Taking care of her own


For more than 17 years, Cluny Seager has been part of the St Andrew’s community, volunteering her time to give back to the hospital which she credits with saving her life.
Cluny - DVA volunteer
In 1964, Cluny began training as a nurse at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, before enlisting with the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps in 1970.

During the Vietnam War, she cared for soldiers when they returned to Brisbane, many just like her husband who served in the army on several tours to Vietnam.

Now, through her long-standing association with the Kedron-Wavell Sub-Branch of the RSL, she’s combining her experience as an army nurse and St Andrew’s volunteer to support veteran patients.

“While volunteering at St Andrew’s, I’ve always instinctively tried to keep an eye out for any soldiers that came in. I’d have a chat with them and ask them about their enlistment and service,” Cluny said.

“Through my association with the Kedron-Wavell Sub-Branch of the RSL, in April I was able to start formally visiting DVA patients at St Andrew’s as part of the RSL’s hospital visiting program which is all about connecting with and supporting current and past veterans,” she said.

Every month since, Cluny has visited more than 30 veteran patients at their bedsides to provide a listening ear and a chat with someone who really understands.

Cluny - DVA volunteer“I explain that I’m visiting with my RSL hat on. I see lots of war widows and former soldiers, particularly those who served in Vietnam. I have an affinity with them because we share a common history,” Cluny said.

“I’ve had some patients who don’t feel like talking at first and then next thing I know we’ve been there chatting for an hour and a half.

“It’s really important to me that we show our veteran patients how special they are to us at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital.”

Cluny said she feels privileged to have the opportunity to meet our veterans and to volunteer alongside the team at St Andrew’s.

“Some years ago, I was treated at St Andrew’s for a heart condition and found the clinical care to be superb. It’s a privilege to be able to volunteer and work alongside such exceptional staff at St Andrew’s,” Cluny said.

“The hospital has helped me in so many ways. It’s a gift to have the opportunity to give back. St Andrew’s has enriched my life beyond measure.”

Find out more about volunteering at St Andrew's.