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Biographical entry Parker, Judith Milburn (1936 - )

26 June 1936
Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia
Nurse, Teacher and Scholar
Alternative Names
  • MacRea, Judith (maiden name)


Judith Parker undertook her basic nursing education through the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Associated Hospitals School of Nursing. Following three years as a staff nurse and two years as a nurse educator she left full-time nursing for a number of years to concentrate on raising four children and undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate study at Monash University, supplemented by part-time clinical work. As one of very few PhD prepared nurses working in higher education in nursing in Australia in the early 1980s, she was well positioned to play a leading role in the transfer of nursing education from hospitals to higher education. Subsequently she was extremely influential in the development of higher degrees in nursing and in the establishment of a research base for the discipline in Australia. Her contribution to scholarship and professional development in nursing is highly regarded internationally.


Professor Parker is one of the pre-eminent figures in Australian nursing education and scholarship. In her career as a nursing academic she has been at the helm of a series of major innovations. From the Head of Nursing at the Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences, to the Foundation Head and Professor of Nursing at La Trobe University, to the establishment of the School of Nursing at the University of Melbourne, Professor Parker has been a trailblazer, highly regarded and immensely influential in the establishment and development of the discipline of nursing in Australia.

She is esteemed internationally for her work in promoting international nursing, for the quality of her publications and for the role she has played as Founding Editor of the prestigious scholarly journal Nursing Inquiry. She has played a major role locally and internationally on key committees and boards aimed at promoting nursing research and scholarship. She was included in the Victorian Honour Roll for Women 2001 and appointed a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2002. In 2005, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Medicine and appointed Professor Emeritus of the University of Melbourne.


1954 - 1957
Student nurse at Royal Melbourne and Associated Hospitals School of Nursing
1957 - 1960
Staff Nurse, Royal Melbourne Hospital
1961 - 1962
Nurse Educator, Kingston Centre
1963 - 1971
Clinical nursing, part-time
1971 - 1974
Charge Nurse, part-time; rehabilitation, long-term care, diabetic unit, Caulfield Hospital
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Major in Sociology, Monash University
1975 - 1978
Tutor part-time, Sociology Department, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
1975 - 1979
Recipient Commonwealth Post-Graduate Research Award
1979 - 1982
Lecturer, School of Nursing, Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Sociology of Health and Illness, Monash University (thesis titled "Cancer Passage: Continuity and Discontinuity in Terminal Illness")
1982 - 1983
Senior Lecturer, Co-ordinator of Bachelor of Applied Science, (Advanced Nursing) Course, School of Nursing, Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences
1984 - 1987
Head, School of Nursing, Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences
1988 - 1989
Chairperson and Director of Studies, Department of Nursing, La Trobe University
1989 - 1996
Foundation Professor, School of Nursing, La Trobe University
1995 - 2005
Editor-in-Chief, Nursing Inquiry
1996 - 2004
Foundation Professor and Head, School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne
Cited on the Victorian Honour Roll for Women
Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia
2003 - 2004
Deputy President, Nurses Board of Victoria
2004 - 2005
Visiting Professor, Department of Nursing Studie, The University of Hong Kong
2004 - 2005
Special Professor, School of Nursing, The University of Nottingham
2005 -
Honorary Professor, Department of Nursing Studie, The University of Hong Kong
Emeritus Professor, The University of Melbourne
Doctor of Medicine, (Honorary), The University of Melbourne

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


Digital resources

Judith Parker - Full Entry Details
Australian Nursing History Project


Judith Parker


Helen Hamilton for ANMHP