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Biographical entry Mead, Gertrude Ella (1867 - 1919)

31 December 1867
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
6 November 1919
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Gertrude Mead started her professional career as a nurse, but in 1892 decided to switch to medicine. She began her medical studies at the University of Adelaide and completed them at the University of Melbourne (1897). The following two years were spent working at a children's hospital in England, at a women's hospital in Dublin and as a house surgeon at Leith in Scotland. Upon returning to Australia in 1901, Mead ran a private practice from her home in Perth. She kept up her interest in the nursing profession and was a delegate of the Australian Trained Nurses' Association - Western Australian (WA) Branch - and a committee member of the Silver Chain Nursing League. Mead was also a founder of the Children's Protection Society of WA, a long-term senate member of the University of WA, a life member of St John Ambulance Brigade and an advocate for cottage-home accommodation for the elderly.



1890 - 1891
Education - Trained as a nurse at Adelaide Children's Hospital
Education - Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and Bachelor of Surgery (BS) completed at the University of Melbourne
1898 - 1900
Career position - Postgraduate work in Britain
Life event - Returned to Australia (Perth) and became the third registered female Doctor in Western Australia
1909 -
Career position - Honorary Physician at Perth Children's Hospital
1912 -
Career position - Committee member of the Silver Chain Nursing League
Career position - Medical Representative of the inaugural Senate of the University of Western Australia
1912 - 1914
Career position - Honorary Medical Officer at the House of Mercy for unmarried mothers
1915 - 1919
Career position - Perth Divisional Surgeon with the St John Ambulance Brigade
Career position - Honorary Medical Officer at Fremantle Base Hospital

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

  • Joske, Prue, 'Mead, Gertrude Ella (1867-1919), Medical Practitioner', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1986, pp. 468-469. Also available at Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.