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Biographical entry Abbott, Joan Stevenson (1899 - 1975)


11 December 1899
Normanby Hill, Queensland, Australia
27 November 1975
Corinda, Queensland, Australia
Nurse and Nurse educator


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

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Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections


See also

  • Alexander, John A. ed., Who's Who in Australia 1944, vol. 12 (Melbourne: The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, 1944), 906 pp. Details

Ailie Smith