2019 AMH 200w

Opens 1 April 2024

This award is Sponsored by the Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH).  

The Mentor of the Year Award recognises the commitment of our members to growing our profession, and fostering development in others working towards similar goals. 

The Mentor of the Year will not only be recognised for their support of at least one other Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Practitioner in training, but as a role model, who has positive influence across the wider profession. 


  • AMH resources for mentor and student to the value of $500 
  • 1 x registration to attend the ACNP National Conference 2025
  • 1 x year of ACNP membership

Selection Criteria
Address the selection criteria by downloading the Selection Criteria form and attaching it to your online application
1. Be registered with NMBA as a Registered Nurse with Nurse Practitioner endorsement and be working as a Nurse Practitioner
2. Demonstrate a contribution towards supporting development of a Nurse Practitioner/s
3. Demonstrate mentoring that has improved others clinical knowledge, leadership skills and their ability to deliver evidence-based health care to the Australian community.
4. Have acted as a positive professional role model and developer of the mentees clinical skills/knowledge to deliver evidence-based health care to patients
5. Demonstrate a contribution to ACNP/NP roles and patients access to evidence-based health care in Australia  
6. Other attributes contributing to the worthiness of the award being bestowed


  • Nominations open 1 April 2024
  • Nominations close 30 June 2024
  • Recipients will be notified by the 15 August 2024
  • Official presentation at the ACNP National Conference Gala Awards Dinner, to be held at the Cairns Conference Centre, QLD on 8 November 2024 

The judging will be conducted by the ACNP Awards and Scholarships Committee.
Final recommendations will go to the National Board for endorsement.
Please note that the judge’s decision is final.

Applicants submissions are provided only to the judging panel.

1. Late submissions will not be accepted
2. Submissions that do not address the criteria will not be considered
3. All applications must be made via the online application forms with attachments uploaded in PDF form
4. All recipients must be a financial member of the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners at the time of submission, presentation and utilisation of the award prize
5. All announcements are to be held in confidence until the formal presentation at the ACNP National Conference Gala Awards Dinner

Mentor of the Year Selection Criteria 2023

Applications open 1 April 2024
Online applications only, please use link to access the online application form

Darren Smyth

Darren Smyth had his first taste of the Drug and Alcohol field in 1988 at a counselling centre in West Sydney which provided the catalyst for him to embark on a career in the field. Throughout the past 30 years he has worked across regional and remote Australia in various roles including; detoxification units, rehabilitation programs, community dual-diagnosis, research, hospital consultation and liaison, management, the prison environment, working in public and private practice within the Drug and Alcohol field. Moreover, during this time, he has continued to acquire further skills and extended his knowledge base through obtaining further studies in Anthropology, Education and Nursing. He currently works as a Nurse Practitioner for an NGO managing a community withdrawal program and the past President of the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA).Darren Smyth MNurs, GDipH/Ed, BA Nurs, BA Anthroplogy, CDAN

231013 ACNP Awards-AMH

AMH Award Sponsor David Dart with winner Darren Smyth


David McKiernan

David McKiernan is an exceptionally talented Emergency Nurse Practitioner, who for over a decade been practicing on the mid north coast. He is known for his expert clinical care of patients, education of other emergency health professionals and advocate for helping NP positions grow. Dave started his career as a wardsmen and through dedication worked his way through university to become a Registered nurse and over the decades of his career has been an Emergency CNS, Respiratory CNC, an Emergency CNE and Emergency Clinical Nurse Unit Manager.

Mentor 2022

2022 Mentor of the Year, David McKiernan pictured with 2022 winner Stephanie Dowden and AMH CEO, David Dart

2021 Recipient

  • Stephanie Downden, Paediatric Nurse Practitioner, WA


Stephanie is a skilled Nurse Practitioner in the area of paediatrics.  As a NP she works endlessly to educate the community, heath sector and new NPs about the role, and how it can tribute to patient centred care.  She volunteers her valuable time to advocate, educate, share her knowledge, and experiences through participation on committees, representation, and promotional bodies. This includes the large amount of time she dedicates to transitional NPs, NP candidates and aspiring Nurse Practitioners across Western Australia.

As a mentor, Stephanie is always available to support, assist, direct, motivate and support her mentee’s.  Stephanie consistently mentors NP students within her private practice as a clinical mentor.  She commits to one to two students every semester.  This is all completed on a volunteering model, and completed with commendable patience and support for those fortunate to be Stephanie’s students.

Stephanie’s nominator stated “Under Stephanie’s guidance, my advanced practice clinical skills have grown to a level that I could not have comprehended when we first met.  Her professionalism and knowledge are at such a high level that it is a little overwhelming at times.  This can only benefit the professionalism of the NPs that she mentors in the future as we have a very high level to aspire to. Her passion for early intervention and diagnosis for conditions and support for low socioeconomic families and decreasing the already large inequality gap in healthcare is commendable and I would be proud to be half the NP that Stephanie is.” 

Congratulations Stephanie 

2020 Recipient

  • Anita Wild, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, VIC 

ACNP2021-03-05-FRI NIGHT-204634

Anita Wild (Left) with past recipient Nikki Johnston OAM (right)

Anita is a highly valued member of the Loddon Mallee Regional Specialist Palliative Care Consultancy Service based in the Loddon Mallee Region of Victoria.  Anita’s application demonstrates her commitment to the education of others and is described as a positive professional role model. Anita mentors across the region and not only in her local area and her students include NPC’s, APN’s, and other health care workers. Congratulations Anita. 

2019 Recipient

  • Nikki Johnston, OAM, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, ACT 

Mentor 2019     

Murray Sneesby (2018 winner, left) with Nikki Johnston OAM (right).

Nikki currently works for Calvary Health Care in Canberra and believes that all Australians deserve better access to quality care in their last months of life, regardless of age, diagnosis or where they live. In 20196 Nikki received an Order of Australia Medal for Services to Nursing; and was the winner of the Federal Health Ministers Trailblazing Award for nursing. Nikki's team was the winner of the HESTA National Team Excellence Award. Nikki initiated research throug the INSPIRED trial which integrates specialist palliative care into residential aged care through the use of Palliative Care Needs Rounds. Congratulations Nikki. 

2018 - Murray Sneesby Emergency, Primary Health Qld

2017 - Sharyn Plath Emergency and Acute Care Qld

2016 - Peter Woodman Emergency and Acute Care WA