26 March 2021

Carmel Paltridge has seen a lot in her 60 years as a Registered Nurse and Midwife at St George
On 16 February 1961, Carmel started her general training as a nurse with Queensland Health.
Sixty years later, Carmel is still doing what she loves saying: “It’s easy to come to work when I love what
I do!”
For some of her colleagues, Carmel’s 60th year anniversary was a bittersweet moment as they recalled
many interactions with Carmel.
Midwife Yvonne Argent shared one of her earliest memories of working beside Carmel.
“The story I would like to tell you about is how much dedication and pride Carmel takes in her work and
caring for our community,” Yvonne said.
“Soon after I arrived in this community, Carmel introduced me to a young lady, who she had looked after
as an unwell newborn baby. She developed extremely high jaundice levels which had put her at a high
risk for brain damage.
“However, Carmel and the staff at the time at St George proceeded with an exchange transfusion on her
which was a great responsibility they all took on.
“And today the young lady is fit and well and Carmel was so proud of the team who worked together that
day to help this baby.”
As an active member for 20 years with the St George Rotary, her community spirit shines through not
just at the hospital but also in the community.
And this community spirit resonated with a story she shared with St George Hospital Senior Medical
Officer Dr Cameron Bardsley.
“Carmel is one of the wonderful ‘fixtures’ we are fortunate to have in St George and at the St George
Hospital,” Cameron said.
“She always puts the community first and this rang very true from a story she shared with me from a long
time ago about a doctor who religiously refused to work on the St George Show Day.
“One year, Carmel was working on the show day and there was a sick child that needed a doctor.
“None of the other nurses would call him as he was ‘too scary’ but she got on the loudspeaker at the
show and called out his name to come the hospital straight way!” Carmel’s line manager and A/Director of Nursing Jodie Thompson said it was wonderful for the
community that Carmel still loved nursing.
“Carmel continues to do her three nights per fortnight and will pick up an extra shift if required but not on
Wednesday as that is the day she does her community contribution at Vinnies (St Vincent’s),” Jodie said.
“Carmel loves this weekly visit as she gets to spend time with her long term nursing friend there.
“I have only been Carmel’s manager for just over 12 months and have found her to be a very
knowledgeable staff member who loves her job.”
One thing for certain is that Carmel’s love for nursing and the St George community is still as strong as
the day she started.
Congratulations Carmel on your 60 years with Queensland Health!