A registered nurse of more than 30 years, Maree Burgess has spent the past four years as the ANMF Victorian Branch President before being elected to the ANMF Federal Vice President’s role.
Maree completed her general nurse training at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and her graduate year working in a haematology and oncology unit. She went on to complete her midwifery training at the Mercy Hospital, where she worked predominantly as a domiciliary midwife.
Maree has since found her calling in maternal and child health and now works for local government in a high-need area in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. In this role, she regularly provides care for migrant, refugee and vulnerable families. Maree holds a Diploma of Applied Science (Community Health) and a Bachelor of Education.
Through the ANMF Victorian Branch, Maree began as a job rep in 2004 and joined the Council in 2008 before becoming President in 2010. As the ANMF Federal Vice President, Maree is looking forward to broadening her gaze to tackle issues that affect nurses and midwives at a national level.
Ensuring a safe working environment for nurses amid the escalating rates of violence and aggression is vital, as is securing more jobs for nursing and midwifery graduates. “When there is so much talk from the government about perceived shortages, it’s appalling we can’t find positions for a large number of graduates.”
Improving aged care is also an issue close to Maree’s heart. “My own mother is in a residential facility and even though it’s an excellent facility I’m really aware of the concerns around staffing levels and skills mix.”
Maree says the ANMF is working to achieve mandated staffing across the aged care sector. “We want nurses to be able to work with confidence with safe working ratios, appropriate skills mix and rates of pay equivalent to the public sector.”