Professor Marianne Wallis, Associate Dean of Research at Southern Cross University’s Faculty of Health, has been recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List for her significant service to tertiary education, to nursing, and to research.
Professor Wallis has been a chief investigator in numerous research projects aimed at improving the nursing care of hospitalised patients, with impaired skin integrity, and improving health service delivery, especially for the frail elderly in the emergency department.
“My whole career has been at the forefront of bringing science and evidence into nursing. For 30 years I've been working in academia to not only prepare the next generation of nursing professionals, but also to do the research that underpins practice and really provides an evidence-based for practice, which is all about improving the care of the health and wellbeing of our patients,” Professor Wallis said.
After winding down a rewarding career in nursing academia, Professor Wallis was compelled out of retirement following the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This was a worldwide pandemic and I really felt that I should be contributing, so I reversed my retirement and came back to work at Southern Cross University as the Associate Dean of Research for the health faculty,” she said.
She said receiving the Order of Australia Medal was really an acknowledgement of nursing and nursing academics.
“I was the person to receive this award, which is very humbling, but it's really not about me. It's about the great teams, the doctors, the nurses, the physios, and the dieticians that I've worked with for years and years and years to improve the care of our patients.”
Locally, amongst the Australia Day honours recipients was Southern Cross University Marine Science and Management graduate Amanda Philp, who was named Tweed Shire Citizen of the Year for her volunteer efforts with Australian Seabird Rescue.
Amanda became involved with the organisation after rescuing an entangled turtle on a local beach.
“I was able to remove the fishing line safely from the turtle and then Australian Seabird Rescue came to collect it. That’s really where it all started. I went down and did a rescue course with them, followed by an internship during my degree and it’s continued on from there. I just love it,” she said.
Amanda Philp volunteering with the Australian Seabird Rescue
Dr Eslam Amin Ibrahim, a Southern Cross University PhD graduate specialising in bioinformatics was also recognised with Lismore City Council’s Services to the Community (Individual) award. Dr Eslam’s community involvement includes running an education program in the Northern Rivers, organising student events and accommodation, and volunteering with the elderly in conjunction with the Northern Rivers Community Gateway.
Two other members of the Southern Cross University community were nominated for Australia Day awards for their contributions to their community and professions. PhD graduate Dr Amina Khatun was nominated for Lismore City Council’s Services to the Community (Individual) award, and sport and exercise science PhD candidate Gurpreet Singh was a nominee for the Coffs Harbour Young Citizen of the Year award.
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