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11th May 2021

I rise to acknowledge international nurses and midwives week. I wish to offer my apologies first and foremost to Kyle Penhaligon, the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union, the Nambour General Hospital—our wonderful hospital of the hinterland—and the nurses and midwives of our region. Unfortunately, I cannot be with you all for breakfast tomorrow morning. Tomorrow we celebrate Nurses Day. In this chamber where we sit I have a great friend in the member for Greenslopes, who is himself a former nurse. I applaud him and his tireless service, which was recently seen in the long walk for Parkinson’s disease. I also thank the member for Mudgeeraba.

I would like to have recorded in this chamber the contribution of Ms Jean Haimes, the nurse manager at Nambour General Hospital. Jean has worked at Nambour General Hospital since the 1970s. Prior to that she worked in Bundaberg, Longreach and Roma. Even though Jean is now a manager, I am reliably informed that she is still rolling her sleeves up and performing the tasks required of a nurse every day. Jean has had an amazing career. All of our nurses are amazing. Jean embodies that sense of duty, compassion and empathy. This willingness to put others first and assist the most vulnerable in our communities is the character of our nurses and midwives. Jean’s many years of service and the affection that her colleagues and community have for her are truly well deserved.

I ask all of us in the community to thank our nurses and midwives—not just tomorrow or during nurses week but every day. In these uncertain times of the pandemic, our health professionals have kept us safe. They have been our front line. They have held the torch for us all. In the words of Winston Churchill, never before have so many owed so much to so few. In parting, I would like to acknowledge my partner Agnes and her work in aged care and all those nurses working there as well.

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