This award acknowledges MS Nurses who have significantly contributed to MS Nursing in Australasia. It is not a regular annual award, but rather an award that is given when exceptional service has been identified by the MSNA Executive and State Delegates. The recipient of this award must have 5+ years in MS Nursing and be a financial member of MSNA Inc for at least 3+ years. Nominations for this award are made via the MSNA Inc Executive and State delegates. The winner of this award is decided by the residing MSNA Inc Executive and State Delegates. The prize for this award is a trophy and life time membership to MSNA Inc
2023 Michael Mortensen (Tas)
Michael became a member a member of MSNA in 2009 when he began working at MS Tasmania as a Community MS nurse. Since then, he has been a continual member for 14 years. As long as he has been an MS Nurse, he has been a contributor and held a position within MSNA either as a state delegate or a member of the executive. In 2009, he attended his first MSNA Inc conference, in Tasmania, and hasn’t missed one since. He has been a familiar face at conference, always willing to assist in any way, do any job as well as welcome new members in his usual calm, friendly way.
Just after starting in the MS nurse role, Michael jumped at the chance to become State Delegate for Tasmania, holding that role until he made the leap to Treasurer, a position he held for 7 years, ensuring the organisation was in good order financially and reporting annually to the AGM. After stepping down from his role as Treasurer, Michael stepped right back into the role as Tasmanian State Delegate, continuing to represent and support MSNA Inc. He also serves on the nursing stakeholder group, ensuring ongoing advocacy for MS nurses after facing an uncertain fate in his own job in MS nursing recently.
Along with supporting MSNA Inc, Michael has been a constant support for the MS community in Tasmania for many years as a community MS nurse, sometime the sole MS nurse.
2021 Dr Therese Burke AM (NSW)
Therese has dedicated decades of her life to the field of Multiple Sclerosis and MS Nursing, working for over 20 years in the Immunology clinical and research unit at Westmead Hospital as a Clinical Nurse Consultant where she was able to fulfil both a clinical and research role.
Therese’s commitment to research and education led to her completing her PhD focusing on the patient perspective of Multiple Sclerosis. Her thesis, “Taming the Beast: Exploring the lived experience of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis using a life history approach” led to clinical recommendations. This was followed by post-doctoral research exploring the role of the MS Nurse in Australasia, and many members of MSNA participated in this important research.
Her passion for MS Nurse educational pathways led to her immense contribution of insight and knowledge on an international platform, and she forged strong and successful relationships with CMSC and IOMSN, ultimately becoming President of the International MSCN exam certification Board, and President of our own network, MSNA Incorporated from 2012 to 2014.
2017 Helen McCarl (SA)
Helen McCarl joined the MS Society in 2003 as a MS Nurse. She provided service to clients in the MS community in metropolitan Adelaide and also with regional visits intrastate and to the Northern Territory. Helen has held various roles within MSNA including State Delegate, Secretary, Treasurer and Website Coordinator throughout her career and was always the first to offer help within MSNA. Helen was seminal in coordinating one of the first regional MSNA conferences. Helen retired from the MS Society in 2018 after 15 years of service to people with MS. MSNA thanks Helen for her continual promotion of MS nursing throughout her career and for her support in formulating MSNA in regional areas of Australia
2015 Tim O’Maley (QLD)
Tim O’Maley was the first specialist MS nurse to be endorsed as a Nurse Practitioner in Australia. He has always been a strong advocate for the MS nurse role and MS nurse-specific education. Tim has had a significant influence on the model of modern health care delivery in Queensland, pioneering webinar-based education for people with MS. MSNA thanks Tim for his innovative insights in support and education of people with MS in geographically isolated areas of Australia. Tim has served MSNA as President, Vice President, and Qld State Delegate.
2013 Sue Shapland (WA)
Sue Shapland has been the General Manager of Members service, MS Society of WA since 2003. Within a short time of commencing in the field of MS, Sue became involved with MSNA, taking on the role of State Delegate and implementing change in how MSNA would move forward before becoming President of the Executive for several years. This was Sue’s greatest area of influence as she guided MSNA members through innovative change, with passion and enthusiasm. Sue was an inspiring leader of MSNA, for all members she mirrored the changing role of the MS Nurse and provided support and guidance. Sue empowered MS Nurses as a supportive, determined and exceptional Leader. MSNA thanks Sue for her leadership during the mergence of the role of the MS nurse
2010 Judy Wollin (NSW)
Judy’s journey as Registered Nurse specialising in Multiple Sclerosis began in 1991. Deinstitutionalisation had begun in Australia. Judy asked what did PwMS want? Judy discovered they wanted their supportive accommodation to remain unchanged. The residents’ view was that they were independent in the hostel. This did not reflect the view of people advocating deinstitutionalisation.
How do health professionals decide what therapy or services to offer someone with MS? Judy’s PhD results indicated that PwMS were concerned about how to maintain their lifestyle. Health professionals focused on function; cognitive and physical.
Judy worked with Kaye Hooper advocating for PwMS and was instrumental in creating MSNA inc. Judy formed links with USA MS nurses in 1998 and with MS nurses UK quickly after that. Judy’s paper, Assessing disability Status: the reliability of the multiple sclerosis disability Profile. International Consortium of MS Centers Conference. Cleveland, USA.(1998) was awarded best paper. Judy was also awarded Life member of UKMMSNA (2007)
MSNA Inc thanks Judy Wollin for her foresight in establishing an organisation that promotes MS nursing and for paving the way for Australasian MS nurses to be recognised internationally.