My name is John Hibberd. I am a retired nurse. When I was working, I specialized in crisis negotiation and violence management. At the top of my career, I was routinely managing remand and convicted murderers under conditions of “strictest security”, which meant that I was routinely swapping clients with police and prison guards. These police and prison guards receive the National Medal in recognition of the hazardous service they offer by managing those violent criminals, but nurses who manage the same violent criminals are denied this recognition.
Ambulance officers also receive this medal. Retrieval Nurses do identical work to those ambulance officers, but again, these nurses are also denied equal recognition.
The core issue here is equal work for equal pay; equal recognition for equal service.
If we can get Nursing approved as an eligible service to receive this medal, then all clinical nurses will become eligible to receive it after the required 15 years of service. Only some nurses have to offer hazardous service for all to qualify.
There are two or three interrelated problems making the task difficult. Firstly, despite the soothing platitudes, women’s service, and therefore Nursing service is not well respected by politicians. Secondly, the rules say that both the Federal and State Ministers have to agree; and thirdly, whenever I start to make some progress, one or other of the two governments change, or there is a Cabinet re-shuffle, and I have to start over with a new set of ministers.
The two politicians that I am trying to reach now are Jai Rowell the NSW Minister for Mental Health and Dr Andrew McDonald, the Shadow Minister for Health.
I contacted Jai Rowell about a month ago but he has not responded yet, so it would be very helpful if we could get as many nurses as possible to email him to encourage him to do the right thing. His email address is email@example.com
Andrew McDonald is actively supporting our quest to get this medal for all nurses, so it would be helpful if as many nurses as possible could offer him their support and encourage him to continue his efforts. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact these MP’s and have as many other nurses and nursing organisations as you have contact with do so also. The more pressure and – or support we can generate the more likely they are to respond favourably.