One of Westmead’s first nurses leaves lasting legacy

Westmead Hospital’s registered nurse and WSLHD Capital Works health facility planner Marleen Moraza.

This week marks the end of an era as one of the nurses who made the bed for Westmead Hospital’s first patient decides to call it a day.

After working for Western Sydney healthcare for 37 years, Marleen Moraza has decided it’s time to retire and spend time with her family and friends.

“I’ve spent more than half my life at Westmead Hospital and leave here with teary eyes full of wonderful memories of good, exciting and fulfilling moments,” Marleen said.

The anticipation of working in Western Sydney’s largest purpose-built University teaching hospital in 1978 was something the first year nurse will never forget.

Employed as a registered nurse, she was working at Westmead Hospital before the patients arrived.

“The colours of the 70s included bright greens, oranges and yellows.  It was the latest decor at the time, but today these colours are worn by truck drivers, labourers or construction workers,” Marleen said.

“When I started working at Westmead Hospital I made up the beds for the arrival of the first patient, Queenie Murray.”

A day at the office for Marleen Moraza.

Marleen left Westmead Hospital in 1982 to work for Ramsay Health Care as a registered nurse and returned to Westmead Hospital in 1987.

The first coffee shop opened in 1988 and Marleen won a $50 voucher for naming the shop after a local main road – Darcy’s Cafe.

In 2006, Marleen was appointed to the role of health facility planner where she has remained to this day.

Her role was vital with the development of E block and the rebuild of Auburn Hospital.

“Changing from nursing to health facility planner was something I never realised would be one of my most memorable achievements,” Marleen said.

“I didn’t imagine it would be an opportunity which brought out the best in me.”

WSLHD Capital Works business manager Mikael Perez said there are so many qualities about Marleen to mention.

“She’s been instrumental with building and enhancing the reputation of the Capital Works team with the hospital clinicians,” Mikael said.

“When you give her a project to complete it’s not just about thinking of a solution, she’s always looking at everything from the patient’s perspective.

“Marleen’s presence incited positive morale within the department and encouraged team building.  This included the regular luncheons where we would make and share food from different cultures.”

You will be dearly missed by everyone Marleen and we wish you all the best in your retirement!

Marleen featured in Westmead Hospital’s 40th anniversary celebrations.  To view this video, click here.