NEW START: Telicia Nichols, Alycee Hustler, Tracey-lee Maher, Faith Nelson and Tim Gall at the welcome party.
NEW START: Telicia Nichols, Alycee Hustler, Tracey-lee Maher, Faith Nelson and Tim Gall at the welcome party. Cameron McPhee

Cully nursing a new director

THERE is a new face on the Cunnamulla health scene.

Staff at the Cunnamulla hospital gathered on Monday to welcome the new director of nursing and facility manager Tracey-lee Maher to the team.

Mrs Maher, a well-travelled clinical nurse with more than 19 years' experience, has moved to Cunnamulla with her young family to take up the position.

Raised in Cooktown, Mrs Maher obtained her nursing degree through James Cook University in Far North Queensland and then worked at hospitals at Logan, Beaudesert, Jimboomba and Palm Island.

"Growing up in Cooktown, I have always loved rural and remote areas and have spent much of my nursing career developing my skills in regional areas,” Mrs Maher said.

"I wanted to return to rural and remote Queensland to live and work and contribute where health care is most needed.

"My husband Hamish spent the early years of his life in Cunnamulla, so Cunnamulla seemed like a good place for our family to move to.

"I personally have loved being in Cunnamulla since we arrived in February. Hamish and our three children are also settling in well.

"Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful.

"We have been busy meeting people, settling in and seeing the countryside.

"I have already been privileged to experience a heat wave when we first arrived, a dust storm, a dry flood, and a little bit of rain.”

Mrs Maher said rural and remote nursing was both challenging and rewarding.

"Health care is managed and delivered very differently in rural and remote areas. It's much more personal,” she said.

"The ability to provide excellent health care and really make a difference in health for communities that need it the most is one of the greatest rewards of working in regional areas.”

Mrs Maher said she and her family were looking forward to getting to know more of the community as they continued to settle into the town.

During her nursing career, Mrs Maher has worked in a range of nursing areas including, medical, surgical, paediatrics, emergency, maternity and child, youth and family health.

"I have also worked in a number of different nursing positions, including registered nurse, midwife, clinical nurse and nurse manager,” she said.

South West Hospital and Health Service executive director of nursing and midwifery Chris Small said Mrs Maher was a welcome addition to the region's nursing ranks.

"She is a highly experienced nurse and midwife with a wide range of clinical and administrative skills that will be of great benefit to the Cunnamulla community,” he said.