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Biographical entry Bourne, Eleanor Elizabeth (1878 - 1957)

4 December 1878
South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
23 May 1957
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Physician and Public health worker


Eleanor Bourne went into general practice in 1907 and served as physician to the Hospital for Sick Children, Brisbane. In 1911 she became medical officer for the Department of Public Instruction and worked for many years in child health, both in Australia and Britain.


Educated University of Sydney (bachelor of medicine and master of surgery 1903). The first Queensland woman to study medicine. Resident medical officer, Women's Hospital, Sydney, Brisbane General Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children, Brisbane 1903-07; general practice 1907-10, also honorary out-patient physician to the children's hospital and an anaesthetist; first medical officer, Department of Public Instruction; lieutenant, Royal Army Medical Corps 1916-18; Diploma of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons 1920; assistant medical officer to the city of Carlisle, organising child welfare services and the new maternity hospital and associated maternal welfare services 1920-37. Retired to Brisbane 1937. First honorary medical officer to the Creche and Kindergarten Association in Queensland.

Archival resources

John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland

  • Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne - Records, 1900 - 1957, OM81-129; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

  • Bell, Jacqueline, 'Bourne, Eleanor Elizabeth (1878-1957)' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle, eds, vol. 7 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1979), pp. 356-357. Details
  • Bell, Jacqueline, 'Eleanor Bourne (1878-1957) doctor' in 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Radi, Heather, ed. (Broadway, New South Wales: Women's Redress Press Inc, 1988). Details

Edited Books

  • Radi, H. ed., 200 Australian Women: a Redress Anthology (Sydney: Women's Redress Press Inc, 1988), 268 pp. Details


McCarthy, G.J.