Royal Prince Alfred’s Michele McGrady is proof that it’s never too late to switch careers and follow your heart – even if it means 14 years of additional study and taking on the boys in a male-dominated field.
At the age of 27, after several years as a nurse in the United Kingdom and Australia, she took a courageous leap and completed her Higher School Certificate and one year of a science degree between shifts at RPA.
At 30, she started a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of… Surgery course, while still working as a nurse at weekends.
From there she followed her dream to train in cardiology and completed a PhD in heart failure in indigenous communities, working in Alice Springs and central Australia.
Returning to RPA as a staff specialist and visiting medical officer cardiologist in 2011, she is a shining example of “making it happen”, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day this Sunday.
“I would encourage young women to follow their dreams, set goals, work hard and be persistent. You can do whatever you want. I love my job now. Even after the longest and most stressful days I go home happy because I’ve been working with patients and families,” she said.
“It would be great when we come to the point where we don’t need International Women’s Day but it is certainly still needed now. It is needed to raise awareness of the opportunities there are for women today and the inequality they still face when it comes to things like pay.”
For more information on International Women’s Day, go to http://www.internationalwomensday.com/default.asp