Applications are now open for Seqirus Australia’s 2019-2020 ‘Championing Change’ Innovation Practice Nurse Grants.

Now in their second year, the Innovation Grants recognise and support Australian practice nurses’ enhancement of community immunity through the implementation of innovative adult immunisation initiatives designed to boost coverage rates, or improve the quality use of adult vaccines.

Immunisation providers are well-recognised for promoting adult vaccination and should seize every opportunity to both identify and offer vaccination to those who are eligible.

‘Championing Change’ Review Panellist and Immunisation Consultant, Angela Newbound, Adelaide is therefore urging Australian practice nurses to apply for the 2019-2020 Innovation Grants, which recognise the profession’s tireless contribution in helping to protect the community against vaccine-preventable diseases through implementation of their innovative ideas.

“As champions for change, Australian practice nurses deserve recognition for the invaluable innovative grassroots work they perform in boosting the community’s immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Seqirus’ ‘Championing Change’ Innovation Grants celebrate and support the important, innovative and often unrecognised work that practice nurses perform, each and every day,” said Ms Newbound.

Three Innovation Grants to the value of $5,000 each, commemorative certificates and sponsorship to attend the 2020 Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA) National Conference, including travel, accommodation and registration, will be provided to three successful grant recipients nominated by the independent expert review panel.

Practice nurses working in GP or immunisation clinics who drive, or support, patient awareness, timely uptake of, and/or compliance with adult vaccines listed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule or any state funded vaccine programs are eligible to apply for the ‘Championing Change’ Innovation Practice Nurse Grants for their healthcare practice.

Team leader and nurse immuniser, Danielle Siler, IPC Health, Deer Park, Melbourne was one of three recipients of the inaugural (2018 – 2019) Innovation Grants. Protecting the health of one of the nation’s top 10 most disadvantaged communities, including a significant refugee population, presents numerous, but not insurmountable challenges for the community health centre in Melbourne’s west.

In order to increase patient awareness, timely uptake of, and compliance with adult vaccines listed on the NIP Schedule, Ms Siler’s team implemented a novel social media and in-clinic initiative between October 1 and December 31, 2018. The initiative drove an eight per cent increase in shingles vaccination within three months and the vaccination of 83 adult refugees under the catch-up program.

“We initially identified the barriers to boosting our community’s immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases, including; English as a second language, low levels of health literacy, myths surrounding vaccinations and working adult patients’ inability to attend our clinic during standard business hours.

“Next we developed a comprehensive campaign to address our identified barriers. The campaign had two elements – a social media campaign that had the ability to reach specific target groups, and in-clinic activities to reach those not on social media and/or with low English language skills,” Ms Siler said.

“We ran a Facebook adult vaccination campaign targeting local families and in-clinic vaccination activities targeting non-English speaking patients, the elderly, homeless and refugees. We also utilised translated health materials and picture-based resources.
“Importantly, this approach and all of our campaign materials can be tailored to, and replicated by other immunisation clinics or GP practices in Australia,” said Ms Siler.

Last year’s winning Innovation Grants recipients also included:
• Hamley Bridge Medical Centre – a sole medical clinic servicing a 620-person-strong farming plus transient community located north of Adelaide; and
• Wellers Hill Medical Centre – a large, family-owned Brisbane suburban practice servicing a middle class, predominantly Greek population comprising three generations.

To qualify for this year’s Innovation Grants, each applicant will be required to submit a document outlining their planned innovative initiative which must be rolled out between July 1 – November 30, 2019 and meet one or more of the following criteria:
• Improve coverage, access and/or timely delivery of adult vaccinations as per the NIP Schedule and any State-funded programs;
• Be adaptable and able to be replicated by other immunisation clinics or GP practices in Australia;
• Support the ongoing record keeping of vaccinations on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) in clinical practice; and
• Support the quality use of adult vaccines.

An independent Review Panel comprising three leading representatives from the nursing, immunisation and medical sector, including Ms Newbound, will assess all entries. The two other panellists are:
• MAGALI DE CASTRO, Accredited Nurse Immuniser, Clinical Director, HotDoc and CEO and founder of GHPS Nursing, Melbourne.
• DR SARAH CHU, GP and Fellow, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Brisbane.
Submissions are now open and close at 5pm AEST on Friday, May 31, 2019. Announcement of the Innovation Grants recipients will be issued on Sunday, June 30, 2019.

To apply, applicants must simply:
1. Register with the Community Immunity website –
2. Upload their application to the site by 5pm AEST on Friday, May 31, 2019.
To learn more about the ‘Championing Change’ Innovation Practice Nurse Grants, including the specific criteria and Terms and Conditions, head to