Public Guardian recognises excellence by the health sector in upholding human rights - Gold Coast Health

The Public Guardian yesterday awarded Anna-Marie Klein, Kate Sampson, Claire Kenny, Kyriaki Artis and Paula Duffy from Gold Coast Health with the Public Guardian Excellence Award for their role in going above and beyond in supporting a client of the Office of the Public Guardian.

This multidisciplinary team – made up of a Social Worker, Nurse Unit Manager, Occupational Therapist, the Acting Director of Social Work and the Executive Director of Diagnostic Emergency and Medical Services – was the winner of the Public Guardian’s Award for ‘Going above and beyond for client rights.’

Public Guardian, Ms Natalie Siegel-Brown, said that the team were very worthy winners of the award due to their dedication, support and an incredibly strong belief that a patient who had been categorised by many as unable to recover or live in the community – could do all of these things.

Together with the Office of the Public Guardian, they worked to achieve what was thought of as impossible. All of this was underpinned by a belief that the patient could indeed go on to live a successful life in the community, despite the odds. The client’s current life did not need to be their only life.

“The team has greatly improved this client’s life by allowing them access to the community, facilitating visits from the client’s therapy dog to hospital, and working with them to build positive relationships.

“This team has gone above and beyond the scope of their role to make this vision happen. Without the team at Gold Coast Health, our two agencies could never have achieved the integration or independence of this patient in the community.

“I am so pleased to reward such excellent practice within the public health sector.”

The Office of the Public Guardian is committed to advocating for the human rights of some of Queensland’s most vulnerable citizens, including those with impaired decision making capacity. However the Office of the Public Guardian cannot do that work alone, and the purpose of the Public Guardian Excellence Awards is to recognise and reward those individuals and teams in the community services, health and mental health sectors who work tirelessly to promote the rights and interests of our joint clients.

Other award categories in the Public Guardian Excellence Awards recognised work across Queensland to promote the rights and aspirations of people in disability funded services, Authorised Mental Health Services, and to reduce or eliminate the use of restrictive practices for people with a disability.

The Office of the Public Guardian protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of adults with impaired decision-making capacity, and children and young people in the child protection system.

Office of the Public Guardian media contact: (07) 3006 2589 or