When she graduated from Pimlico High School in 1986 Leonie O’Neill didn’t have far to go to land her dream job of nursing - one hundred metres up the road to the Mater Hospital at Pimlico.
For as long as she can remember, Leonie had always wanted a career in nursing.
"I can remember every fancy dress party I went to when I was little I dressed up a nurse,'' she said.
"I can remember every fancy dress party I went to when I was little I dressed up as a nurse,’’ she said.Leonie O'Neill
Encouraged by her parents, Leonie began to get serious in her teenage years about chasing her nursing dream and undertook work experience at the Mater.
`` I would also spend some of my school holidays helping out at the Mater – my parents thought it was a good idea to show how keen I was,’’ she said.
In addition Leonie trained with St Johns Ambulance and spent her weekends at sporting events.
All her efforts paid off and in 1987 she began her three year nursing training at the Mater with the Sisters of Mercy.
``We did two week blocks of education throughout the year and the rest of the time we were working in the wards as student nurses,’’ she said.
Leonie went on to work in many areas of the hospital including surgical, cardiac cath lab and ICU until she was seconded into various leadership roles. For 15 years, Leonie held the position of Assistant Director of Nursing and now has another important role as the Patient Flow Manager and Clinical Documentation specialist.
Leonie attributes her longevity at the Mater to the people she works with.
``The Mater is my second family,’’ she said.
``I have seen a lot of changes and growth but the hospital’s Mission and Values haven’t changed and the way people care and support each other has stayed the same.’’
But it is not all work and no play for Leonie.
There is nothing she likes better than hooking up the camper trailer or caravan and hitting the open road with her husband John. And the couple recently completed their ultimate road trip, spending 12 months touring Australia.