With the retirement of Maternal and Child Health nurse, Jenny Brown after 35 years of service, an era has ended where two generations of babies in some Mansfield families have had the same Maternal and Child Health nurse.
Mansfield Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM said babies who are now young women and men that Ms Brown met through her work, are having babies of their own.
“It’s been a remarkable service to our community. We thank Jenny for her care and nurturing of both babies and their wider families, but especially their mothers. We know the early years covered by the Maternal and Child Health service are critical in a child’s development and a vital time to provide support to parents” Cr Attley said.
Jenny began her career at Mansfield Shire Council on 5 February 1987 as the Maternal and Child Health Nurse, after working at Eildon and District Community Hospital.
Jenny took over the role from Mary Usher, also a long term Maternal and Child Health Nurse. Jenny started as a solo practitioner in the service which saw many changes within the role resulting in working in a multi-disciplinary team.
During her time with Council, Jenny took two lots of extended leave to volunteer with Australian Volunteers International. One trip was to Mongolia and the other in East Timor, providing Maternal and Child Health Services to these countries.
During 2015, Jenny and the Maternal and Child Health Service moved to the new Family and Children’s Centre in Davies Street. However, the ‘old’ Maternal and Child Health Centre will forever be ‘Jenny Brown’s’ office, to many of the town’s young people.
“Many of the families wanted to acknowledge Jenny’s significant and very supportive contribution to their family and to family life in our community,” Cr Attley said.
Jeanette Kelleher, mother of Emily Kelleher is one local woman where two generations of babies have had Jenny as their nurse.
“Jenny was fabulous; so easy to communicate with and always ready to listen. Jenny interacted very well with my daughter and later my grandchildren,” Jeanette Kelleher said.
Emily Kelleher said Jenny Brown was an integral part of her journey as a mother.
“I will always cherish the memories of Jenny and our mothers’ group. She was there to celebrate our milestones, have a laugh and listen, and provide invaluable advice and support. Thank you so much Jenny,” Emily said.
Narelle Rademaker is the mother of four girls who all experienced the Jenny Brown touch.
“Jenny has been a constant source of support for me since I had my first daughter Ruby, in 2011. We got to know each other well as I continued to have three more daughters (Alice, Isabelle and Nellie) over the following eight years. With children so close in age, we often had double appointments with Jenny when two daughters were due for check-ups. Jenny always took a keen interest in the children, however what I found most helpful, was her genuine kindness in supporting me, as a mother. Making sure that I was looking after myself, had support when needed, and was coping with all the pressure that comes with being a mum. Jenny would often end our appointments with “keep up the good work”. This is not something you hear very often as a mother, so it landed on welcome ears. To this day, the older children and I refer to the building and pathway as “the Jenny Brown way” when selecting which way to ride our bikes,” Ms Rademaker said.
Ms Rademaker wanted to thank Jenny for everything she had done for the family through the years.
“Your support, guidance and friendship have helped me to become the mother I am today. All the best in your retirement and embracing those adored grandchildren of yours,” she said.
Cr Attley and CEO, Kaylene Conrick met with Jenny to personally thank her for fabulous service with Council.
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