumer journey, and understanding of human factors that influence clinical outcomes. She works tirelessly to ensure Fiona Stanley Hospital has a reputation for excellence that includes critical analysis of emerging situations and recommendations for proposed interventions and their implementation. She is caring and dynamic and is dedicated to creating a climate for initiating and sustaining change in the contemporary health environment.  

Vicki Cope – Murdoch University

Vicki is Head of School of Nursing at Murdoch University leading a team of academic and professional staff across two campuses with 1500 undergraduate nursing students. Vicki leads the development and delivery of an accredited Bachelor of Nursing curriculum and provides supervision to students undertaking master’s and PhD studies.  

Vicki is a passionate nurse, midwife, teacher, and transformational leader who sets high professional standards encouraging individual self-development. She understands the power of engaging others to aspire for self-development. Vicki both challenges and trusts her team to produce their best. She is visionary and inspirational. She shares a vision and takes everyone from academic staff to students on the path to making it reality. Vicki has created a succession pathway that benefits individuals, the school, and ultimately the profession, and has developed new roles to support junior staff for success in future leadership positions.  

Vicki has contributed her utmost to provide a cohesive work environment, work-life balance, and a positive team spirit despite exceedingly difficult circumstances. She is a conscientious leader being considerate of everyone’s needs. Vicki has navigated momentous change with calm, consistent and visible leadership, and is building a resilient nursing team in which staff are valued and inspired. 

Anne Watts – South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital

Anne is the Nurse Unit Manager for the Spinal Unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital State Rehabilitation Service being responsible for patient care coordination, ward management, and leadership of the nursing team. Anne is an outstanding nursing leader and has worked with spinal injury patients for over 30 years.  

Anne has developed a spinal masterclass series to empower staff to maintain key clinical standards and progress their career. Her research into catheterisation and bladder infection prevention has promoted her patients to access the latest bladder management products. Anne has also partnered with pharmacists, product specialists and spinal clinicians to establish rehabilitation programs that include contemporary care management options.  

Anne was instrumental in leading a team to develop a Mobile Health information and communications technology application which provides a personalised and participatory communication tool to assist patients, their families, and health care teams to navigate multiple complex requirements. Anne encourages patients to use this “APP” and provides supports to maximise its use. This project won the 2022 South Metropolitan Health Service Excellence Awards, Excellence in Innovation.  

Anne is also a lifelong member of the Abilympics Australian Team, travelling as a volunteer nurse to support WA competitors.

Kylie Russell – The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle

Kylie is the Head of Program Development, Quality and Assessment at the School of Medicine in Fremantle. Kylie’s influence and achievement in academic leadership and service go beyond her dedication to the university and its strategic and operational goals. Her personal and professional values demonstrate what she stands for and are a persuasive foundation for an enthusiastic workplace.  

Kylie uses clear, understandable communication and is honest and humble with an attitude reinforced by respect for all roles and positions. Kylie is passionate about teaching and learning for all health professionals and contributes to the development of emerging nurse leaders across international boundaries. 

Kylie is a group leader of Sigma Nursing, a long-standing member of the St John of God Research Committee, and a Trustee and Grant Convenor for the Western Australian Nurses Memorial Charitable Trust working closely with state and federal MPs and health services.  Kylie is a Divisional Councillor for the Royal Australian Air Force Association providing clinical governance and workforce strategy where her leadership, management and clinical expertise assisted to launch the Andrew Russell Veteran Living Program to support homeless veterans and those at risk of homelessness along with their families.

Alex Knowles – East Metropolitan Health Service, Royal Perth Hospital

Alex is a lead Nurse Educator in the Aggression Prevention and Intervention portfolio at Royal Perth Hospital providing direct support for frontline clinicians in the prevention and management of aggression or behaviours of concern. Alex has played an active role in shaping an evidence-based trauma informed approach that underpins the care of the most vulnerable patients. She has collaborated on hospital wide initiatives, such as Behavioural Visual Alerts, and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of a simulation education program addressing Mental Health Emergency Responses that refines the escalation of care for consumers experiencing an altered mental state.  

Alex’s passion for teaching aggression prevention and intervention is driven by an appreciation of the impact of occupational violence. Her non-judgemental and empathetic approach enables engagement and facilitation of open discussions to navigate complex issues relating to occupational violence. Alex encourages colleagues to find solutions and develop meaningful and effective action plans to reduce the impact. 

Alex is often praised for her genuine support, professionalism, and expertise as she listens to consumer, carer and staff needs. Alex’s leadership inspires others to do better and has helped foster relationships between Security and clinical teams. A comparison of key performance indicators has shown a reduction in rates of aggression and violence. 

Maggie Ashton – Silverchain

Maggie is a supportive and solutions driven Clinical Nurse Manager at Silverchain leading the Hospital at the Home (HATH) East team. Maggie provides advice, guidance, and supervision to all under her leadership, and supports and mentors RNs to resolve complex care issues.  

A skilled and compassionate communicator, Maggie ensures the maintenance of quality clinical practice and standards. She excels in her role and exemplifies strong leadership inspiring others to provide excellence in clinical practice creating a positive workplace culture. Maggie has produced a high calibre of nurses facilitating the growth of all in her team. She inspires continuous development in her colleagues and sets professional goals for each to achieve. A HATH RN recently commented, “As a Registered Nurse for 18 years I have never worked under a leader so highly respected, dependable and authentic”.  

Maggie has a client-first approach and seeks innovative solutions to improve client care. She has led a subcutaneous antibiotic therapy administration pilot within the community setting that has become standard practice. The practice allows clients to receive treatment at home, enabling vein preservation in renally impaired clients, and facilitation of early hospital discharge. Maggie’s work has led to improvements to community acute care directly benefiting Western Australians.