A spirited activist

Katalin (Kathy) Parker

31 March 1958-14 March 2009

Kathy Parker lived life to the full. Her personality and sense of purpose attracted other people to her, of all ages and various walks of life. She was born in Kogarah, NSW, the younger twin of two daughters, followed by her brother George.

Kathy’s parents were originally from Budapest, Hungary, and settled in Blacktown. She attended Maryong South and Doonside Technical School, where she excelled as a student. Kathy continued studying and researching all her life and attained many distinctions.

Kathy left school to become a Dental Nurse where she worked at the Children’s Hospital Camperdown for 21 years and then transferred with the Dental Clinic to the new Westmead Children’s Hospital where she played a big role in ensuring the smooth transition of the Dental Clinic to the new Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Kathy moved to Umina on the central Coast after marrying her husband Colin in 1987 and still carried on working at the Children’s Hospital for another three years

In 1998 Kathy studied again and became an Enrolled Nurse and began working at the Woy Woy Rehabilitation Unit on the Central Coast until its closure last year. She was very passionate about her work and became very involved in the NSWNA, where she fought for better conditions for her fellow workers and the patients. Kathy was Secretary for the Woy Woy Branch when the Rehabilitation section was closed last Christmas. Kathy very strongly and loudly expressed her beliefs of unfairness to the ‘Peninsula patients’ at the Rehabilitation unit before it closed, right up until she was suddenly taken from us on 14 March 2009.

Kathy had a photographic memory and was always researching one disease or another and if anybody needed help with assignments she would be there. This included family or work colleagues. Kathy was the first EN to become endorsed in the Woy Woy Rehabilitation Unit, and she encouraged other ENs on the ward to complete their endorsement as well as offering to help them with their studies.

Many people thought Kathy should have gone on to do her Bachelor of Nursing or that she could have completed a Medical Degree. Work was her life and she gained a wealth of practical experience both as a Dental Nurse and as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse.

Kathy very much enjoyed her ‘crime stories’ – both fact and fiction – as well as the numerous television series. Kathy was a spirited woman who would fight for what she believed in. She will be sadly missed by her family, friends and colleagues.

Kathy is survived by her husband Colin, two children, Veronica and Adam, and two grandchildren, Noah and Zanda.

By Karen Dobbs, RN, Woy Woy Hospital