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Surprised, overwhelmed and grateful are the words Jacquie Smith has used to describe being awarded the prestigious title of Metro South Health Midwife of the Year for 2023.
Jacquie, now the Service Line Director for Women’s and Children’s Services at Logan Hospital, has had a long career in healthcare, starting work as a nurse in the UK in 1989 and becoming a midwife shortly after that in 1994.
“Midwifery is something I wanted to do since I was at school,” Jacquie said.
“It is such a wonderful profession – spending time with a woman and their family in one of the most intimate and special times in their lives is a privileged position to be in.
“In the UK in the 1980’s, there wasn’t direct-entry midwifery, so I had to do nursing first.
“I don’t regret this; I have great memories of being a student nurse and as I look back over my career, it’s been advantageous to be both a nurse and midwife in the roles I have held.”
Jacquie immigrated to Australia in 2004 and has held many leadership roles within women’s and children’s services including Nursing and Midwifery Director and Facility Manager at Beaudesert Hospital for the last 10 years until March this year.
“I feel very blessed to have been on the career journey I have had to date,” Jacquie said.
“I’m grateful for the opportunities and the surprises as they all teach you something and your tool kit becomes all the richer for it.”
What interests Jacquie most about working in healthcare is having a positive impact on people’s lives, and on those challenging days, she turns to her colleagues, family, fur babies and a little thing called self-care to remind her that no matter how small it may seem, she is still making a difference.
“I love engaging with women and families, and the partnerships we foster through our Maternal and Child Health Hubs.
“I have a desire to make a difference and I enjoy encouraging others to learn and develop.
“I also have a passion for creating an environment for our staff to flourish and grow and am a strong believer that leaders need to demonstrate and promote what they wish to see in others.”
Jacquie has worked with various teams over the years to redesign and transform clinical areas with some of her many career highlights including bringing birthing services back to Beaudesert Hospital in 2014 and receiving a national award for the service in 2022.
“It’s always a highlight when you nurture, coach and mentor the next generation of leaders, then you see them succeed and achieve their goals,” she said.
More recently, achieving this new role and receiving this award have been highpoints for Jacquie.
“The future is exciting at Logan Hospital, and I’m hopeful for this new chapter ahead,” she said.
“It is such a humbling thing to know that people have taken the time to nominate you for an award. So, I would love to say to those people, I am blessed and honoured – thank you!”
Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Jacquie!