How did you get into this line of work?
I originally trained as a geologist before retraining as a nurse and have since had a varied career in clinical, operation and leadership roles in Australia, the UK and New Zealand. When I first started my career, I never dreamed I would end up involved in the design and planning of hospitals – and have already done the early design work in Christchurch on the Waipapa building and then was lucky enough to work on models of care and operational readiness for the West Coast Hospital (te Nikau). It just goes to show that anything is possible.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. The people. The people. The people.
What are some of the big projects you’ve done in your career?
As well as being Southern DHB’s Programme Director for the new Dunedin hospital, I’m also the Southern COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Incident Controller. While that’s exciting and important, it is a complex logistical task, given the sheer volumes of people we need to reach, the geographical size of our district, and logistical constraints of the Pfizer vaccine. I’m loving helping the team roll out the vaccine programme and keep our community safe.
What do you enjoy about working on the New Dunedin Hospital project?
As a clinician, it’s really exciting for all of us to be involved in the design of the new hospital. And it is challenging too – over the next 8 years there will be many advances in how we treat people, how - and where - care is delivered and how technology plays a part. Planning for the future is a real art and I admire the teamwork approach our people are taking – it isn’t easy.
What’s your advice for people wanting to get into the industry?
I think of myself as a lifetime learner. Venture out of your comfort zone – try something new. I did, and I’ve never looked back!