After being the first point of call for many patients in Westmead Hospital’s Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, administration officer Stella Fenech has hung up her phone for the last time.
Stella worked on the switchboard for the past 21 years thanks to her passion for helping the people of Western Sydney and knowing she was playing a part in helping patients get the care they deserve.
“Being in the cancer centre, many people who I have spoken to are quite ill and vulnerable,” Stella said.
“They can get frustrated, which I completely understand, but it is important to stay calm and reassure them that they have come to the right place.
“I have really enjoyed talking to people and communicating with them, so I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
Stella said she is looking forward to enjoying some much deserved time away with her husband, and will also be co-caring for her mother and looking after her own health in retirement.
“My husband retired a few years ago and has kept asking me when I was going to join him,” she said.
“We have two beautiful children who I am very much looking forward to spending more time with. I’m hoping to become a grandmother one day and seeing what the future holds.”
Despite the perks of retirement, Stella said she will miss her colleagues dearly.
“The people who I have met and worked alongside in the Cancer Centre are exceptional,” she said.
“Everyone, from admin officers to doctors, goes above and beyond to ensure their patients receive the best possible care.
“Westmead is a second home to me and I have made friendships that I will cherish forever.”