Historical information

This group and RDNS Sisters are at a meeting at Fawkner Park Community Centre and are listening to the lady on the left who is pointing out information to them..


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 and Community Centres would be beneficial, for not only the MDNS, later called Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Trained nurses (Sisters), but also for the patients of RDNS 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. District Sisters also liaised with personnel attached to Community Centres.

Physical description

This black and white photograph is of a group of two men and five ladies, three of whom are Royal District Nursing (RDNS), Sisters, sitting at a large dark wooden table which has an open folder and papers with diagrams or information on them, Notepads and pens sit in front of several. L-R is a partly hidden man who has short dark hair; wears glasses, a dark suit over a white shirt and dark tie. His left hand is up to his face. Next is another man with short dark hair who wears glasses; has a grey suit, white shirt and patterned tie. His right hand is up to his face. Next is a lady with short curled hair who is wearing a dark patterned and white edged vest over a round neck grey jumper. She is looking at, and holding a pen in her right hand poised over, a sheet of paper with columns and writing on it. Next is an RDNS Sister with collar length dark curled hair, who has her left hand up to the side of her face. Then an RDNS Sister with short straight hair. Next is a lady with her dark hair drawn back and wearing a white jumper; she has her hands up to her chin. Next, and far right, is an RDNS Sister, who has short straight blonde hair and has a pen in her right hand. Her left hand, with a dark watch at the wrist, is up to the side of her face. The group are all looking at the columned information sheet which the lady on the left is pointing out with her pen. The RDNS Sisters are wearing light grey skivvies under dark grey V neck tunic style frocks.

Inscriptions & markings

Barry Sutton LO 40