IN just a month’s time the Goulburn Valley will bid adieu to one of its most wonderful carers, when GV Hospice Care Services executive manager, Carmel Smith hangs up her hat after 15 years in her role.
Caring for others has been a way of life for Carmel, which can be seen through her dedication to 45 years in nursing. Carmel began her nursing career at the Peter Mac Cancer Centre in Melbourne, before becoming the first school nurse at Notre Dame College when it amalgamated. She also carried out nursing positions with GV Health and in Echuca where she helped to set up their first oncology unit, before returning to Shepparton and doing the same thing at the Shepparton Private Hospital and then moving on to the role many know her for with GV Hospice Care Services.
Carmel sat down with The Adviser to talk about her career and the importance and difference that caring can make to a person’s life.
“It’s been an amazing ride working with hospice. It’s a real special service. It’s a wonderful thing to be out there caring for the community,” Carmel said.
“The fact that you’ve made a difference in people’s lives is pretty special.”
“I’m a big believer in the fact that you might be able to fix people’s pain but spending time listening is very important.
“45 years is a long time to be doing something you love and it has been a great career.
“I’ve always loved it. It so special to have someone be so grateful to you for doing your job.
“My most memorable moment is helping to set up the oncology units in Echuca and at Shepparton Private Hospital and knowing that they are still operating is nice.
“I always had a passion and love for cancer nursing. I love the personal element and being able to sit with people and families and give them the time.
“I was recently contacted by Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy who has asked for me to chair a panel that will assess palliative care funding in Victoria. I decided this is something I feel is an important thing for me to do and I have a unique perspective on the service and its importance to rural and regional areas so I will be taking up the opportunity which will start this month. If I can influence the funding for palliative care and help get some new money to the communities where it is needed that would be something pretty special.
“I am excited for the next chapter,” Carmel said.