News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


New Zealander Awarded Highest International Nursing Honour

New Zealander Awarded Highest International Nursing Honour

Red Cross nurse Graham Zinsli has been awarded the highest international nursing distinction, the Florence Nightingale Medal.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) awards the Florence Nightingale Medal to honour exceptional courage and devotion to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.

Auckland nurse Graham Zinsli has worked with Red Cross for two decades, helping in conflict zones and responding to some of the world’s worst natural disasters.

He was deployed to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which killed 230,000 people. The following year, he worked in an ICRC field hospital in Pakistan after the devastating Kashmir earthquake.

Graham’s first Red Cross mission was to Afghanistan in 1996, where he worked as a surgical nurse in Kandahar. He returned to Afghanistan in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 events, to work in a hospital in Jalalabad.

Other missions have taken Graham to Ethiopia, Jordan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea and Yemen, where he provided health care and medical training.

His work has expanded from surgical duties to include overseeing food, shelter and sanitation programmes. Graham recently worked with refugees in Jordan, where, along with striving to improve everyday conditions in refugee camps, he built playgrounds for children.

New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Tony Paine says the medal recognises Graham’s exceptional commitment to helping people affected by disaster and conflict.

“During his career, Graham has shown extraordinary courage and bravery many times. He’s a conscientious, humble person, who always completes missions with a high degree of integrity.

“He’s a very deserving recipient of the Florence Nightingale medal. We’re proud to join him to celebrate this honour, acknowledging his enduring dedication to humanitarian efforts.”

Graham is only the 27th New Zealander to be awarded the medal, which also recognises exemplary services and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health and nursing education.

In addition to international work with Red Cross, Graham has worked in Western Samoa and in Cook Islands and Tonga as a teaching nurse. In New Zealand he been an emergency room nurse and has currently returned home to Auckland where he is working at the North Shore Hospital.

Graham was officially presented with the Florence Nightingale Medal at an investiture in Wellington on Friday.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland