Monash Health recognised in 2021 Australia Day Honours

Monash Health team members have been recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List and government and council ceremonies.

We want to extend our congratulations to Rodney Whyte OAM and Kevin Ericksen AM and for being recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List.

Monash Health’s COVID-19 pandemic response was recognised at the 2021 Holt Australia Day Awards. The award was accepted by Praveenkumar Pezhatholil and Jamie St Mart nearly 12 months to the day since we admitted the first COVID-19 patient in Australia.

Those who go above and beyond were recognised too. Maroondah Council awarded Anupa Shah Citizen of the Year for working with Sikh Volunteering Australia to deliver meals to distressed families during the pandemic. At the same time, interpreter Jawewd Niazi was highly commended in the Casey Citizen of The Year award for his work in language translation and family violence support in the community

Finally, Monash Health was represented by Marg Harley, Imran Hanif, Karen Sawyer, Aimee Marriott, and Kristy de George at a special Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony held by the Governor of Victoria.

Please join us in congratulating our winners on their impressive achievements and thank you to all our impressive healthcare workers for their incredible response to a challenging 12 months.

Rodney Whyte OAM

Rodney Whyte, Senior Pharmacist at Monash Health, has been awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia “for service to pharmacy, to professional societies, and to the community”. Rodney has been with Monash Health for 36 years and as well as a Senior Pharmacist at the Monash Medicines Information Centre for 26 years.

“My OAM was cited particularly for my contribution to pharmacy and professional societies. In more recent years, I continue to liaise with healthcare professionals across Monash Health, but also with many people and organisations in the community it serves and beyond,” said Rodney.

Among the many achievements in his career, Rodney consults with many professional healthcare organisations and committees, as well as delivering presentations to an extensive and diverse range of hospital and community groups.

Rodney has contributed to the wellbeing of our community by providing information, education and counselling. Those who have worked with Rodney hold the same sentiment; his patience and the manner in which he provides advice and reassurance is greatly appreciated.

“I hear a few terms affectionately coined, and in the spirit of gender equality and having worked with the Australian Breastfeeding Association for over 25 years; it strangely sits comfortably.”

“I express my sincere thanks to everyone who has offered me congratulations and messages of encouragement.  I am touched by, and truly grateful to them all, and I promise I won’t retire just yet.”

Congratulations to Rodney on this incredible achievement.

Kevin Ericksen AM

Kevin Ericksen, who recently celebrated 45 years at Monash Health, has been appointed a Member of The Order of Australia (AM) for his service to medical science, and to pathology practice standards.

Now retired, Kevin worked in several roles during his 45 years at Monash Health, his most recent as Director of Pathology.

Kevin said that his Order of Australia nomination came as a big surprise and that he was very pleased to receive the award.

“The award itself is probably most significant to my wife and children – I spent a lot of time dedicated to my work over the years, and although it’s not something that you work towards, my family and I feel very honoured,” said Kevin.

Kevin was instrumental to the roll-out of laboratory automation, with Monash Health being the first public pathology service in Australia to implement this technology.

Alongside his work at Monash Health, Kevin represented Victoria on the NPAAC & Pathology Services Advisory Board committees and served as President of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists.

Congratulations Kevin, on this outstanding achievement.

Recognition at government and council ceremonies

Anupa Shah, Citizen of the Year, Maroondah Council

At Maroondah City Council’s Australia Day Awards, Monash Doctors Operations Coordinator, Anupa Shah, was named Maroondah’s Citizen of the Year.

Since migrating to Australia from Kenya in 1999, Anupa and her husband have been involved in many community outreach projects and hold strong beliefs in helping members of the community without judgement or discrimination.

Anupa has been involved in projects such as providing food and blankets to homeless people in Melbourne, visiting people in the community who are struggling with loneliness, and providing respite for foster parents.

More recently, Anupa has been working with Sikh Volunteering Australia to deliver meals to distressed families during the COVID-19 pandemic, which earned her the nomination for Citizen of the Year award.

Anupa said that she was very overwhelmed, and the award was unexpected.

“I am very humbled to receive an award for work that comes innately to me that I enjoy — my husband and I did this kind of work in Kenya and have no hesitation in doing it wherever we go,” said Anupa.

Congratulations Anupa, and thank you for the important work you do in the community.

Jawed Niazi, Highly Commended Citizen of the Year, City of Casey

Jawed Niazi plays an important role at Monash Health as one of our interpreters, helping hundreds of patients who don’t use English as their first language communicate with their care teams every year.

Inspired to help more people in his life outside work, Jawed and two friends started the Bakhtar Cultural Association five years ago to help multicultural communities build social cohesion and to support disadvantaged members of the community.

The significant work that Jawed and the team do led to Jawed being recognised as the Highly Commended Casey Citizen of The Year for 2021.

Jawed says he was shocked to receive the award.

“I was really surprised. I like to keep a low profile about the work that I do, and when I was asked to speak, I was speechless! But promised I will continue what I’m doing for the community. It’s an honour”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jawed and the Bakhtar Cultural Association have helped the communities that they work with in a number of ways, including assisting refugees to release emergency funds, providing food and vouchers for those who need it and by working with local members of parliament to translate information.

When asked about what motivates his work, Jawed says it’s simple, to help others.

“I came to Australia in search of peace, and I found it, now I give back by helping others.”

Congratulations to Jawed for this well-deserved recognition.

Monash Health’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Holt Australia Day Awards

The federal electorate of Holt and the Hon Anthony Byrne MP host the annual Holt Australia Day Awards, which recognises the significant contribution that special members of the public and volunteers make to the community, sporting and service organisations in the Casey area.

Monash Health’s COVID-19 pandemic response was recognised with a 2021 Holt Australia Day Award, and the nomination identifying Casey Hospital, the Casey Fields testing site and the Cranbourne Integrated Care Centre for their outstanding response to the pandemic.

The award was accepted by Praveenkumar Pezhatholil, Acting Director Clinical Operations, Medicine, Casey Hospital, and Jamie St Mart, Nurse Manager, Tower 4, Casey Hospital, on behalf of Monash Health.

“I congratulate all those receiving a Holt Australia Day Award for their exemplary community spirit and endless hours of volunteer work, making our community a better and safer place to live. These people do not get the same accolades as celebrities in the media, but in their own quiet Australian way they do tremendous work and make other people’s lives better,” said Hon Anthony Byrne.

Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony

The Governor of Victoria, the Hon Linda Dessau AC, hosted the annual Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony on the Western Lawn of Government House.

The ceremony was conducted in front of representatives of emergency services, front line health and welfare workers, multicultural community leaders, charity volunteers and others who have supported the community over the past year.

Thank you to Marg Harley, Imran Hanif, Karen Sawyer, Aimee Marriott, and Kristy de George for representing Monash Health at this event.