Open for leadership award for Waikato-based recovery advisor

14 Aug 2018 | Building Leadership & Capability

Brendon Dolman, a recovery advisor in the mental health and addiction (MHA) service at Waikato District Health Board (DHB), is the latest recipient of an Open for leadership award.

Waikato DHB Director Cara Thomas, who nominated Brendon for the award, says he demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in everything he does and is determined to make a difference to individuals and communities.

Brendon Dolman pictured with family and colleagues

Pictured (left to right): Mo Neville (director quality and patient safety), Cara Thomas (interim director community adult mental health and addictions), Brendan Dolman, Vicki Aitken (interim executive director: mental health and addictions service) and Dr Rees Tapsell (director of clinical services, mental health and addiction service.

‘Brendon has been a tirelessly committed quiet champion and leader within our service. He’s very well respected among our MHA services workforce and other external networks.

‘Brendon is a people person. He enjoys engaging with anyone and everyone, and makes no secret of the fact that the reason he gets up in the morning is to make a real difference to people. He champions change and makes sure people have a voice.’

‘We’ve been fortunate to have Brendon working alongside us as part of the team.’

Some of what Brendon does includes:

  • co-design work and cross-organisational projects
  • gathering real-time feedback from services users and using this to explore ways to improve services
  • providing direct support to people who have experienced seclusion, as part of the seclusion reduction project team.

Brendon says he wouldn’t be able to do what he does without the support of his colleagues.

‘I’ve got passionate people around me; people who are dedicated to their job and who have gone into this work for a reason. They all want to make a difference, and that inspires me. It’s very difficult to have passion if it’s not around you.’

He says leadership is about supporting other people, whatever level they’re at.

‘Leadership is about role-modelling and supporting those around you. It’s also about having a vision – good leaders have a good vision. It’s about the “doing” as well – rolling your sleeves up.’

The Open for leadership awards are part of the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s work to build capability and leadership in the health sector. They recognise and celebrate health professionals who demonstrate excellent practice, quality improvement and leadership skills.

The awards’ criteria have been expanded in 2018 to include emerging leaders in district alliances and consumers, and to specifically target primary care. Award winners must be within their first five years of taking on a clinical leader’s role.

Last updated 15/08/2018