To attend a public health nursing administration course and to observe the latest developments in public health nursing - UK, USA, Canada, Malaysia

Doreen was born in England in 1920. She was the eldest of three children, her father was a merchant seaman. Doreen qualified as a nurse in 1944. She nursed for 8 years in the UK before heading overseas in 1952 to nurse in Luanshya,(loo-an-chia) Zambia for the next 3 years.She then travelled to Australia and subsequently to Tasmania where her brother then lived. She registered to nurse in Australia and spent some time bush nursing in out of the way locations around the state.She became passionately interested in public health services and particularly those devoted to the care of children.



With her work venue now at the Headquarters of the Public Health Division Doreen had access to the divisional library that subscribed to journals and professional papers from many countries. Through them she learned of exciting developments overseas, some of which could be valuable if introduced in Tasmania. With the Child Health Doctor’s encouragement she prepared a programme of visits to these places and applied for a Churchill Fellowship. On advice about the recently introduced three months course in Public Health Nursing Administration at the The Royal College of Nursing in London, Doreen applied and was accepted, and was able to incorporate it into her programme thereby extending it by three months to twenty five weeks.

Her Fellowship took her to countries that were experimenting with different patterns -Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and then Britain for the course. After that she visited Cumberland, the West Riding and Aberdeen. In Britain, each county or Area Health District was responsible for organising the Health Services, as each differed widely from the other. From Scotland, she travelled to Montreal and Quebec State in Canada, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, Denver and Las Angeles in the USA, having read of their innovative programmes, all very different, being conducted there. She was overwhelmed by the kindness shown her and the care with which each agency had taken in compiling the programme for her.


The full report that she submitted to the Trust was circulated to the Director General of Health Services, Tasmania, the Director of Public Health, the Mothercraft Home, every Child Health Sister, the School Health Service, the Royal Australian College of Nursing headquarters and the local committee thereof. Doreen was disappointed at its reception. In 1969 both the Australian Royal College of Nursing and the Tasmanian Department of Health Services were orientated to hospital training and Public Health Nursing ran a very poor second. Only one of her ten recommendations was implemented. She was invited to talk about her experiences at nurse study days and through these talks she hoped she opened the eyes of staff and child health students to the wider possibilities of public health, but she felt little changed in the overall structure until after she retired eleven years later.

Doreen felt strongly that to be successful, and accepted, new innovative programmes must be introduced and developed by a partnership between nurses and an enthusiastic member of the Medical Profession.

In her own words Doreen said “As I have reflected on my long and varied career in nursing, I am indeed thankful that I decided to leave my good, safe and secure job in the Income Tax Division of the British Civil Service with its good hours and long holidays (in peacetime) for which I had worked so hard at school, and much to my parents’ consternation (they had known much insecurity in their lives) and embark on a nursing career. I am sure that I have enjoyed a more interesting and fulfilled life and I hope that I have contributed a little to the communities in which I have lived.
Doreen died 11th August, 2009