2019 Nurses & Midwives Wellness Conference

Over 1,250 nurses and midwives from around Victoria gathered at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on Friday 3 May for the 5th Nurses & Midwives Wellness Conference, to recognise and celebrate the importance of kindness and compassion within our professions.

Keynote speaker, Australian of the Year Dr Richard Harris, approached the stage to a standing ovation and left the stage to the same acknowledgment. He provided an emotional and compelling account of his experience in Thailand in 2018, where he and fellow Australian of the Year Craig Challen worked under incredible duress to save the lives of 12 Thai soccer players and their coach.

Richard was followed by 2017 Hesta Nurse of the Year, Matt Ball who spoke of his challenges in living with a mental illness and explained how he subsequently forged a very successful career as a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, supporting others living with a mental illness. Both Richard and Matt outlined incredible examples of kindness and compassion, and how these have changed their lives and the lives of so many people they have touched.

The remainder of the day included further inspirational stories of kindness and compassion and real life, practical and tangible self-care examples for delegates to use in their personal and professional lives, designed to enhance their overall health and wellbeing. Delegates were gifted a toolkit of strategies to take away, printed on cards to attach to their lanyard, which they can use at any time.

The NMHPV was very pleased to showcase its Senior Clinician Carolyn McDonald, who expertly shared her self-care knowledge and experience as an Iyengar yoga instructor. We would like to thank all the delegates who attended and displayed such wonderful commitment, enthusiasm and generosity. We are sure everyone who attended took something valuable away which will enhance their health and the health of others in their lives. We look forward to presenting another exciting program in 2021.