Following in her footsteps: Women who keep study and work in the family (Part One)

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Toni and Sian Toni and Sian Gwynn-Jones

This article is part of a series celebrating International Women’s Day and the difference that women make. As part of this celebration, ACU will be hosting five free events across our campuses on 8 March.

ACU nursing student Sian Gwynn-Jones will graduate this year and follow her mother into nursing, continuing a proud tradition of ACU students pursuing a family profession.

Having worked as a nurse previously, Sian’s mother Toni commenced her Graduate Certificate in Clinical Teaching at ACU in 1993.

“I was a clinical nurse educator, and the Certificate equipped me with all the skills and knowledge I needed,” she says.

Sian was born at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, where her mother worked at the time, and she has fond memories of her early years.

“Mum worked shifts when we were very little, so she was away some nights,” Sian says.

“But it was nice to have her for the whole day on her off days, and we probably saw more of her than many of my friends saw of their mothers.

“The only disadvantage of having a nurse for a mum was that we never got a day off school unless we were almost dying!”

As a child, Sian gave little thought to her future career.

“Mum and I have so much in common, we are often mistaken for sisters,” says Sian.

“But when I was at school, it never really occurred to me that I might follow her into nursing.

“My eureka moment came in Year 12, when the unis visited our school to discuss careers. ACU talked to me about nursing, and I said to myself: ‘Why didn’t I think about that before!’”

Now, she proudly acknowledges her mum as her source of inspiration.

“She’s the most caring, compassionate person I know, and I’ve always admired her and wanted to be like her,” says Sian.

“It’s nice to know that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

What the educational and professional experiences of these two women show is that if you’re onto a winning formula, stick with it; you won’t regret it.

Celebrations for International Women’s Day are gearing up across ACU on a national scale with major events planned for 8 March in Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. This is a great opportunity for ACU alumni to reconnect and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Register for these events