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AO honour for nursing and midwifery union leadership

AO honour for nursing and midwifery union leadership

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick on the last day of members' nine-month 2011-12 EBA campaign to stop unqualified health assistants replacing nurses and midwives.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick has been recognised in the Australia Day Honours for her distinguished service to the nursing and midwifery professions through leadership and advocacy.

Ms Fitzpatrick, who was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the General Division, said she shared the honour with the thousands of ANMF members, over the past two and a half decades, who had gone above and beyond to improve the nursing and midwifery professions and their pay, conditions and staffing levels.

‘Improving the working lives of nurses and midwives and their ability to provide safe, quality care to the Victorian community has been my lifelong passion,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.

‘No working entitlements, conditions or pay rise are ever easily won because nursing and midwifery is determined by state and federal government budgets, political decisions, legislation and policies. Constant vigilance is required to protect patient care against those who want a cheaper, less qualified workforce. It’s why nurses and midwives have to be political,’ she said.

‘There’s always more work to do, and I’m focused on retaining our experienced nursing and midwifery workforce while ensuring the next generation is supported and mentored during their studies and early career. If we can ensure our workforce has career satisfaction and wages and conditions that reflect their expertise, then we can ensure Victorians have safe, quality accessible healthcare.

‘Advocating for nurses, midwives and personal care workers is a significant team effort. I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary Assistant Secretaries Paul Gilbert, Pip Carew and Maddy Harradence that I have had the privilege of working with, the ANMF staff, Branch President Maree Burgess and our Branch Councillors,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.


Lisa Fitzpatrick qualified as a registered nurse at Prince Henry’s Hospital, Melbourne in 1983.

She has worked in the Victorian union movement, representing nurses, midwives and private aged care personal care workers for over two decades advocating for quality health services and high patient care standards.

In 1982, Lisa became an Australian Nursing Federation* (ANF) Job Representative as a student nurse. She held several positions within the ANF Branch Council including the Victorian Branch President and ANF National Vice President. She began working for the union 1997 and was elected ANF (Victorian Branch) Secretary in 2001.

As ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa has led multiple campaigns against both Labor and Liberal state governments to save mandated, minimum nurse/midwife patient ratios and ultimately secured legislation and subsequent improvements, committed to and delivered by the Andrews Government in 2015, to protect Victoria’s public health services staffing levels.

*  The Australian Nursing Federation (Victorian Branch) changed its name to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) in 2013.