Marea Seberry retired in July after 43 years’ nursing practice.
Marea was a devoted and dedicated nurse – committed to providing quality nursing with the individual’s care, protection and comfort the cornerstone of her long practice.
Born in Gulgong Hospital, Marea was raised in Dunedoo. She eventually followed her older sister Carmel into nursing, despite a long-held ambition to be a kindergarten teacher.
Marea commenced her training at Rachel Foster Hospital Redfern in 1962 as a very shy teenager of 17. She was
a recipient of the Best Practical Nurse award during her second year.
At the completion of her training, Marea worked as a private nurse before travelling to the UK – a rite of passage in those times for many young Australians.
Her long-held desire to work with children led her to complete midwifery training at the Royal Infirmary in Stirling, Scotland. Marea also spent time on the Isle of Man, as Surgical Staff Nurse, before returning to Scotland and the Braeholm Maternity Hospital in Helensborough.
Returning to Australia, Marea worked as a DC Sister at Dunedoo Hospital and, in 1970, she was appointed Director of Nursing there.
During her stay at Dunedoo, romance blossomed between Marea and the only doctor in town. Dr Ian Campbell and Marea married in 1976, but unfortunately Ian passed away in 1979.
Marea completed the Mothercraft Certificate because of the number of mothers and babies presenting at the hospital.
In 1980, Marea moved to Walgett as the Walgett Shire Community Health Nurse. She very quickly discovered her constituency was mostly ‘mums and bubs’.
In 1982 Marea ventured to the coast to take up a position as the Baby Health Sister for the Macleay Shire. Despite the enormity of the role and a prodigious birth rate in the area, she managed this as a sole practitioner until 1988, when she further diversified as a Generalist Community Nurse, CNS and Nurse Audiometrist at Kempsey Community Health.
Marea agreed to fill the position of Acting Nurse Unit Manager in 1989 –a position held with enormous skill and gratitude from her colleagues until her retirement.
The loss of someone as respected as Marea is laden with sadness. Her friendship, skills and camaraderie will be sorely missed. However, the thought of her long discussed and deserved retirement plans finally being implemented brings joy to all of us.
Les Simons NUM, Community Health Kempsey
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