Whanganui Regional Museum to host May 12 International Nurses Day event

28 April 2016
Whanganui DHB region nurses, past and present, are invited to attend this year’s 12 May International Nurses Day event at the Whanganui Regional Museum.
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) director of nursing Sandy Blake has confirmed that New Zealand nursing historian Clare Ashton will be the guest speaker and the museum’s WWI exhibition will be open for viewing. Museum curator Libby Sharpe will deliver a presentation on the exhibition.
Mrs Blake says the display featuring former Whanganui residents matron Vida MacLean and Private Billy Connell (two of the millions of people world-wide whose lives were irrevocably changed by the war) will provide a fitting background for Ms Ashton’s talk focused on the hundreds of New Zealand and Australian Army nurses who worked overseas.
Nurses are asked to register with Anne Babbage by calling 06 348 3181. The first 70 nurses to register will secure a place at the event which begins at 7pm. A gold coin donation for the museum would be much appreciated.

Honorary Sydney University Nursing School lecturer Clare Ashton developed a keen interest in the history of nursing some years ago while helping to protect Porirua Psychiatric Hospital’s museum. Her career as a registered nurse and midwife has included maternity, operating theatre and psychiatric nursing. While researching the history of Karitane in New South Wales for her MPhil in Public Health, Clare discovered that Karitane Sydney’s founder Elizabeth McMillan was one of the first Australian nurses to go to the First World War and that she’d served on Lemnos in 1915. Having organised last year’s voyage to commemorate the ANZAC nurses who served in the Aegean, Clare was delighted to be part of the group who visited the site of the Lemnos tent hospital.