Professor Helen Edwards, the head of QUT’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia this week.
She received the award in recognition of her “service to nursing education and research, and to professional associations.”
Professor Edwards has worked in tertiary education for 28 years, and has led the School of Nursing and Midwifery at QUT since 1997.
Under Professor Edwards’ direction, the school has developed a leading reputation nationally and internationally. It is now known for its extensive range of courses, positive graduate outcomes, industry links, a quality PhD program and excellent research profile.
Professor Edwards’ own research has focussed on clinical and educational interventions related to ageing and chronic disease. In particular, Professor Edwards’ research interests include self-management; wound healing; quality of life and family care giving; and intervention trials.
Based on her research, she has authored 80 refereed articles, seven book chapters, and 15 research reports. She co-edited the medical-surgical textbook that has been adopted by most Australian nursing schools, Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems.
Professor Edwards has been a director of Queensland Villages, an organisation that manages three retirement villages in Queensland.
She is the director for the Queensland Dementia Training and Study Centre and a member of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre – Carers and Consumers. She is also a program leader for the Cooperative Research Centre for Wound Management Innovation.
Professor Edwards said she was originally drawn to nursing because she wanted “to do something active to help people when ill and vulnerable – and it seemed an exciting and challenging thing to take on 40 years ago.”
She said she felt humbled by this award.
“I see the award as being the culmination of working within a very supportive environment and with great teams of committed people.”