Nursing at Mater is a family affair for the Hunts.
Siblings Terri, Carolyn and Shaune all began their nursing careers at Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg in the 1960s and 1970s, and devoted their next decades to caring for patients and their beloved local community.
Terri Brotherton (nee Hunt) and Sister Carolyn Hunt will be among several former nurses, doctors and Sisters of Mercy joining the 75th anniversary celebrations of Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg on Wednesday July 28.
Reflecting on her early years at Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg, Mrs Brotherton said the work was hard but rewarding and vastly different from nursing today.
“There was a time when Shaune, Carolyn and I all worked in the operating theatre together,” she said.
“I was a scrub nurse, Carolyn was a scout nurse so she prepared for and monitored the operations and Shaune assisted with anaesthetics.
“We were a great team.”
Mrs Brotherton said there were plenty of pranks, shenanigans and lifelong friendships during their years at the hospital.
“Carolyn was first to join the profession, beginning her training in 1968. She then entered the Sisters of Mercy Novitiate at Rockhampton in 1974 and continued her service for many years,” she said.
“My mother and I studied together to become enrolled nurses – mum was aged 50 and I was 19 at the time.
“Luckily, we received the same exam results so there was never any family rivalry.
“A few years later, I completed my registered nurse certificate training with my brother Shaune who was the first male nurse to train at the hospital in Bundaberg in 1976.”
Mrs Brotherton said she has fond memories of the Sisters of Mercy who educated the Hunts throughout their training in Bundaberg.
“They were truly special, dedicated nurses. Their education was flawless. They did not just teach us how to nurse, they taught us all how to care,” she said.
“I’ve never forgotten the wise words of my Educator, Sr Jerome. She would always remind us ‘whatever type of patient is in bed, put yourself there. Imagine it is your mother, father, child, brother, or sister. Think of yourself as that patient and how you’d like to be cared for’.”
Mater Chair Francis Sullivan, Mater Chief Executive Officer Dr Peter Steer and Mater Private Hospital Executive Officer Catherine Hackney will join the Hunt sisters and other invited guests to mark the historic milestone with an event at the Brabourne Street hospital.
A curated display of donated keepsakes and memorabilia from the past 75 years will be open to the public from 1pm on the day.
Ms Hackney said a nurse’s cape from the 1960s, record books from the hospital’s initial days as a women’s hostel in 1941 and other memorabilia would form part of the display.
“We would welcome any other keepsakes that people may have from the past 75 years to help us tell the life story of Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg,” she said.
Memorabilia donated for the display will be returned to their owners.