June 2, 2017
Julia Byrne says the secret to notching up almost four decades in the challenging health industry is a sense of humour.
The well-known South Burnett nurse is used to seeing people at their best and their worst, and in life and death situations.
Julia retired last Friday from a health career spanning 39 years.
She was treated to a special morning tea at Wondai Hospital to celebrate the occasion.
Her career started in 1978, working in school dental therapy before completing formal nursing training at Royal Brisbane Hospital.
She worked across several units, including ear, nose and throat; coronary care; internal medicine; research; and finally safety and quality, where she found her passion.
In 2006, Julia took on the role of Quality Manager for the South Burnett within the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS).
She went on to become the Patient Safety Officer for the South Burnett and has been based in Wondai for several years.
Julia plans to remain in the South Burnett region and enjoy spending more time with her family.
However, she will still be available to do some casual work for DDHHS if needed.
A group of about 20 colleagues gathered for an emotional farewell at Wondai Hospital.
Cherbourg Health Service Manager Tarita Fisher presented Julia with an original painting entitled “Bunya Dreaming”, a painting to “bring life and tranquillity for family and friends during gatherings”, which she created especially to incorporate Julia’s favourite colours and reflect her personality.
Staff also presented Julia with gifts including flowers, earrings, a book of sudoku and a Moroccan tagine pot with spices for her to pursue her hobbies of puzzles and cooking in retirement.
Julia said she was overwhelmed by the occasion: “I knew you liked me, but this is a bit awesome!”
“Work has always bought me great joy and there is nothing better than working for an organisation that looks after people and each other,” she said.
“The South Burnett and the DDHHS has some of the most amazing clinicians in south-east Queensland.
“I would like to especially thank the medical records team who supported the clinical governance team and acknowledge their amazing work.
“I will miss everyone but I’m happy to say I’ll still see you around.”