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Image courtesy State Library of NSW

Image courtesy State Library of NSW

The concept of a special day to commemorate nurses was first conceived by Dorothy Sutherland, a US Department of Health, Education and Welfare officer, who, in 1953, proposed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaim a special day to acknowledge the contribution that nurses make to society. The President rejected the idea, and it was not until 1965 that the first Nurses Day was first celebrated. In January 1974 the International Council of Nurses determined that International Nurses’ Day would be celebrated on 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Some 3,000 Australian civilian nurses volunteered for active service during the First World War. Their training would have done little to prepare them for the horrendous war injuries they would encounter. These nurses worked in adverse conditions, often with limited resources, proving their dedication, courage and professionalism.

There were at least 25 nurses from Orange and district who served overseas during WWI. Read more:

Sisters Kath and Wynne King

Constance Adelaide Stone

Australian Nurses in WWI