Historical information

This photograph is taken in Mrs Mann's home in the Melbourne suburb of Surrey Hills. The RDNS uniform worn by the Health Aides was a Royal blue dress with white piping on the collar and pockets worn under a dark blue cardigan. The RDNS Health Aides are visiting Mrs. Mann to administer nursing care which the RDNS Sister who attended Mrs. Mann had assessed and then demonstrated to them. Specific instruction.were written for the Health Aides to follow and the RDNS Sister did regular supervisory visits.


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 Registered Nurses, (Sisters). The Sister assessed each patient, then introduced and supervised the Health Aide in the 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

This black and white photograph shows, on the left hand side, Mrs. Gertrude Mann sitting at the table in the kitchen of her home. She has her grey hair drawn back and has a string of beads over her grey buttoned cardigan Standing to her right are two Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), Home Health Aides. The closest is Miss Penny Goodwill who has long blonde hair, and far right,is Mrs Dorothy Byrne who has short curly dark hair. The Health Aides are wearing dark coloured dresses with white piping on the collars and pockets, Part of a white RDNS insignia can be seen beneath their dark coloured cardigans. . A check tablecloth is covering the table, and a bottle of milk, some jars, and a vase of flowers adorn it. The mantelpiece and part of a tiled fireplace containing a stove is in the background. Part of an open door is to the right rear. The top of a wooden slatted chair is seen in the right hand side foreground.

Inscriptions & markings

Hand written names and information on back of photograph