Published online by Cobram Courier on May 12, 2014.

This article also appeared in print on May 7.

About 50 people gathered at the Moira Shire Maternal and Child Health Centre in Cobram on Monday, May 5, to remember a pioneer in maternal and child health across the shire.

Judi Walmsley, who died on February 13 after a long battle with cancer, worked at Shepparton and Cobram hospitals before becoming a child and maternal health nurse in the 1990s.

At the afternoon tea, Mrs Walmsley’s colleagues unveiled a consulting room named after her.

Colleague Sonya Gullifer said it was a fitting tribute.

‘‘As with many local families, when I think of my own children as babies and toddlers, Judi’s intrinsically a part of that memory,’’ she said.

‘‘For me, and many others in the community, this will always be Judi’s place.’’

Colleague Sandra Mogg said Mrs Walmsley implemented a variety of programs including 18-month developmental assessment groups, the text message reminder service and implementation of the Key Age and Stage Framework.

‘‘She was tireless in seeking best possible outcomes for families, the nurses and the maternal and child health service,’’ Mrs Mogg said.

‘‘She possessed an extraordinary ability to transcend social boundaries and connect with clients and was loved and respected by all.

‘‘She maintained long-term relationships with families as further children were born and shared both happiness and sadness with events that shaped the lives of the families she was so committed to over the past 15 years.’’

Mrs Mogg said Mrs Walmsley also established strong links with Arabic and Indian communities in the area.

Amira Al Hassaeny, who was a support worker in providing maternal and child health services to Iraqi families, said Mrs Walmsley ‘‘deserved to be called the angel of mercy’’.

‘‘We all — women and men — appreciate what she did and we all really miss her,’’ Mrs Al Hassaeny said.

‘‘I’ll never forget the times I worked with her. Her passing away has broken our heart. She left a huge space behind.’’

Mrs Walmsley was survived by her husband Terry, daughter Erin and son Josh. Mr Walmsley and Erin thanked the community for supporting Mrs Walmsley during her illness.

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AuthorToni Brient