Nelson Dennis - Chief Scientist in Charge Wollongong

ABC Radio’s Drive Program with Richard Glover recently ran a competition in conjunction with Sydney Film Festival, where listeners were asked to imagine there was some kind of lockdown awards they could give themselves, but the catch was they had to write their own acceptance speech.

ABC Radio was inundated with entries and our Chief Scientist in Charge and Department Manager (Microbiology/Serology Department for ISLHD and Wollongong Hospital) Nelson Dennis and was not only one of the 30 speeches shortlisted – he was the ultimate winner!

“Every day when I travel between Wollongong and Strathfield after work, I listen to radio broadcasters rightfully praising doctors and nurses only, so I wanted to make sure the people of pathology received they credit they deserve”, said Nelson.

We loved the originality of Nelson’s acceptance speech, which pays tribute to the dedication of the pathology profession.

It’s with great pride and excitement that I accept this award. This award is not only for me but those scientists and technical support staff working in pathology departments. We have seen and worked through a number of flus, legionnaires disease, HIV/AIDS and more but nothing hit us harder than this COVID-19 pandemic. 

While every other citizen was isolated in their home, we were buried under throat swabs, nose swabs, salvia and much more. Thanks to all those who listened to us saying to them “I see you after the lockdown is over but if you don’t follow COVID protocols and vaccination, it will be I.C.U. Keep safe and thanks from all of us!”

Nelson wins a night at a posh hotel and tickets for two to attend the closing night of the Sydney Film Festival which runs from 3-21 November. 

Well done Nelson on such a creative entry, and for your tireless efforts working with your colleagues to keep up with the testing rates so the people of the Illawarra Shoalhaven region remain safe.

If any of our NSWHP Awards finalists need a speech writer, we suggest you get in touch with Nelson!


Nelson and Wollongong Microbiology Serology Team 1

Nelson has dedicated his win to his pathology colleagues.  Pictured are just some of the hard-working team from the Microbiology/Serology Department at ISLHD and Wollongong Hospital. Left - right: Shireen, Melissa, Alex, Nelson, Gary, Jessica, Leeanne and Leila.

Wollongong CSR team

Meet some of the dedicated staff from Central Specimen Reception (CSR).

Left to right: Bev, Kirsty, Hugh, Monica , Kirsten and Layali.

Seated in front: Lauren.

Together, the teams have been processing high volumes of COVID-19 tests for the Illawarra Shoalhaven region. Well done and thanks for all your efforts.