Allied Health professionals recognised with 2023 Excellence Awards


Pictured: Winners of our Allied Health Excellence Awards alongside our Chief Executive, Nicole Tweddle, our Chief Allied Health Officer and General Manager of Allied Health and Pharmacy, Fiona McKinnon, and Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald AM.

St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s 2023 Allied Health Excellence Awards recognise the invaluable contribution made by allied health professionals across our health service.

Allied health is a broad field made up of many distinct specialities, each of which plays its own vital role in the health sector.

They include speech pathologists, dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, prosthetists and orthotists, interpreters, music therapists, art therapists, psychologists and neuropsychologists, radiographers, nuclear medicine technologists, radiation therapists, perfusionists and sonographers.

Our Awards this year acknowledged finalists across six categories: Early Career, Emerging Leader, Excellence in Education, Research and Innovation, Clinical Excellence, and the Chief Allied Health Officer Excellence and Leadership Award.


Chief Allied Health Officer Award – Kathryn Bailey, Access, Rehab and Clinics

Kathryn is the stream manager for Access, Rehabilitation and Clinics within the Health Independence Programs.

A physiotherapist by background, Kathryn manages a large team from a broad range of disciplines and exemplifies outstanding leadership and excellence.

She is an exemplar in supporting the growth and career progression of her teams, always striving to improve her practice as well as those around her.

Kathryn is committed to improving the way services are delivered, to measuring and improving patient outcomes and the patient experience.


Clinical Excellence Award – Jamee Barugh, Dietician

Jamee is a highly skilled dietitian with over 15 years' experience, currently working in our Upper Gastrointestinal Unit.

Jamee embodies the values of St Vincent’s, is a valued member of the healthcare team and strives to achieve clinical excellence in her care of patients.

She shares her knowledge and expertise with students and colleagues and has contributed to a range of local and hospital-wide projects including the development and implementation of our award-winning hospital menu, protected mealtimes and reducing food waste.


Early Career Award – Nikki Giannopolous, Social Worker

Nikki joined St Vincent’s as a social worker in early 2021.

During her time at St Vincent’s, Nikki has demonstrated her commitment to translating her knowledge into practice to improve the patient experience.

She uses her skills and knowledge to foster ethical and caring responses in all aspects of her work and has made a significant contribution to building a positive work culture.

She is enthusiastic, committed and strongly invested in continuing to develop her knowledge and learning.


Emerging Leader Award – Stephanie Vu, Prosthetist

Stephanie, recently promoted to a senior prosthetist role, demonstrates passion, optimism, grace and determination.

She continuously goes above and beyond for patients and colleagues alike, from ensuring that patients are funded for their prosthesis through to educating peers and improving processes and systems.

Steph is committed to her ongoing development as well as the development of others, creating a learning environment where others can grow, learn (and laugh) and be encouraged in a safe environment – described by her peers as a ‘cheerleader and a guide’.


Research and Innovation Award – Georgia McKenzie, Physiotherapist

Georgia is currently a PhD candidate at La Trobe University, investigating the ‘building of supportive communities through working with community leisure facilities to bridge the gap between rehabilitation and recreation for young adults with disability’.

Georgia works in our Young Adult Complex Disability Service and is committed to ensuring excellent clinical care to the highly vulnerable Cerebral Palsy population, aiming to improve quality of life and equitable access.

Georgia has shared her research locally and internationally and uses her knowledge and learnings to improve the way care is delivered here at St Vincent’s through translating evidence into practice.


Excellence in Education Award – Kate Woodhead, Physiotherapist

Kate is our clinical education lead in Physiotherapy and demonstrates commitment to developing her own teaching skills, as well as the practice of others.

She is an outstanding educator, who goes above and beyond to support students, supervisors and clinicians.

Kate is an active member of the education community, completing a post graduate certificate in clinical education, is a member of the APA Clinical Education SIG and led the allied health education for COVID-19. 

She was unable to attend the Awards ceremony as she was helping to facilitate an immersive simulation course for physiotherapists in Toowoomba.