Mary and Madeleine Daly: Together in study, graduation and careers.
Mary and Madeleine Daly: Together in study, graduation and careers.
9 December 2013

A mother and daughter from Brisbane are living parallel lives . . . or so it would seem.

After three years studying together, living together, and graduating together, University of Queensland nursing graduates Mary and Madeleine Daly will soon be working in hospital wards right next door to each other.

The pair will get their degrees from UQ’s School of Nursing and Midwifery – the school’s first mother-daughter duo to do so – on Tuesday (10 December) at a 1pm graduation ceremony at the Ipswich campus.

More than 7000 students will graduate from UQ between December 6 and 17, with 122 attending the Ipswich ceremony.

“It was quite amazing how it happened, but we ended up with graduate nursing roles working in wards right next door to each other,” mother Mary said.

“We didn’t plan it that way and I had initially applied for other positions, but it was like it was meant to be.”

Mary’s second eldest daughter, Rosemary, is following a similar path, and has completed the first year of a UQ nursing and midwifery dual degree.

“There sure were plenty of UQ prac uniforms for the three of us this year, and now there will be more Queensland Health uniforms on the washing line than school uniforms,” Mary said.

“Being at university with my daughters was definitely a new experience, especially as we were all studying in the same field.

“Sharing study concerns and comparing stories of placement experiences is quite a bonus, although there were times when we had to modify our dinner conversations, knowing not everyone wants to hear about bodily functions at the table,” Mary said.

Madeleine Daly began her four-year nursing and midwifery dual degree in 2010, and Mary applied to study nursing later that same year.

“I’d wanted to study for a while, and nursing was always an interest of mine,” Mary said.

“Watching my daughter study, I saw first-hand how UQ’s Nursing and Midwifery programs were run. I was really impressed with the structure and program model offered by UQ.”

Mary topped the class academically in first and second years, receiving a UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Scholarship, the Tri Rhosen House Prize, and the Peter John Ackroyd Memorial Prizes in Nursing.

She was also selected as valedictorian of her year, and will deliver the valedictory speech at graduation. 

Madeleine received a UQ Merit Scholarship and a Royal College of Nursing Australia Undergraduate Scholarship.

She also completed two International Community Health Placements in Cambodia as part of her undergraduate degree, and recently returned to Cambodia to spend a two months volunteering in Siem Reap.

Both have secured graduate positions with Queensland Health next year, with Madeleine due to start at the Royal Children’s Hospital in February, and Mary to begin there in April.

UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery Head Professor Catherine Turner said she was delighted to see a mother and daughter graduate together.

“We pride ourselves on the quality of our graduates and Mary and Madeleine are no exception,” she said.

“UQ is pleased to deliver another exceptional group of 52 nurses, 10 midwives and 24 dual degree students into the Australian health system this semester.

“We wish Mary and Madeleine every success and look forward to seeing them again in a few years when Rosemary graduates.”

This year marks 100 years of graduates at UQ, since the first degrees were awarded in 1913.

Queensland’s largest university has graduated more than 205,000 students, and has a proud cohort of alumni who have gone on to make their mark in more than 150 countries.


Media: Lya McTaggart, 07 3365 5084 or

For more on UQ Graduations: UQ Communications, 07 3346 0561 or

December 2013 Graduation schedule:

Live coverage of the graduation ceremonies is available here: