Former Katanning midwife Geraldine Ennis honoured for lifetime service to regional health

Headshot of Tom Shanahan
Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
Geraldine Ennis and Margaret Denton.
Camera IconGeraldine Ennis and Margaret Denton. Credit: Tom Shanahan

A Katanning community stalwart has been recognised on her return to the region for her years of service to the WA Country Health Service.

Great Southern regional director of WACHS Geraldine Ennis has worked and lived across WA, but said coming back to Katanning always felt like coming home.

WACHS chief operating officer Margaret Denton made the trip along Great Southern Highway to present Ms Ennis with her award in the Lois Beasy Room at Katanning Hospital.

She was honoured earlier this month with a certificate of appreciation from the WACHS community for 40 years of service in “leading and improving health services for country WA.”

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“We all see her as a great leader. In terms of her peer group, she is where we got our wisdom and experience from,” Ms Denton said.

Ms Ennis started her career in Katanning in the 1980s, holding the position of district director of nursing. For almost 25 years, she embedded herself in the Katanning community alongside her work as a midwife at Katanning Hospital.

Ms Ennis was involved in the Rotary Club exchange system, served as the chairwoman of the St Patrick’s School board, and had a hand in establishing the town’s emergency accommodation.

In 2006, Ms Ennis accepted a job as the Goldfields regional director of WACHS, before moving on to the Wheatbelt, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the Pilbara and the Kimberley.

Eventually, she landed back in the Great Southern.

In recognition of her services to rural and remote health, she was awarded a public service medal at the 2013 Australia Day Awards.

Ms Ennis said she was most proud of helping stabilise the workforce in the Great Southern.

“It has been quite the privilege to work in rural communities to support people who live there and to increase their health opportunities and outcomes,” she said.

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