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Local intensive care nurse and Diploma of Nursing team leader, Tara, leads by example

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Born and bred North Queenslander, Tara, holds significant history with Mater, having served her community in healthcare for over 12 years. Every day, she brings her positive energy to her role as Team Lead for the Townsville Diploma of Nursing program, where she makes a difference to the lives of our students. 

“I grew up in Bowen and moved to Townsville prior to high school. I have completed high school, my undergraduate and postgraduate studies including my Masters in Nursing all in Townsville, and worked at both hospitals in town.”

While Tara never planned on being a nurse, she followed in her best friend’s footsteps and once she got into the profession she discovered her passion for critical care.

“My best friend was studying nursing and it looked like fun so I decided to follow her into the industry. Once studying, I was motivated to explore critical care, as I watched my grandfather go through a valve replacement when I was a teenager. I found it fascinating that invasive lines attached to a person could keep them alive. Twelve years of intensive care nursing later, I was the one managing those invasive lines, and supporting the families like mine who were going through that experience.”

“I developed my love for education while studying my masters and working at the local university assisting in tutorials and labs. I undertook further studies, so I could teach the Diploma of Nursing which is what I’ve been doing for 18 months with Mater Education.” 

Tara’s role is multifaceted, where she manages all educators of the Townsville Diploma of Nursing program and works with the wider Mater team to coordinate simulations and placements for students. 

“I love how every day there is a new challenge, different students and new information to share. I also work with an amazing team of educators who have such a wealth of experience across fields such as cardiac, intensive care and midwifery, which really enables our students to receive a broad wealth of knowledge. I am passionate about this course. This is a great course which, in a short 18 months, can make an Enrolled Nurse (EN). EN’s are such an asset to the workforce and I look forward to being part of their journey and watching them contribute to the workforce.”

When asked what she finds most rewarding, Tara answered, “The students that I taught last year have now graduated and I feel this overwhelming sense of pride seeing them as graduate EN’s. I remember our first day at Mater Education, where some of them were fresh out of school, some mature aged students and others who made big sacrifices to study. They are now able to have a career out of this course. That makes my heart smile.”

Learn from experienced and passionate educators like Tara in our Townsville Diploma of Nursing program, offered in January and July annually.

Pictured: Tara at the recent Townsville Careers Expo, representing Mater Education and speaking to future nurses.