Mandurah midwife wins state award

A Mandurah academic and midwife has won a Western Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence award for her decade-long collaboration with a community in Pinjarra.

Doctor Caroline Nilson, who works at Murdoch University, was presented with the Excellence in Aboriginal Health award on Saturday night, along with the other state winners.

Dr Nilson invited two Pinjarra women to the ceremony, to celebrate her nomination.

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“The award is not just mine, it’s theirs as well,” she said. “We have been on a shared journey for ten years, building health promotion programs for the community.”

Dr Nilson said she was not expecting to win.

“You never are,” she said. “You go in with a great deal of admiration for the other was a great surprise.”

Dr Wilson has worked with women and children from the Bindjareb community to develop nutrition and cooking classes, group exercise classes, health ‘yarning’ and a community vegetable garden – all designed to help improve the health outcomes for the entire community.

Her involvement in the Bindjareb community started with a cooking class program – the Deadly Koolinga Chef – which she ran in her own time for children aged 11 and 12.

Health Minister Roger Cook said nurses and midwives played a critical role in the state’s health system. 

"I congratulate all winners and finalists and thank them for their constant commitment to driving innovation within their professions,” he said.

"This year's finalists come from all levels of experience and from a range of work and practice environments.

"They were nominated by their colleagues and patients as exemplary nurses and midwives who are making a significant difference to their professions, their organisations and to the health of Western Australians."

For information on the winners, visit the awards website at