Torie Finnane was a much-loved midwife who tragically passed away in December 2020 at the age of 34 just three days after giving birth to her third child Maisie in Orange, NSW. It’s important to note that Torie passed away from a sudden case of bacterial meningitis which was unrelated to the birth of Maisie. Maisie being also unwell was subsequently transferred to Sydney where she spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, before returning home to her father, Liam, and older siblings, Ollie and Elke, in Orange.
Torie was raised on a sheep grazing property in the Snowy Monaro region of NSW with her older siblings, Caddie and Geoff. Torie's loving and caring nature began here as she helped her parents, Bill and Sue O'Hare, with the many aspects of country life.
Torie completed her secondary schooling in Sydney, where she made many city friends and enjoyed all that Sydney had to offer. It was during this time that Torie fell in love with Liam.
After school, Torie went on to study Nursing at Charles Sturt University (Bathurst) and then specialised in Midwifery at the University of Technology, Sydney. Torie worked at Prince of Wales Private Hospital, Randwick and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown before returning to her country roots and working with the Orange Health Service.
Torie was renowned among her colleagues for her ability to impart her outstanding practical knowledge and experience, brought about by her years as a midwife in some of the State’s busiest maternity units, to her junior colleagues to aid their professional development. Throughout her many years as a Midwife, Torie welcomed numerous babies into the world, always leaving a lasting impact on new parents with her genuine and empathetic nature.
“Torie was a great believer in sharing her knowledge with student midwives, young doctors and all who wanted to learn. She used coffee cups, lots of water (often ending up in her shoes), oranges, rediwipes, paper clips, balloons and all manner of things to demonstrate the wonders and mysteries of birthing. She did not refer to computer graphics and use complicated language. She used the everyday terms and items around her to teach, delight, inform, educate and encourage the sharing of ideas but in a professional and respectful manner. Torie was very respected and appreciated for her teaching and mentoring - and casual chats over a glass of wine in her lounge room! It was a collegial friendship that can be too rare at times in our hospital environments.”
Dr Ron Vaughan
Torie was a Daughter, Sister, Wife and Mother whose family meant the absolute world to her. Growing up the youngest of three, Torie formed a uniquely strong bond with her siblings, one that continued to grow into adulthood. Torie, Caddie and Geoff enjoyed spending time with each other, from being flat mates in Sydney, partying and holidaying together, always laughing and enjoying life. This love for her siblings continued to evolve once they all had children and Torie often provided so much care for Caddie and Geoff's children like they were her own.
As a daughter, Torie's love and admiration for her parents, Bill and Sue was always very strong and plain for all to see. Providing tremendous support to them, Torie loved and respected them greatly.
Without a doubt though, Torie’s proudest achievement in life were hers and Liam’s three beautiful children Ollie, Elke and Maisie. Torie truly was a natural mother; instinctively caring, patient and so warm and loving.
To everyone who knew Torie, her role as wife, or more fittingly, soulmate, to Liam is one that is hard to describe. They were never far from each other's side, moving through so much of life together in such a short time. Torie truly loved and cared for Liam and they were simply always meant to be together. Torie and Liam made a formidable partnership, full of laughter and a zest for life that Liam will now endeavour to instil in their children as Torie would have done.
Torie was a loyal friend who would do anything for those who she loved. Her wide circle of friends and her ability to connect with people from all walks of life is a testament to her inclusive and warm nature.
Torie’s family and friends will always miss her sense of fun, her generosity, her positivity, her laugh, her smile, her love of a good time.
For Torie’s family, it seemed only fitting that out of such a tragedy they could honour her by establishing the Torie Finnane Foundation for Women & Babies to create an ongoing legacy in her name.
The TFF will see the ongoing development of the city-country connection that Torie cherished, working together to achieve great things for maternity services in regional communities.