Karen Biggs  Awarded 2023

Over 20 years in Sexual Health in NSW & Qld

1st Sexual Health NP endorsed in NSW

Model of expert clinical practice & mentor

ASHHNA member since 2009 & served on ASHHNA executive committee

Foundation member of the ASHHNA Expert Reference group authoring the 1st
ASHHNA Practice Standards for Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV nurses.

Co-authored the 1st NSW Sexual Health Standard Operating Procedures Manual

Committed to Research, Education and Training.

Karen provided expert, compassionate, patient centred sexual health and HIV care
and generously shared her knowledge and experience with her colleagues.

Nominated by Melissa Power & Jo Perks

Joanne Perks  Awarded 2018

ASHHNA awards the distinguished Life Membership Award to individuals who demonstrate dedication and long term commitment in the areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health and/or HIV Nursing. Jo Perks is the 3rd recipient of this award since ASHHNAs inception. Jo was nomintaed for a lifetime membership and after a vote at the AGM a unanimous vote of yes (100%) was achieved to accept Jo as a lifetime member. Joanne Perks has worked for over 30 years in the areas of sexual, reproductive and women’s health in a variety of positions. Jo commenced work in this speciality area in 1985 when she began her Midwifery training. In 1988 Jo commenced work as a nurse at Family Planning NSW and since has worked broadly in the sexual and reproductive health arena as a:

  • Casual Registered Nurse – Sydney Sexual Health Centre
  • Nurse Counsellor – Australian Birth Control Services
  • Distance Education Tutor (Sexual Health, Women Health, Breast Cancer Nursing) – The NSW College of Nursing
  • Conjoint Nursing Lecturer – University of Newcastle
  • Casual Midwifery Lecturer – University of Technology Sydney
  • Acting Director of Nursing – Family Planning NSW
  • Clinical Nurse, Instructing and Examining Nurse, and Healthline Nurse – Family Planning NSW
  • Nurse Education Coordinator – Family Planning NSW
  • Clinical Nurse Consultant – Leichardt Women’s Health Centre
  • Nurse Practitioner – Liverpool and Penrith Women’s Health Centres

Jos’ extensive experience, skills and knowledge enabled her to become the first Nurse Practitioner in the non-government Women’s Health sector in April 2011 and she has continued employment as a Nurse Practitioner since. In addition to clinical and academic experience Jo has had numerous papers published on topics including service provision to marginalised women, women’s sexuality, and diversity in women’s health.

Jo provided conception counselling, support and strong advocacy for lesbian women for many years and has published articles, led workshops, and presented at conferences both nationally and internationally on this topic. Jo has also strongly promoted the nursing role in primary care through numerous conference presentations.

Jo has shown dedication and commitment to the future sexual and reproductive health workforce through education and mentorship to medical and nursing students, and both undergraduate and postgraduate midwives, nurses and nurse practitioners. Jo has represented nursing and midwifery on numerous national committees including the National Prescribing Service and has provided expert advice and review of clinical guidelines including the Australian STI Management Guidelines for Primary Care, the Australian Women’s Health Nurses Association Practice Guidelines and currently holds a position on the Quality and Safety Committee for the Cervical Screening Renewal Program.

Jo has been a member of ASHHNA since its inception in 1991 and has been an active member of the ASHHNA Executive Committee for over twelve years. Jo has held the ASHHNA Executive positions of Newsletter Editor and Social Media and Association Representative Coordinator and has represented ASHHNA for many years on the Coalition of National Nursing and Midwifery Organisations. Jo consistently volunteers her time for ASHHNA and in addition to her regular portfolio position her ASHHNA work includes:

  • Membership of working party to review ASHHNA Competency Standards 2010, 2012, 2017
  • Establishment and ongoing facilitation of ASHHNA Nurses Twitter account 2015 – present
  • Review and update of ASHHNA Carol Martin Scholarship 2017
  • Membership of working party to develop ASHHNA Life Membership Policy 2016 Membership of ASHHNA Endorsement Sub-Committee 2012 – present
  • Annual ASHHNA Carol Martin Scholarship judging
  • Annual ASHHNA Sexual Health and HIV Conference Poster Prize judging
  • ASHHNA representative on working group to develop National Primary Health Care document for nurses and midwives 2009.