Nurses Roll Call

To mark International Nurses Day, we are recognising and celebrating our Hospital’s rich nursing history. If you trained as a nurse at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital (as it was known then) you are invited to take part in our Nurses Roll Call to share your tales of nursing. We would love to hear your fondest memories and how your time as a trainee influenced you in your life and career.

Share your story and photos by 31 May to claim your commemorative pin.

A message from Jane Scotcher, CEO

From one nurse to another, it is a privilege to connect with our past nurse trainees who share the very special bond of having completed their training at “The Kids”.

As we celebrate International Nurses Day on 12 May 2022, what better way to mark the occasion than by recognising and celebrating all that our past nurse trainees have contributed and achieved.

While the training for our modern nursing workforce looks quite different today, many aspects of life as a nurse remain the same. Our nurses continue to bring comfort, relieve pain, fight infection and help our young patients and families feel that little bit less vulnerable.

I am sure you will each find your own stories within these images and I invite you to share your own memories with me.

  • “Challenging. Memorable. Invaluable.”

    Carole Grubisa

    PTS 380, Trainee 1981 - 1984

  • “Fun. Caring. Strict.”

    Beth Freeman

    PTS 384, Trainee 1984 - 1987

  • “Knowledge. Compassion. Friendship.”

    Bronwyn Sharp

    PTS 173, Trainee 1973 - 1976

  • “Challenging. Privilege. Life-changing.”

    Dana Wright

    PTS 185, Trainee 1985 - 1987

  • “Privilege. Education. Lifelong Friendships.”

    Libby Simpson

    Trainee 1984 - 1987

  • “A Wonderful Journey.”

    Rosslyn Coutts (nee Kain)

    Trainee 1967 - 1971

  • “I Loved It.”

    Cathy McMillan

    PTS 277, Trainee 1977 - 1980

  • “Lasts A Lifetime”

    Susan Heidenreich (nee Guy)

    Trainee 1969 - 1972

  • “Challenging. Brilliant. Terrifying.”

    Lyn Townsend (nee Pinnegar)

    Trainee 1973 - 1977

  • “Happy. Busy. Friendship.”

    Molly Thomas (nee Black)

    Pre PTS Groups, Trainee 1944 - 1947

  • “Interesting and Fulfilling”

    Shirley Arbon

    Trainee 1975 - 1978

  • “Many Good Memories”

    Jo Colley (nee Nicholls)

    90th PTS Group E, Trainee 1962 - 1965

  • “Amazing. Friendships. Education.”

    Jane Hill (nee Seaton)

    Trainee 1958 - 1962

  • “A lifelong commitment!”

    Julianne Gibbs

    180, Trainee 1980 - 1983

  • “Friendships. Fun. Life-experiences.”

    Jane Hunter (nee Hockney)

    175, Trainee 1975 - 1978

  • “Exciting. Rewarding. Friendly”

    Melanie Hewish (nee Bott)

    Trainee 1971 - 1972

  • “Fulfilling. Eye-opening. Challenging”

    Betty Raelene Knights (nee Ball)

    Trainee 1972 - 1973

  • “Life-Changing Experience”

    Pamela Hasenohr (nee Lock)

    Trainee 1947 - 1951

  • “Inclusiveness. Learning. Fun.”

    Diana Barrie (nee Thomas)

    PTS "A", Trainee 1967 - 1970

  • “Wonderful. Caring. Grateful.”

    Linda Coleman (nee Brown)

    380, Trainee 1980 - 1984

  • “Knowledge. Structure. Humanity.”

    Julie Harris (nee Adams)

    175, Trainee 1975 - 1978

  • “Best Time Ever!”

    Jillian Katchor (nee Davies)

    PTS A, Trainee 1967 - 1970

  • “Rewarding. Fun. Tiring.”

    Jenny Osmond (nee Bowler)

    Group E 90th PTS, Trainee 1962 - 1965

  • “Compassion. Friendship. Memorable.”

    Lisa Mather (nee Bishop)

    381, Trainee 1981 - 1984

  • “The Best Life!”

    Jeanette Lindqvist (nee Kelly)

    Group A, Trainee 1967 - 1970

  • “Greatest Learning Experience”

    Prudence Carvell (nee Poidevin)

    A, Trainee 1967 - 1971

  • “Wonderful Life Skills.”

    Georgina Smith (nee White)

    A, Trainee 1967 - 1970

  • “Fulfilled a dream.”

    Janice Moulton (nee McCallum)

    W, Trainee 1966 - 1969

  • “Lots of fun!”

    Jude Carling-Sacharias (nee Carling)

    W, Trainee 1966 - 1969

  • “Good solid training.”

    Heather Jones (nee Jackson)

    276, Trainee 1976 - 1977

  • “Ever so happy.”

    Susan Renshaw (nee Cash)

    Trainee 1965 - n/a

  • “Educational. Friendly. Hard-work.”

    Jan Lister (nee Boundy)

    February 1974, Trainee 1974 - 1977

  • “Rewarding. Confronting. Exhausting.”

    Debra Baker (nee Hunt)

    374 X, Trainee 1974 - 1978

  • “Rewarding. Great opportunities.”

    Susanne Leimann (nee Jurisch)

    280, Trainee 1980 - 1984

  • “Many wonderful memories.”

    Joanna Klug (nee Ray)

    O, Trainee 1964 - 1967

  • “I loved it!”

    Anne Johnson (nee Johnson)

    374, Trainee 1974 - 1978

  • “Knowledge. Fun. Friendships.”

    Janette Waight

    378, Trainee 1978 - 1982

  • “I Loved It!”

    Debra Pine (nee Pudney)

    Trainee 1971 - 1975

  • “I loved it!”

    Clare Rundle (nee Snodgrass)

    I, Trainee 1969 - 1973

  • “Challenging. Rewarding. Friendships.”

    Judy Clark (nee Stone)

    N, Trainee 1971 - 1975

  • “Fulfilling and Enriching”

    Debbie Haansbergen (nee Gange)

    276, Trainee 1976 - 1978

  • “Grounding. Rewarding. Proud.”

    Diane Anthony (nee New Brown formerly Currie)

    Group U 373, Trainee 1973 - 1977

  • “Strict. Fun. Awesome.”

    Sue To er (nee Willson)

    W, Trainee 1974 - 1977

  • “Privileged. Grateful. Honored.”

    Georgie Kakoulis (nee Komineas)

    284, Trainee 1984 - 1987

  • “Amazing. Memorable. Caring.”

    Julie Black (nee Klaebe)

    176, Trainee 1976 - 1980

  • “Life’s happiest days.”

    Susan Harvey (nee Connock)

    Q, Trainee 1964 - 1969

  • “Memorable. Precious. Enlightening.”

    Bronte Princi (nee Bennett)

    A, Trainee 1967 - 1970

  • “Rewarding. Caring. Friendships.”

    Cathy Brideson (nee Campbell)

    J, Trainee 1970 - 1973

  • “Best nursing training!”

    Iris Matthews (nee Luethen)

    375, Trainee 1975 - 1979

  • “Absolutely loved it!”

    Rosa Perry (nee Roccisano)

    Trainee 1973 - 1975

  • “Positive. Exhausting. Challenging.”

    Leanne Zerna (nee Bradley)

    373, Trainee 1973 - 1977

  • “Fun. Work. Friends.”

    Ann Booker (nee Pinnegar)

    373, Trainee 1973 - 1977

  • “Rewarding. Friendships. Enriching.”

    Tracey Nicholson (nee Stephens)

    181, Trainee 1981 - 1984

  • “Demanding. Satisfying. Character Building.”

    Helen Markin (nee Markin)

    H, Trainee 1969 - 1972

  • “Loved children nursing!”

    Debra Lucas (nee Thiele)

    278, Trainee 1978 - 1981

  • “Friends for life.”

    Kerry Gein (nee Wright)

    176, Trainee 1977 - 1979

  • “Enlightening. Lifelong friendships. Proud.”

    Julie Schubert (nee Freidenfelds)

    831, Trainee 1983 - 1984

  • “Simply the best.”

    Lynne Atwell (nee Howell)

    873, Trainee 1983 - 1984

  • “Best time ever!”

    Julie Schmidt (nee Welden)

    711, Trainee 1971 - 1972

  • “Learnt to anticipate.”

    Cathie Hashemi (nee MacPhee)

    378, Trainee 1978 - 1983

  • “Amazing. Humbling. Fulfilling.”

    Jenny Fyfe

    178, Trainee 78 - 83

  • “Changed my life.”

    Marilyn Sherry

    831, Trainee 1983 - 1984

  • “In Our Day”

    Jeanne Bruce (nee Burnard)

    Trainee 1948 - 1951

  • “Everything I expected”

    Judith Bakker (nee Royal)

    Trainee 1955 - 1958

  • “Fantastic. Friendship. Fearless.”

    Glenda Whiting

    278, Trainee 1978 - 1981

  • “Interesting. Challenging. Character-building.”

    Miriam Clark (nee Steward)

    I, Trainee 1969 - 1973

  • “Best experience ever!”

    Linda Laverick (nee Hancox)

    J, Trainee 1970 - 1975 (returned after marriage and baby and graduated with group P

  • “Life Long Friendships.”

    Gwenyth Lodge (nee Murrie)

    1, Trainee 1947 - 1950

  • “Excellent Hospital Training.”

    Penelope Vine

    Trainee 1966 - 1969

  • “Three Unforgettable Years.”

    Noreen Hutchesson (nee Bartsch)

    J, Trainee 1963 - 1967

  • “Challenging but fun.”

    Brenda Stockwell (nee Stockwell)

    179, Trainee 1979 - 1982

  • “Rewarding. Enriching. Instructive.”

    Anthea Thompson (nee Smith)

    Group M, Trainee 1971 - 1974

  • “Friends. Learning. Experience.”

    Margaret Osborne (nee Budge)

    26th, Trainee 1951 - 1954

  • “Challenging. Enlightening. Tolerance.”

    Heather Bey (nee Miles)

    77, Trainee 1960 - 1963

  • “Worthwhile. Challenging. Caring.”

    Heather Oswald (nee Ferris)

    62nd, Trainee 1957 - 1960

  • “Loved It All.”

    Beverley Bradford (nee Dick)

    O, Trainee 1971 - 1975

  • “Loved it all.”

    Liz Henschke (nee Watson)

    B, Trainee 1967 - 1970

  • “Challenging. Fun. Rewarding.”

    Clare Fuller (nee Dilger)

    279, Trainee 1979 - 1983

  • “Exciting. Challenging. Fun.”

    Andrea Day

    374 or group x, Trainee 1974 - 1978

  • “Knowledge. Pride. Friendship.”

    Judy Loveland (nee Grundy)

    374, Trainee 1974 - 1978

  • “Very rewarding time.”

    Annette Hocking (nee Welden)

    702, Trainee 1970 - 1971

  • “Great times!”

    Alana Francis (nee Bullen)

    380, Trainee Oct 1980 - April 1984

  • “Rewarding”

    Jane Wells (nee Matthews)

    278, Trainee 1978 - 1981

  • “Absolutely loved it.”

    Irene Thomas (nee Siostrom)

    X, Trainee 1961 - 1964

  • “Lots of fun.”

    Valda Seith (nee Dunchue)

    2/48, Trainee 1948 - 1951

  • “The best ever!”

    Lorraine Griffiths (nee Lambert)

    K, Trainee 1970 - 1974

  • “Camaraderie. Gratitude. Pride.”

    Jennie Brazil (nee Morisset)

    174, Trainee 1974 - 1977

  • “Educational. Rewarding. Fun.”

    Jill Taplin (nee Halliday)

    Trainee 1955 - 1958

  • “Everlasting.”

    Mignon Bowen (nee Holden)

    14, Trainee 1949 - 1952

  • “It was life-changing.”

    Barbara Day (nee Foreshew)

    Trainee 1958 - 1962

  • “Wonderful training opportunity.”

    Maureen Kremer (nee Wasley)

    K, Trainee 1963 - 1967

  • “Care. Responsibility. Positivity.”

    Patricia Frith (nee Platten)

    78th Group S, Trainee 1959 - 1963

  • “Caring. Close connections.”

    Aileen Bridgman (nee Bridgman)

    Y, Trainee May 30th 1966 - 1969

  • “Wonderful. Interesting. Companionship.”

    Barbara Uren (nee Bartlett)

    PTS Q, Trainee 1964 - 1968

  • “Wonderful 3.5 years.”

    Mary Watson (nee Scott Young)

    Trainee 1957 - 1961

  • “Challenging. Educational. Cheerful.”

    Neroli Sims (nee Pryor)

    383, Trainee 1983 - 1986

  • “Best time ever.”

    Marion Blucher (nee Pocock)

    369, Trainee 1968 - 1973

  • “Hard. Rewarding. Satisfying.”

    Joanne Magarey

    276, Trainee 1976 - 1979

  • “Friendships. Teamwork. Fulfilment.”

    Joanne Pritchard (nee Harvey)

    183, Trainee 1983 - 1986

  • “Enriching. Life changing. Lifelong.”

    Sharon Heath (nee Girdler)

    281 or182, Trainee 1981 - 1982

  • “Wonderful. Fulfilling. Humbling.”

    Linda Macleod (nee Fone)

    175, Trainee 1975 - 1979

  • “Wonderful experience.”

    Cherie Trowbridge (nee Flinn)

    172, Trainee 1972 - 1973

  • “Challenging. Character-building. Enlightening.”

    Sue (Susan) Bates (nee Eves)

    377, Trainee 1977 - 1981

  • “Amazing. Rewarding. A life time of enrichment.”

    Rosemary Ranford

    176, Trainee 1976 - 1979

  • “Awesome. Precious. Privilege.”

    Petrie Collins (nee Vugts)

    N, Trainee 1971 - 1975

  • “Instructive. Nurturing. Career-defining.”

    Josephine Edgar (nee Pile)

    Trainee 1968 - 1972

  • “Variety and Enjoyed.”

    Jane Abbot (nee Rogers)

    183, Trainee 1983 - 1986

  • “Challenging. Pride. Lifelong.”

    Trish Pepper (nee Haddy)

    175, Trainee 1975 - 1978

  • “Lifelong experience.”

    Kayelene Ortis (nee Fisher)

    H, Trainee 1969 - Feb 1973

  • “Shaped my life.”

    Lynette Litchfield (nee Edwards)

    Trainee June 1971 - 3 rd January 1975

  • “Unbelievable. Rewarding. Heartbreaking.”

    Marie Gilbert

    384, Trainee September 1984 - 1987

  • “Life changing.”

    Soo Jones (nee Jenkin)

    U, Trainee 1973 - 1979

  • “Memories for life.”

    Sue Hudson (nee Donaldson)

    183, Trainee 1983 - 1987

  • “Fabulous. Fulfilling. Friendships.”

    Tiffany Birrell

    741, Trainee 1974 - 1975

  • “Exciting. Memorable. Knowledgeable.”

    Jane Devlin (nee Warne)

    Trainee 1985 - 1986

  • “Best career choice.”

    DEBRA Eneberg-Weeks (nee ENEBERG)

    732, Trainee 1973 - 1974

  • “Responsibility. Community. Learning.”

    Anne Harris (nee Harris)

    280, Trainee 1980 - 1984

  • “Rewarding. Fun. Friendships.”

    Margaret Durbridge (nee Peoples)

    ZA, Trainee 1966 - 1970

  • “A complete privilege.”

    Christine Gobbett

    T, Trainee 1973 - 1976

  • “Challenging. Educative. Exciting.”

    Christine Goodes (nee Whittney)

    69th, Trainee 1958 - 1962

  • “Life-long dream reached.”

    Heather Allen (nee Illman)

    PTS V, Trainee 1965 - 1969

  • “Thoroughly enjoyable experience!”

    Julie Coats

    Trainee 1971 - 1974

  • “I enjoyed it.”

    Helen Gehling (nee Brett)

    80, Trainee 1960 - 1963

  • “Enjoyment. Persistence. Pride.”

    Ann Henderson (nee Henderson)

    A, Trainee 1967 - 1970

  • “Lifetime Fulfilling Experience.”

    Susanne McKay (nee Herapath)

    K, Trainee 1970 - 1973

  • “Life long friends.”

    Patricia (Pat) Robinson (nee Holmes)

    Trainee 1951 - 1954

  • “Life-changing. Confronting. Joyful.”

    Judith (Judy) Weaver (nee Roberts)

    R, Trainee 1965 - 1968

  • “Rewarding. Nurturing. Lifelong friends.”

    Jane Wells (nee Matthews)

    278, Trainee 1978 - 1981

  • “Fun. Caring. Strict.”

    Beth Freeman-Gray (nee Freeman)

    384, Trainee 1984 - 1987

  • “Valuable. Challenging. Rewarding.”

    Jennifer Tyrer (nee Capon)

    ?, Trainee 1957 - 1960

  • “Long-lasting friendships made.”

    Janet White (nee Dellow)

    61b, Trainee 1957 - 1960

  • “Camaraderie. Confidence. Knowledge.”

    Mary Kennedy (nee Tierney)

    54th, Trainee January 1956 - July 1959

  • “Valuable nursing training.”

    Fiona Brown (nee Schuster)

    278, Trainee 1978 - 1981

  • “Dream achieved!”

    Anita Minkus (nee Lamond nee Hennessy)

    279, Trainee 1979 - 1983

  • “Absolutely best years!”

    Christine Mann (nee WILLIAMS)

    X, Trainee March 1966 - November 1969

  • “Best profession ever.”

    Margie Begg (nee Trigg)

    O, Trainee 1971 - 1975

  • “Wonderful. Scary. Maturing.”

    Jean Miller (nee Semmler)

    F, Trainee 1968 - 1972

  • “Rewarding. Scary. Maturing.”

    Joan Chataway (nee Cook)

    ?, Trainee 1948 - 1951

  • “Friendship. Fun. Commitment.”

    Elaine Barnett (nee Darling)

    none of us left can remember, Trainee 1959 - 1962

  • “Marvelous. Educational. Experience.”

    Christine Venning (nee Teasdale)

    Trainee 1958 - 1962

  • “Very good & exciting.”

    Janet Tiver (nee Sorby Adams)

    Trainee 1952 - 1955

  • “Quality. Hardwork. Fun.”

    Sheila Watkins (nee Loughe)

    Group L, Trainee 1970 - 1974

  • “Fulfilling. Rewarding. Knowledge.”

    Catherine Black (nee Frost)

    Trainee 1958 - 1961

  • “My happiest days.”

    Denice Fetherstonhaugh (nee Green)

    34, Trainee 1952 - 1955

  • “Fun. Educational. Worthwhile.”

    Reta Pratt (nee Greaves)

    Trainee 1957 - 1960

  • “Absolutely loved it”

    Maeve Roche (nee Roche)

    733, Trainee 1973 - 1974

  • “Fascinating. Enlightening. Terrifying.”

    Louise Ackland

    181, Trainee 1981 - 1984

Share your story

Complete our Roll Call to share your special memories from your time as a nurse trainee at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. Share your story by 31 May 2022 and don’t forget to supply a mailing address so we can send you a commemorative pin.

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    Nursing Through
    The Decades


    ACH in 1879

    ACH in 1879

    The Adelaide Children’s Hospital, whose foundation stone was laid in 1878, was the first hospital to offer formal training for nurses in a one-year course. Nurses received a small wage and accommodation plus a hospital certificate upon completion. Over the following decades, many public hospitals went on to offer similar on the job training with a few lectures.


    The new Queen’s Home in Rose Park provided maternity care originally for married women from low-income families. This would later be renamed in 1939 as the Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital. The annual report for the Home’s first year of operation showed that 80 patients were admitted and 80 babies were born, rising to 154 births the following year.


    Twenty two nurses photographed prior to leaving South Australia during World War I. These nurses were tendered a farewell at the Edith Cavell Army Nurses' Clubrooms, North Terrace, on 20 December 1916. Image credit: State Library of South Australia, PRG280/1/9/60, 1916.

    Twenty two nurses photographed prior to leaving South Australia during World War I. These nurses were tendered a farewell at the Edith Cavell Army Nurses' Clubrooms, North Terrace, on 20 December 1916. Image credit: State Library of South Australia, PRG280/1/9/60, 1916.

    Many nurses who trained and worked at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and Queen’s Home provided important medical assistance during World War One which lasted until 1918. There was initial reluctance to sign up our nurses, experienced in working with children and birthing women, as it was felt they might not cope with the stresses of war-time service. These misconceptions did not last and our nurses made a significant contribution, saving the lives of countless wounded Australians. So too did the nurses who stayed behind to continue their work at the Hospital.


    The ACH Registered Nurse badges awarded pre and post 1976.

    After 1920 all qualified nurses were registered and issued with a badge by the Nurses Board of South Australia (NBSA). At The Children’s, the registered nurse badge was red, white and blue with gold plating and it featured a red cross. In 1976, as part of the Hospital’s Centenary celebrations, a Coat of Arms was released with its motto, “Crescent atque crescamus”. This translates to “May they grow and may we” and it was during this year that the nurse badge was changed to feature the Coat of Arms.


    The “old” Kermode Street Nurses’ Home was opened in 1925 containing 60 rooms. Split over three floors, the building included space for recreation, a writing room and even a piano on the ground floor.


    1934 'Nurses To Meet Again'. Image credit: The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)

    1934 'Nurses To Meet Again'. Image credit: The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)

    The first ever reunion of nurse trainees took place with more than 150 guests attending. The evening, known as the “Back to the Hospital Movement” was hosted by Matron Knight and Sister Waterhouse (Assistant Matron) in the outpatient’s department of the Hospital, with decoration managed by the current trainees. Today, many of our past trainees get together frequently and continue to hold their own reunions and celebrations.


    The First PTS taking part in a baby bath demonstration in 1947. WCHN History and Heritage Collection.

    The First PTS taking part in a baby bath demonstration in 1947. WCHN History and Heritage Collection.

    The Hospital’s Preliminary Training School (PTS) was introduced in 1947 – the very first of any health facility in South Australia. The PTS, while a long-way from today’s standards, was a vast improvement on the approach of previous years where new trainees began working directly on the wards with no instruction and learning through trial and error. The eight week training school included bedmaking, bandaging, sponge practice, sorting laundry and ethics and etiquette.


    From 1949 until 1953 Adelaide suffered a polio epidemic (poliomyelitis). Many nurses also contracted the illness while caring for patients. The most critically ill patients suffered muscle paralysis which, if it included the chest muscles, meant that patients could not breathe unaided. In these cases, an ‘iron lung’ – state-of-the-art in life support technology at the time – was used to support respiration.  Polio vaccines were introduced in Australia in 1956, helping to eradicate the disease.


    Florence Knight Nurses’ Home was opened on North Adelaide’s Brougham Place, named after a former matron of ACH from the years 1930 to 1945. The residence was a multi-storey building large enough to accommodate 200 nurses. The building was later earmarked for demolition to make way for the new Queen Victoria Building.


    Nursing recruitment brochure. Image credit: 1980s WCHN History and Heritage Collection.

    Nursing recruitment brochure. Image credit: 1980s WCHN History and Heritage Collection.

    For decades, the Hospital had struggled to keep its nursing workforce in pace with increasing demand. In this era, women who married had to leave the workforce so many trainees and newly completed nurses left the workforce soon after graduating. During the 1960s many changes were afoot with both the training and education of nurses, rising patient occupancy rates and demand for more specialising nursing skills. In 1961, the first one-year course for enrolled nurses to assist registered nurses in hospital nursing began.


    1963 ‘Male nurses big help’. Image credit: The Advertiser (Adelaide SA).

    1963 ‘Male nurses big help’. Image credit: The Advertiser (Adelaide SA).

    Male nurses began to debut at the Hospital in the 1960’s, though the profession remained highly gendered with the vast majority of nurses being female. One of the first male nurses to complete a full course of general nursing training at the ACH was Kevin Donahue who graduated in 1969.

    During this era, specialised nursing also began to emerge where nurses could be trained for disciplines such as intensive care units. These specialisms helped to advance patient care and deliver better health outcomes to patients.


    South Australian nurses contributed to national discussions leading to the federal government’s decision to transfer all basic general nursing education from hospitals to the higher education sector. Undergraduate diploma courses in nursing began at Sturt College (1975) and the South Australian College of Advanced Education (1983). Later these became bachelor’s degree courses.


    The Hospital celebrated its Centenary year with a series of events and activities. To mark the 100 year milestone, a paediatrician named Dr Dilys Craven presented the “Pap Cup” to the Hospital. This was a silver feeding vessel used in the early 19th century to feed infants. At the time, it was used to mix wet bread with beer, milk and honey. The Pap Cup went on to become an annual award for the next 10 years, presented to the most outstanding student nurse in practical nursing.


    Nurse group 384 pictured on the Hospital steps in 1987. Supplied by Beth Freeman-Gray.

    Nurse group 384 pictured on the Hospital steps in 1987. Supplied by Beth Freeman-Gray.

    A 38-hour working week for nurses was introduced in 1985. This, combined with the phasing out of Hospital-based training and a national shortage of registered nurses, made finding paediatric nurses with suitable experience even more challenging.


    Trainee nurses from group 851, graduating in 1988. image credit: 1988 WCHN History and Heritage.

    Trainee nurses from group 851, graduating in 1988. image credit: 1988 WCHN History and Heritage.

    The last group of student nurses to train at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital as registered nurses graduated. A morning tea was held at the Hospital for members of the final PTS group, and past nurses from the very first PTS also attended to mark the end of this special era.


    Billboard photographed in 1989, advertising the rebuilding appeal for the Queen Victoria Hospital amalgamation

    Billboard photographed in 1989, advertising the rebuilding appeal for the Queen Victoria Hospital amalgamation

    The amalgamation of the Queen Victoria Hospital and the Adelaide Children’s Hospital occurred and created the Adelaide Medical Centre for Women and Children. This would later be renamed the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, as it is known today, and our organisation was once again reborn as the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation. The WCH was the very first Australian hospital specialising in health services for women, children and young people.


    Nursing education moved from hospitals to the classroom. Hospital training for nurses was phased out by 1993 and undertaken completely within the higher education sector.


    The current Women's and Children's Hospital pictured from above, in North Adelaide.

    The current Women's and Children's Hospital pictured from above, in North Adelaide.

    The Women’s and Children’s Hospital was fully reborn on 8 May 1995 when the Women’s and Babies Division opened and over 150 patients were transported by ambulance and taxi to the new facility.


    Our Hospital Today

    Today the Women’s and Children’s Hospital employs Registered Nurses, Midwives, Enrolled Nurses, Assistants in Nursing and Assistants in Midwifery. These nurses continue to be both the backbone of healthcare and on the front lines of advancing patient care and outcomes.

    A calling to care for future generations

    We love to connect with people who share a special connection to our Hospital and many of our past and present nurses ask us how they can continue to care for South Australian families today. For generations, our nurses have shown how much they care for our babies, children and mums. Today, many nurses choose to leave a gift in their Will to ensure that our Hospital continues to provide the very best care for families.

    Stories to Remember

    Kate Hill (1859-1933) | The original nurse trainee

    Kate Hill, along with Alice Tibbitts, were among the first nurses to complete training at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. Hill stayed at the Children’s where she was rapidly promoted to head nurse by 1887 and later, after a brief time away, became superintendent of nurses (or matron).  She resigned in 1902 to become a partner of Wakefield Street hospital that had become the first private nurse training school in SA.

    Hill remained a life member of the Children’s Hospital’s board of management and in 1939, the Kate Hill honour board was established by the Adelaide Children’s Hospital Nurses’ Association with the name of each year’s outstanding student inscribed upon it.  Today, the Hospital’s Kate Hill Ward holds this important historical name. The Ward provides care to babies, children and teenagers admitted for emergency surgical care.

    Jeanne Bruce | Nurse trainee and author of ‘In Our Day’

    Since her trainee days, Jeanne has maintained a close connection with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She commenced nurse training with PTS 11 in 1948, graduating in 1951 and went on to serve on the Trained Nurses Association of the Hospital for 30 years.

    Jeanne was also President of the Association in 1976 which earned her one of her proudest memories; arranging a dinner for 500 nurses as part of the Hospital’s Centenary of Nurse Training.

    Jeanne’s love of the Hospital led to her writing and publishing a book, ‘In Our Day’, in 1995 which includes both historical and personal reflections of her time at “The Kids”.