My Nursing training was initially at Nelson Polytechnic, Nelson, New Zealand where I graduated as a Comprehensive Registered Nurse (General & Psychiatric). My first job was as a staff nurse on a Renal and Plastics ward in Tauranga, NZ.
I married my high school sweet heart and we travelled to Australia in search for an opportunity in helicopter flying and nursing in the outback of Australia. We lived and worked in the outback gaining valuable knowledge in both of our careers. Then we travelled to Papua New Guinea. During that time in PNG I returned to Australia to train as a Midwife at King George V Hospital at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Mike was flying on a contract in a very remote location on the Strickland river and no women were allowed. During that year we wrote letters and called by phone – this was pre Email, Skype or texting. I returned to PNG and worked at Kimbe Hospital where I had the privilege of working with some amazing midwives.
I will share some of those stories and pictures in another section of this site …when I figure how to do that!
Being a registered nurse and Midwife in PNG took about 6 weeks to get all the paper work in order, once it arrived I started working in Antenatal, postnatal and labour ward – no such glossy terms as Birth suite. Labour ward had one saving grace – it was restricted access and air conditioned! The only room that was cool. Upon return I worked in Neonatal Intensive care at John Spence Nursery in Sydney to restore some sense of balance after working under such poorly resourced facilities in PNG.
After working in Papua New Guinea a as a midwife, Mike & I returned to Australia to start a family and followed our dream of building an International Helicopter Flying School. During that time I gained my Commercial Helicopter Pilots Licence and achieved a long held dream to fly. Our daughters are now pursuing their own dreams. Our oldest, at 19, is learning to fly aeroplanes, after being successful in getting a cadetship with JetStar. Our youngest Chase, as just turned eighteen and has started studies at University, with the aim of becoming a doctor.
During the years as a mum, business women, helicopter pilot, I have maintained my professional and personal passion as a RN and Midwife. I still work casually as a Midwife and Registered Nurse on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia and hold roles on two Boards that are close to my heart being closely aligned with Health, Research, Collaboration, vision for positive change and enhancing peoples lives. My call to Tanzania came about now because the timing is right, both in my professional nursing career, family (Chase can travel with me and learn and grow as well in this environment) and business career. Its not enough I don’t think to be successful in our professional endeavours if we do not take up some community engagement.
Its a privilege to be part of something that involves family, friends, colleagues, fellow midwifes and RN’s.