Australia Day award for John Hunter Hospital Junior Medical Officer

John Hunter Hospital Junior Medical Officer and Notre Dame University student, Elysse Mcilwain, was honoured at Sydney’s Parliament House on 24 January with a National Council of Women of NSW (NCW NSW) Australia Day award.

One of 12 award recipients, Elysse was awarded with a certificate and $1000 prize by Mrs Linda Hurley, wife of the Governor of NSW, courtesy of her sponsors the NSW Catholic Women’s League Australia.

With humanitarian and educational objectives, the aim of NCW NSW is to encourage women to undertake further studies which will eventually lead to the elevation of the role of women in society. Elysse is definitely working toward this with her sights set on a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology, young women’s health her area of passion.


A medical career was not one Elysse had envisaged for herself, originally wanting to leave school in Year 10. After completing her Year 12 studies, she worked as a dental assistant where she discovered an area of great interest in medicine. After four years of gaining certificates in dentistry, Elysse began her university studies.

While achieving strong results at university, including a University Medal, Elysse also spent time volunteering as a medical student in Vietnam, the Philippines, at a school for at risk youth in Jerusalem and she is also a long-term Lifeline volunteer. In 2017, Elysse was awarded a GP synergy scholarship for a year of research looking at the quality of discharge summaries from emergency departments to GPs.