The last two years have been career defining for Georgia Redmayne.
Hailing from northern New South Wales, the 27-year-old left-handed wicketkeeper-batter has always had serious potential, but she has had to chase opportunity around the country in various Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and Big Bash (WBBL) teams.
Since her domestic debut in 2015, Redmayne has played 50-over cricket for three different states (NSW, TAS, QLD) and T20 cricket for three different sides (Hurricanes, Scorchers, Heat).
Now it seems she has finally found the right fit in Queensland, elevating her game and profile tremendously since committing to playing both formats for the sunshine state in 2020.
Last summer she topped the run-scoring list at the Brisbane Heat (357) and Queensland Fire (531), scoring two centuries for the latter, including an unbeaten ton against Victoria in the WNCL final.
Her success has continued this year, with a call-up to play for the Welsh Fire in The Hundred and first-time selection to the Australian squad for the home India series.
Even now in the current season of the WBBL, where some of the best players in the world compete, Redmayne sits fifth overall for total runs (311 runs) with another Heat semi-finals berth well on the cards.
It has been a huge 24 months on the field, but that list of achievements does not factor in the time she has dedicated to working on the front line helping to fight COVID-19.
See, when she’s not playing cricket, you’ll find Dr Redmayne busy working at Tweed Heads hospital, where luckily, she admits, the case numbers have been easier to manage than the capital cities.
Speaking with the ABC, Redmayne reflected on what it’s been like for those in the medical profession during the pandemic.
“Last year I was working full time when the pandemic started here and it certainly changed the way we did things, having to get temperature screened every day, wearing a lot more PPE, implementing more protocols than normal and having restricted access to some parts of the hospital,” she said.
“The biggest worry was that there was a whole lot of uncertainty, because no-one really knew how badly we were going to be hit.
“Fortunately, at the time we got off pretty lucky, but this year has been a different story.”
Just when we thought we may be close to getting out of the woods, the more contagious Delta variant of the virus reached Australian shores, sending NSW (among other states) into another long stint in lockdown.
Redmayne says the strain on medical staff this year has been enormous, especially for some of her university friends living and working in Sydney.
“This year was a much worse situation,” she said.
“Everyone’s experience is obviously dependent on where you’re working, because it varies state to state, hospital to hospital.
“My friends in Sydney have definitely had a more difficult and challenging time compared to some of my colleagues up in Queensland, for example.
“I’ve seen some things on social media from friends who have really been doing it tough and battling through varying levels of burnout, which is not necessarily new to the medical profession, but has been heightened during the pandemic.”
Redmayne has spent less time in her scrubs this year after heading off to take up the opportunity to play in the UK before joining the Australian camp.
However, although she’s very much been consumed by sport, she says she hasn’t forgotten her teammates in health, whose welfare has always been in the back of her mind.
“I’ve probably only worked for a couple of months this year and I’ve been very aware of that privilege, being able to travel overseas and interstate, so I’ve tried to make the most of every opportunity,” she said.
“Whilst it’s nice to be away, it’s hard because working in a hospital is quite a team effort and you really rely on everyone around you.
“I’ve found it challenging to watch from afar and I’ve been thinking about my colleagues a lot.
“They’re doing amazing work and the nice thing to know is that there’s more of an awareness around how hard they’re working, and people seem to be looking out for medical staff and giving them a little more recognition.”
When asked to identify her biggest takeaway from the pandemic, Redmayne said she hoped people had gained perspective and now realised they could make a difference if they worked together.
“I think the most important thing is that it’s really highlighted the importance of the collective in the community and that it’s about trying to band together,” she said.
“Whether it be isolating or vaccinations, it’s a time where you need the community to come together as a whole and to understand that society is potentially more important than any individual.
“That togetherness is something I hope will come out of it as a really strong focus point.”