2020 Compassion Heroes

Saturday 13 February 2021
Maggie Hehir - Compassion Champion 2020 Maggie Hehir - Compassion Champion 2020

As part of our Together Week celebrations in December 2020, Ballarat Health Services recognised three people who exemplify the value of compassion in our community. BHS is a proud signatory and supporter of Compassionate Ballarat, part of the worldwide compassionate cities initiative which guides us in both our professional and personal lives.

Our 2020 Compassion Champions were Kate Davis and Margaret Hehir.


Kate Davis is a renowned advocate for local food producers and a well-known Ballarat identity. Throughout COVID Kate adjusted her business from championing producers to the business sector, to acting as a direct retail outlet for Western district farmers as they lost their restaurant markets.

In conjunction with Fernando Del Castillo from Mars Ballarat, Kate and the Eat Drink West team produced Thank You boxes that were filled with local produce funded by donations from the community. The boxes were gifted to staff at Ballarat Health Services in recognition of their contribution to Ballarat and regions throughout the pandemic. This initiative connected local producers and consumers by providing fresh, nutritious, locally produced food that would usually have been delivered to hospitality businesses.

Kate has been recognised and acknowledged for her work with support from the State Government to scale her business further, a win for local employment and a win for our farmers.


Margaret (Maggie) Hehir worked at Ballarat Health Services for nearly 9 years through to the end of 2020. She dedicates herself to raising peoples’ awareness of mindfulness and yoga in both her personal and professional life. Through her work with BHS, Maggie brought these practices to people who wouldn’t otherwise have been engaged. Maggie took her practice into to workplaces, conducting classes for teams on the ground in ED and other high-stress environments. She held one-to-one sessions with clients and patients, helping people find a space within to strengthen themselves.

Maggie is an active member of Spiritual Health Victoria, a professional body of spiritual care workers within the health sector. Throughout her time with BHS, she saw the evolution from pastoral to non-denominational care and actively contributed to the Staff Wellbeing working group. Maggie trained in grief and bereavement, and supported relatives and friends on the death of loved ones through her work at Gandarra. When recruiting Maggie for Gandarra, the team asked themselves whether she would be someone they would sit down, talk to and share their innermost feelings with; the answer was overwhelmingly yes. She is aware of walking beside a client or staff member, not ‘solving’ their problems but being there as a guiding presence.

Maggie was a stalwart for the staff during COVID and was instrumental in setting up support aspects that enable staff to take care of themselves on a broader level. Maggie is an unsung compassion hero who has supported countless staff, patients and families during her time with us.

Compassionate Ballarat Compassion Hero

As a proud signatory and supporter of Compassionate Ballarat, Ballarat Health Services was honoured that Compassionate Ballarat chose the Ballarat Health Services Annual General Meeting to announce their annual Compassion Hero award recipient.

Ethan Sculley was named Compassionate Ballarat Compassion Hero for 2020 for his efforts in making and donating masks to the elderly and disadvantaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compassion Heroes are members of the community recognised by Compassionate Ballarat for making a difference through Compassion. Ben Kelly, Chair of the Compassionate Ballarat Steering Committee was delighted to present Ethan with his award.

In order to achieve this goal, Ethan sourced material for the masks and enlisted the assistance of people who could sew. In addition to making masks for the elderly and disadvantaged, Ethan also wrote letters to cheer up residents in a local aged care facility. Ethan is a wonderful example of a Compassion Hero.

More information regarding Compassionate Ballarat is available via the website:


Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.