Date: 14/02/2002

Over 180 people from across Australia will attend a testimonial dinner on Thursday, February 21, 2002 at Rosehill Gardens Function Centre in honour of the retirement of the three longest-serving nurse academics from the University of Western Sydney.

As pioneers of nursing education at tertiary level, Dr Annette Walker, Mrs Jennifer Sullivan and Miss Margaret Coffey have 130 years of service to the nursing profession collectively.

Professor Judy Lumby, Executive Director of the NSW College of Nursing will be the guest of honour and will give the occasional address.

Head of the School of Nursing, Family and Community Health, Professor John Daly praised the three women for their inspiring dedication to nursing and education.

"It is a pleasure to celebrate the distinguished careers of nurse academics who not only achieve and maintain clinical excellence, but also academic distinction and outstanding educational provision to students," Professor Daly said.

Dr Annette Walker, of Old Bar, a Registered General Nurse, became a nurse educator at Balmain District Hospital in 1961.

As a nursing student, Dr Walker was awarded the Gold Medal for achievement, and consistently achieved academic distinction throughout her career. Her achievements have also been recognised by the profession; she is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia, and of the NSW College of Nursing.

Besides her 16 years at UWS, she has worked in many institutions including Darwin Hospital, St Vincent's Hospital in Canada, Nepean Hospital and Westmead Hospital during her 45 year nursing career.

Her many publications include 'Pain management in older people', 'How do patients perceive support in older people', and 'Nurses perception and experience of advocacy'.

The first person to graduate from UWS (Nepean) with a PhD in nursing, Dr Walker is a foundation member of the Oncology and Palliative Care Research Group and a member of the Australian Health Management Group Committee.

Mrs Jennifer Sullivan, of Beecroft, a retiring senior lecturer and midwifery coordinator, has been in the nursing profession for 40 years, 16 years at UWS.

Mrs Sullivan developed the curriculum for the first tertiary midwifery program in NSW. She also coordinated the Graduate Diploma in midwifery at Bankstown campus.

Her research has included studying father-infant attachment in neonatal intensive care, clinical reason in neo-natal nurses and low-birth weight babies in south-western Sydney.

Mrs Sullivan has a Bachelor of Arts, a Diploma in Nurse Education and she is currently completing her PhD at Flinders University, South Australia.

Miss Margaret Coffey, of Canterbury, is a retiring associate lecturer who has spent 12 years working at UWS. She did her general training at Lewisham Hospital, Petersham from 1957 to 1962. Since then, her wide-ranging career of 45 years has included midwifery, nurse education and midwifery education.

Miss Coffey was a remote nurse with the Royal Australia Flying Doctor Service and with the Indian and Inuit people of Canada.

She has a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) and a Master of Nursing (Nurse Education. She is a Fellow of the College of Nursing (NSW) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing (Australia).

Miss Coffey is still using her expertise to work in mental health at Bankstown Hospital.


For photographs from the event, please call Lyn Stewart on 0408 412 062 or 9685 9411.

Media contact: Suzie Vlaming 4570 1308 or 0414 308 701 or email: s.vlaming@uws.edu.au.