A High Wycombe child health nurse passionate about the wellbeing of babies and children is in the running to be named Australia's Nurse of the Year.
Sara Lohmeyer was recognised for her work with newborns and their parents and her tireless efforts to be accessible to the community - running a weekly walking group for new mothers, attending community events and volunteering for not-for-profit group All We Need is Right Here.
Mrs Lohmeyer said it was a privilege and "beyond magical" to be part of children's lives as they grew up.
The 20-year veteran of child health said the first eight years of a child's life were "so very, very important" and she believed there was always a need for more child health nurses. "I think raising awareness to parents of just how much they can play a role in being the first teacher to their child is just wonderful," she said.
Mrs Lohmeyer, who is one of five finalists for Nurse of the Year at the HESTA Australian Nursing Awards, said she believed mothers liked her "family partnerships" approach in which she helped new parents learn what suited them and their child rather than telling them what they should or should not do.
She said it felt surreal to be a finalist but what excited her more was the recognition for child health. "I feel very humbled that they've chosen me but more excited that it's child health," she said.
"That the community has spoken about something that is not hospital model, that is all about primary health care and about prevention and about nurturing people."The winner will be announced in Melbourne on May 9.