Patty Spears – A Life Spent Making a Difference

At the age of 17 Patty Spears embarked on a nursing career in Griffith, New South Wales.

Since then Patty has approached her nursing with passion and commitment. Even a short break to raise her young family was interrupted by a nursing shortage, “I went back when Junelle was only probably 6 weeks old.

In 1987 the Spears family moved to Melbourne and Patty obtained permanent employment at Frankston Hospital. “This was the first job I’ve applied for,” adds Patty.

That was 37 years ago and now, on the eve of her retirement, Patty Spears shared some of the highlights of her nursing career.

In addition to her many senior roles, which have included setting up staffing banks, allocations and coordinating duties, Patty has been at the forefront of some impressive government health initiatives.

Throughout 1999 Patty was involved in setting up and running a hospital and other medical facilities at the Portsea Quarantine Station, which housed 300 Kosovo refugees during Operation Safe Haven. This was a joint venture between the Army and Health Department, and at the time was part of the largest humanitarian activity undertaken by Australia.

I still remember the seven bus loads that turned up that night and we just worked with all of them at the army barracks.”

This was followed by a nursing recruitment drive that saw Patty travel to the UK and South Africa. An endeavour she is immensely proud of. “We got 55 nurses and brought them back. A lot of them are still here!” Patty said.

Currently Patty is the Clinical Coordinator of Orthopaedics in the waitlist department.

But it’s not just her nursing horizons Patty has broadened during her time at Frankston – she has also added to her culinary skills! Her colleague and good friend Sharma “taught us all how to make satays and curry puffs,” recalls Patty.

It is these friendships that Patty hopes to enjoy a lot more in her retirement. “I’ve made so many good friends here and I’ve worked with so many people and we’re still all together.”

We wish Patty all the best in retirement.