Be Your Best: from the floor to the field

Friday, November 18, 2022 be your bestcareersnursing
Be Your Best: from the floor to the field
Thanks to the support of her colleagues, Cherie O'Neill can commit to her nursing, navy and coaching commitments.

No two days are the same for perioperative nurse Cherie O’Neill. In her 21 years at Bendigo Health since graduating, Cherie has worked the challenging role of Floor Coordinator for several years, and just recently, completed a post-graduate certificate in perianaesthetic nursing.

Since 2013, Cherie has also worked in the Royal Australian Navy as a perioperative nurse, working as part of a multi-disciplinary team to achieve the best health outcomes for navy personnel.

The two roles go hand in hand for Cherie, and what she loves most about the navy is being able to use her skill set in a different environment.

 “I enjoy being able to deploy and help other people, and I enjoy the versatility it provides,” she said.

While working for the navy means she is sometimes called for instant deployment, Cherie knows she’ll always have the backing of her managers.

“Bendigo Health has been really supportive with being called away at short notice. It really helps to have support and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them,” she said.

When she’s not fulfilling her navy duties or on the floor at Bendigo Health, Cherie swaps the scrubs for the Hawthorn colours. After coaching the Bendigo Pioneers girl’s and boy’s programs for 12 years, Cherie is now head coach for the Hawthorn Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) team, and assists the AFL Women’s (AFLW) team, which keeps her busy on and off the field.

“I played with Bendigo Thunder many years ago then moved into coaching. Training happens two nights a week and games are on weekends. It’s a bit of travel and juggling the work and football, I just wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support from Bendigo Health,” she said.

Long-term, Cherie hopes to become head coach of Hawthorn’s AFLW team full time. For now, however, she’s enjoying the flexibility of being able to commit to both nursing and coaching part time.

“Bendigo Health is definitely helping me to be my best. I can’t speak highly enough of how flexible my colleagues have been with the rosters to make things work,” she said.

If you want to be your best with us, visit

Read more Be Your Best stories at