Back to top

2016 John Studdy Award winner announced

MSA board president Ian Pennell presents the 2016 John Studdy award to Therese Burke
21 November 2016

MS Australia is thrilled to announce that Therese Burke is the 2016 John Studdy Award recipient, for her many achievements and for making a tangible difference to the multiple sclerosis (MS) community.

MS Australia CEO Deidre Mackechnie said: “We’d like to thank Therese for her outstanding commitment and passion to MS nursing. She is making a real difference to not only her patients, but through her research work, to all people living with MS in Australia.”

As Westmead MS Clinic Nurse & Clinical Trials Coordinator at Westmead Hospital & Westmead Institute for Medical Research at Sydney University, Therese is passionate about educating and empowering people with MS.

She participates in many areas of MS research, including scientific (biomarkers, genetics, pharmaceutical), clinical (fatigue, depression, quality of life, compliance, medication efficacy, pregnancy) nursing (fatigue, patient comprehension, diagnosis, nurse education) and neurologist initiated research, also clinical drug trials.

President of the International Board for certifying MS Nurses, Therese's signature adorns the letters of certification for all newly qualified MS nurses in the member countries. She was President of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses Australasia, a member of the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS) Steering Committee and contributes to many research publications.

Therese’s contribution has been recognised internationally – she is the 2016 recipient of the June Halper Award (JHA) for Excellence in MS Nursing awarded in Washington DC by the International Organisation of MS Nurses (IOMSN). Therese was the first recipient with ‘high achievement’ in all eight assessment criterion. This is only the second time in its 20 years that the JHA has been awarded to an MS Nurse leader outside North America.

Therese is passionate about provision and improvement of education for MS Nurses. Her interests include new MS diagnosis and education, Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) surveillance and clinical/treatment management, as well as actively supporting symptom management and improved quality of life in people with progressive forms of MS.

Therese said, “I feel fortunate to work with an amazing group of like-minded people…dedicated to improving lives. Their contributions are amazing and inspiring - the work of Professor Steve Vucic, Linda Mekhael, Graeme Stewart, David Booth, Fiona McKay and others at Westmead keeps me focused and creative. They are the unsung heroes.”

Therese works as part of a multidisciplinary team and feels that this is the secret to success - collaborating with others and sharing knowledge and skills to further the fight against, and for, MS. Similarly, the support and mentorship of her many MS Nurse colleagues around Australia and globally keeps her feet firmly on the ground and constantly aiming higher.

Picture above: MSA board president Ian Pennell presents the 2016 John Studdy award to Therese Burke, Below: Therese Burke

Therese Burke

About The John Studdy Award:

The late John Studdy was a tireless advocate for the multiple sclerosis community in Australia and was dedicated to advancing the wellbeing of people living with MS and the search for a cure.

The highest honour of Multiple Sclerosis Australia and given annually since 1999, the award is for individuals who, like John Studdy, have made a significant contribution to the MS movement in Australia.

Previous winners include Carol Cooke, Simon McKeon, Carol and Roy Langsford and in 2015, Lina Marrocco.