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Farewell to Louise Moonen after 40 fabulous years in healthcare!

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19th December, 2023

Immunology Technical Assistant at NSW Health Pathology’s Newcastle laboratory, Louise Moonen, looks back on her career which began in nursing in the 1980s.

Louise began her train­ing as an enrolled nurse in 1982 at St Joseph’s Home Sandgate on the west­ern out­skirts of Newcastle.

“This was a teach­ing hos­pi­tal back in the day, tak­ing in 25 or so appli­cants every year,” she said.

“Being trained by the nuns, who were very strict but com­pas­sion­ate, I believe made us bet­ter and more car­ing nurses.”

Louise then worked as an Occu­pa­tion­al Ther­a­py Tech­ni­cal Assis­tant from 1990 to 1996 and from there moved into pathol­o­gy, work­ing as a tech­ni­cal assis­tant from 1996 to 2023.

She admits her move into pathol­o­gy was quite accidental.

“In 1995 St Joseph’s was to be tak­en over by the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment and those who want­ed to retain their ben­e­fits were to be re-employed in sim­i­lar posi­tions at the var­i­ous pub­lic hos­pi­tals in the Hunter.

“Pathol­o­gy was picked for me so off I went.

“It was very daunt­ing at first as there was so much to learn and retain and I need­ed to train at three dif­fer­ent hos­pi­tals – the John Hunter Hos­pi­tal, the Mater and the Roy­al New­cas­tle Hos­pi­tal where I was to be employed.

“The best times of my career were at ‘The Roy­al’ as I’m sure every­one who worked there in the 80s and 90s would agree.

“The lab was small­er, and we were a very close-knit group. Plus, we got to look out at those mil­lion-dol­lar ocean views!”

Since the birth of her son in 1999, Louise has been work­ing in the lab­o­ra­to­ry two days a week, so she’s con­fi­dent she’ll adjust to retired life.

“I’ll have anoth­er day to go to the gym or catch up with friends for cof­fee. Maybe I’ll take up golf and join my hus­band on the course. Trav­el to Cana­da and Croa­t­ia are on our wish list as well,” she says.

“It goes with­out say­ing I will miss my work­mates and the ban­ter and laughs often at my expense!! When you work with col­leagues for a long time they become like fam­i­ly, and you share each oth­er’s joys and sor­rows. No one will call me ‘Lady Louise’ at home like they do in Immunol­o­gy!”

You will be missed just as much by your col­leagues, Louise – we wish you every hap­pi­ness in retirement!



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