Historical information

This photograph is taken in the lady's home, and the Medical Student and Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Sister are supervising the lady walking with two 4 prong sticks.


From the founding of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) in 1885, known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) from 1966, the rehabilitation of patients to ensure they were able to live independently in their own homes was at the forefront of care given by their Trained Nurses (Sisters). As well as teaching and supervising the use of equipment, their Sisters taught them safe transfer techniques. These techniques were also taught to family members to enable them to care for their loved ones. RDNS at first held workshops given by a contracted private Physiotherapist before employing their own Physiotherapist in 1975 who taught staff the correct techniques, not only for safety of the patient, but to reduce physical strain on RDNS nursing staff and patient’s family members. When required the Physiotherapist accompanied the Sister on her visit to the patient in their home.

Physical description

On the left of this black and white photograph is the rear view of a Medical Student who is standing side-on looking towards the right, and smiling at an elderly lady. He has short dark curly hair and is wearing a white hospital style coat, which has a stethoscope folded in the pocket, over grey trousers. His right hand is resting on top of the lady's right hand which is on the top of a metal 4 prong stick. The lady, who is wearing glasses and has short wavy grey hair, is standing holding the tops of the metal 4 prong sticks which are standing either side of her on the grey carpet. She is smiling at the doctor. She is wearing a black skirt and a black sleeveless jacket over a black and white patterned blouse, and is wearing black shoes with her left shoe raised with a deep sole and heel. To her right, standing side-on facing her, is a Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Sister who has her long dark hair drawn back. She is wearing a white short sleeve gown and her right hand is behind the lady; her left hand is on the lady's right hand on top of the 4 prong stick. In the left background is a vinyl style grey couch and on the right is a window with open Venetian blinds and open long dark curtains on either side. An air-conditioner sits in the lower section of the window.

Inscriptions & markings

Barry Sutton Quote 25