OAM in Maclean nurse?s mail
By SALLY GORDON
WHEN Maclean District Hospital nurse manager Anne Farrell recently flicked through her mail she eyed a conspicuous envelope with the word 'confidential' scrawled across it.
Mrs Farrell took no notice, choosing instead to hide the letter under a pile of mail while she had guests. She left it sitting there for a while.
But when the Maclean woman finally decided to open the mysterious letter, she was shocked to find she had been named a 2006 Order of Australia Medal recipient.
The award recognises Mrs Farrell's service to nursing and to the community of Maclean.
"I'm not a public person, I hate being in the public eye ... I just do what I do because I love it," Mrs Farrell said of her accolade.
"I always wanted to be a nurse ... and if I had my life again I'd do it exactly the same."
The mother of three has been nursing since 1966. She was the nurse unit manager at Maclean hospital from 1987 to 1995 and now is Maclean's nurse manager.
Mrs Farrell has worked at a number of hospitals, including Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby and Brisbane's Mater Mothers.
The OAM recipient said it was the challenge of caring for people day in and day out that kept her passionate about the job.
"The difficult situations is what keeps me going," she said.
"The difficulty is what inspires me."
Mrs Farrell said nursing in a regional hospital was a world away from the working environment of her city counterparts.
"Working in a regional hospital is about getting transport for someone who needs a meal, medication for someone who doesn't have money or access to things, it's about getting everyone from A to B," Mrs Farrell said.