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Abbott, Joan Stevenson (1899 - 1970)

Published Sources
Nurse and Nurse educator
Born: 11 December 1899  Normanby Hill, Queensland, Australia.  Died: 27 November 1970  Corinda, Queensland, Australia.
Joan Stevenson Abbott was a nurse and midwife at hospitals in Brisbane and Canberra. She also served as a matron in the Middle East while enlisted by the Australian Army Nursing Service. As matron she was in charge of fifty-five nurses and masseuses while they served in Greece, Egypt and Palestine. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, 1st Class for her leadership and dedication when her Gaza Ridge hospital was expanded from 600 to 1500 beds in 1942. Joan Abbott finished her full-time duty in 1946 at the high rank of lieutenant colonel. In the same year she was awarded the Florence Nightingale International Foundation Scholarship to pursue eighteen months study at the Royal College of Nursing, London. Abbott later received the prestigious Florence Nightingale Medal - the Red Cross’s highest international distinction award for the nursing - in 1957. After returning to Australia Joan Abbott continued her nursing duties, firstly as staff nurse for five years with the Commonwealth Savings Bank, then with a doctor in a private medical practice.

Career Highlights

1920Probationer at the Brisbane General Hospital
1924General (nurse) certificate
c. 1924Midewifery Certificate completed at the Lady Bowen Hospital in Wickham Terrace, Qld
c. 1925Sate Child-Welfare Certificate completed in Queensland
1926 - 1928Worked in baby clinics
1929 - 1937Tutor Sister with the Brisbane and South Coast Hospitals Board
1937Midwife at the Canberra Community Hospital, Australian National Territory (NT)
c. 1937 - c. 1940Travelled to England
1940 - 1943Matron with the Australian Army Nursing Service 2nd and 6th Australian General Hospital in Greece, Egypt and Palestine
1943Made Lieutenant Colonel and posted to the Queensland Lines of Communication Area
1943Royal Red Cross (RRC) received
1943 - 1946Matron then Prinicpal Matron with the Australian Army Nursing Service in Qld
1946Retired from army service
1946 - 1948Florence Nightingale International Foundation Scholarship for study at the Royal College of Nursing, London
1948Principal Matron with the Citizen Military Forces at the Northern Command headquarters
1948 - 1950sTutor at Brisbane Hospital
1954 - 1956President of the Australian Trained Nurses' Association, Queensland division
1955 - 1958Member of the Queensland State Nurses and Masseurs Registration Board
1957Florence Nightingale Medal received from the International Committee of the Red Cross
1962Honorary Colonel in theRoyal Australian Army Nursing Corps


Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Ailie Smith
Created: 7 March 2003
Modified: 29 January 2007

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
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Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 26 February 2007

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