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Cuppa with a Colleague

District opens Innovation Week with a focus on staff health and wellbeing.

SydneyConnect Video: Highlights: People Matter in Sydney Local Health District — part of Innovation Week 2022 (Day 1)

The health and wellbeing of staff was at the heart of appreciation activities across Sydney Local Health District's hospitals, services and facilities as Innovation Week 2022 officially began.

"An important focus for our District is the health and wellbeing of our staff who come to work every day to make a difference in the lives of others by providing compassionate, patient and family centred care," Dr Teresa Anderson, the District's Chief Executive, said.

"And for our staff to be at their best, they need to be able to make time for themselves to take care of own health and wellbeing," she said.

Dr Anderson officially launched Innovation Week by sharing a virtual Cuppa with a Colleague with all of the District's staff, alongside the Executive Director of Workforce and Corporate Services Gina Finocchiaro, the Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Ivanka Komusanac, the General Manager of Canterbury Hospital Michael Morris and the Director of Aboriginal Health George Long.

The initiative is an opportunity for the District's 16 000 strong workforce to take time out to care for themselves, to connect with colleagues and to say thank you to staff for delivering outstanding care for patients, their families and the community.

Despite intermittent rain, staff gathered on the Jacaranda Lawn at Balmain Hospital, in the foyer at Canterbury Hospital, on The Green at Concord Hospital, in a courtyard at RPA and on the rooftop at Sydney Dental Hospital.

"It's a really nice opportunity to have conversations with people that you might not have conversations with each day," Tom O'Sullivan, the Acting Director of Corporate Services and Finance at Balmain Hospital, said.

For many staff it was an opportunity to reconnect in person for the first time since the District's COVID-19 pandemic response began.

"It's really, really exciting that we can do this, considering the last few years we've had, to be able to come together, socialise and just see what's happening around the hospital," Shan Richards, an MDOK Program Officer at RPA Hospital, said.

Cuppa with a Colleague was also held at the Centre for Education and Workforce Development, Croydon, Marrickville and Redfern Health Centres, Forest Lodge Community Health Centre, at Marsden Street and at Mental Health Services at RPA and Concord.

Canterbury Hospital's new Aboriginal Cultural Garden, which acknowledges the Bediagal people of the Eora Nation, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Canterbury Hospital was built, was also officially launched.

There were history walking tours of Balmain, Canterbury, Concord and RPA hospitals - with Concord set to mark its 80th anniversary later this year and RPA celebrating 140 years of serving the community.

"We explored the foundation story of RPA, which is quite significant, and the development of the buildings and some of the architecture and the statues and the changes of the campus through time," Scott Andrews, the District's Acting Director of Heritage and Environment, said.

Staff were also able to participate in virtual exercise classes, guided mindfulness and deep relaxation sessions and the staff wellbeing team MDOK ran workshops about how best to    release stress, rest, and recharge.

Innovation Week runs from 30 May–3 June and this year's theme is Connect. Collaborate. Dream big for a bright future.

"It is very much focused on our staff and the amazing work that occurs across the District. I'm really looking forward to it. It's the week that I look forward to the most each year," Dr Anderson said.

AWARE Super were on site to answer questions about superannuation. And, Think Products provided the Well Naturally treats the District's staff enjoyed during the day.