After working for nearly three decades as a nurse, a Wagga woman was enjoying retirement but knew she could help make a difference in the fight against coronavirus.
Wendy Urquhart, 65, retired in September last year after working for 26 years as a child and family health nurse.
"I started doing regular exercise, which was nice," she said.
"I started doing some gardening, and I enjoyed my weekly coffee catch up with my other retired friends, and I was enjoying life, and I thought 'this is lovely'.
"But, having retired in a pandemic, I knew there was probably going to be a need for nurse immunisers."
Ms Urquhart kept her eye out, and in March, she spotted an expression of interest through the health service.
So, she decided to sign up.
Ms Urquhart ended up being a part of the first group that was trained when the Murrumbidgee Local Health District began its vaccine rollout.
"I use the word privileged because that's what I felt. I was part of something so new," Ms Urquhart said.
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"I never thought in a million years that I would live through a pandemic."
Ms Urquhart works three or four days a week out of the Yathong Street vaccination clinic, even signing up to work some weekends and public holidays.
She said it had been a different job from what her career was, but it feels like it has all come full circle in many ways.
"It's different working in a pandemic, and actually to be working in - not quite full PPE - but with a mask and a uniform when for my whole career I was in civilian clothes," Ms Urquhart said.
"I absolutely love it. I've tried to calculate it, and I think seen over 2000 people vaccinated.
"Just this week, I vaccinated a young man, and I remembered meeting his mother when she had him as a baby. So there I was, I have looked after him as a baby, and I was there giving him his COVID vaccination."
Ms Urquhart has had people show up feeling stressed about the vaccine, adding that a smile and a patient demeanour goes a long way to putting them at ease.
"I encourage everyone to book in if they haven't already," she said.
"You can ask your GP for advice if you have concerns, and we have a doctor here at Yathong Street as well for people to consult.
"We take walk-ins here as well, so if you don't have an appointment just come on down."
Ms Urquhart knows three other nurses that have come out of retirement to help with the vaccine effort, adding she had met so many people and made new friends working at the clinic.
"I love what I do here. I love meeting new people, and it's exciting to be a part of history here," she said.
"I feel pretty lucky to be a part of this, and I am hoping to see it out.
"When it's done, I will go back into retirement as I loved my weekly coffee catchups, and now I have even more friends to catch up with."
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