Halina Nagiello is a Senior Health Service Planner at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. She - and the broader clinical planning and redesign team - drive what our hospital buildings look like. Her primary role as part of the Westmead Redevelopment project team is to plan for the paediatric spaces in the new central acute services building.
Dropping out of an arts degree and moving onto nursing wasn’t part of Halina Nagiello’s life plan. But a career in nursing - and surrounding herself with strong, educated, career-motivated women - led her to her passion.
“Right from the time I started working in health, I identified women as potential mentors. Having a female mentor who you can observe in terms of leadership and support; someone who has faith in you, who can see something in your personality that is going to be a good fit for a piece of work or project, has been paramount in my career development,” said Halina.
Female mentors have long helped Halina get where she wanted to be. The nun in high school, who gently nudged her towards a nursing degree; the manager who pushed her towards a secondment as a charge nurse in the burns unit at Royal Adelaide Hospital; and the Chief Executive who sought her out for expert input when it came to clinical planning.
“As a woman, I have often felt I needed to work harder, try harder and justify my decisions more than my male counterparts,” said Halina.
It is the strong female leaders Halina has surrounded herself with who have helped her navigate her path and see great career success.
Halina’s colleagues are often amazed by her energy and how passionate she is about creating a facility that truly meets the needs of sick children and their families.
“Halina has a deep passion for what she does; she helps the rest of us better understand why we do what we do and how we can all make a difference, whether we are behind a computer or at the bedside,” one colleague said.
Halina the student has now become the teacher.
“The most important thing is to find your soul and passion,” she said.
“There are too many people in jobs these days that they don’t like. Look within yourself and see where your passion lies. When the universe send you opportunities, instead of thinking that you couldn’t possibly do it, trust yourself; positivity is paramount.”
A tremendous piece of advice.
This story appeared in the Westmead Redevelopment Project Update 101 - see this story for more photos of Halina in action.