Community Engagement Awards
Dr Laura Nield
GP trainee Dr Laura Nield was recognised for her dedication to general practice and her commitment to community.
Laura made significant contributions to environmental causes, working on waste-reduction initiatives Alice Springs Zero Waste and Plastic Free Sunraysia.
She has also been active in health promotion activities including RunRona and the Kidney Health Red Socks Appeal.
Dr Libby Garoni
Supervisor Dr Libby Garoni was awarded for her contribution to firefighting, schooling and sporting endeavours in north east Victoria.
Libby has worked as a GP at the Mount Beauty Medical Centre for 22 years. Alongside her dedicated work with the Bogong and Gundowring CFA, Bright and Myrtleford equestrian groups and the Mount Beauty School council, this makes Libby a key member of her community and a worthy recipient of our community engagement award.
Anglesea Medical was recognised with a 2021 community engagement award for launching a program aiming to create meaningful intergenerational connection.
The From 9 to 90 initiative uses letter writing to connect grade 3 and 4 students with older people in the community and was developed in conjunction with Anglesea Primary, Anglesea Aged Care and the Anglesea Men’s Shed.
A 2021 community engagement award was presented to Gateway Health Wodonga in recognition of the practice’s commitment to accessible in-practice telehealth, health promotion to the Congolese community and services for vulnerable community members.
The practice was able to carry out these community initiatives while also facing the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a noteworthy effort.
Read the practice’s acceptance submission here.
Dr Kane Treble is an RACGP GP trainee at Ontario Medical Clinic in Mildura.
Outside of his clinic commitments last year, he was instrumental, with his roles as the Mildura Base Public Hospital COVID Project Response Coordinator and the Sunraysia Community Health Services Respiratory Assessment Clinic GP Coordinator, in the creation of the SCHS Mildura Respiratory Clinic, which provided a COVID testing service to the local community.
In October, Dr Kane Treble was nominated by his colleague, Dr Nayna Purchase, for AusDoc’s call out for GP practice heroes of the pandemic: Kane was one of the winners, here is Nayna’s submission:
“Once upon a time, in the far-away North-Western Victorian town of Mildura, there lived a hero named Kane. Kane had moved to Mildura with his wife, Lizzie, in order to be closer to family and offer salvation to the local hospital as an ED reg.
Over time, and with the arrival of his first born, Kane saw the light and transitioned to General Practice. Whilst our hero thought he was finally escaping the grasp of unsociable hours and time from his family, little did he know that his next adventure and challenge was only just beginning.
I met Kane when he, Lizzie, and I were all working at the hospital. He had the reputation of being an approachable, thorough, and caring registrar who told terrible dad-jokes (and still does). People tended to breathe a sigh of relief when they knew Kane was working.
With time both Lizzie and I ventured to the land of general practice (in the same clinic), and Kane decided to join the party. For a few months life was good, and we could have face-to-face tutorials in small rooms and Christmas parties were hosted. Then COVID-19 happened.
Retrospectively (and fortunately), Mildura has been sheltered from any major COVID outbreaks (likely due to our geographical isolation). However, of this we were not aware. When all the hype started there wasn’t much (read: any) of a COVID team in Mildura.
One of the senior GPs at the clinic saw the need for a COVID response team and kindly volunteered Kane. Kane accepted, and started weaving his magic. Kane, in conjunction with Sunraysia Community Health Services (SCHS) and a wonderful lead named Shelley Faulks, established the region’s first respiratory assessment clinic in an attempt to spare GP clinics and the ED from people with sore throats and coughs.
With time, the government caught up to Kane and funded GP-led clinics. With that, Kane’s (non-human) child was adopted by the Commonwealth and wore the badge of being one of the first clinics to roll-out within the country. Unfortunately, the title of a Commonwealth Clinic did not mean roster-gaps were filled.
Kane continued to offer his usual level of care in his GP clinic, fill multiple gaps in the COVID clinic, attempt to coordinate and fill rosters, be a husband and father, and also support Lizzie who was studying for exams whilst being pregnant with their second child (she’s the kind of person that sits her RCE at 38 weeks without breaking a sweat), all with his usual grace and poise.
As one of his patients articulated, ‘With everything (Kane) has had going on in his personal and professional life, he has always made my mental health and welfare his main focus. I cannot speak highly enough of him.’ But wait, there’s more!
Kane was recruited by the hospital to help coordinate their COVID response team. He put on yet another hat, this time as COVID medical response officer. This saw him creating policies for inpatients, outpatient, nursing-home patients, and all patients in between whilst also being involved with the ground-work.
Kane continues to look for ways in which he can better help the community. He has the foresight, initiative, and dedication to recognise future challenges and implement strategies to overcome them. He provides a helping hand, listening ear, or caffeine boost to his colleagues without question.
Whilst he appears to have an endless reserve of knowledge and ability, it must be recognised that Kane has had to put aside his studies (delaying his GP exams in order to facilitate his role in the COVID response), time with his family, and also minor things like sleep and sunshine.
Kane, we are so lucky to have you as part of the community, and your family for supporting you and being willing to share you with us.
We wouldn’t be where we are without you and all those working with you. Although you aren’t doing it for the cape (although you totally pull it off…), your hard work doesn’t go unrecognised.
It seems like Lizzie isn’t just keeping you around for your looks and technological ability. Realistically, your COVID adventure is unlikely to come to an end any time soon. Until then, keep slaying and being you.”
Dr Nayna Purchase