Nursing Story Competition Winner: Hester and Mel — Three Decades of Friendship

Melinda Jesudason
Nurse Melinda Jesudason says: “It was Hester that taught me ‘real’ nursing, More than the lectures and lab drills.”

Mel and Hester - FB


Congratulations to the winner of our 2022 Nursing Story Competition celebrating friendship, Melinda Jesudason. Mel has written a poem in tribute to her good friend Hester, who has been her friend since they were trainees together.

You can also check out the winning story from our Midwifery Story Competition, My Friend Rowena

Mel joined us on the Your Health Matters podcast to discuss her winning story and friendship with Hester. Check it out!

Hester and Mel — Three Decades of Friendship

To nurse is to care and to bring better health

And well-being to all who need this

Promotion of health, prevention of illness

And respect for the breast and the penis

For a nurse is professional but also can smile

In care for a patient and family

Responding to pain of the body or mind

With insight that’s almost uncanny

To care with compassion for those most in need

Nurses need friends and support

And who better to grasp this life choice and career

Than those in the nursing cohort

For me, this support first started at Uni

As a cautious new student of nursing

Here were my people, sharing the journey

With laughter, tears, joy and some cursing

But one trainee RN stood out from the start

Our fates would be soon intertwined

We supported each other through pracs and exams

With hugs, prayer, vodka and wine

This friend was unique - Hester her name

Already an EN with skills

It was Hester that taught me ‘real’ nursing

More than the lectures and lab drills

For Hester had worked and cared for true patients

She’d been in the blood and the gore

This just fuelled her passion to help those in need

So she came back to Uni for more

I, however, was fresh out of high school

Quite clueless, young and naive

But I wrote great assignments and found getting good grades

Was always a breeze to achieve

So I’d help with exams and teach Hes the theory

She’d reward me with chocolate and wine

Hester would teach me nursing reality

Our skills sets did aptly align

We made a great team with our mutual support

And Uni was actually fun

The pracs were the greatest with Hes by my side

Our final year placement, the best one

We went to Emerald at Hester's suggestion

A rural, north Queensland town

We learnt much in this small, country hospital

While avoiding the NUM with a frown

For she didn’t appreciate these city girls

Who wanted to explore country life

After shifts we’d play footy with the local ambos,

Visit gemfields and pubs with the midwife

We graduated Uni with a sense of relief

And our friendship was stronger then ever

Our support for each other always remained

Though we never did work together

Hester loved ED with the chaos and pressure

And she would become triage queen

While I loved the autonomy and holistic approach

of work in community nursing

We travelled the world, for nurses are loved

In Oz and across land and sea

I studied some more, got a grad dip and masters

While Hester got pregnant and had a baby

This beautiful baby named Dominique

Was strong willed, joyous, alive

Dom is my god-daughter and oh, so loved

This bundle of joy, now twenty-five

I also had babies and married a good man

Whom Hester approves of completely

My husband and daughters love Hester and Dom

They fit into my family so neatly

Our friendship has lasted through life's ups and downs

Including some major health scares

But the struggles and pain are a little less awful

With a friend who supports and cares

We both still love nursing and both still are working

Despite some burnout and breakdown

But with age comes wisdom and better self care

Supporting each other to slow down

So we keep on doing the job that we love

Although it can come with frustration

For we know with support we can keep caring

And this brings both peace and elation

To nurse is to care and to bring better health

And well-being to all who need this

And nurses supported with a friendship like mine

Can happily hope to achieve this

If you need someone to talk to, Nurse & Midwife Support is here on 1800 667 877 or by email. We’re here 24/7, free and confidential.

About Melinda Jesudason


Melinda is a Registered Nurse and Wellbeing Officer with Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union (QNMU). She has previously worked as a Community Nurse, Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager, Research Coordinator, Immunisation Nurse, and Wellness Coach. Melinda’s thirty-year career has focussed on community nursing and health promotion, including work in homelessness and refugee and asylum seeker programs. Her post-graduate studies, including her Graduate Diploma and Masters, focussing on women's health, health promotion, and public health, support her passion for health equity.

Melinda's commitment to health equity and social justice has also led to her volunteering in health education and assessment roles in Solomon Islands and Myanmar (Burma). She continues to work with marginalised people in a personal, volunteer capacity in her hometown of Brisbane.
Melinda’s work in recent years as a Wellbeing Officer with QNMU focuses on supporting nurses and midwives and encouraging self-care and self-compassion — essential qualities in the demanding and rewarding professions of nursing and midwifery.