Marina Negri, Courtney Brooking, and Kristy Spence on International Nurses Day.
Marina Negri, Courtney Brooking, and Kristy Spence on International Nurses Day. Emma Murray

Gallery: International Nurses Day awards

PLAYING a vital role in bringing new life into the world and watching new families created is the driving force that has propelled Sue McPherson and Victoria Noyce to long and rewarding nursing careers.

The midwives were the joint recipients of Mackay Hospital and Health Service's Nurse Speciality Award at a presentation made on International Nurses Day.

Ms Noyce said every day she came into work presented something special that sparked her desire to continue practising nursing.

"Every birth is different and it doesn't matter how many you have seen, they are all super special," she said.

"Just seeing the faces of the women and the partners when they have their babies, and their pure excitement and joy."


Ms McPherson began her nursing career in 1981 and has been working at Mackay Base Hospital for more than 30 years.

For the past eight years she has been involved in ante-natal and post-natal care for indigenous women and teenagers.

While she struggles to pick one moment that stands out as her most rewarding, she said job satisfaction continued to push her every day.

"I love working with my clients; they give back as much as you give to them," she said.

"When they show off their new baby to you with a big smile on their face it's the best reward you can get."

Ecstatic at receiving the award, Ms McPherson said it was great to be recognised for the efforts she had put into her work and it made her want to make a positive impact on her patients even more.

It was important to recognise not just the individual efforts but also the collaborative contributions of the entire nursing sector, she said.

"We're only two of a very large cohort of professional, dedicated women and men who put an awful lot of time into what they do" Ms McPherson said.

"They put their heart and soul into it. It's not just a walk-in walk-out job for the vast majority and everyone deserves a pat on the back."

The women were joined on the awards podium by Ashleigh Mackay, who received the CQUni Graduate of the Year award.

Ms Mackay has worked in the mental health department at Mackay Base Hospital since completing her post-graduate work in February. She said her speciality was challenging in that no scan could tell you what was going on in someone's head, but the good had far outweighed the challenges in the early stages of her career.

"It is challenging, and some days traumatising because you're exposed to a lot of stuff you probably would not have been exposed to otherwise," Ms Mackay said.

"But when you can make a difference in someone's life, even if it's small, that's the greatest thing."