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So what went wrong?

5 Training the ‘natives’ as nurses in Australia: so what went wrong? Odette Best Introduction The story of the Aboriginal women who participated in Australia’s nursing history remains largely untold. In the first six decades of the twentieth century, Aboriginal people were confronted with harsh exclusionary practices that forced them to live in settlements, reserves and missions.1 While many Aboriginal women worked in domestic roles (in white people’s homes and on rural properties), small numbers were trained at public hospitals and some Aboriginal women

in Colonial caring
Open Access (free)
A history of colonial and post-colonial nursing
Editors: Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins

Colonial Caring covers over a century of colonial nursing by nurses from a wide range of countries including: Denmark, Britain, USA, Holland and Italy; with the colonised countries including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Nigeria, India, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) and the Danish West Indies. It presents unique perspectives from which to interrogate colonialism and post-colonialism including aspects of race, cultural difference and implications of warfare and politics upon nursing. Viewing nursing’s development under colonial and post-colonial rule reveals different faces of a profession that superficially may appear to be consistent and coherent, yet in reality is constantly reinventing itself. Considering such areas as transnational relationships, class, gender, race and politics, this book aims to present current work in progress within the field, to better understand the complex entanglements in nursing’s development as it was imagined and practised in local imperial, colonial and post-colonial contexts. Taking a chronologically-based structure, early chapters examine nursing in situations of conflict in the post-Crimean period from the Indian Rebellion to the Anglo-Boer War. Recruitment, professionalisation of nursing and of military nursing in particular, are therefore considered before moving deeper into the twentieth century reflecting upon later periods of colonialism in which religion and humanitarianism become more central. Drawing from a wide range of sources from official documents to diaries, memoirs and oral sources, and using a variety of methodologies including qualitative and quantitative approaches, the book represents ground-breaking work.

Part II Professional women In August 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, British women volunteered in their thousands to participate in what most people thought would be a short-term conflict with a clear, decisive end. Members of the QAIMNS and its Reserve were among the first to travel to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Nurses of the British Dominions followed, with Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand nurses reaching Europe by late 1914 or early 1915.1 The American Army Nurse Corps was not mobilised until the entry of the

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Disease, conflict and nursing in the British Empire, 1880–1914

, Colonel (Sir) William Williams sought her advice on the formation of an Army Nursing Service Reserve (ANSR) that was to be attached 41 Angharad Fletcher to the New South Wales Army Medical Corps (NSWAMC). Three months later, Gould had amassed twenty-six nurses and assumed the post of lady superintendent. On 17 January 1900 she, along with thirteen nursing sisters, left Australia to participate in the Second Boer War (1899–1902), serving at hospitals in Sterkstroom, Kroonstad, Johannesburg and Ermelo, often beside Buller, the Rhodesian ridgeback that had become the

in Colonial caring
South Korea’s development of a hepatitis B vaccine and national prevention strategy focused on newborns

hepatitis rate in an area where viral hepatitis was endemic. 7 In 1964 Dr Baruch Blumberg, an American geneticist, found a strange protein in the blood of an Australian aborigine while analysing blood samples from around the world. This substance, which became known as the Australia antigen, proved to be a protein from the hepatitis B virus. This discovery made research into viral hepatitis much easier

in The politics of vaccination
Open Access (free)
Contextualising colonial and post-colonial nursing

four chapters begin to examine the embedding of Western-style nursing culture into indigenous cultures. These chapters widen our scope beyond the British Empire to include not only Australia and New Zealand, but also the Dutch East Indies and the American colonies of Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Issues such as racism and clashes of culture now come to the fore. The tensions between colonial nurses and their ‘Western’ culture of medicine and the traditional practices of indigenous trainees 3 Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins and their patients are examined, as are

in Colonial caring
Open Access (free)
Nursing work and nurses’ space in the Second World War: a gendered construction

recognise the importance of the nursing sisters’ wartime presence,36 whilst valuable as books that write nurses back into the narrative of the war’s medical provision, do not do full service to their essential work. There are a range of more critical texts about nursing in war in general, but little on the Second World War specifically. Jan Bassett, Mary Sarnecky and Anna Rogers have written highly empirical monographs about Australian, US and New Zealand army nurses, but they cover over 100 years of service.37 Over recent years there has been a proliferation of work on

in Negotiating nursing
Open Access (free)

. They trained nurses who wanted not only to work in healthcare but also to serve their country. Protestant missionaries set up hospitals and training schools on the island in part to undermine the position of the Catholic Church. Thus in this case, for better or for worse, nurses served to transform healthcare and society. In Australia, the goal was to ‘civilise’ the Aboriginals, who were described as ‘savages’. Aboriginal healthcare and midwifery practices were discounted. With the presence of plague in Hong Kong, British doctors and nurses insisted that only

in Colonial caring
Open Access (free)

was still offered by religious orders, and most nurses received no formal training.87 The French Flag Nursing Corps appears to have been a success, although much of what we 14 Introduction know of it is reported through the pages of that somewhat partial organ of nursing professionalization, the BJN. The Corps was brought under the auspices of the British Committee of the French Red Cross in March 1917.88 The development of the nursing professions in self-governing British dominions such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada had been heavily influenced by that of

in Nurse Writers of the Great War

31 Negotiating nursing her ward is no more detailed, ‘we feed, tuck them up for the night, not half of them get washed, some are very ill’.49 Sister Jessie Wilson is equally brief in her narrative of the care given to Greek soldiers as they arrived from fighting in Albania. Moreover, she has a chaperone: ‘Mac, the Australian orderly and I got them into bed, bathed and fed them.’50 Yet this momentary description of bodily care is stark against the graphic description of one particular patient’s head wound. Arguably, it is the nature of body care and not the

in Negotiating nursing