Nursing Trailblazers

2024 nominations

If you are interested in nominating yourself or a colleague for the 2024 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers, register your interest to be notified as soon as nominations are open.

About the award

The only award of its kind in Australia, the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers (Trailblazers Award) recognises nurse leaders and innovators who lead the way to transform our health and aged care systems by impacting costs, improving quality of care and enhancing consumer satisfaction. The award acknowledges nurse-led innovations and models of care which significantly improve health outcomes for the Australian community through evidence-based processes.

Founded in 2019, the Trailblazers Award is administered by the Australian College of Nursing (ACN). The award is designed to acknowledge that nursing has the solutions to many of the problems that plague the Australian health and aged care systems. This prestigious award is bestowed upon an innovative and outstanding nurse who has demonstrated leadership to bring new thinking to a wide range of health care challenges.

2023 Trailblazer winner and finalists

Lauren Barber

Lauren Barber MACN

2023 Winner
Caleb Ferguson

Professor Caleb Ferguson FACN

2023 Finalist
Tammy Harvey

Tammy Harvey

2023 Finalist
Toni Slotnes-O’Brien

Toni Slotnes-O’Brien MACN

2023 Finalist

Selection criteria

ACN will facilitate the nomination and selection process in line with the following selection criteria:

  • Significant contribution to the nursing profession and better health outcomes of Australian community
  • Innovative work of nurses and the holistic and integrated philosophy underlying nursing care
  • Demonstrated innovative intervention or excellent model of care that resolved a problem in the delivery of health care or an unmet health need of a population.

Read more about our Trailblazers

Past Trailblazers

Claire Lane

Claire Lane MACN

2022 Winner
Josephine Chow

Professor Josephine Chow MACN

2022 Finalist
Kate Holliday

Dr Kate Holliday MACN

2022 Finalist
Sonia Martin

Sonia Martin MACN

2021 Winner
Carey Blaik

Carey Blaik MACN

2021 Finalist
Julie Westaway

Julie Westaway MACN

2021 Finalist
Lisa Hellwege

Lisa Hellwege MACN

2021 Finalist
Shannon Wallis

Shannon Wallis MACN

2020 Winner
Matiu Bush MACN

Matiu Bush

2020 Finalist
Lorna Cook

Lorna Cook MACN

2020 Finalist

2020 award ceremony


Nikki Johnston OAM MACN

2019 Winner

Professor Sandy Middleton FACN

2019 Finalist

Professor Jeanine Young FACN

2019 Finalist
Linda Campbell MACN

Linda Campbell

2019 Finalist

2019 award ceremony

Join the conversation on social media using #ACNTrailblazers