Historical information

Sister Watt is an RDNS Liaison Sister and has arrived at the Community Care Centre at Southern Memorial Hospital where she works. She attends discharge meetings and visits patients who will need nursing care from RDNS when they go home. Sr. Watt is wearing the RDNS winter uniform of a blue/grey skivvie under a blue/grey V neck tunic style dress made of herringbone winter material. The RDNS logo on the car is a royal blue edged circle with the words "Royal District Nursing Service" written in white capital letters around it. The centre of the circle is divided in three with the upper and lower sections white, and the centre section royal blue with white capital letters "RDNS".


Liaison had occurred between Doctors and the Trained nurses (Nurses) of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), from its inception in 1885. This increased when Midwifery was introduced in August 1893 with close liaising with the Women’s Hospital. As District nursing grew it was recognized that closer liaising between many Public Hospitals would be beneficial, for not only the MDNS, later called Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), Trained nurses (Sisters), but also for the patients and the hospitals. In August 1964 a Liaison Officer commenced at the Alfred Hospital. This soon increased to Liaison Officers working full time at several Public Hospitals. They facilitated the smooth transition from hospital to home for many patients who required ongoing nursing care. Liaison Sisters regularly attended discharge planning meetings, interviewed prospective patients, co-ordinated discharge and booked the first visit by the visiting RDNS Sister. At the time of a patient’s discharge, the Liaison Sister forwarded information on their diagnosis and instructions regarding the care required at home to the appropriate RDNS Centre, and in turn the attending District Sister wrote a report of progress and any queries to the Hospital Doctor, via the Liaison Sister, at the time the patient was attending outpatients. Any new instructions were then sent back to the District Sister. Liaising also occurred between District Sisters and Doctors when patients were referred by General Practitioners and did not attend a hospital.

Physical description

On the left of this black and white photograph is Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Sister (Sr.) Helen Watt, who has short dark wavy hair; is smiling and is looking towards the camera. She is standing with her left hand on the bottom edge of a large white sign with a black border and capital letters. It reads, in four lines, "Community Care Centre/, Southern Memorial Hospital/, 240 Kooyong Road/, Caulfield/." Sr. Watt is wearing a light grey skivvie and a darker grey V neck tunic style frock. Her right hand is holding the solid horseshoe style handle on top of a black leather bag with the light colored letters "RDNS" in the upper centre. The sign is held up with white round poles either side. These are placed in a garden bed with low foliage and a rock border. Directly behind Sr. Watt is a grey Torana car with the RDNS logo on the upper section of the door. In the left background, behind the car, is a wooden fence and behind that a brick building with a tiled roof and a large window. In the right background, behind the sign, Is part of a brick building with part of a doorway. It has a flat roof.

Inscriptions & markings

Barry Sutton LO 28