Dr Jacqui Young- A true inspiration on International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) is about celebrating and recognising women who work towards a better world without regard to race, social, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divides.
#pressforprogress was the theme for IWD 2018. This strong call to action, to both men and women, was to motivate people to press the forward button on the progress of gender equality.
WHY? We don’t have gender inequality… do we?
The World Economic Forum report stated that we are about 200 years away from gender equality in the socioeconomic index! Demonstrating that the women of today, and even their children, will never see economic global equality in their lifetime!
It takes a strong and remarkable woman to inspire and mentor thousands of students for over 14 years. On International Women’s day we recognised Dr Jacqui Young and paid tribute to her immense contribution to nursing, education and most importantly, the lives of so many patients and students.
Jacqui is the current Course Coordinator for the Bachelor of Nursing Program, lecturer, teacher and inspirational leader responsible for the empowerment of nursing students on campus at Australian Catholic University Brisbane.
When asked how she felt about the 200 year socioeconomic equality gap, Jacqui responded that it was not surprising; “Every day we hear about the lack of qualified females on boards and in politics”. She stated that it was a shame to say we have already come a long way. Revealing that despite the significant advances in political participation, healthcare and education, women are still underrepresented in politics and businesses worldwide.
What makes her special?
After deciding that chemical engineering wasn’t for her, Jacqui started her career with a General Nursing Certificate in 1982 and an aspiration to work in the emergency department. After graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing in 1991, she began working with new graduate nurses as a clinical educator. Her passion for teaching later led her to complete her Master of Nursing in Education in 1998. In 2007 she commenced her PhD, receiving a scholarship from an Australian Research Council funded project to undertake research on ‘The feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of nurse-led models of chronic disease management in general practice’.
Jacqui’s primary research and clinical interests are in teaching and primary healthcare nursing. She has presented her work at national and international conferences, and also published multiple journal articles with her co-researchers describing the outcomes of their research.
Jacqui’s passion and initiative for teaching has spanned 14 years in the tertiary education sector with many years prior to that in clinical education. Her background includes lecturer with UQ’s Bachelor of Nursing program, UQ’s Coordinator for the postgraduate Primary Health Care Nursing courses, Program Director for UQ’s Master of Nursing (Graduate entry), and she coordinated the UQ curriculum writing and management of the Graduate Certificate in Nursing (General Practice Nursing). Not only has Jacqui worked in numerous national educational programs, she has also worked as a clinical educator for coronary/intensive care in a hospital in Saudi Arabia.
When asked “What is the most important message you want to send out to our students and all women around the world?” Jacqui responded, “Dream big, have faith in your abilities and NEVER doubt yourself”.
There are so many amazing young women out there who don’t have confidence in their abilities! Take every opportunity, you are good enough!”
When asked “Who is a woman that influences/ inspires you and why?” Jacqui turned to her computer and proudly showed an article on Dr Catherine Hamlin. Jacqui’s most inspirational person is not only a multi-award winning Sydney gynaecologist and obstetrician, but also a two time Nobel peace prize nominee for her work trying to eliminate fistula childbirth injuries (caused by genital mutilation) in Ethiopia for over 60 years!
When asked “What advice would you give your younger self?” Jacqui responds “Not to be so hard on yourself. That what I am doing is okay.”
Life doesn’t always turn out how you think it will. I didn’t imagine getting married at 38 and adopting a beautiful baby girl from overseas. There is no such thing as a perfect life, and its okay.”
Even with so much evidence showing gender inequality, Jacqui respectfully highlighted that Australian Catholic University (ACU) is one of the leading universities for gender equality, with a Gender Equality Strategy in place. Furthermore, ACU was awarded the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality award; validating yet another reason to be a proud ACU student!
Stand behind YOUR mothers, YOUR sisters, YOUR friends, YOUR community, YOUR NATION.
HOW? Question any lack of women’s participation. Always include women in opportunities. Question statements that limit women. Influence others beliefs.
Call out inappropriate behaviour.
We define our society by our personal stories and by the influences in our community. International Women’s Day started an important call to action. The Brisbane Nursing Society hope that by recognizing and sharing Dr Jacqui Young’s achievements we can all reflect on what women actually contribute to society, and realize the importance of International Women’s Day.
(This article has been researched and written by Rebecca Groves, ACU Nursing student, with the approval of Dr Jacqui Young)