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District AGM 2021

District reflects on healthcare during COVID-19.

Woman standing and speaking on stage behind podium
SydneyConnect Image: District's Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson AM

New Board chair John Ajaka describes 2021 as one of Sydney Local Health District’s toughest.

“The Sydney Local Health District team has gone above and beyond to care for and protect our community from COVID-19,” he told the District’s Annual General Meeting.

‘This has been the biggest public health response in our history, not just here in Sydney, but all around the world.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your courage, compassion and grit. When I say grit, it is tenacity, resilience and leadership,” he said.

Mr Ajaka was joined by Board members, the NSW Health Deputy Secretary Susan Pearce, and the District's Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson AM at the AGM.

Many members of the Executive, hospital and service general managers, staff and the community attended virtually too.

“As 2020 began, no one could have imagined the challenges that would lie ahead for our District, our staff, our patients and our community,” Dr Anderson said.

“Everyone has played a pivotal role in our COVID-19 response, and by continuing to work together to provide exceptional care for patients who rely on us every day of the year.

“I am so proud of my leadership team – and all of our staff – who stepped up to help without hesitation. Our District’s achievements would not have been possible without you,” Dr Anderson said.

During the AGM, the Chief Executive of AMS Redfern LaVerne Bellear and Ahmad Malas, a community leader from Lakemba, joined a conversation about caring for the community during COVID-19.

Associate Professor Rebekah Ahmed shared her ground-breaking gene therapy trial into frontotemporal dementia, while Professor Chris Maher highlighted the role of a new flagship research centre for musculoskeletal health.

And, the District announced the winners of its Innovation and Excellence Awards, including a series of Awards introduced to recognise the significant contribution of staff during the District's COVID-19 response.

Joseph Jewitt, the General Manager of Special Health Accommodation was named Collaborative Staff Member of the Year for his exceptional contribution to the services provided by the District.

The Director of the District’s Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub, Barbara Luisi and the District’s Chief Information Officer Richard Taggart received Recognition of Excellence Awards acknowledging their outstanding contributions during the response to COVID-19.

The teams involved in the District’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program received the Chair of the Board’s Award for Excellence and the District’s Pharmacy Director Rosemary Burke was the recipient of the Chair of the Board’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In a video message, the NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said “Sydney Local Health District has risen to the occasion, whenever asked. The work that has been done… has been absolutely incredible. It’s exemplary.

“I want to thank all the frontline staff, particularly the doctors, the nurses, allied health staff, the cleaners and the administrative staff. You’ve all been amazing,” he said. 

To view more images of the AGM, please click here.