February 24, 2022

The final chapter: Elizabeth Wills retires

Elizabeth Wills is retiring today, after 47 years of working at Northern Health. She has been known for advocating tirelessly for the best outcome for every patient, working with kindness, respect and consideration of how she can positively impact every staff member.

Elizabeth reflects on how it all started.

“I was a 10 year old girl when I decided I wanted to become a nurse. I had a deep sense that I wanted to make a difference by looking after people who are unwell and needed care. In 1970, following my mother Irene’s profound footsteps, I began my career at the Warrnambool and District Base Hospital. I then made the move of a lifetime to Melbourne to undertake my Midwifery training at The Western General Footscray,” she starts.

“The greatest move of my professional life was coming to PANCH/Northern Health in May 1975 and it has been an absolute honour and a privilege to work here,” she added.

Elizabeth explains how since day one, her greatest focus of nursing has been easing the vulnerability patients can feel in their time of need.

“My mantra has always been – care for people as you would like to be cared for yourself, and your family. The same attitude is essential in the way we treat each other as health professionals. Our staff are our greatest asset,” she added.

During her time at PANCH/Northern Health, she has worked in various roles – as an ANUM on 2 North Ward, NUM on 2 West Ward, Assistant DON nurse and for the last 24 years, she has been working as Hospital Coordinator.

“Kindness and respect must be the starting point for our human interactions. This is my greatest belief and one I have tried my level best to follow all my life,” she said.

“As my retirement date from my nursing career after 52 years draws closer, I find myself reflecting back over the many decades, the changes and the progress that has been made during this time. However, the one strong constant is the care of the patient and the staff that delivers that care – this continues to be our strong foundation base and our moral compass,” Elizabeth added.

“A kaleidoscope of memories, lived experiences and the strong friendships made during this time will always hold a special place in my heart. As I look to the next chapter in my life, I wish you all the very best as Northern Health continues to progress and manage the challenges of 2022 and beyond.”

On behalf of the Access Team, Luma Gashi, Director Patient Access and Transit Lounge thanked Elizabeth for her leadership and role modelling to Access Team.

“Elizabeth has been a delight to work with, she is a respected colleague and leader who will be sadly missed. We wish Elizabeth much success and enjoyment in retirement,” she said.

Elizabeth at the start of her career