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Curtin adjunct professor, nursing and midwife graduates excel at Awards

Media release

An adjunct professor and three nursing and midwifery graduates from Curtin University have scooped prestigious accolades at the 2011 WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards.

Professor Robin Watts, of Como and a current adjunct professor and former Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, was awarded the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for being a major driving force in the strategic direction for nursing, midwifery and healthcare in Western Australia.

Tania McWilliams, from Kinross, a 1997 nursing graduate was named Western Australia’s 2011 Nurse/Midwife of the Year. Ms McWilliams received the top honour for working tirelessly to improve burns patient management, assessment and care. She was also a winner in the Research and Innovative Practice category.

Wattle Grove resident and a 2003 nursing graduate, Rachel Byrne, was awarded the Preceptor of the Year Award for ensuring patients receive safe care from students and new graduates at Fremantle Hospital by providing skilled guidance and direction.

A 2010 midwifery graduate, Brooke Jones, of Joondalup, received the Graduate of the Year Award for focusing on the improvement of maternal and neonatal outcomes globally.

Ms Pam Roberts, Acting Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said the winners had gone above and beyond their normal duties to make a positive difference to their patients and colleagues.

“We are incredibly proud of Robin and of our graduates and their achievements,” Ms Roberts said.

“Robin’s successful career spans more than three decades in nursing education and practice. Last year she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to nursing. She has a passion for education and care that is infectious and inspirational.”

Kizzi Neale who also graduated as a midwife from Curtin University in 2010 was nominated as a finalist in the category of Graduate of the Year.

More than 230 nurses and midwives were nominated for the 2011 awards across 16 categories. The annual event was held on Saturday 17 September at the Burswood Entertainment Complex and acknowledges the contributions of nurses and midwives to the community and their profession.


Kristy Jones / Teresa Belcher, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085, Email:,

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