Two projects will share in $25,000 focusing on improving workplace health and safety through the 2021 Augusta Zadow Awards.

Her Excellency, the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia announced the recipients at a ceremony held today at Government House.

The 2021 recipients of the Augusta Zadow Awards will be conducting research into the impacts of shift work, sleep loss and fatigue in paramedics to develop education, training, and support materials; and developing a pilot program for women and young workers on farms to look after their own mental health and wellbeing.

About Augusta Zadow Awards

In the 1800s Augusta Zadow fought for the work health and safety rights of women and young workers that today we take for granted.

In recognition of her work, SafeWork SA established the Augusta Zadow Awards to support initiatives, research or further education that improves health and safety for women and young workers in South Australia.

Each year, SafeWork SA funds projects that will improve the work health and safety of working women and young people.

Martyn Campbell, Executive Director SafeWork SA said “The award recipients for 2021 honour the legacy of Augusta Zadow and support a continued commitment to safe and healthy workplaces for South Australia.

“Health is defined in the WHS Act as both physical and psychological health. Paramedics and farmers are both occupations that run the risk of burnout , as they work in intense yet austere environments.

I congratulate the two worthwhile initiatives that are at the forefront of modern consciousness and discussion”, said Mr Campbell.

2021 Augusta Zadow Award recipients

ACT for Ag - $15,000

  • Stephanie Schmidt

Project title: ‘ACT for Ag – Building resilient farmers, farming businesses and farming families’.

ACT for Ag is a program developed with the aim of building psychological flexibility and wellbeing of farmers. Based on evidence-based workplace training programs utilising acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), ACT has been shown to improve mental health in the workplace.

ACT for Ag will implement a pilot of the program where participants can learn simple tools they can introduce to their partner, families and farming businesses to cause a ripple effect, leading to healthier individuals, relationships and farming businesses.

While the emphasis for this program is on farming and rural communities, this can be easily adaptable to a range of workplaces and industries.

Stephanie Schmidt

Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute, Appleton Institute and SA Ambulance Service - $10,000

  • Dr Amy Reynolds
  • Associate Professor Anjum Naweed
  • Brandon Brown
  • Sian Wanstall, and
  • Dr Tim Rayner

Project title: ‘I wish I knew ..”: Drawing on the lived experiences of shift work, sleep loss and fatigue in Australian paramedics to proactively develop education, training and support materials for young workers’.

A research project focusing on young paramedic workers to develop a strong evidence base related to shift work and sleep problems in early-career paramedics, which can, in turn, inform sleep health interventions, education and support for our paramedic workforce.

Young paramedic workers are among the most understudied workforce, and this needs to change if we are to support their wellbeing and facilitate sustainable careers.

Other industries and work groups are highly likely to benefit from the findings and subsequent resources we provide, particularly as this work focusses on the impact of shift work, sleep problems and worker strategies. Paramedics are not the only first responders engaged in shift work from the first day of their careers. Other industries (including policing and fire services) could benefit from the overlap in experience related to new exposure to shift work careers.

Associate Professor Anjum Naweed, Dr Amy Reynolds, Brandon Brown and Sian Wanstall