Australia Day honour for former Sydney Adventist Hospital nurse

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Glenys Chapman with Nepalese children.

A former nurse unit manager at Sydney Adventist Hospital was posthumously recognised in this year’s Australia Day honours, which were announced last Friday.

Glenys Chapman was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to nursing and international outreach programs. Ms Chapman passed away on May 17, 2017 after a lifetime dedicated to caring for others both locally and overseas.

A Sydney Adventist Hospital spokeswoman said she was a “highly skilled and respected professional”.

“Throughout Glenys’ life she demonstrated selfless dedication and generosity in giving both to the San and to other communities through her work and volunteering,” the spokeswoman said. “Glenys will be remembered as an amazing colleague and friend who has left her mark on the San and all who knew her.”

Ms Chapman worked at the San for 41 years, commencing in 1974 as a trainee nurse. In subsequent years she worked as a registered nurse, midwife and nurse unit manager. She provided more than 21 years of service to the hospital’s international outreach program, Open Heart International (OHI), travelling annually to Nepal as a volunteer. She was initially on the cleft lip and palate team and later served as project coordinator of the burns surgery team. Her final visit to Nepal took place just a month before her passing. OHI has established a scholarship in her honour to inspire graduate nurses to be involved in international service.

Glenys was passionate about helping the children of Nepal.

While in Nepal, Ms Chapman became aware of how few children attended school, often because families struggled with the costs. Through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) she sought sponsorship for the children so they could go to school. As a result of her efforts, more than 120 children were sponsored across seven schools. She also established a clean water drinking system at the Shree Prakash Higher Secondary School.

Ms Chapman attended Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist church for many years. As part of the worship service this past Sabbath, her Australia Day award was recognised.

“What an honour for her family for the selfless work that she gave to so many through her work with the people of Nepal,” associate pastor Richie Reid said.

“We have many members within our congregation who have received such noteworthy recognition by this country, and it just goes to speak to the heart of who we are as Seventh-day Adventists: that we are not only Seventh-day Adventists by name, but we are Seventh-day Adventists by our actions.”

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