Thursday March 7, 2024

Eastern Health is recognising some of the extraordinary women in our workforce, this International Women’s Day (8 March).

The six nominated women live the Eastern Health values and inspire those around them to learn and improve every day.

Clinical Director General Medicine, Dr Wen Tee

Clinical Director General Medicine, Dr Wen Tee
Clinical Director General Medicine, Dr Wen Tee Image: Eastern Health

Dr Wen Tee was nominated for being a dynamic and forward-thinking leader who consistently engages team members to be aligned to a common purpose. She is a mentor and inspiration to future leaders, through living the values of respect, generosity, humour, gratitude, and continual learning.

“I’m very grateful to be working at a place like Eastern Health. I’ve worked across a number of health services and I can say that Eastern Health is one of the best places I’ve worked,” Dr Tee said.

“Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Anything that I’ve managed to do is really just because of all the wonderful people that I’m working with.”

She has demonstrated achievements that include conception of the 24-hour hospital, revolution of the professional development program for senior registrars, and enhancement of clinical communication using digital platforms 

“I think the best thing about my role is that I get to work with everyone. I see my role as having just as much to do with interns, registrars, junior doctors in training as it does with more senior consultants, as well as being able to link the clinical and the operational sites together. It’s just this incredible sense of everyone working together for the betterment of our patients and for Eastern Health.”


Professor of Allied Health, Professor Katherine Harding

Allied Health Research Officer, Professor Katherine Harding
Professor of Allied Health, Professor Katherine Harding Image: Eastern Health

Professor Katherine Harding was nominated for leading a program of research that aims to improve access to ambulatory and community based health services.

This includes development of the Specific Timely Assessment and Triage (STAT) model for managing demand in these settings.

“It’s really lovely to get the recognition from within the organisation. We’ve been working on this program of work for a really long time, but it’s not just me, there’s a whole team of people. I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done and I think we’ve really been making a difference.

Prof Harding also has an active role in building research culture and capacity among allied health professionals at Eastern Health.

“Prior to my research career, I was an occupational therapist working clinically. It was really nice to be able to make that difference day to day to individual lives. One of the nice things about doing research and having this rolling research capacity at Eastern Health, is making a difference in a broader way in how we do things. It creates the opportunity to touch a lot more people’s lives; not just those now, but also people in future who will benefit from the work that we’ve done.”


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead – People and Experience, Anshu Tara

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead - People and Experience, Anshu Tara
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead – People and Experience, Anshu Tara Image: Eastern Health

Anshu Tara is being recognised for her exceptional dedication and unwavering commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion for the community of Eastern Health. She consistently demonstrates a profound understanding of the importance of creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and empowered. 

“It is humbling to be acknowledged and know that the work we do matters to our people. Hopefully we are making a difference in the lives of our staff and the communities that we serve. Whilst at times it may seem like a long road ahead, it reassures us we are taking the right steps. Every one of us should be fostering a more respectful and welcoming environment at Eastern Health, as articulated in our values.”

Ms Tara has actively worked to dismantle barriers and promote equality for all our people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or background. This is evidenced in her work through recruitment tools, processes and contribution to organising events throughout Eastern Health and the community.  

“Working at Eastern Health continually reminds me of our purpose in our community. Our focus to continually improving our services to provide a more equitable and accessible healthcare to everyone, which affords us a great opportunity to impact the health outcomes of those residing in our catchment area, so they can lead a healthier and more fulfilling lives.”


Nurse Unit Manager 2 East Eastern Health Maroondah, Maria Vissariou 

Nurse Unit Manager Maria Vissariou has been part of Eastern Health for around 30 years. When her ward closed during COVID, Ms Vissariou supported many different roles until she became the Nurse Manager of 2 East at Eastern Health Maroondah. Ms Vissariou took this opportunity with enthusiasm and provided the best care for her patients, families and staff. 

“My role as a manager is so rewarding; I can see the growth and development in my team which is motivating and inspiring. I get to see how all that translates into positive patient outcomes and I also cherish all the wonderful relationships I’ve made along the way.”

Ms Vissariou has supported other managers to implement the updated performance board utilising her great coaching and mentoring skills. Her leadership skills are palpable and she collaborates with her team. Ms Vissariou displays kindness and compassion to her patients and their families, and this is evident in the great feedback she and her team receive.

“I think I’ve been very fortunate as well. I’ve had a lot of opportunities presented to me. I’ve worked around in different roles and areas at Eastern Health and with that comes growth and development, and really getting to know the people I’ve worked with.”


Chief Information Officer/Co-Program Director ICT, Suma Shivalingaiah 

Suma Shivalingaiah has been instrumental in her leadership and support of Information and communication technology (ICT) and the wider organisation as Eastern Health has embarked upon an uplift and modernisation program of work. This has required incredible technical skills and industry knowledge along with a comprehensive understanding of project and organisational change management and critical vendor engagement.

“I’m really happy, humbled and very grateful for this nomination. It means a lot to be recognised as a part of International Women’s Day for my hard work, especially having Indian heritage, an immigrant background and seeing my mother and other leaders working so hard as well.”

Ms Shivalingaiah’s consultation, collaboration and communication (or, in her words, the ‘3 C’s’) has motivated and engaged a workforce, creating opportunities for many whilst navigating time critical deliverables in a very challenging ICT and cyber environment.

“My motivation from the beginning was to help people. I have family of doctors as well, but I like technology and it’s one of my favourite things. For me, the most rewarding part is using technology to uplift and help people through their journey. Especially when we see how technology can help clinicians in their day to day job to treat patients.”


Family Violence Specialist, Georgia Retallick 

Family Violence Specialist, Georgia Retallick 
Family Violence Specialist, Georgia Retallick Image: Eastern Health

Georgia Retallick has come into her own in the last 18 months as an emerging leader who is passionate about supporting and uplifting the voices of women through her role in the family violence team.

“I became a social worker because I wanted to help people. Making the decision to enter public health was an easy one when I saw the diverse opportunities. I have had amazing opportunities to learn and grow within public health and develop areas of interest and passion. To receive this kind of recognition from those I am working alongside, feels really special.”

Ms Retallick’s work assists her colleagues and Eastern Health systems, to identify and support those experiencing family violence, whilst partnering with others to build capability and confidence in a challenging field.

“When I moved into the Family Violence Specialist role I was worried about losing direct patient contact, as this was always the part of my clinical role that contributed most to my job satisfaction. However, I have found that in this role I can have an even bigger impact on patients indirectly by supporting staff working with people experiencing and using family violence. And in developing policy, procedure and system improvements to make this complex work easier across the health network.”


Eastern Health sincerely thanks Eastland for their support of our International Women’s Day celebrations.