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Sydney nurse announced winner of 2023 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers

Australian College of Nursing 2 mins read


9 August 2023

Sydney nurse announced winner of 2023 Health Minister's Award for Nursing Trailblazers

A Clinical Nurse Specialist who created a revolutionary device that helps reduce the fear, stress, pain and anxiety associated with needles has taken out one of the Australian nursing profession's most prestigious honours.


Today, Sydney's Lauren Barber MACN was named the 2023 winner of the Health Minister's Award for Nursing Trailblazers in recognition of her work as Founder and CEO of NeedleCalm.


The innovative medical device was developed to help alleviate the mental and physical problems associated with needle phobia. The award-winning innovation improves patient comfort and safety by reducing the risk of needle sticks and decreasing procedure time.


The Health Minister's Award for Nursing Trailblazers is a national award recognising nurses whose leadership has led to innovative solutions addressing key challenges facing our health and aged care systems.


The announcement was made at the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) National Nursing Forum in Adelaide by The Hon Mark Butler, Minister for Health and Aged Care.


ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN congratulated Lauren on becoming the fifth nurse – and the first from NSW - to win the Health Minister's Award for Nursing Trailblazers.

Watch the Minister's video announcement here -

Learn more about Lauren - 

For more information:

Kirsty Waterford 0403 295 934



Notes to Editors:

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is the national professional organisation for all nurses and its aim is to ensure that the Australian community receives quality nursing care now and in the future. ACN is a membership organisation with members in all states and territories, health care settings and nursing specialties. ACN is also the Australian member of the International Council of Nurses headquartered in Geneva in collaboration with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF). An organisation not afraid to challenge industry issues affecting the nursing profession or Australia's health care, ACN is a well-connected and educated national body that drives change with people of influence to enhance the delivery of health services to the Australian community. ACN's membership includes nurses in roles of influence, including senior nurses, organisational leaders, academics, and researchers.


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CEO - Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN - Bio


Kylie Ward. Policy Reformer. Nurse. For-Purpose Leader. Equality Warrior. Adjunct Professor. Transformation Specialist.

Kylie is the CEO of Australian College of Nursing. She has led a program of transformation at ACN, which has now become Australia's beacon for Nurse Leadership. 

She is a major policy influencer, advocate for women, children and equality.




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