Nothing but great memories for recent retiree Kate Murphy after 34 years of world-class service to Western Sydney Local Health District

Left to right: Angela Murphy (Patient flow manager and also Kate’s sister), Kate Murphy (recent WSLHD retiree)

Kate Murphy worked in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) for 34 years before recently retiring.

She commenced at Westmead Hospital in 1989 on B5c Short Stay Surgical Unit, becoming the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) of that Ward shortly thereafter, and subsequently held NUM positions in a couple of other wards during the 1990s, as well as secondments in Nurse Manager roles including Patient Flow and Clinical Practice.

Kate has many precious memories to share, here, in her own words:

“I had always wanted to be a nurse as long as I can remember (following in the footsteps of my beloved mother), and my passion and motivation was always simply to give the best care to every patient and their family, in the hope that in doing so I could make a positive difference in their life.

Throughout my career I have always tried to live the values instilled in my childhood, and in doing so it has always been my belief and experience that treating others with integrity, respect, compassion and empathy always achieved the greatest results.

One of my most rewarding and enjoyable roles was that as Executive Officer to the Director of Nursing & Midwifery, Jan Stow, a position I held for five years. Jan was a remarkable leader and a great mentor to me.

With the advent of the new Clinical Stream structure in 2001, I moved into senior leadership roles in the Area Health Service, initially as the Associate Director for both Women’s & Children’s Health & Oral Health, and in 2005 when the larger Sydney West Area Health Service was established, I was appointed as Network Director for Women’s & Children’s Health.

That era of commissioning clinical streams and networks was one of the most exciting and professionally rewarding periods of my career.

I was privileged and grateful to work with many outstanding clinicians and leaders across the various facilities and services. For those of us who worked together in that time, we witnessed some amazing pioneering work in the clinical networks, which ultimately resulted in longstanding legacies of standardised clinical practice and world-leading patient-centred models of care for the patients of western Sydney and beyond.

As I now begin my retirement and reflect on my career and the amazing opportunities afforded me over those years, I can’t help but be eternally grateful for all the wonderful experiences and memories, which are way beyond what I ever imagined possible.

Without a doubt my most professionally rewarding and proudest achievements have been as the Director of Nursing & Midwifery at Auburn Hospital these past 15 years (which also makes it an honour and privilege as the longest serving Director of Nursing in WSLHD acute hospitals), and leading the 2007 Auburn Hospital Redevelopment Project, resulting in the current purpose-built hospital which we commissioned in 2009.

I couldn’t possibly begin to thank everyone who has positively impacted my career, however, I do want to pay special acknowledgment and thanks to Jan Stow and Professor Peter Illingworth both of whom were inspirational role models and mentors to me, and for whose visionary leadership, influence and support I will be forever grateful.

Of course, I cannot leave WSLHD without acknowledging and thanking the incomparable and amazing staff of Auburn Hospital!”

Kate Murphy

Only those fortunate enough to have worked at Auburn Hospital will ever know and experience the level of kindness, teamwork and ‘community spirit’ that makes ‘the soul’ of Auburn Hospital so unique.

As for what lies ahead for me in retirement? Well, I have a few overseas travel plans in play, including Borneo and Europe later this year, and Antarctica next February, and am also looking forward to spending more time in my beloved garden, and enjoying long lunches with family and friends!

In closing I would like to say ‘thank you for the memories’ and I wish each and every one of you good health and good luck for the future” Kate Murphy.