2020 - International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

This is a HOME AT PARRAMATTA initiative.

To find out more about Parramatta, it’s history, culture and heritage and discover an array of online events and activities, check out https://atparramatta.com/homeat. You can stay connected and engaged with Parramatta from the comfort of your home. This is our HOME, from your home. This is HOME AT PARRAMATTA.


2020 has been named The International Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organisation. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale – the world’s most famous nurse.

 Florence Nightingale has been described as a caring and trailblazing British nurse, statistician, social reformer and leader of improved health care who is widely regarded as the founder of modern nursing.

Florence Nightingale (Source: Wikipedia)

World War One and Parramatta Nurses

Australia’s involvement in World War One began on 4 August 1914. Many who joined up believed that the war would be a great adventure, but none could have imagined the scale of the endeavour on which they were about to embark. Sadly, many of these soldiers, sailors, airmen, medical support staff and nurses didn’t make it home. Their courage, sacrifice, hardship and losses brought a new maturity to our nation.
Australian women could serve overseas only if they joined the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service or the Red Cross. Across Australia a total of 2,861 women enlisted for duty during World War One and 513 of these were from New South Wales. Read the stories compiled by Research Team about Nurses: World War One and Parramatta Nurses

Parramatta Nurses and Midwives

Nurses and midwives are the cornerstone of health systems, providing skilled and compassionate care and leadership around the clock. Over 50,000 nurses and midwives work within NSW Health hospitals and health services, providing safe, quality care for the people of NSW.

The International Year of the Nurse and Midwife presents a unique opportunity to recognise and showcase the work and contributions of nurses and midwives to patients. Let’s acknowledge and give genuine recognition to the honest and meaningful work of nurses and midwives for their communities.

Parramatta Lunatic Asylum:1848-1878

Parramatta Lunatic Asylum Dormitory, June 1861 Since the first transfer of patients in 1846, the site has remained home to psychiatric and mental health for Western Sydney, although it has undergone several name changes.  These name changes also reflect changing...

Westmead Hospital

Westmead Hospital, c. late-1990s (Source: City of Parramatta Archives, PCC Photographs Collection) The history of health services in Western Sydney began with a tent hospital established in Parramatta to meet the medical needs of convicts, military personnel, and...

History of Nursing During War Time in Australia

Nurses accompanied the 3rd Victorian Bushmen's Contingent to South Africa in 1900: (front row – left to right) Sisters Fanny Hines, Julia Anderson, Marianne Rawson, Ellen Walter and Annie Thomson (Source: Australian War Memorial) Australian nurses have been going to...

Noeline Rozanc: Her Early Years at Westmead Hospital

Nurse Unit Manager Noeline Rozanc (Source: Michelle Goodman 2018) Nurse Unit Manager Noeline Rozanc‘s experience at Westmead Hospital in 1980’s as a trainee nurse. Interview was recorded in 2018.   My name is Noeline Rozanc and I’ve been working at Westmead...

Emily Pearson, Parramatta District Hospital Matron 1876-1880

Lucy Osburn and 21 nursing staff outside the Sydney Hospital, Nightingale Wing in 1870 (Source: The Australian Women’s Weekly courtesy of Sydney Hospital)[1] The first nursing staff employed by the Parramatta District Hospital were generally untrained and in some...

Avis Alma Stretton – Parramatta Psychiatric Centre

Former psychiatric nurse Mrs Avis Stretton, 1987. Image: Parramatta Advertiser Avis Alma (nee Byron) Stretton was born in 1921 and grew up in rural NSW in Bakara, Menindee. After her schooling, she attended Our Lady of Mercy Commercial College in Parramatta. In June...

Ellen Curling – Ladies’ doctor in Parramatta

Advertisement for Curling's Sanadentium (Source: Miners' Advocate and Northumberland Recorder)[1] In 1874, Ellen Curling arrived in Parramatta, NSW. By October 1878, she began her ladies’ medical practice in the heart of the Parramatta district to provide much needed...

Ruby Buchanan – Parramatta Hospital for the Insane

Sister Ruby Buchanan, nursing sister at the Parramatta Hospital for the Insane, c.1907. Source: Heritage Centre – Local Studies Photographic Collection, LSP00072 The Parramatta Lunatic Asylum became the Parramatta Hospital for the Insane in 1878, and in 1916 was...

Images From Our Collection