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ACN building a treasure trove of Australian nursing history

Australian College of Nursing 2 mins read


9 June 2024

ACN building a treasure trove of Australian nursing history

International Archives Day 2024


On International Archives Day, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is proud to announce valuable additions to the National Nursing Archives of Australia, including a new website.


International Archives Day highlights the crucial work of archives and archivists in preserving historical records. Archives are vital in providing public access to community history and government transparency.


Established and curated by ACN, the National Nursing Archives of Australia preserves the countless stories of dedication, compassion, and resilience in Australian nursing history, ensuring these tales are never forgotten.


Today we are launching part of the National Nursing Archives growing collection.


You can visit the website at National Nursing Archives of Australia (


ACN is building a treasure trove of Australian nursing history. The items showcased include:


Muriel Knox Doherty's Royal Red Cross 1st Class Medal


  • Description: Muriel Knox Doherty was awarded for her exceptional military nursing service.
  • Significance: This medal highlights Doherty's critical contributions during wartime, recognising her dedication and service to military nursing.
  • Physical Description: A cross, enamel red, edged with gold, featuring a crown and the inscription "Faithful Service."


Photo Album by Nursing Sister Wilhemina Raymont


  • Description: A collection of photographs documenting the experiences of Nursing Sister Wilhemina Raymont during her service.
  • Significance: The album offers a personal and historical perspective on nursing, capturing moments of care and resilience in the field.
  • Physical Description: Leather-bound album with numerous black-and-white photographs.



Lladro Porcelain Nurse Figurine


  • Description: A porcelain figurine of a nurse in a blue and white uniform.
  • Significance: This figurine represents the compassion and dedication of nurses, serving as a tribute to their vital role in health care.
  • Physical Description: Glossy porcelain figurine with detailed features showcasing the traditional nurse uniform.


Photographs of Nurses in the 1920s


  • Description: Black-and-white photographs capturing the lives and work of nurses in the 1920s.
  • Significance: These photographs provide a rare insight into the early 20th-century nursing environment, illustrating the challenges and achievements of nurses during this era.
  • Physical Description: Developed from glass negatives, the photographs showcase various scenes from the 1920s.


Canterbury Hospital Midwifery Badge


  • Description: A badge representing the completion of midwifery training at Canterbury Hospital.
  • Significance: This badge symbolises the rigorous training and dedication required to become a midwife, reflecting the historical importance of midwifery in health care.
  • Physical Description: The circular badge measuring 3cm x 2.5cm x 10mm is made of base metal.


Nursing Certificate of Mary Livingston


  • Description: Issued on 1 August 1912, this certificate certifies Mary Livingston's qualification and registration as a nurse.
  • Significance: The certificate marks a significant milestone in nursing history, representing the professional recognition and standardisation of nursing qualifications in the early 20th century.
  • Physical Description: Leather-bound cardboard certificate, preserving the historical document.



For more information:

Kirsty Waterford 0403 295 934



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