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Four special Red Cross nurses honoured for courage, spirit and service

A group of Australian Red Cross nurses have earned the highest international distinction a nurse can ever receive.

Aid workers Denise Moyle, Yvonne Ginifer and Cristina de Leon will receive Florence Nightingale Medals for exceptional courage and dedication to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.

A fourth Australian nurse, Kirsty Boden, will receive a Posthumous Florence Nightingale Medal. Kirsty, who worked at Guy's Hospital in London, was killed on 3 June 2017, while helping people during an attack on London Bridge. This medal recognises exemplary service or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.

Red Cross nurses are on the frontlines of some of the world’s most challenging armed conflicts and disasters. They help children survive horrific injuries caused by wars and earthquakes, care for people suffering from Ebola and cholera and save lives through hygiene and disease prevention education.

They are colleagues and mentors to local health workers, often working under difficult and dangerous conditions.

Denise Moyle played a critical role in surgery teams across Sudan and Pakistan, also recently heading up health teams in the world’s biggest refugee camps in Bangladesh.

"The opportunities I've had with Australian Red Cross, the fabulous mentors along the way and the privilege of assisting some of the world’s most brave and humbling people in their times of desperate need has truly shaped me. I am forever grateful," Denise says.

Yvonne Ginifer worked in the response to contain Liberia’s Ebola epidemic, also providing medical care and protecting the health of communities during armed conflicts and disasters in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.

“I have worked with many exceptional nurses who undertake humanitarian work in critical and difficult situations. They are equally and more deserving of this recognition. Whilst this award is for nurses, none of us works without the support of volunteers and local staff,” Yvonne says.

Cristina de Leon has coordinated the delivery of critical health care for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, working in Afghanistan, Somalia and Myanmar.

“I am privileged to be a small part of the overall team effort and to be part of the Red Cross Movement,” Cristina says.

The four women were selected by the International Council of Nurses, International Committee the Red Cross, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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