Working as a taxi driver re-ignited Geraldine Fredricks’ career ambitions.
“I met people from all walks of life during those six years and talked with them about everything and anything, and came to realise they weren’t so different to me,” she says.
Since she was eight years old she had wanted to be a nurse but her parents had encouraged her to think about a clerical-type career more in keeping with her small frame. You’re too small for all that lifting, they told the teenaged Geraldine.
It took almost forty years and umpteen taxi trips, but the day would come when she decided nursing was for her and it was time to do something about it.
She began to plot a path to university and waited for the final student in her Wynnum home, daughter Megan, to complete her beauty therapy training.
Megan, however, had other ideas.
Beauty therapy was not for her and all the informal career advice coming her way pointed in one direction. Nursing.
On Saturday afternoon (Dec 17) mother and daughter will graduate together with a Bachelor of Nursing from Griffith University at Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre after an unlikely and unexpected journey that brought them together in many ways.
“It wasn’t planned but we were both looking at the same course at Griffith,” Megan (23) says.
“When we found out Mum asked me if I’d like her to change her preferences because she was afraid she might cramp my style. I said no, let’s do it this together.”
They handed in their applications together and soon were sharing the same School of Nursing classes at Griffith’s Nathan campus.
“We shared petrol, we shared parking, we shared books,” Geraldine (56) says.
“We studied on the way to uni, verbally going through stuff, and on the way home we verbally debriefed.
“Megan was a great coach. Sometimes she wouldn’t let me go to bed until I knew things.
“We’ve got so close during the years.”
Geraldine believes Megan will become a great advocate for patients during her working life.
Megan sees her mother as a most caring nurse in the making.
“I don’t think she’ll ever turn into one of those cranky, rough nurses you hear about. She’s far too gentle.”