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Biographical entry Thomas, Faith (1933 - )

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    Faith Thomas and her son, Stuart, aged 8

22 February 1933
Nepabunna Mission, via Copley, South Australia, Australia
Nurse and Midwife
Alternative Names
  • Coulthard, Faith (maiden name)


Faith Thomas (née Coulthard) was the first of six Aboriginal nurses in South Australia to complete training in 1954, and was the first Aboriginal nurse in South Australia to become a public servant. She trained as a midwife at Queen Victoria Hospital in Adelaide, registering in 1957, and began working at Point McLeay Aboriginal Reserve (now Ralkon) in 1958. During this time Faith was well-known as a cricketer and played for the Australian Women's Cricket Team. She has worked widely in the area of Aboriginal heath and community services and is a member of the Northern and Far Western Aboriginal Health Advisory Committee. Her philosophy of health recognises and acknowledges the skills of local healers who know the complexities of Aboriginal values, spirituality and culture.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Interview with Faith Thomas (sound recording), interviewer: Gordon Briscoe, 20 March 1990, TRC 2603/4; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details
  • Interview with Faith Thomas, Aboriginal woman, cricketer and outback nurse (sound recording), interviewer: Ray Aitchison, 22 March 1986, TRC 2030; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Edited Books

  • Pring, Adele ed., Women of the Centre (Apollo Bay: Pascoe Publishing, 1990). Details


  • Thompson, Jill, Thomas, Faith and Morisset, Robyn, Survey of Accommodation and Health Care Needs for Aged Aboriginals in the North of South Australia: a Report to the Minister of Health from the Aboriginal Housing Board (Adelaide: Aboriginal Housing Board, 1982). Details


See also

  • Mattingley, Christobel and Hampton, Ken eds, Survival in Our Own Land: 'Aboriginal' Experiences in 'South Australia' since 1836, told by Nungas and others (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1988). pp. 121, 153, 209, 216, 275, 285, 292, 303. Details

Digital resources

Faith Thomas and her son, Stuart, aged 8


Dr Joan Durdin for ANMHP