Historical information

This photograph is taken outside the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Rosebud Centre which was opened in the mid 1970s. This photograph is a record of Rosebud RDNS staff in the 1980s. The Sisters are wearing their summer uniforms, some with white frocks with a blue pattern and a red belt, others with a white blouse with a red pattern on it and a royal blue skirt. The Health Aides uniform is a royal blue dress with white piping.


Gradually over the years, Melbourne District Nursing Service (MDNS), later known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), from 1966 when they received Royal patronage, opened Centres throughout the Melbourne Metropolitan area. Their Trained nurses (Sisters) left from these Centres each morning to carry out their nursing visits in a specific area,(district) taking any sterilized equipment needed with them. They returned at the end of the day to write up their patients nursing histories, clean and reset any equipment used ready for sterilization, and contact other medical and community personal as necessary. Most of the RDNS cars were housed at each Centre, only a few being driven home by a Sister. In 1980, a Home Health Aide ‘Pilot study’, funded by the Federal Government, the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and RDNS, with the program written and taught by RDNS Principal Nurse Educator. Pat (Paddy) Rowley was evaluated as successful. Following this Pilot study, Home Health Aides were employed by RDNS, and after instruction in the RDNS Education department, joined RDNS Centres and worked under the supervision of the RDNS Sisters. The Sister assessed each client, then introduced and supervised the Health Aide in the client procedure required. The Sister wrote out clear, concise procedural instructions on a work card which the Health Aid followed each visit. If the Health Aide noticed any change in the client’s condition, this was reported immediately and the Sister visited. The Sister made routine visits to the client for review at least monthly.

Physical description

Black and white photograph showing Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), staff outside a brick building with a flat roof. A white RDNS car is on the right hand side of the photograph with "RDNS" in capital letters on the door. A tree is in the background. The twenty-five, some partly hidden, RDNS staff are wearing their uniforms. Some are wearing white patterned short sleeve dresses with a dark belt, and others white patterned short sleeve blouses and dark skirts. The letters "RDNS" are displayed in capital letter on the left hand upper pocket of the Sisters. Two Health-aides are present and are wearing dark coloured frocks with white piping.