Frida’s passion for nursing started at eight years old when she used to help her mother feed residents at a local aged care home.

“Talofa everyone (pronounced ‘Ta-lof-fa’ in Samoan)!

My name is Frida Osa and I am a New Zealander born of Samoan and German descendants. I come from a family of five, with two older sisters and myself, the baby of the family. I am a Endorsed Enrolled Nurse at Maranatha Aged Care in Kallangur.

My family history derives back from World War II, in which my great-grandfather, who was German, fled to Samoa and met my great-grandmother. His surname was Smit, but to evade the Germans, added an “h” to Smit, which became “Smith”.

I had talent in sprinting and won the 100m races from primary and high school and play deep court in volleyball. But what I enjoy most is putting a smile on our residents’ faces with my coworkers on the weekends, dressing up in tutu wigs and anything colourful as nursing can be a stressful and hectic job.

My childhood memories are arriving in Australia at the age of nine on December 1, 1986 on a British Airways plane from New Zealand, and not knowing what my future held for me. It was exciting, yet I had no idea that I was moving to another country, away from my family and friends. I commenced school and began Muay Tuai, also known as kickboxing and accepted an award as the ‘Most Improved’ and was the first girl kickboxer in the team to be trained under the Welterweight Champion of Australia, Kerry McNaught in Stafford.

I began full-time as a shop assistant at the ‘Foodstore’ and I was the first employee to receive the ‘Employee of the Month’ in 1993, as I tackled a drug addict who stole money from my till. It all happened in a split second, I really don’t know how I had the courage and strength to do this, but I guess, you don’t mess with a little Samoan! I should have played in a woman’s rugby team!

I have two beautiful adult boys named Jordan, 20 years and Emmanuel, 19 years and a female cat name Tiger. I am a kid at heart and love watching kids movies with nieces and nephews, singing karaoke and dancing, and watching comedies and romantic movies.

So how did I become interested in nursing? I have very fond memories of my mother who was an Enrolled Nurse in Auckland, New Zealand employed at Saint Christopher’s Hospital for elderly in Papatoetoe. I would wake up early and go to work with her, feed residents their breakfast and then make my way to Holy Cross

School as it was only five minute walk. I was only eight years old! I guess being in a Samoan culture, you have dedication, commitment, love and respect for your elders. The elderly become your grandparents in a way that you adopt them as your own. The love and respect my mother showed to the elderly, gave me have an insight of how they should be treated.

I completed my Cert 3 in Aged Care in 2001 and began employment as a Personal Carer for five years at Inverpine RSL. I then completed my Diploma of Nursing in 2006 and becoming an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse, which I have been for the last 11 years at various places such as Prince Charles Hospital, Nazarene, Bally Cara and currently Maranatha for the last nine years. I cannot believe how time flies!

And to end my story, I believe in the motto “It is never too late, to learn new things”. Which is why I have come to believe in achieving my goals of finally studying for my Bachelor of Nursing, which I will become a Registered Nurse. I am currently in my third year and should complete it in August 2018. To accomplish a dream and going for it, you can never be sure of what the future holds.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading my life story. Who I am, how my nursing career began and what it means to me because to anyone believing in accomplishing a goal, no matter how old you are, aim for the sky because there are no limits!”