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Beth's story

Monday, 10 April 2017

Beth's story

For more than 37 years, Beth Burt has been part of what she refers to as her ‘Mater family’.

Whether caring for Mater mums and their families, sharing a cup of tea with a colleague during a difficult moment, or leading her teams to provide compassionate care, Beth embodies the Mater Values.

After completing her midwifery training at Mater in 1976, Beth spent time practising in Far North Queensland, before returning to Mater in 1980. It would be the beginning of a career spanning more than three decades, during which time her children were born, and lives shaped by Beth’s Mater family.

“Being here has definitely shaped my children’s lives. They grew up around Mater People who showed an unwavering commitment to their jobs, and would see our staff go above and beyond the call of duty every day.

“My daughter Sam now works here in our Neonatal Critical Care Unit—so Mater really is my family!”

Throughout her 37 years, there’s one role which stands out; a period of time where Beth worked with Mater’s Dr John Gilmour to develop communication around Mater’s Mission and Values.

“John was our Director of Mission and Ethics at the time, and I worked with him as Coordinator to communicate our Mission and Values to Mater People.

“A key way of doing that during those times involved going to each area with posters and information about our Values and how they are demonstrated at Mater every day.

“It was a great way to actually meet our staff—even if it took two days to get around the entire campus!”

For Beth, our people have always demonstrated the Values because ‘it’s part of who were are’.

“I don’t know if Mater People truly know how they impact the lives of those around them, be it patients or colleagues, because we don’t often see ourselves as doing something extraordinary.

“It’s almost as though we see it as part of who we are; and we just get on with it." 

When asked if a particular moment has stayed with her during her time at Mater, Beth recalls a heartbreaking example of a mother’s love for her child.

“I remember once we had a mum whose baby was diagnosed with anencephaly (a brain abnormality), and was told that her baby would not survive after birth.

“After her baby was born, she stayed with him at Mater Mothers for five days, until he passed away.

“We did all we could support her during that time, and I remember asking her about her journey.

“She told me that God had blessed her with this baby, and it was her job to give him as much love as she possibly could during his life.

“It broke my heart to be honest; to witness that raw love of a mother for her child during such awful circumstances,” Beth said.

As she prepares for the end of her Mater journey, Beth is ready for what the next chapter will bring.

“I’ve always loved change—I’ve enjoyed watching how we care for women has progressed during the past 40 years—so, now it’s just change on a different level.

“Bring on the next chapter!”

Posted: 10/04/2017 9:47:26 AM by News @ Mater | with 0 comments

Tags: Mater Mothers' Hospitals, The Heart of Mater

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