Expert nurses legacy of unsung heroes

11-May-2016

CDU Nursing Museum curator Janie Mason (left) and Julie Lloyd at the re-enactment last year of the arrival of the Anzac nurses at Lemnos Island

CDU Nursing Museum curator Janie Mason (left) and Julie Lloyd at the re-enactment last year of the arrival of the Anzac nurses at Lemnos Island


An International Nurses’ Day event at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus tomorrow (Thursday) will mark the legacy of unsung Anzac nurses and war heroes.

During the event, NT Health Department Chief Executive Officer Professor Len Notaras AM will launch a paper by CDU Nursing Museum curator Janie Mason, entitled “An Anzac journey from Adelaide River to Lemnos”.

Ms Mason said the paper reflected on the WWI Anzac nurses, and also her retracing of their footsteps in Athens, Salonika and Lemnos in Greece last year during the Anzac Centenary.

While in Lemnos, she joined about 30 participants from Australia and New Zealand to recreate an historic photo of the first Anzac nursing contingent that landed on the island’s shores in 1915.

Ms Mason said dressing in costume and following the footsteps of the Anzac nursing sisters highlighted the hardships that these women endured while treating wounded soldiers.

“It was intensely moving to walk along that bleak peninsula full of stones and sharp thistles that stuck into my long skirt and went through my socks,” she said.

“You were immediately aware by today’s standards of the very uncomfortable and impractical uniform they had to work in. And they had petticoats as well.”

Ms Mason said the Australian Anzac nurses carried out their duties courageously and professionally despite receiving poor wages and being denied official military titles, awards or veterans’ pensions in the war aftermath.

The CDU Nursing Museum event will be held at Red Building 1, Level 3, Casuarina campus on Thursday, 12 May from 3pm until 5pm. To RSVP, contact: 8946 7665 or CDUEvents@cdu.edu.au

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