The Women’s wins prestigious award

(L-R) Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas. the Women's Board Chair Cath Bowtell, the Women's Chief Communications Officer Tania Angelini and the Women's CEO Professor Sue Matthews
17 November 2023 |

The Women’s has been named the Premier’s Large Health Service of the Year at the 2023 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.

Speaking at the awards ceremony last night, hospital CEO, Professor Sue Matthews, said it was wonderful recognition of the Women’s and the passionate community of committed staff, volunteers and supporters.

“We’ve had such a big year so it’s wonderful to have our efforts recognised," Professor Matthews said. "At the centre of what we do is a team of extraordinary people who are dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate care to families from across Victoria."

Among the hospital’s many achievements was the establishment of Victoria’s new public fertility service, with Monash Health. 

An Australian-first, this state-wide service was established to make world-class fertility care fairer and more accessible for more Victorians.

Other 2023 achievements include:

  • Continuing work to close the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through the hospital’s Badjurr-Bulok Wilam support program and award-winning Baggarrook midwifery program.
  • Several maternity care improvements, including the Enhanced Recovery After Caesarean program, new induction of labour pathways, and the Antenatal Hospital in the Home program.
  • Women’s health initiatives, such as the implementation of a chronic pelvic pain program to support patients on the gynaecology surgical waitlist; the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program for oncology and gynaecology patients; and the Pelvic Pain Connect program.
  • The establishment of the state’s new egg and sperm bank, an Australian-first.
  • Capital works to create a Rapid Access Hub, enabling the hospital to undertake additional procedures, as well as planning for two additional birth suites.
  • A targeted focus on improving the patient experience for people with a disability and the implementation of the hospital’s second Disability Action Plan.
  • Statewide training, such as the Clinical Champions Project, which aims to build abortion and contraception service capacity; the Maternity Services Education Program, delivering interprofessional education for Victorian maternity services; and the Strengthening Hospital’s Response to Family Violence program, training and supporting healthcare workers across the Victorian hospital system.
  • Specialist support services, including the Women’s Alcohol and Drug Service, which supported 100 women during 2023; and The Cornelia Program, supporting homeless mothers with housing and wraparound support (undertaken in partnership with HousingFirst and Launch Housing).
  • Project Care, a program co-designed with staff to support their wellbeing that included on-site counselling, wellbeing workshops, health checks and more – a critical post COVID initiative.  
  • Significant advocacy in the areas of women’s health equity, gender and sex bias in the healthcare system, improved access to abortion and contraception services, and the creation of a women’s health research institute in Melbourne.

About the awards

The Victorian Public Healthcare Awards recognise leadership and excellence in the provision of publicly funded healthcare in response to established and emerging community needs.

The award categories reflect the Victorian Government's healthcare priorities and focus on the sector's ability to drive change and improve health outcomes for all Victorians.

For more information about the Women’s and its achievements in 2023, read The Women’s Annual Report.