Two Lutheran Nurses were again honoured by the Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia (LNAA) to mark International Nurses Day (12 May).
The Lutheran Nurse of the Year for 2021 is Wayne Kroker, of Nundah, Queensland. The award was launched last year to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing. It recognises faithful and outstanding service rendered by a Registered or Enrolled Nurse who is an active member of a congregation of the Lutheran Church of Australia/New Zealand. It comprises a certificate and a monetary gift of $100.
Wayne is employed in the Thoracic Ward at the Prince Charles H ospital at Chermside in suburban Brisbane. During the coronavirus pandemic he provided nursing care for the most serious of the COVID-19 patients who came to his ward. During the height of the COVID lockdown, Wayne himself was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. After a short break for treatment, he returned to his nursing duties.
Wayne is an active member of the St Paul Lutheran church in Nundah, and has served there in various roles. He and his wife Misiel serve as the live-in managers of St Paul’s Accommodation Lodge on the church campus. The six lodge units are built over their family quarters. The units are rented at reduced rates to people who may be in need – students and single parents struggling to get on their feet. The most significant part of that role is the Christian care and ministry that Wayne and Misiel provide. They regularly invite residents into their home, involve them in their family life, and generally look out for them and their wellbeing.
After completing four years of nursing training at Dalby General Hospital, Shirley moved with her husband to Mt Isa. She first worked at the Mt Isa Base Hospital, and then from 1978 to 1980 served as Director of the St Paul’s Lutheran Child Care Centre.
Shirley Klinge, of Laidley, Queensland, was honoured with Life Membership of LNAA.
In 1998 Shirley completed an Introduction to Parish Nursing course at what was then Luther Seminary, and was appointed part-time Parish Nurse at Redeemer Lutheran church in Laidley. She served in this role until last September. Shirley was appointed as Pastoral Care Nurse at Faith Lutheran College, and served there for 13 years – in a full-time position in latter years. She came to be fondly known by the students as the ‘Nanna Nurse’. During her first years at Faith she also served as the inaugural college chaplain. She came out of retirement last year to again serve as chaplain for several months.
Returning to Dalby, Shirley worked in ICU there for five years, then in 1983 she was appointed Director of Nursing at the Tabeel Lutheran home for the aged in Laidley.
Shirley also served for a short time as Secretary of the Queensland District of the Lutheran Church of Australia. She is currently president of the Lutheran Women of Queensland’s West Moreton Zone.