A respected and loved Specialist Palliative Care Nurse, Sharon Moss recently retired after a 30 year connection with Ballarat Hospice Care in January 2023. Sharon began her palliative care experience as a volunteer in February 1993, to support the sister of a colleague at Gandarra Palliative Care Unit. From this encounter Sharon knew that palliative care would become her passion and her vocation; and it was for 30 years.
After volunteering for a year, Sharon was offered a role with Ballarat Hospice Care in October 1994. That was when the organisation operated out of an old weatherboard house located at 211 Talbot Street South, Ballarat. The nursing team of six had two cars between them and did the equipment delivery using an old Toyota Hiace. It was a long way from the purpose built Palliative Care Hub of 1836 Sturt Street Alfredton today with 30 staff, 70 volunteers and a fleet of cars.
Sharon’s impact has been significant. She is highly respected as a caring, compassionate, diligent and dedicated Specialist Palliative Care Nurse by all at Ballarat Hospice Care and by our partners in care at Gandarra Palliative Care Unit, the Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team at Grampians Health and Saint John of God Hospital. Most importantly Sharon is loved and respected by the families and loved ones of all the patients and carers she has cared for and supported over the last 30 years.
Sharon has spent her career giving and is described by a long time Specialist Palliative Care Nurse colleague Vicky Smith as
“one of those rare people you know you are so lucky and blessed to meet perhaps once in your lifetime”.
Other colleagues described some of Sharon’s many attributes as someone who is
- a skilled expert nurse
- an expert communicator
- both a mentor, leader, wise elder yet also a born “Team Leader”
- able to find the good in anyone
- non judgmental
- humble, unassuming, resilient, compassionate, thoughtful and empathetic
- someone who defines “grace under pressure”.
Palliative Care Nurse, Sarah Brennan outlined Sharon’s impact on her learning, crediting Sharon with showing, demonstrating and being the nurse who knows
“how to listen. How to be kind, but also truthful and fair. How to genuinely show concern and care for others, even when you’ve got your own personal ‘stuff’ going on. How to find humour in the sadness”.
Sarah went on to say
“I recently spent time with a patient whose husband had died while under the care of Ballarat Hospice Care over 25 years ago. She recounted to me the night her husband died, and to this day could still clearly remember the wonderful care and support provided to both her and her husband that night by Sharon”.
Sharon has for so long been part of the fabric that defines the special place that is Ballarat Hospice Care. She has helped the organisation to grow and succeed. Her career is a remarkable length of time, yet it’s her impact that will be felt for many years to come.
We wish Sharon and her family the best of health, happiness and all the world has to offer in the new chapter of her life.