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Awarded for Community Service
Born: 17 December 1938 Died: 16 March 2013
Entered on roll: 2015
Mavis Burgess has supported King Islanders through varied and challenging situations. She is respected for her strong social justice principles and immersed herself in community life by being involved in a range of organisations.
Mavis was born in Echuca, Victoria, and trained to become a Registered Nurse in Melbourne. She started working at the King Island District Hospital in 1962 and has cared for many Islanders from birth through to death. At one time, she worked for the King Island Funeral Service and assisted many families through the loss of a loved one.
King Island is a small place and Mavis’ professional and voluntary work was diverse. She nursed in a number of capacities, helped establish St Johns Ambulance and trained the locals in first aid, ran first aid stations at events, and established the Telehealth video-conference facilities at the King Island Hospital and Health Centre. From 2004, she also worked as a pathology nurse and would rise early to take samples before starting her normal practice duties.
Mavis also worked part-time as a Child Welfare Officer for the Department of Community Service and Department of Social Security, and was a Family Violence Contact Officer on the Island.
When Mavis retired in 2012, she continued to care for Islanders as an Honorary Probation Officer, a member of the King Island Hospital Auxiliary, a member of the King Island Community Crisis Support Team, and as President of the Phoenix Community House which supports disadvantaged community members.
Mavis was instrumental in raising funds for the King Island Hospital and Health Centre, and the Phoenix Community House. She also helped arrange for a retreat room for families and friends of patients receiving palliative care.
Mavis was, posthumously, awarded an Order of Australia in 2013.