Aboriginal woman Lynlee, 58, has always been a caring soul.
"When I was a child, I developed a real passion for health. I remember that I used to pretend that I was a nurse when I was playing with my siblings. I'm the second oldest child from a family of nine, so growing up there was always someone to look after," Lynlee said.
"I went on to have four children of my own and I also have 18 grandchildren, so I've always played the role of caregiver."
"One day I just decided that I was going to do something for myself," Lynlee said.
"I spoke to one of my daughters about studying a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (HLT33115) and she enrolled with me. I had such a great time learning at TAFE Queensland and by the end of the course I was certain that I needed to continue my studies."
"I really wanted to do more to promote and support Indigenous health, so I just decided to go for it and enrol in the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115). I absolutely loved my diploma studies. The learning involved was tiring at times, but I really enjoyed the challenge and the hands-on training."
Lynlee said she gained a greater appreciation for the profession while undertaking 400 hours of vocational placement as part of her studies.
"I completed my hours in a hospital and my training kicked in immediately, everything just came naturally to me. I got to work day and night shifts in the emergency and surgical wards, so I received the full experience during my placement."
Lynlee said her nursing teachers set her up for success.
"My teachers were very knowledgeable and patient. Everything they taught me in the TAFE Queensland nursing lab is exactly what I do now in the workplace," she said.
"I work at Mulungu which is an Aboriginal primary health care service. It's important that services like Mulungu exist because they break down barriers and provide Aboriginal people with a place to access culturally appropriate clinical and social care."
"I absolutely love my job. I feel good when I help my people and give them the support they need to live healthier lives."
Lynlee's passion for nursing and dedication to her studies earned her the Myra Sessions Award at graduation in Cairns. The accolade is presented in honour of Ms Sessions, a former nursing teacher who continued to mentor students after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
"Receiving the award came as such a surprise. I'm very proud and my family and my colleagues are all very proud of me as well," Lynlee said.
Demand is strong for qualified enrolled nurses with national employment data predicting around 14,000 job openings in the coming years.