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UTS Nursing student wins prestigious Zonta Award

25 January 2017
  • UTS Nursing student Phillipa Kensit has been recognised as the winner of the prestigious Zonta Award for her achievements and her commitment to the nursing profession. Fellow UTS Nursing students Melissa Markos and Hayley Goodacre were named runners-up.
  • The award will be presented at the National Council of Women’s Australia Day Luncheon in NSW Parliament House in January 2017.

Second year UTS Bachelor of Nursing student Phillipa Kensit has been named as the winner of the prestigious Zonta Award, an official Australia Day Prize presented by the Zonta Club of Sydney, UTS Nursing and Midwifery and the National Council of Women.  Fellow UTS Nursing students Melissa Markos and Hayley Goodacre were named runners-up for the award, which recognises student achievement and commitment to the nursing profession.

Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. There are over 1200 Zonta clubs worldwide working to improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women; promoting justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; implementing service programs and providing mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations and the world.

The Zonta awards are an opportunity provided by the Zonta Club of Sydney to recognise strong women who strive for change in the community and excellence within themselves,” explained runner-up Hayley Goodacre. “The award appeals to women who were interested in leadership and advocacy.  It recognises UTS students demonstrating these qualities in the early stages of their careers.”

Both Hayley Goodacre and Melissa Markos were recognised as runners-up for their community work, volunteering and extra-curricular activities both locally and abroad.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by Zonta for being a strong woman,” said Goodacre. “There’s a wealth of strong women in UTS Nursing and Midwifery and that’s really inspiring.”

“It was great to be recognised as a runner-up for the award,” added Markos. “It’s a nice recognition for our hard work and dedication to nursing.”

Phillipa Kensit was selected as the winner of the award after sitting down for an interview with women from the Zonta Club of Sydney.

“I went to the interview, got along really well with the women from Zonta, and I guess I got lucky!” said Kensit. “I’m absolutely humbled. I didn’t really know much about Zonta before going to the interview. Then I learnt that Zonta works closely with the NSW Council of Women and that the Zonta Award is an official Australia Day prize.  It’s a real privilege.  This is exactly the sort of organisation I want to get involved in, working in health promotion and prevention and advocating women’s rights.”

Kensit, who grew up in country NSW, spent a year working as a volunteer in both Kenya and Cambodia before starting Nursing at UTS.  At boarding school in Sydney, she organised charity events, and at University, she has opted to do her clinical placements in rural and remote locations, including Alice Springs.

“On my application, I listed the things that I’ve done – like volunteering, community service and charity events – things that are a bit out of the ordinary and have contributed to the greater good and to my future career in nursing,” she said.

“Since winning the prize, I’ve gone to a Zonta meeting and learnt more about their work. It’s really an amazing organisation. I know the Sydney Club is organising birthing kits to send off to developing countries so that women can have babies successfully, reducing mortality rates.”

In accepting the Zonta Award, Kensit will attend the Australia Day luncheon and award ceremony on Friday 27 January 2017 in NSW Parliament House.

The Faculty extends its heartiest congratulations to Phillipa for winning this significant Award and to Melissa and Hayley on their runners-up recognitions. UTS:Health is immensely proud of its students achievements and their commitment to future careers in Nursing.

Byline: Jack Schmidt

Find out more about the Bachelor of Nursing at UTS