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After university

Nursing grad David's career "started accidentally"

This article appears in: Alumni stories, Nursing and Midwifery
CDU nursing alumni David Beckham

While working in the media industry, David volunteered as a medic with St John Ambulance. It was here that he encountered nurses who would inspire him to change careers.

“They went above and beyond to provide comfort, support and care during critical moments, and their dedication left an indelible impression on me,” he says.

“I wanted to follow in the footsteps of those exceptional nurses I had the privilege of working with and become a compassionate and skilled healthcare professional.”

After hearing positive feedback about its emphasis on hands-on, practical nursing skills, David enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing at CDU.

Accidentally an advocate

Nursing and midwife advocate David Beckham
Nursing and midwifery advocate David Beckham, second from left

Becoming an advocate for his fellow nurses and midwives was a lucky case of happenstance. While working in the Emergency Department of a Queensland hospital, he became involved in a dispute between the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

“Speaking at QIRC was a watershed moment. I realised that I was not just representing myself or even my immediate team, but all nurses and midwives who found themselves in similar circumstances. It was not just about our jobs; it was about the respect the recognition our profession deserves.”

His subsequent advocacy work with the QNMU has gained him recognition throughout the state.

I have been privileged to advocate for nurses and midwives. It's an ongoing journey, and while it might have started accidentally, it's a path I now walk intentionally and proudly.

Amplifying the voices of others would go on to save lives on Thursday Island during the COVID-19 pandemic. David worked to ensure an initiative led by First Nations nurses during the vaccine rollout came to fruition, designed to spotlight the needs of the community first and foremost.

“The nurses’ advocacy and leadership skills, along with the community’s trust and engagement, resulted in one of Australia’s most successful COVID-19 vaccination clinics,” he says. “The community’s vaccine rates dramatically increased from under 40% to above 90%.”

The vaccine program was presented at the International Indigenous Nurse Led Research Summit in Austin, Texas.

A calling

Nursing alumni David leads clinical teams for natural disasters

Now using his skills in the private sector, David organises and lead clinical teams for natural disasters and major events. He also teaches student nurses and paramedics to develop their patient communication skills and disaster management skills.

He sees his CDU experience as the foundation for a career committed to making a positive difference.

CDU's strong focus on down-to-earth nursing and unwavering commitment to what is right have instilled in me a deep sense of purpose.

“Becoming a nurse is not just a career choice for me; it is a calling to serve others with empathy, compassion and unwavering dedication.”

David has been recognised for his early career achievement in the 2023 Alumni Awards.

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