Like mother, like daughter

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Brenton Stacey
About the Author

Brenton Stacey

Twitter LinkedIn Profile

Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

Nursing a transformative calling for this family

Henriette and Angelique Heunis both made a decision to study nursing at Avondale on the same day. One wanted a career change, the other clarity.

“I didn’t tell anybody except my husband that I enrolled in the course,” says Henriette. “The day I received my offer, Angelique said to me, ‘Mum, I’ve been struggling to choose between nursing and early childhood teaching, but I’ve just decided what I want to do. I’m going to study nursing.’ Then I showed her my email. I thought, She’s not going to be excited, but she was.”

Angelique, now 20 but in her final year of high school at the time, would help Henriette format her assignments. She found the content interesting. “It gave me more understanding of what nursing would be like.”

Both are enjoying their Avondale experience, particularly the clinical placements. Henriette, 52, realised after her first placement that she “should have done this years ago.” Angelique “loves talking with patients.” She says hospitals and clinical centres like students from Avondale because “we seem to have more of a friendly approach to patients and more of an understanding of their needs.”

The care and concern of the School of Nursing staff has been important, too. “Because I hadn’t studied for a long time, I felt a bit scared when I started,” says Henriette. “But the support helped me get through.” Several lecturers attend the same church as Angelique, “so I’ve got to know them outside of class.”

An unexpected benefit of mother and daughter studying the same course: a motivation to study. Henriette’s determination to do well has improved the attitude of Angelique and her younger and older siblings. “They said to me, ‘Mum, you’re setting high standards,’ and they began to study harder.” Despite the extra effort, “Mum’s still getting better marks than me,” says Angelique.

Henriette will graduate this year. “Having never finished my zoology degree then falling pregnant while studying accounting by distance, this will be a great achievement.” She’s an inspiration to Angelique, who plans to graduate next year and wants to work in paediatrics. “Mum is helping me become a better nurse and a stronger person. I’m ready to face anything that comes my way.”

Study nursing at Avondale . . .

. . . if you or someone you know are looking for a study program that will help you gain the skills you need to be job-ready and will provide you with an experience you’ll love. Number one in Australia for skill development and overall student satisfaction, our nursing degree is highly practical, producing capable and in-demand registered nurses.