The Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia (LNAA) has named joint winners of the 2022 Lutheran Nurse of the Year award – Fred Miegel of Alice Springs and Gillian Mibus of Adelaide. Both have made an outstanding contribution to their profession over many years, including in the past year. The awards were announced on International Nurses Day, 12 May.
Gillian is a practitioner at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide and a member of the Australian College of Neonatal Nurses (ACNN). This college has several Special Interest Groups, including one focused on low-resource countries, where there is a high rate of infant and maternal mortality. Helping Babies Breathe is one such program and, using guidelines by the World Health Organisation, ACNN focuses on Papua New Guinea (PNG). Under this program, Gillian has made 10 weeklong visits to remote PNG regions such as Goroka, in her own time and at her own cost, to instruct local midwives and birthing assistants on basic practices to improve health outcomes. Due to COVID, visits were not undertaken in 2021, but the program continued with remote support. Gillian is a member of St Stephen’s congregation in Adelaide.
After arriving in Alice Springs in 1995, Fred was responsible for establishing a palliative care service at Alice Springs Hospital. For many years, he was in charge of this service, recruiting and employing doctors and nurses to provide palliative care in the community and to support hospital staff in delivering appropriate care in a challenging cross-cultural setting. He has also delivered quality palliative care training. Fred was heavily involved in the design and establishment of the stand-alone palliative care facility, which opened in 2018, on the hospital campus. In 2021, Fred received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his years of work in quality palliative care nursing in Central Australia. In 2004 he was named Northern Territory Nurse of the Year in the Acute Services Section. Fred is a leading member of the Alice Springs congregation and served as its chairperson for seven years.
The Lutheran Nurse of the Year award was launched in 2020 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing. It recognises faithful and outstanding service rendered by a Registered or Enrolled Nurse who is an active member of a congregation of the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand.
Pastor Bob Wiebusch is editor of the Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia’s In Touch publication and a former editor of The Lutheran.