I have been Qualified since April 1996 when I received my indenture as a Embalmer, in 2007 the Australian Institute of Embalmers bestowed upon me the honour of being a Fellow of the Institute, since that time I practice as a Master Embalmer, Tutor, Mentor, to the students that I teach.
My Nursing life started in 1965 when I applied for a position with the Repatriation hospital in Brisbane to work as an Orderly, in that time,
I was offered the chance of applying for a position as a Enrolled Nurse [male] this was the first course for males introduced into Queensland. I completed the 12 months course and obtained a badge and certificate, this was to hold me in good stead for my hole working life. in those years, I was introduced, or should I say, death Introduced himself to me with the position of caring for the deceased.
In 1969, I worked as a Dresser at the Royal Brisbane Hospital based in the Urology ward but travelling the whole hospital caring for the male population re: catheterization, penile sheaths [incontinent patients] dressings for those returning from theatre.
In November 1970, I was accepted into the RAAF as a Medical Orderly. In the 6 years that I gave to Queen and Country, my postings included, Edinburgh SA, Richmond NSW, Laverton VIC, and back to Edinburgh were I was discharged, In that time I gained valuable knowledge in nursing in the air, completing a Medivac Course, dealing with highly classified information, also, caring for those who died within the forces hospital.
In November 1976 when my discharge came through, I applied to the Nursing Board to work at the Local Hospital, Lyell McEwan, to be a student nurse. I completed 18 mths of the course but I felt that life was heading in another direction. I gave my notice to quit but the hospital asked me to stay on and work in the mortuary as the person also put in his notice at the same time. In the beginning it was a little confronting, but after a while I came to enjoy the opportunity to do the various jobs that I was called on to carry out my duties. One of those duties was to carry out the Autopsies of those who died at the hosp that need to be investigated to the cause of death. I spent 8 1/2 years doing autopsies on adults, babies, and neonates, because this hospital was a Gynaecology and birthing unit, there were numerous deaths that needed to be established "what was the cause of death?" this was a BIG help to me years down the track with the vessels, placement of organs, nerves, bones, etc....
In 1986, a position was made available for a Mortuary manager at the Queen Victoria Hospital (this hospital does not exist now, but the building has been renovated as appartments) to handle all the neonate, babies, and sometimes the adult mothers who died in childbirth. To research the density of the bones to reveal the age of the neonate, to x/ray, autopsy with the Patholigst, take samples for the lab to process to establist the cause of death as to why the neonate died.
By the end of the year, I was approached by the funeral director in Gawler to ask it I would like to work for them. this included all aspects of the funeral industry, including the mortuary, this I took to with open arms. I spent 20 yrs at this establishment, and in that time I studied to complete my embalming certificate. Because of the number of deceased persons dying and using the services of the funeral home, I was able to practice and hone my skills in ALL aspects of embalming.
In 2011 I reached the age of 65, not wanting to go and sit on the lounge and watch TV, I started a Business called Master Embalmer @ Mortuary Practices in the Workplace and Dead Still Photography.
I have had the opportunity to be able to pass on my experience and talents to those who have asked, and to those who are in the process of starting or completing the Cert IV Mortuary Science. In my work as a Embalmer, I travel to wherever my talent is required, in town or country teaching Mortuary Technics or embalming the deceased for long stays or overses repatriations. My speciality that I have honed is "Neonates, Babies, and small Children" " the Jaundice Case" "6 Point [+] Overseas Repatriations"
With the speed of technology, I felt 'Why not use it?' I'm in the process of developing a "online and long distance training" to those who would like to progress in their field[s] where the individual can make use of what their training is expressing.... MORTUARY SCIENCE. Text books will guide the trainee through many aspects of embalming, BUT we only learn once we complete the course, that's when our minds expand to deliver the best that we can for the families we serve.