Marilyn Slark's chosen career was never in doubt – in fact, it was in her blood.
The Buderim Private Hospital nurse and midwife, who retired in late 2021 after a 48-year career, said she never doubted her path.
“I always knew I would become a nurse, so it really wasn’t a difficult choice for me and I have never regretted my decision,” she said.
“My Mum was also a nurse and recognised and supported the qualities in me like compassion, empathy and a good work ethic.”
Marilyn started her training in 1973 at The Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals in Sydney, which were the teaching facilities for the University of New South Wales, after moving to the city from her home in regional Coonabarabran.
Graduating in 1976, she nursed in hospitals in Gosford and Coonabarabran before moving to the United Kingdom and nursing in Hereford and Plymouth.
There she decided to pursue her love and passion for midwifery and undertook additional studies to achieve a formal qualification to complement her general nursing.
On returning to Australia, Marilyn lived in Brisbane and worked as a midwife at Sunnybank Private Hospital for 20 years.
She has spent the past 13 years at Buderim Private Hospital on the Sunshine Coast.
Marilyn said she had enjoyed all aspects of nursing over the years, particularly supporting and encouraging new parents to enjoy their babies.
“I have truly loved the role of supporting a mother and their family during and after the birth, and consider it an absolute privilege to focus on them and their needs,” she said.
“It’s a very humbling experience to be there during a very special and private time in their life.”
The next chapter for Marilyn will involve travel, enjoying time with friends, gardening, cooking, sewing and spending time with her precious grandchildren.
“I will definitely miss working with a lovely group of midwives and being part of a team environment, and of course, all the mums and babies,” she said.
“Part of me will always remain unchanged despite my retirement.
“I have a passion for looking after people and believe children and babies are extremely special, so I will continue to nurture in whatever role I play in the future.”