Sr Catherine Cuddihy finally hung up her boots this month following a lengthy 45-year commitment to serving the community, with locals coming together to recognise the retirement of one of Townsville’s greats.
Beginning her time inside Mater Private Hospital Townsville's walls when she was born in 1946, Sr Catherine returned as a registered nurse in 1979 where she has since been foundational to the hospital’s footprint across the community, known for remaining steadfast in her commitment to the Mission and Values.
Playing an integral role within the Sisters of Mercy across Queensland, particularly the Townsville Congregation since 1964, Sr Catherine has long committed her career to combine pastoral care and clinical excellence to deliver the most compassionate care to any patient that crossed her path.
With one long record of studies, the notable local is also no stranger to the classroom, having undertaken courses right across the country at Queensland’s McAuley College, Queensland University of Technology, and Australian Catholic University, along with St. Vincent’s Hospital and Charles Sturt University.
As a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia and long-term advocate for underprivileged patients and families, many across Mater have commended Sr Catherine for her work supporting refugee families, people suffering from mental health issues, and women in vulnerable situations.
Mater Health Regional Executive Director Gerard Wyvill said Sr Catherine is a much-loved and well-respected member of the Mater family.
“Sr Catherine epitomises our Mater Mission and Values, with her love and compassion for our Ministry something that she will be forever recognised for,” Mr Wyvill said.
“Not only is Sr Catherine an unsung hero across our hospital for her countless hours of generous work over 45 years’ of service at Mater, but she is also an inspiration to the entire community of Northern Queensland for her unwavering commitment to generosity, selflessness and unconditional care.
“Having seen Mater through its humble beginnings as a small cottage hospital in West End, Sr Catherine’s connection to Mater has seen us grow into Queensland’s largest Catholic not-for-profit healthcare provider, now delivering clinical expertise and compassionate healthcare to more people across Queensland than ever before.
“Although Sr Catherine has been one of the final Sisters of Mercy to continue working at Mater here in Townsville, collectively, the Sisters remain ever-present on our hospital grounds and their passion for putting patients first will continue to guide generations of Mater staff well into the future.”
“The legacy of the Sisters of Mercy is vibrant across the Townsville community, most recently with the acknowledgment of the Sisters through the naming of our $52M specialist surgery centre, known as The Mercy Centre.”
Now looking back on her years as she celebrates stepping into retirement, Sr Catherine stands at 75 years’ of age just as the Mater in Townsville stands for its 75th year too.