Building a better Shire: How Belinda is leading the way in Maternal and Child Health Services at Cardinia Shire Council

Growing up in South East Melbourne and training as a Nurse and Midwife, Belinda has built a rewarding career at Cardinia Shire Council. Now, as a Team Leader of Maternal and Child Health Services, she’s creating extraordinary opportunities for MCH nursing students, as well as improving the community around her.

Finding a calling

Belinda is a dedicated healthcare professional who has been in the industry for more than 25 years. With a passion for helping others and enabling them to grow, she’s built an illustrious career in Maternal and Child Health Services
at Cardinia Shire Council.

From an early age Belinda found her calling and ignited her passion for the healthcare industry.

“I grew up in Berwick and now live in Narre Warren – so, I’ve just hopped over one postcode,” she laughs. “I always wanted to be a midwife. My first job while I was still in high school was at Berwick Hospital, doing suppers a couple of nights a week. And then, when I finished high school, I went to do a degree in nursing and midwifery.”

Having completed her graduate degree, Belinda worked as a Midwife for 11 years and gained invaluable front-line experience before pursuing a 1-year full-time Master of Nursing in Child Family and Community. After finishing the course, Belinda decided to try her luck and apply for a job at Cardinia Shire Council – and the rest, you could say, is history.

“I just thought, you know what? I’m going to send them a letter. Just an EOI, along with my CV. And I was surprised when, a week later, they contacted me and invited me for an interview for a casual position, which was exactly what I was looking for.”

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Nurturing growth and learning

Belinda’s been with Cardinia since 2012 and is now the Team Leader of Maternal and Child Health Services. Her day-to-day is busy with managing team schedules and making sure all centres and home visits have nurses allocated to run support sessions for new parents.

“I am one of four Team Leaders who have 12 to 15 employees in their individual teams. As well as planning the operational side of service delivery, I’m there for employees to run questions by me and I try to support them in any way I can. Basically to keep things running smoothly and make sure the wheels don’t fall off!”

And, if that wasn’t enough, she attends leadership meetings for the Community and Family Services division, as well as mentoring Cardinia’s future workforce.

“Another part of my portfolio is that I ensure our uni students on placement have preceptors, making sure they’ve booked in their clinical days with us. I also support our graduate MCH nurses, guiding their transition into being new practitioners and coordinating and delivering study days for them as well.”

Belinda has been an instrumental part in the growth and success of the Maternal and Child Health Services at Cardinia Shire Council. Through her engagement with vested stakeholders, she was pivotal in building relationships with two major universities.

Her reputation as a supportive mentor has meant that most MCH student nurses who’ve been through Cardinia’s student program want to commence their career at Cardinia Shire Council because of their positive experience.

Extraordinary opportunities for the future

Along with creating a positive impact in her workplace, Belinda contributes to making the shire a better place. As a self-professed “committee queen”, Belinda stays active and engaged in her community.

“I’ve always been on committees,” she says. “From fundraising committees through my kids’ journey through primary school to volunteering as a class helper – helping with reading and going on camps and excursions. Being a nurse, I was a first aider on my son’s football team. I’ve been team manager, treasurer and secretary, so it definitely keeps me busy.

“Where I spend my time outside of work, being with my kids, I love it. I love that connection – the friendships you develop along the way with people in the community, that’s really special.”

As one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia, Cardinia Shire Council plays an important role in creating space for its new residents. It’s people like Belinda who are leading the way by ensuring that Cardinia fosters an inclusive and supportive environment.

“My hope is that I participate in making our service better, which means meeting the diverse needs of our community. I love seeing the shire blossom and grow. I want to create opportunities in a supportive and nurturing environment.”

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