STAR Award winners beam with pride for Exceptional Teamwork

Our recent STAR Award winner for Exceptional Teamwork is Cate McGrath, Director of Community Engagement in the Communication and Engagement team.

The Exceptional Teamwork award is for an individual, group or team who demonstrates outstanding teamwork qualities, including:

  • Building an inclusive, high-performing culture.
  • Working together to improve systems, processes and the work environment.
  • Putting quality and kindness at the heart of everything they do.

Cate and the team organised the Open Day of the Victorian Heart Hospital (VHH) held on Sunday 19 February, which followed the VHH Official Opening by the Victorian Premier and Minister for Health. The VHH is now on the map for much of this community thanks to Cate, Communication and Engagement and the VHH event team.

What makes this event extraordinary and worthy of praise, is the short lead time and the complexities and sensitivities of coordinating an event of this magnitude in new facilities for our employees, our partners and our community.

The Open Day required several aspects to organise, including: stage, seating and set-up of the main foyer; employee tour guides around the new hospital; pop-up exhibits to promote good heart health, and to discuss career opportunities with Monash Health; street performers, a colouring-in art station, photo booth and face painting; an exhibit from Ambulance Victoria; plus first aid, security, parking marshals, and a free coffee van.

While Cate would be the first to attribute this to the outstanding teamwork and dedication of all involved, her empowering leadership style, diplomacy and attention to detail helped to inspire this exceptional level of teamwork. Long days, countless phone calls, emails, and meetings set the bar high, motivating people to mirror the dedication and excellence seen in her.

Cate ensured the VHH Open Day was well organised, publicised and coordinated, leading a team of 80 staff from Monash Health, Monash University and a range of external providers, including councils, event hire companies and exhibitors that attracted and supported more than 2,800 attendees. Cate and the Communication and Engagement team also stocked and moved over 2000 Monash Health branded calico tote bags with relevant information, resources and promotional items to give to tour attendees.

One of the most challenging aspects of the Open Day was organising and staffing the walk-through tours. Hundreds of tours of the VHH were conducted over four hours, leaving just three minutes apart.

First employees and families got the inside look, then the general public and community leaders – many of whom were personally invited by Cate and the Community Engagement team. The team worked tirelessly promoting the event and liaising with stakeholders.

Cate and the team liaised with VHH employees to map out the tours through several floors of the hospital, involving engineering staff and subject matter experts to ensure tours were safe, interesting and informative. Manuals and maps were produced, staff recruited and briefed – nothing was left to chance.

Despite these challenges and the incredibly tight timelines, the event was an unparalleled success!

Cate did all this on top of her usual demanding role of leading the community engagement team, who are ‘the bridge’ between Monash Health and the 1.8 million people in the Southeast Melbourne community.

“I am very honoured to be nominated and receive a STAR award, on behalf of the Communication and Engagement team.

“I am very proud to have been part of the Victorian Heart Hospital opening and lead the team that delivered the staff, family and friends, and community open day events. It was an incredible team effort and I thank all those involved in the planning and successful delivery of the Open Day activities.”

Congratulations to Cate McGrath and the Communication and Engagement team for winning this STAR Award.

If you would like to nominate a colleague or team, you can do so at any time by visiting the STAR Awards portal. For more information about the STAR Awards program, Monash Health Employee Recognition Program page.


Approved by Silvana Sgro, Acting Executive Director People and Culture

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