Graduands told to ‘trust your instinct’

Otago Community Hospice chief executive Ginny Green speaks at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday....
Otago Community Hospice chief executive Ginny Green speaks at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Otago Community Hospice chief executive Ginny Green yesterday urged Otago Polytechnic graduands to seize opportunities and not fret too much about planning every career step in advance.

"Say 'yes’, say 'why not?'

"You must have the courage to trust your instinct," she said.

She was addressing about 370 polytechnic graduands, including some from the School of Nursing, at the second of yesterday’s two Otago Polytechnic graduation ceremonies, held at the Dunedin Town Hall at 3.30pm.

Ms Green has a diploma of nursing (1991) from Otago Polytechnic and has been included among its ‘‘distinguished alumni’’.

She said that when she graduated from the polytechnic as a ‘‘pretty obscure nursing student’’ she could never have guessed she would have later have ‘‘mind-blowing’’ opportunities, including working with CT scanners and other advanced technology.

She urged graduates to ‘‘be bold’’ and reflected, jokingly, on some grim experiences early in her nursing career.

As a young nurse she had faced dealing with a diarrhoea outbreak in a rest-home and had been confronted in the laundry with ‘‘getting the poo up to the armpits’’.

She has been chief executive at the community hospice since 2007, and the hospice has since also become increasingly prominent in the community.

Students heard that Ms Green was leading the delivery of specialist palliative care in Otago and building capacity, capability and confidence in the team of professionals delivering that specialist care.

Since 1995 she had also held health management positions with NZ Blood and the Otago District Health Board (now Southern DHB).

Ms Green said she had served as oncology and haematology service manager at the Otago District Health Board (2002-07), having stepped out of her comfort zone to apply.

Otago Polytechnic Council chairwoman Kathy Grant earlier congratulated the polytechnic graduands on their success.

Mrs Grant has also been appointed to the establishment board of the proposed New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, which will provide work-based and off-the-job vocational training across the country.

The planned tertiary restructuring had created some uncertainty, but the Otago Polytechnic sought to remain successful in its engagement with students and to deliver positive educational outcomes, she said.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

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