Push for medal to recognise nursing excellence


Nurses from around the state were awarded medals for their service at a ceremony last month.
Nurses from around the state were awarded medals for their service at a ceremony last month.

NURSES around WA are being recognised for their outstanding service by the community-run Medals for Nurses initiative.

This includes 12 nurses from the Armadale Health Service, who have received awards for their dedication to the health profession.

Co-ordinator Paul Walling said the group had been campaigning for seven years for the medals.

“This started because we saw other public officers, including WA police and staff, corrective services, ambulance officers and volunteers, state emergency service officers and volunteers and Royal Life Saving officers and volunteers all receive a medal in recognition to their service,” Mr Walling said.

“We approached the Federal Government to implement a nursing medal. They did not believe that nurses should get a medal like some of the other public officers because they didn’t put their life on the line.”

Mr Walling said the group showed a variety of statistics displaying nurses at high risk of violence, but the Federal Government said a state Health Minister and nursing association would still have to support the idea.

“We wrote to the ministers for health and in essence they didn’t support the concept. We then commenced the Facebook campaign and tried to get nurses and family members and friends to send the automated letter to the minister registering their support,” Mr Walling said.

Medals for Nurses is pushing for the WA government to create a nursing long service medal similar to the WA Police medal to be awarded to nurses serving for 10 years or more in WA. Most medals so far have been funded from a private family trust and a donation from Armadale Central Physiotherapy. Mr Walling said the 37 nurses awarded medals at a ceremony on May 30 were overwhelmed their service was recognised.

To find out more about Medals for Nurses, visit medalsfornurses.org.

MORE: EXCLUSIVE: St John Ambulance paramedic Wesley Ackerman back from the brink of death

MORE: Thornlie man charged after allegedly firing shots at cars in Beechboro

MORE: Cyclist with no helmet dies after Coolup car accident