Frontier Services’ founder, Rev John Flynn once said that without women in the outback there would be no outback. Flynn knew women were civilisers, they sweetened life in a harsh environment, they were a kind word and gesture and carers and healers.
He knew well, how tough the Australian Inland Mission nurses had it in the isolated clinics he set up across the Outback.
In the book John Flynn, Apostle to the Inland, McPheat wrote: “More vulnerable than the padres were the Sisters. Transplanted suddenly into an unfamiliar environment some of them suffered from what he called ‘bush shock’. An A.I.M. hostel was no place for the squeamish or the humourless. After clockwork city hospitals the Sisters must learn to travel through floods and dust-storms; to camp for nights in the bush on a diet of dry bread and dry beef; to ride a horse and perhaps swim rivers clinging to its tail; to improvise splints from a nearby tree.”
They travelled, sometimes for days, to attend the wounded or assist with a birth. They were asked to make life or death decisions, normally a doctor would do.
Part of Frontier Services history, and future, are the nurses who care for the people of remote and rural Australia.
Right now Frontier Services is calling out for former Australian Inland Mission Nurses to share a story or two.
May 12th is International Nurses Day and we believe that we owe a lot to the nurses serving the communities in the outback. We’d like to feature some of our Australian Inland Mission Nurses. We want photographs and brief biographies. Your name, where you were stationed, and contact details.
We want to hear from you. We want your photographs to use in our publications and on our website to celebrate the wonderful work that has been part of our history for more than 100 years, and continues to do so.
Please contact us by phone, or by email. Call 1 300 787 247 or email [email protected]