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Sunday 14 May 2023
In honour of Mother’s Day this year, meet our mother-daughter duo Suzie Johnson and Louisa Fedele, who are both staff members at Austin!
Suzie started at Austin Health in 2003 as an enrolled nurse at the now closed Bowen Centre, which primarily treated patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Muscular Dystrophy and Polio. Whilst working there, Suzie completed her Bachelor of Nursing and commenced her graduate year in 2006.
“One of my rotations was on Ward 7 North, and I have never left! I think that goes a long way to say how much I love the Austin, and specifically renal nursing,” says Suzie.
Suzie worked her way up from a ‘floor’ nurse, to her current position as a Nurse Unit Manager.
“Being a shift worker meant I was absent for many things, many Mother’s Days and Christmas mornings, but I think and hope that my daughters understood; I think it has embedded in them that others are important also.”
Following in her mum’s footsteps, Louisa joined Austin Health in 2021 and is the Ward Clerk on 7 East.
“Many things enticed me to apply at the Austin, but I would say mum’s experience was my main influence,” says Louisa.
“As I’m not living at home anymore, I love still being able to see mum almost every day, whether it be carpooling to and from work together, passing each other in the corridors and having a quick hug or occasionally getting to have a coffee together.”
Louisa grew up around Austin Health, attending BBQs and family days with her mum and sister. From a young age, Suzie recognised that Louisa had a “natural talent” when it came to interacting with patients and residents. When Louisa was only 5, she would “put on a gown and gloves, and go and chat, chat, chat to the residents”.
Louisa’s desire to work at the Austin was cemented when she completed work experience on Suzie’s ward during high school.
“I think she has seen what a positive environment Austin provides, and that it would be a great place to work, I didn’t need to encourage her much! She’s doing a wonderful job on Ward 7 East, and I feel really proud when people find out she’s my daughter,” says Suzie.
“It's great to have someone close to me that understands to a degree what it's like working in healthcare; the pressures, the sadness and the joys.”
Sharing the same workplace has only further strengthened Suzie and Louisa’s bond.
Louisa shares a special message for her mum: “Happy Mother’s Day Mum! I am forever grateful and appreciative of you.”
On behalf of Austin Health, we’d like to wish all mums, and those who play an important mothering role, a very happy Mother’s Day.