NT Health Professionals Honoured: Winners of the Health Professional of the Year Awards 2018 Announced

Health Service Providers

Inspirational health professionals from across the Territory recognised in the Health Professional of the Year Awards


The Health Professional of the Year Awards were presented on Friday 23 November at the Compass Teaching & Learning Conference Gala Dinner. These annual awards recognise outstanding health professionals who are making a difference to the provision of primary health care in the Northern Territory (NT).


The 2018 recipients are:


GP or other doctor working in Primary Health Care of the Year

Dr Bruce Hocking, GP (Katherine West Health Board)


Allied Health Practitioner of the Year

Shane Flanigan, Community Support Worker (Top End Health Service, East Arnhem AOD)


Nurse and/or Midwife of the Year

Roz Baartz, Community Nurse (Mala’la Health Service, Maningrida)


Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner of the Year

Jason King, Aboriginal Health Practitioner & Practice Manager (Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Santa Teresa Community Health Centre)


Primary Health Care Support Person of the Year

Nola Jimarin, Receptionist (Top End Health Service, Nauiyu Community Health Centre)


GP Locum of the Year

Dr Robert Rayner


Nicki Herriot, NT PHN CEO, said “these awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the inspirational people and stories that make up our unique primary health care workforce in the NT.”


“I would like to congratulate them on their determination and tireless commitment to improving health and wellbeing in the NT,” Ms Herriot said.


More information on the winners:


Dr Bruce Hocking, Katherine West Health Board

For the past 3 years Dr Bruce Hocking has worked for Katherine West Health Board as a General Practitioner, rotating between 2 weeks at Timber Creek Health Centre followed by 2 weeks at Yarralin Health Centre. Bruce's continuity at both health centres is critical to the excellent health delivery to both communities. Bruce is commended for always taking into account the clients wishes and beliefs and involving the client in their own medical journey. When clients want to "die on country" he remains flexible to sudden changes in their needs. He is able to tailor the western medical model, more to the client's individual and personal situation and always strives to work in collaboration with the client and their family. To do this, Bruce works closely with the local AHPs and seeks advice on cultural and family matters.


Shane Flanigan, Top End Health Service – East Arnhem AOD

Shane Flanigan has been attending remote indigenous communities for the past ten years, providing training and education to local services, families and communities. Shane works with the afterhours Night Patrols to attend overnight stay wellness camps with young men in remote communities. He mentors local people in trends, treatments and risks of substance abuse. He facilitates and develops programs to inspire young people in the community to address the symptoms of why substance use is endemic and problematic and the long-term effects on the health of the whole community.


Roz Baartz, Mala’la Health Service Maningrida

Roz Baartz is the Community Nurse who manages the School Health program in Maningrida. Roz has worked tirelessly in conjunction with the school and community workers to improve the health literacy of the students and parents at the school, particularly in relation to Rheumatic Heart Disease. Roz works together with her community workers to educate the students and their parents. Their overarching aim is to develop community capacity and health literacy through education. When Roz isn't at the school, she's in the community looking for kids who are overdue for immunisations or secondary prophylaxis. Roz has been described as ‘the best remote area nurse’ by the doctors that work with her.


Jason King, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress – Santa Teresa Community Health Centre

Jason has been an AHP for the last 18 years throughout the NT. He has lived and worked in Santa Teresa for the last 15 years and has been managing the clinic for the last 3 years. He is greatly respected throughout the community due to his work in the clinic and the management of his staff. Jason promotes local employment for the clinic and is always supportive of their roles. He encourages and supports AHP training and utilises his extensive experience to assist this training. He has a genuine understanding of the community and the health needs and barriers associated with providing care. Jason ensures that all non-indigenous and visiting staff are appropriately orientated to the culture and dynamics of the Santa Teresa community. He understands that conventional access and provision of health needs is not always workable in the community and he encourages clinic staff to find alternative ways to engage clients.


Nola Jimarin, Top End Health Service – Nauiyu Community Health Centre

Nola Jimarin has worked as the Nauiyu Community Health Centre receptionist for 12 years and is a great asset to the team there. Nola is a strong Aboriginal woman who brings important local knowledge to the Nauiyu Health Team. Nola goes over and above in her role. She is prepared to assist with picking up women for women's business when it is not appropriate for a male driver to do so. Nola also painted a beautiful "Women and Child" painting for the Health Centre’s women's room. Many visiting personnel and health promotion programs have benefited from Nola's beautiful art work, which is often given free of charge.


Dr Robert Rayner

Dr Robert Rayner has been a part of the NT PHN locum program since 2011. He has continued to provide locum relief despite personal barriers to doing so. His commitment to providing primary health care in the NT has been unwavering over the years. Dr Rayner has often taken up hard to fill Locum dates at short notice. He steps into any clinic and hits the ground running. His ability to work in many health services across the NT is a testament to his adaptability to people and to the work in the NT. Dr Rayner demonstrates admirable determination and resilience, returning to the NT several times every year and showing a true passion for working in remote Aboriginal health.