We are very excited and proud to announce that our very own Dr Elizabeth Napier has been awarded the 2020 Kristen Keegan Young Business Leader Award at Friday night’s Hunter Business Chamber Awards evening.

The Hunter Business Chamber made a fantastic effort last Friday night to ensure that business leaders of our region were able to be recognised – covid style! The opportunity to ‘frock up’ and sit in a theatre, with an impressive array of local businesses and business leaders has been rare this year.

Listening to host Jane Goldsmith highlight the nominees with snapshots of their achievements, we were again reminded of the incredible talent and experience across a wide range of industries.

The Kristen Keegan Young Business Leader Award is a special award with deep meaning for the Hunter Business Chamber.  Former Hunter Business Chamber Chief Executive, Kristen Keegan made an incredible impact on the Newcastle and Hunter region. Sadly, Kristen passed away in 2017. This award recognises young business leaders between the ages of 18-30 years old.

Dr Liz Napier has made significant contributions to the veterinary profession since graduating in 2014 – but especially during an extremely tough year of covid.

AREC was lucky to have Liz join the emergency team in 2017, and after two years in the role she was appointed to the position of Veterinary Team Leader.  She says “I am proud to lead a team of exceptional veterinarians, developing their career progression.  This position allows me to contribute to the vision of the business with our executive team.  In my role I am also responsible for developing and directing our Internship Program, specifically targeted at new or recent graduate veterinarians to assist their transition from university to exceptional veterinarians.  This allows me to further their education and confidence as young veterinarians.”

But Dr Liz’s deep compassion is clear when you ask her about the importance of mental health – especially in an industry with such statistically significant challenges.

Veterinarians have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession, and many across our country and region have been touched with the serious situation of mental health.  Knowing the statistics, Liz decided to take pro active action, and focus on the mental health and well being in our local professional community. She became an Accredited Mental Health First Aider and the mental health first aid officer of our hospital.  She provides support and awareness of mental health to our staff and the wider Hunter veterinary community.

Congratulations on this very well deserved recognition Dr Elizabeth Napier!