With a combined 135 years of nursing experience between them, three nurses from the Wimmera Health Care Group were recognised for the exceptional care they have provided to the community.
Mary Wilkie, Susan Barber and Yvonne Binns celebrated 45 years at the health service at an award ceremony earlier this month.
Wimmera Health Care Group chief executive Catherine Morley congratulated the three women on their years of service.
"There would not be many workplaces that could claim to have an employee loyal enough to commit 45 years of service," she said.
"We have three nurses celebrating that milestone this year alone.
"Wimmera Health Care Group is very fortunate to have employees with such outstanding dedication to their role and commitment to caring for our community."
Ms Wilkie started her career working on ward five at the old Wimmera hospital. She later worked as an associate charge nurse and a night duty nurse for several years.
When the new hospital was built, Mary worked in the Wyuna ward until it was combined with the Oxley ward. She relocated and has since worked at the district nursing service.
Ms Wilkie said working at the district nursing service department was enjoyable due to her colleagues and clients' support.
Colleague Jill Roberts said Ms Wilkie had worked in district nursing for more than 20 years and had formed many friendships over the years.
"Mary is a good communicator who is well liked by clients and team members. Mary has decided to stay on for a while, so we'll have her knowledge for a little longer yet," she said.
Ms Binns worked in most areas of the old Wimmera hospital, including five years in ICU and 12 years at the Sir Robert Menzies nursing home as an associate charge nurse.
During her time at the Sir Robert Menzies nursing home, Ms Binns tutored off-campus education for Ballarat University with first-year Bachelor of Nursing students.
She, like Ms Wilkie, had since transitioned to the district nursing service, which she said was her favourite workplace.
Ms Binns said she has fond memories of working with the District Nurses team.
"Lots of funny things have happened, but what happens in district nursing stays in district nursing," she said.
She said the favourite part was working in the palliative care area and orienting new team members.
Ms Roberts said Ms Binns had taken on several leadership roles in her 20 years with the District Nursing service and was a reliable and hardworking nurse who was highly respected.
"She has a wealth of knowledge in community nursing and will be sadly missed by clients, families and team members," she said.
Ms Barber started training at the Wimmera Base Hospital straight from high school as a 17-year-old in 1975.
She moved to the Dimboola District Hospital in 1978 and worked across aged care, acute care, district and community nursing and as a practice nurse for the past 29 years.
Susan said her nursing colleagues and other team members who she has worked with over the years were terrific, dedicated rural health workers, and she was thankful to spend her career working with them.
Colleague Cathy Ivett has worked with Ms Barber for 11 years and described her as extremely professional and down-to-earth.
"She makes working at the Medical Centre very easy," she said.
"Nothing is too much trouble for her. She is always very approachable, an absolute delight to work with and a major asset to our team.
"Each year she says that this will be her last but then another year comes and goes. Who knows how long we'll be lucky enough to have her as an employee of Wimmera Health Care Group."
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