01 Oct 2022

Laois nurse from Portlaoise shines in Australia winning big award

A Portlaoise nurse, who has broken ground in blood transfusions in Australia, has won a big award at the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Sinead Keane won the People's Choice Young Professional award 2017. She was presented with her prize at the organisation’s recent Gala evening in Sydney by Irish Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald.

"It is a great honour to be chosen by the judges as Young Professional in the IACC annual business awards," Sinead told the Leninster Express.

"Selecting a nurse not only acknowledges the patient care aspects of our role but also the many complexities we manage on a daily basis in a dynamic environment. The support, encouragement and opportunities I have received at St Vincent’s Private Sydney and offer an alternative view of nursing to the wider community.

"I am very proud to be a nurse and to have represented our profession at the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce annual Business Awards in such a positive way," she said.

In 2010 Sinead Keane commenced work as a Registered Nurse in Surgical Services at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney.  Sinead, from Sheffield Cross, Portlaoise, and daughter of Ann and Frank, has since become an integral part of the management Nursing Team within the Surgical Services. 

Through an initiative led by Sinead in Sydney, blood wastage has been reduced by by 24% in three years. This involved Sinead overseeing a team to research best practice in patient blood management during an emergency.

Another nominee in the Young Professional Category also happened to be from Portlaoise. Aidan Coleman hails from from Colliers Lane where his parents John and Kay still live. Aidan lives in Syndey with wife Sharon, from Clonaslee, and their daughters Ellie and Keira.


Sinead is the youngest of nine, five of whom still live in Laois - Sandra, Gerard, Louise, Daniel, Owen. Her brother Frankie lives in Galway. Her sister Tracey liveS in the UK and Anita is in Canada.

Sinead went to school in Scoil Chriost Rí, Portlaoise, going on to the University of Limerick from 2002-2006 where she did a Bachelor of Science in General Nursing. She worked at Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise before moving to Australia in 2008.

She has been involved in the Sydney Irish community since emigrating. She is on the Rose of Tralee committee which she says has given here a great opportunity to get to know more people and make connections here in the New South Wales capital.


The aim of the awards is to celebrate innovation and best practice in the Irish Australian business community.

The Irish Australian awards provide a platform for Irish Australian professionals and those who do business with them, to share, to inspire and to recognise their many achievements. 

Speaking at the recent event which was attended by the heads of Ireland’s leading business government agencies, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, Minister Frances Fitzgerald T.D. said: “Irish business people – whether they are based in Ireland, Australia or elsewhere – are rightly renowned for their innovation, ingenuity and intelligence.

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