After an incredible 47-year nursing career, and just over two years with the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), Blacktown Mount Druitt Hospital (BMDH) Director of Nursing and Midwifery Marie Baxter is retiring.
Marie’s stirling career began in the UK after she was inspired by a nurse who cared for her at the age of 13. Marie was so impressed by the immaculate dress and demeanor of the nurse that she decided then and there that she too wanted to be a nurse.
Marie started her nursing career as a surgical scout nurse, ward sister, and then a child health visitor working in the UK where she helped young, disadvantaged women to be better parents.
When you’re 18 years of age and you start your nursing career, you just can’t image what’s lies ahead,” said Marie.
“I’ve had the best job in the world and have been blessed that my career has allowed me to travel and work all over the world.”
Marie worked in general nursing, midwifery, child health, community nursing, as an educator, and held several senior positions before moving to Australia where she continued her nursing career in Perth.
“Marie is a strong and excellent nurse,” said BMDH general manager Brad Ceely.
“We are fortunate that she followed her daughter and grandchildren to Sydney in April 2021 and led us through the COVID-19 response with Omicron and Delta waves with outstanding leadership.”
Marie has represented nursing on several peak international and national committees, but her next chapter may see her explore other avenues such as studying history or opening a coffee shop or deli.
“Retirement is on my radar, so I’ll see where that takes me or how long it lasts; I’m not one to keep still,” she cheekily jested.
“I am travelling to the UK, Ireland, and Scotland to see family in the coming months, so we’ll see what happens after that.”
WSLHD executive director of nursing Maria Lingam thanked Marie for her dedication, commitment and exceptional management style which has left a memorable mark for the staff and patients alike.
“It’s been a privilege working with Marie and she has lifted the profession at BMDH and taken it to the next level,” said Maria.
“I’ve enjoyed working with Marie and will miss her dearly. You’ve been an inspiration, mentor, motherly figure and most importantly a friend to all of us and we will miss you so much.”
Marie said she looks forward to visiting her former colleagues once she’s back in Australia and “dropping by the gazebo to have cuppa”.
Until then, farewell Marie.