Odette Best gives this year’s History of Nursing Forum lecture on her research into Aboriginal Australian nurses and midwives, 1890 – 1940
The annual RCN History of Nursing Forum lecture will be given by Professor Odette Best, from the University of Southern Queensland on ‘Yatdjuligin – Training the ‘Natives’ as Nurses: Voices From the Colony’.
Odette Best is a Wakgun clan member of the Gorreng Gorreng Nation and holds a Boonthamurra Bloodline with adoption ties to the Koomumberri, Yugambeh People. Odette is a Professor and Associate Head: Indigenous Research and Community Engagement, School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Southern Queensland. She commenced her training in the 1980s at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane and went on to work clinically for more than a decade in the Brisbane Aboriginal Medical Service and Boggo Road Women’s Prison. Odette further holds a Bachelor of Health Science, Master of Philosophy and PhD.
It was whilst undertaking her PhD on Aboriginal women as Registered Nurses in Queensland 1950-2000 that her passion was realised in uncovering this largely untold historiography. Odette is currently the Primary Investigator on an Australian Research Council grant in uncovering Aboriginal women as nurses and midwives from the 1890s to the 1940s in Queensland.
Odette is a Churchill Fellow (2002), a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2018) and a Fellow of the Australian College of Nurses (2021) and is passionate about uncovering and documenting Aboriginal women’s nursing and midwifery histories.
This event is open to all, and will take place online. Please sign up to attend and the link to join will be circulated in advance.
Image: Five nurses and one wardsman at the Hospital in Woorabinda, June 1953, State Library of Queensland