Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association Inc.

Alan Goble Distinguished Service Award Winners

The Award

Dr Goble was a practising cardiologist for over 40 years and is widely considered to be the pioneer of cardiac rehabilitation in Australia.

The Alan Goble DSA is the most prestigious award for cardiac rehabilitation clinicians in Australia. The aim of the Alan Goble DSA is to celebrate those individuals who have provided extraordinary service to cardiac rehabilitation at both a national and state level in Australia. They must have been a member of ACRA for a minimum of five years. Life membership of ACRA is given to the recipient of this award.



Stephen Woodruffe - Acredited Exercise Physiologist (ACRA-Qld)

Steve has been a member of ACRA for more than 12 years and currently holds the position of Senior Exercise Physiologist at Ipswich Heart Health Service, Queensland Health and Secretary of the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association.

Steve has always embodied a dedication to serving others and advancing cardiac rehabilitation. From early in his career as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, he has been devoted to empowering the most  disadvantaged patients to successfully manage their cardiovascular disease. Steve’s strong sense of public service led him to join the Queensland Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association (QCRA) early in his working life. Always looking to help the cardiac rehabilitation association flourish, he took on a combined role of State President and State Representative when needed. In these roles, Steve was able to invigorate Queensland cardiac rehabilitation through helping to stage more regular professional development events and improved communication with local members.

Steve’s talents for bringing people together and charting a common way forward were quickly recognised by the ACRA Executive. He was enthusiastically nominated for Vice President-President Elect soon after joining the Executive. As ACRA President, Steve launched many significant initiatives for the organisation. Looking to increase communication with members, he expanded the Executive to give more of a say to the states. In addition, he sought to increase professional development opportunities for members by assisting the states better share their activities nationally. Notably, Steve committed ACRA to the production of new best practice guidelines and coordinated the writing of the landmark Core Components in 2014.

Knowing ‘leadership’ is about serving others, Steve has worked tirelessly on many projects, often out of the spotlight, that have advanced cardiac rehabilitation immeasurably. His work on the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (ICCPR), has been instrumental at giving Australia a voice at an international level. Steve also represented ACRA at the AACVPR conference in 2015, winning an international scholarship to attend and being asked to deliver a presentation about the state of cardiac rehab in Australia.

Steve continues to advocate for ACRA and the future of cardiac rehabilitation at every level. He recently chaired the Queensland Cardiac Rehabilitation Improvement project, that has now opened new opportunities to collect data state-wide and highlight the important role cardiac rehab has in patient care. He is also  committed to sharing his knowledge and lectures at University of Queensland in Exercise Physiology and acts as a mentor and role model to numerous undergraduate and postgraduate students in this area.


Shelly McRae - Registered Nurse (ACRA-WA)

Shelley was one of the founding members of WACRA and is currently the clinical engagement coordinator and Heart Foundation ambassador. Shelley has been a committed and passionate advocate for over 30 years to improving the cardiac patient care and advocating for greater cardiac rehabilitation services and support for individuals affected by Cardiovascular disease (CVD).

She has made a measurable impact through her work as the Cardiac Rehabilitation coordinator at SCGH – her pioneering work built this Cardiac Rehabilitation and Heart failure service into the world class facility it is today

Shelley, through her quiet determination and drive, has achieved excellence in cardiac rehabilitation and has
made significant, observable changes. Her volunteer activities for WACRA are very impressive when you consider Shelley has taken on the role of President, Treasurer, Secretary on the WACRA Executive management committee. Shelley has taken on the workload of the scientific lead for 3 ACRA ASM meetings held in Perth. It is achievements and effects of this kind and scale that deserve to be honoured by this prestigious award. Shelley has represented the association locally, at a state level, nationally & internationally by presenting at numerous cardiac conferences. Shelley lectures at several universities and has often presented papers on the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and risk factor modification.

Shelley is a reflective learner and teacher who recognises the importance of teamwork and selflessness. Shelley is of outstanding character and her most admirable virtue is her humility. Shelley is happy for others to take the praise for the work she has done without hesitation or discourse. She has the ability to find strength in everyone.

Shelley regularly promotes the values of cardiac rehabilitation and thrives on innovation and the next challenge. She continues to push forward to accomplish further for cardiac rehabilitation in the area of research and development and patient information making her a great mentor and role model.


Sabine Drilling - Registered Nurse (ACRA-SA)

Early in her career in cardiovascular nursing Sabine recognised the importance of providing supportive counselling to patients and support in their recovery from a heart condition. She was one of the first specialist cardiac rehabilitation nurses in South Australia, establishing one of the early cardiac rehabilitation programs at the Flinders Medical Centre. Sabine was also a founding member of the Australian Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Association attending the inaugural meeting with Alan Goble. She was a Conference Convenor for ACRA in the early 90s and has presented at the World Congress of Cardiology and CSANZ meetings. She is a great keeper of documents and still has her abstract on ‘Discharge on Day 6 post MI – is it safe?’ which she presented at CSANZ in 1993. This compared to the post MI mobilisation regime developed by the Heart Foundation in 1998 makes for an interesting read and reflection on how practice has changed!

Following the temporary abolishment of cardiac rehab nurses whilst she was on maternity leave Sabine joined the Heart Foundation in the newly established Health Information Service. Here Sabine was able to continue her passion of providing high quality education to patients and other health professionals, this time via the phone and then via email communication.

In her current role Sabine works in the Cardiovascular Health Project team in the SA Division of the Heart Foundation. She leads the training on secondary prevention of heart disease for the state. She provides in-service training for nurses in hospitals and student nurses in undergraduate and post-graduate programs. Sabine loves to keep up with technology and also provides training via videoconferencing and is just looking into a whiteboard animation type training clip. Sabine is a co-author of the ‘My heart my life’ e-learning training resource designed for nurses and other health professionals to increase their knowledge and therefore confidence to educate patients. Sabine’s role also takes her into the Aboriginal Community, working with both health organisations and health workers. In recent years she has worked with the communities in the APY lands to improve their heart health, and continues to be a part of the ‘Lighthouse Project’ in SA. She provides annual cardiovascular training to Aboriginal Health Worker Cert 3 and 4 students through her relationship with the Aboriginal Health Council of SA. She is a much valued resource by them.

Sabine has been committed to improving the care of cardiac patients for over 30 years. She has been active in learning about new technology and techniques of treating and managing heart disease. Sabine has never wavered from her belief in the importance of cardiac rehabilitation and the key role it plays in the recovery of cardiac patients. She has always spoken encouragingly to others about their need to learn more about cardiac rehabilitation – trying to demystify it to the average health professional and patient.

She has been an active supporter of ACRA and its role in driving best practice across Australia. Sabine has a way of explaining cardiovascular disease like no one else. She uses analogies and terms that make understanding and therefore explaining the condition to others easy. This is why she is sought after for her training across hospitals, universities and the Aboriginal Health Sector. Sabine’s legacy appears in many publications from the Heart Foundation.

Sabine is nearing the end of her professional working career, one where she has dedicated many years to supporting patients with or at risk of cardiovascular disease. She has spent the last years working to educate all nurses on the role they can play in providing education to their patients about CVD (Phase 1 CR) and ensuring they make a referral to a Phase 2 program. This is an essential first step for cardiac rehabilitation.


Radha Naidu - Registered Nurse (ACRA-Qld)

Despite having retired in 2013, Radha continues to be actively involved in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. She has always had a real passion for the field and was instrumental in the evolution of cardiac rehabilitation, both at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and across the state of Queensland, long before it was recognised as integral to patient care by Queensland Health.

To begin with she had no funding, little support from her peers and the medical staff, but because of her passion to deliver high quality care she persisted though thick and thin. She constantly sought to increase her knowledge and understanding. She read widely and attended conferences at her own expense so she could glean as much information as possible to ensure she was up to date. She is known for her persistence and determination to improve and promote cardiac rehabilitation. She has been instrumental in networking and promoting cardiac rehabilitation through Queensland and Nationally.

An early advocate for data collection, benchmarking, research and promotion of best practice, Radha has been an active proponent of embedding cardiac rehabilitation as standard practice in cardiology. She remains highly respected and regarded by medical, nursing and allied health colleagues, often referred to as the “godmother’ of cardiac rehab in Queensland. Her involvement in the secondary prevention of CVD continues via her voluntary role with the Heart of Australia Service today.

It is estimated that Radha has been a member of ACRA for over 20 years and possibly closer to 25 years. Her colleagues believe she has attended 23 out of the 25 ACRA conferences held. She promotes membership of ACRA to all clinicians working in the field as vitally important for their ongoing professional development and the networking opportunities it provides.


Jane Kerr - Registered Nurse (ACRA-NSW/ACT)

Jane is an exceptional member of ACRA, having contributed in many ways over her years of service. She has served on local, state and national committees and is highly respected for her knowledge and dedication.

Jane has constantly championed the need to bridge the gap re equity of access to CR and cardiovascular care for aboriginal people and those who live in rural areas, resulting in significant achievements and improvements in her local area for these patient groups.

Jane has mentored and supported many clinicians in cardiac rehabilitation and is a strong advocate and voice for rural CR clinicians across NSW. Jane is a highly committed individual, with strong professional values and a superior knowledge of CR and the systems which affect the services we deliver. She is continuously striving for the best possible standards for herself and others. Jane is an advocate for the profession and not afraid to stand up for her beliefs and values if she sees they benefit the patient and/or
their community.

Jane is past president of CRA, and has championed the role of cardiac rehabilitation in Australia. She is a strong advocate for evidence based service development with the patient at the centre. Jane is a very positive role model. She has mentored junior clinicians and fostered a warm and welcoming environment in CRA. She is highly regarded for her work in promoting CR across NSW and nationally. Jane works tirelessly to encourage new members to become part of ACRA, and supports and encourages them to be active participants within the organisation. Several members of the current CRA NSW ACT board are there through Jane encouraging them to get involved with ACRA.

Her exceptional commitment to the development and promotion of cardiac rehabilitation makes her  an outstanding candidate for the Alan Goble Distinguished Service Award.