Wednesday 30th December 2009
28 January 1952–29 April 2008
Zen passed away after a short illness on 29 April 2008. At the time of his passing Zen was a Clinical Nurse Consultant in mental health for the Court Liaison Service of Justice Health.
While it has been over a year since Zen’s passing he is fondly remembered by staff from the service, and sorely missed by his wife and children. Zen leaves behind his wife Rosemary and his children Alison, Christopher, Siobhan and Briana.
Zen’s commitment to the mental health service was immeasurable and barely a week goes by where he is not sorely remembered by members of his team.
Zen wrote professional and well-reasoned court reports to divert mentally ill offenders from the criminal justice system, where appropriate. He had a true passion for this role and would often search the literature on cases discussed, which he readily disseminated to his peers. Zen’s reports live on and are often accessed.
Zen was a registered Psychiatric Nurse and a RGN. He was a student nurse at Macquarie Hospital between 1979 and 1982 where he registered as a Psychiatric Nurse. In 1986 he completed his general nurse training at Blacktown Hospital. Zen held positions in both these specialties, in-cluding Director of Nursing for Romsey Hall Nursing Home, and commissioning and opening the Holy Family Nursing Home.
In mental health, Zen held positions such as CNS at Cumberland Hospital and at Blacktown Community Mental Health Team. He worked at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and Blacktown Hospital as Nurse Unit Manager and After Hours Senior Nurse Manager. Zen commenced working in the Court Liaison Service as a CNC in 2004, firstly in Liverpool and finally Penrith. Zen was completing his final subject in a Master of Forensic Mental Health when he passed away.
Zen spoke both English and Polish. He was a member of the ACMHN and the NSWNA. He held a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) and a Graduate Diploma in Mental Health (Dual Diagnosis).
Zen was a great man and an exceptional mental health nurse who was always ready and willing to share his knowledge and zest for life. He was gracious and humble. He would readily accept constructive advice and was willing to listen to new ideas. He was generous with his advice and had a passion for sharing this. Many described Zen as one of life’s true gentlemen.
Zen was born in Greta (near Newcastle). He travelled around Europe extensively until he met his wife, Rosemary, while doing his mental health nurse training. Within six months of meeting they were married.
Zen’s interests were golf and indoor cricket. When his children developed an interest in sport he spent most of his time supporting them. He even coached his children in soccer and netball. He loved a variety of sport and followed Parramatta EELS . His other great passion was for music, which varied from rock, to country and western. Zen loved his children and never missed an opportunity to discuss their achievements.
His family and his colleagues sadly miss Zen. It has taken over a year for this history of Zen to be written, as his passing was painful for all.
Rosemary (Zen’s wife) would like to especially thank the staff from the Court Liaison Service, nursing staff from Blacktown and Cumberland and many others around the state of NSW for their support and comfort in Zen’s final weeks.
By Lee Knight, CNC, Statewide Court Liaison Service, Justice Health