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Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke) Forest Hill, Victoria

Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) was established in 1885 to care for the sick poor in their own homes in the slums of inner Melbourne. Original founders included Reverend Charles Strong, Lady Clarke and members of the Simpson and Caffyn families. Over the years MDNS expanded to provide home nursing services to all communities throughout Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsular. It became known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) in 1966. More recently we have merged with RSLCare (based in Queensland) to become one of Australia's largest not for profit Aged Care providers as a result RDNS is now known as Bolton Clarke. Our history archive documents the organisation from its beginnings until the present and includes annual reports , newspaper clippings, uniforms, documents, an extensive photo collection and oral histories.

Contact Information

location
Library, Bolton Clarke Level 1, 347 Burwood Highway Forest Hill Victoria 3131 (map)
phone
+61 03 98142711

Opening Hours

By appointment

Entry Fee

none

Location

Level1, 347 Burwood High Way Forest Hill Victoria

View on Google Maps

Our history archive dates from 1885 and documents the organisation from its beginnings until the present. Topics covered in the archive include Melbourne District Nursing Society( 1885-1957); Melbourne District Nursing Service (1957-1966) ; Royal Melbourne District Nursing Service ((1966-2017 ) ; The After-Care Home (1926-1934 ); The After-Care Hospital (1934-1957 ). The collection focuses on nursing care, nurses, midwifery, administration, social conditions and district / community nursing in Victoria. Items in the collection include:
Documents - including Board minutes, Annual Reports, letters; documentation from government, Hospital & Charities Commission and it's various successors; Records -matrons reports, registers, practice & procedure manuals; Reports and papers on nursing and organisational issues; Photographs (prints) of events, people, nurses and practice situations dating from the late 1890s onwards; Textiles including hats, uniforms, and flags; Artefacts and equipment including a collection of nursing equipment and general paraphernalia. There are also newspaper clippings, oral histories and videos and dvds..

Significance

The RDNS holds an iconic place in the history of health care provision in Australia, specifically, in the development of district nursing services, what is now commonly referred to “community nursing”. The RDNS Collection is considered to be nationally significant, of importance and relevance to
Australia’s national heritage as a foundational and continuing provider of nursing care in the community.
The RDNS Collection has enormous research potential, of interest to historians in the fields of nursing, midwifery, and health care practice history, historians of women, women’s labour, women’s philanthropy, technology, communications, and the health workforce. The collection also

218 items

218 items

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white photograph of a Sister of the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), demonstrating the transferring of Sister Helen Pelosi into a wheelchair using a Hydraulic Hoist. The Sister has short dark hair; is wearing the RDNS summer uniform of a white short sleeve blouse under a dark V neck tunic style frock, and is standing behind the wheelchair with her hands supporting Sr, Pelosi, who has short straight hair and is wearing a white gown over her uniform. She is suspended in a sling which is hanging from the cross bar of the metal hoist, and is just above the seat of the wheelchair. The upright pole and hydraulics, with bar 'pumping handle', is in front of Sr. Pelosi in the right foreground of the photograph. To its right is a bed with dark bedhead and white coverings.

Historical information

The RDNS Sisters are wearing the uniform of the day which was a short sleeve white blouse under a royal blue V neck tunic style frock with the RDNS insignia on the left upper area. Sister Pelosi is being transferred by another RDNS staff member from a bed via a hoist into a wheelchair as a demonstration during an Education session.

Significance

From the founding of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), in 1885, known as the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) from 1966, equipment was loaned and demonstrated to patients, and their family members, to enable them to care for the person in their home. In the 1970s RDNS employed a Physiotherapist who taught RDNS staff correct transferring techniques, including the use of a hoist when this became available. RDNS staff taught and used these techniques in patient’s homes to undertake safe transfer of the patient and to reduce physical strain on RDNS nursing staff and family members.

Photograph, Portrait black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

This black and white photograph is a portrait head and shoulders view of Sister Patricia McPherson, who is smiling and has short straight dark hair. She is wearing a black and white patterned frock; on its upper right is attached a plastic name badge with two lines in white capital letters on black background stating: "Miss P. MCPHERSON / WESTERN AUSTRALIA' . Seen in the background is black and white vertical striped wallpaper.

Historical information

This black and white photograph of Sister Pat McPherson was taken at the 1st International Congress on Domiciliary Nursing held in Melbourne. The congress was hosted by the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) and ran from the 1st - 8th of February 1970. Following this Congress, Sister Patricia McPherson was employed by RDNS from 1970 - 2003, mainly in the area of Administration.

Significance

Sister Patricia McPherson, State Registered Nurse, Midwife, and Infant Welfare trained nurse, was awarded an M.B.E. for her community health work among the Aboriginal communities during the time she worked as a Sister for the Australian Inland Mission (AIM). This was just prior to her joining Royal District Nursing Service. Patricia McPherson is listed on page 210 in the 'Women Shaping the Nation - Victorian Honour Roll of Women Vol 1 - 2001' - Centenary of Federation 1901 - 2001.

Inscriptions & Markings

The Herald & Weekly Times Ltd, Melbourne, Australia

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white photograph of Melbourne District Nursing Society Headquarters, 452 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. The photo, taken on the corner of Arthur street, is of a two storey building and several cars and gives a unique view of St Kilda Road in the 1950s (pre high rise buildings) This large grey two storey Italian style building, has four roman column, arched Arcadia to the right of a polygon shaped bay window on the ground floor; an arched Arcade on the second floor, and three long windows above the bay window on Arthur Street. Turning the corner onto St. Kilda Road is a three arched Arcadia running towards the one window seen on the polygon shaped bay window. Arcadia is repeated on the upper storey. A balustrade is in front of the Arcadia on the upper storey and again around the flat roof. Two chimneys can be seen. A spiked metal fence runs in front of the building. To the left of this building are two white double storey buildings and some medium sized trees. On Arthur Street, two Ford Prefect cars, one with the passenger side door partly open, a Vanguard car and another make of car can be seen.

Historical information

Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) moved into 452 St. Kilda Road, in 1953. Seven Ford Prefect cars were purchased by the Society in the early 1950s which became the beginning of a full MDNS, later called Royal District Nursing Service, fleet of cars which would be used by their District nurses to visit patients in the community over the next years.

Significance

In 1875 J.B.Scott purchased Crown Land on the corner of St Kilda Road and Arthur Street. During the 1890’s an “unpretentious grey building” was built on the site. Known as ‘Airlie’, major additions were carried out during the 1920s and 30s to this historic mansion. From its founding in 1885 until 1891 the Trained nurse (Nurses) of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) worked from their own homes which were located in the vicinity of their areas (districts). In November 1891 MDNS was able to rent a two story terraced house at 66 Cardigan Street, Carlton, at £65 a year, which contained accommodation for three Trained nurses (Nurses) and one pupil nurse as well as being used as their Headquarters. The Nurses left from there each morning and returned at the end of their shift to write up their book work before retiring for the day. Three years later they moved into a larger terraced house at 49 Drummond Street Carlton which was rented at ‘a very moderate rental’. There was a Board room, apartments for the Nurses and pupil nurses, a large dispensary which patients could attend each evening to have prescriptions signed and bottles refilled with ‘homely remedies’ and elixirs, which were administered for e.g. Consumptive cases. Doctor’s prescriptions were filled at the Pharmacy. Cupboards containing donated blankets and bedclothes for needy patients were kept in this room, and it was here where the Nurses kept their nursing bags which were refilled at the end of each shift ready for any emergency and for the next day. A list of Doctors the Nurses could call was kept by the telephone. The home also had a kitchen where nourishing soup was made and distributed twice a week to the needy. Milk was also distributed when needed. In 1902 they moved into rented premises at 188 Leicester Street, Carlton and two years later, in 1904, to premises at 5 Royal Terrace, Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. They remained there for ten years. In June 1914 at last the Society had sufficient funding to purchase their own terraced premises, ‘Floraston’ 39 Victoria Parade, Collingwood which was their Headquarters and Nurses Home. In 1926 the After-Care Home for recovering patients, (later called After-Care Hospital) was built by the Society next door to No. 39, running from 41-47 Victoria Parade (became No. 45); the District Trained nurses (Sisters) continued to live at No. 39. In 1953 ‘Airlie’ at 452 St Kilda Road was offered by the Government as part of an agreement to split the management of the Society and the After Care Hospital. On 26th November 1953 the MDNS moved its Headquarters to 452 St Kilda Road. Renovations and alterations were however restricted by limited funds so it was not until 1/12/1954 that the Hon. W. P. Barry, Minister of Health, officially opened the building. MDNS was given Royal patronage in 1966 and became Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS). In January 1983, Headquarters of the Royal District Nursing Service at 452 St Kilda Road was classified by the National Trust. The citation in support of the classification said “The house is of historical interest as the boyhood home of Stanley Melbourne Bruce, later Lord Bruce, Prime Minister of Australia from 1923-1929.”

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white photograph showing the front facade of the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), Collingwood Centre. It is a Victorian style, single story, light coloured painted concrete faced building built around the 1870s. To its left is the front wooden door with a small central glass section in the upper center, and a wire door in front of this. To its right is an Electricity Department meter attached to the wall, and under this a large "98" and to its right, and a little lower is an attached rectangular white sign, with black capital letters, saying "Royal District Nursing Service" and below this in smaller letters "Collingwood". To the right sits a long sash window with dark frame. At either end of the building white concrete face extensions, with embellishments, support a corrugated iron straight veranda roof, with wrought iron embellishment attached to its outer edge. This sits above the window and door and runs along the building protecting the small porch. Above this, along the building, is deep decoration, including a row of concrete balusters and above and central is a concave shell shaped structure. A short dark metal spiked fence runs along the edge of the narrow garden bed. In the foreground the footpath and part of a road can be seen. A small bare tree can be seen on the left hand side of the building and a small bush on the right hand side.

Historical information

Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Sisters worked from this Collingwood Centre, taking any sterilized equipment needed with them, the Sisters left each morning to carry out their nursing visits in a specific area (district), They returned at the end of the day to write up their patients nursing histories, clean and reset any equipment used ready for re-sterilization, and contact other medical and community personal as necessary.

Significance

From its inception as Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), in 1885, their Trained nurses (Nurses) worked in specific areas, 'districts'. The first Nurse worked east and west, between Victoria Parade and Flinders Street and, north and south, between Spencer Street and Spring Street. When a second Nurse was employed they divided this area at Elizabeth Street so each Nurse could attend to patients in the same area giving continuity of care. 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 and outer suburbs with Heidelberg Centre opening in 1971. 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. Through its expansion quality of care was not lost, the RDNS nursing staff gave best practice care in many fields of nursing and to people of many cultures with their patients ranging in age from babes, children, adults to the elderly. Some of the care provided was – Post-Natal care, Diabetic Care, Wound Care, Giving of injections and medications, Catheterizations on children and adults, Stoma care, Dementia care, Palliative Care, General care, Rehabilitation, Spinal care, Cystic Fibrosis care, Haemo-Oncology care, Home Enteral Feeding care, and IV therapy at home. Assisting with rehabilitation with an aim towards independence remained at the forefront of the Sister’s minds. All care included giving advice and support to the patient and their Carers.

Inscriptions & Markings

Photographer stamp. Quote No. DO 66

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

On the left of the black and white photograph is a Melbourne District Nursing Service, (MDNS) Sister, who is wearing glasses and is looking at the camera. She is wearing a white gown over her uniform, with the grey collar and the dark sleeves of her cardigan in view and her grey peaked hat, with an emblazoned Maltese cross in the centre front, sits over her short dark curly hair. Both of her arms are extended and resting on either side of a pillow she is straightening. The Sister is standing next to wheelchair bound man who has short dark hair and is wearing dark trousers and a light coloured jumper. On the right hand side of the wheelchair a lady, wearing a light blouse, grey jumper and tartan skirt, is standing with her left hand resting on the left arm of the man.They are both smiling and looking slightly towards the right in the photograph A 'monkey bar hand grip' is attached to the bed by a pole and hangs on a white chair over the bed. A window covered by a blind is behind the Sister, with a light curtain to the left..

Historical information

The MDNS Sister has given nursing care to the gentleman and has transferred him safely into the wheelchair. Whilst doing this the Sister demonstrated the transfer technique to the lady in the photograph who is probably his wife. The Sister is wearing the MDNS uniform of the day, a grey cotton dress and red cardigan, under her white gown. She has a red Maltese cross applied to the centre of her grey peaked hat.

Significance

From its founding in 1885 the Hospital Trained nurses of the then named Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), later named Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) gave high quality nursing care to patients in their own homes. They nursed patients referred by Hospitals and General Practitioners giving treatments, such as injections, wound care and doing many other procedures, as well as assisting them with 'general care' when required. The Sisters needed to transfer the patients when required and also taught family members safe transferring techniques to enable them to care for their loved ones. RDNS employed a Physiotherapist who taught staff the correct techniques, not only for safety of the patient, but to reduce physical strain on patient’s family members and the RDNS nursing staff . Where possible the Sisters worked towards independence, using equipment such as shower seats, rails and hand showers. The Sisters liaised with the patient's Doctor and supported and advised the patient and Carer of any further help to assist them.

Inscriptions & Markings

Photographers stamp. Quote No. DW 84

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white photograph of a group of Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS),staff. At the left rear, is a Sister with short curly hair; her right hand is resting on the table, then a Sister with collar length straight hair and to her right is Sr. Helen Pelosi, who has short dark curled hair. Two Sisters are seated in front of them at a table; the Sister on the left, has curly hair and is wearing a long sleeve skivvie under a V neck tunic style frock which has an insignia on its upper left. She has an open book in front of her and has a pen in her right hand poised on the white page of the book. The seated Sister to her right is wearing a uniform cardigan and has her hands clasped resting on the table. Four of the Sisters are wearing V neck tunic style frocks with an insignia on upper left, over short sleeve white blouses. Part of a picture is seen on the wall at the left rear and a doorway with a wall behind to its right.

Historical information

The photograph is taken in Frankston Centre where Sister Helen Pelosi is the Supervisor. The RDNS summer uniform at that time, worn by most of the Sisters in the photograph, was a royal blue V neck tunic style frock with the RDNS insignia in the upper left, over a short sleeve white blouse. The Sister seated at the desk with a pen in her hand, is wearing the RDNS winter uniform of a blue/grey skivvie under a blue/grey herring bone winter material tunic style frock with the RDNS insignia on the upper left. The other seated Sister is wearing an RDNS blue cardigan over her uniform

Significance

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.

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

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.

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.

Significance

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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Hand written names and information on back of photograph

Photograph, colour

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Coloured photograph showing Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), Sister Helen Pelosi on the left hand side. She has short dark hair; is wearing a a light blue apron over her RDNS uniform, and is moving a lady in a hoist to a wheelchair. Another RDNS Sister, who has short blonde hair, is wearing her RDNS uniform of Royal blue V neck tunic style frock, with part of her white blouse seen and a navy blue cardigan. She has her right arm extended towards the top of a hoist. The lady is laughing and is suspended in a sling attached to the metal hoist. Around her neck is a white scarf with blue dots which is hanging over her red jumper. She is wearing a blue dress and long dark socks. Both her hands are extended upward holding onto the metal cross bar of the hoist. Part of a wheelchair is seen in the left foreground. Open long gold curtains with voile curtains in the centre can be seen in the background.

Historical information

The Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Sisters are using a hoist to transfer a lady who has limited mobility into her wheelchair. The photograph is taken in the lady's home.

Significance

From the founding of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), in 1885, known as the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) from 1966, equipment was loaned and demonstrated to patients, and their family members, to enable them to care for their loved ones in their home. RDNS employed a Physiotherapist who taught RDNS staff the correct transferring techniques. New lifting techniques, such as the use of a hoist, was taught to RDNS staff and were used in patient's homes to undertake safe transfer of the patient and to reduce physical strain on RDNS nursing staff and family members. The Trained nurses of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), later known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), visited patients in their home and gave best practice care in many fields of nursing, and to people of many cultures, throughout its 130 years of expansion. Initial visits not only assessed the specific nursing situation but the situation as a whole. Their patients ranged in age from babes, children, adults to the elderly and referrals were taken from Hospitals, General Practitioners and allied Health facilities. Some of the care the Sisters provided is as follows: – Post-Natal care given to mother and babe, Wound Care following various types of surgery, accidents, burns, cancer, leg ulcers etc. Supervising and teaching Diabetic Care, including teaching and supervising people with Diabetes to administer their own Insulin, and administering Insulin to those unable to give their own injections. Administering other injections and setting up weekly medication boxes. The Sisters performed Catheterizations on adults suffering from conditions such as Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Guillan-Barre Syndrome, and when required at school on children for e.g. those with Spina Bifida. The Sisters visited those requiring Cystic Fibrosis support and care; those requiring Haemo-Oncology care, including visiting children at school; those requiring Home Enteral Feeding care, and those requiring IV therapy at home and home Dialysis. Palliative Care was given including pain relief with the use of syringe drivers, personal care as needed, and advice and support to both patient and family. The Sisters provided Stoma management to those needing Urostomy, Ileostomy and Colostomy care and those requiring Continence care. HIV/AIDS nursing care was provided; visits to Homeless Persons were made. Personal care was given to patients ranging in age and with varying mobility problems, such as those with MS, MND, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, Poliomyelitis, Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Acquired Brain Injury, to those following a Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke), those with severe Arthritis and those with a form of Dementia. When necessary the elderly were assisted with personal care and advice given on safety factors with the use of hand rails, bath or shower seats, and hand showers. Rehabilitation with an aim towards independence remained at the forefront of the Sister’s minds and when possible using aids and instruction on safe techniques enabled the person to become fully independent. All care included giving advice and support to the patient and their Carers. The Sisters liaised with the persons Doctor, Hospital and allied Health personal when necessary.

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

In the centre of this black and white photograph is Mr. Stevenson, an elderly gentleman, who has balding light hair; is wearing dark rimmed glasses, and is wearing a black cardigan over a grey shirt. A small amount of grey trousers can be seen. He is sitting in a wheelchair and is looking at the camera. He has a light coloured small blanket tucked under and over the stumps of his above the knee amputated legs. Standing behind his chair, and slightly to his left, is a lady who is wearing glasses; has wavy light grey hair and is wearing a dark grey cardigan over her light coloured patterned frock. Her right hand is seen holding the handle of the wheelchair, and she is looking down at Mr. Stevenson. To the right is Sister Clare McHugh of Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), who is slightly bent as she has her hands on the left and right sides of the safety belt across Mr. Stevenson's lap. The belt is attached to either side of the wheelchair. Sr. McHugh has straight blonde hair; only part of her face can be seen as she looks at Mr. Stevenson. She is wearing a white gown over her uniform. In the left background is part of a brick fireplace with wood mantelpiece. A patterned plate and dark items are on the left of the mantelpiece and flowers are seen on the right. Above this, part of a square mirror can be seen. To the right, part of a lounge chair is seen and behind this, an open check curtain and part of a voile curtain is seen. The floor is covered with a light and dark patterned carpet.

Historical information

RDNS Sr. Clare McHugh is attending Mr. Stevenson in his home to give him nursing care. She is about to fasten the wheelchair safety belt across Mr. Stevenson's lap to ensure he does not fall out of the wheelchair.

Significance

The Trained nurses (Nurses) of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), later known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), visited patients in their home and gave best practice care in many fields of nursing, and to people of many cultures, throughout its 130 years of expansion. Initial visits not only assessed the specific nursing situation but the situation as a whole. The RDNS Trained nurses (Sisters) visited patients from many different cultural backgrounds, and Education was given to their Sisters to assist them when speaking with the patients and giving them care. Their patients ranged in age from babes, children, adults to the elderly and referrals were taken from Hospitals, General Practitioners and allied Health facilities. Some of the care the Sisters provided is as follows: – Post-Natal care given to mother and babe, Wound Care following various types of surgery, accidents, burns, cancer, leg ulcers etc. Supervising and teaching Diabetic Care, including teaching and supervising people with Diabetes to administer their own Insulin, and administering Insulin to those unable to give their own injections. Administering other injections and setting up weekly medication boxes. The Sisters performed Catheterizations on adults suffering from conditions such as Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Guillan-Barre Syndrome, and when required at school on children for e.g. those with Spina Bifida. The Sisters visited those requiring Cystic Fibrosis support and care; those requiring Haemo-Oncology care, including visiting children at school; those requiring Home Enteral Feeding care, and those requiring IV therapy at home and home Dialysis. Palliative Care was given including pain relief with the use of syringe drivers, personal care as needed, and advice and support to both patient and family. The Sisters provided Stoma management to those needing Urostomy, Ileostomy and Colostomy care and those requiring Continence care. HIV/AIDS nursing care was provided; visits to Homeless Persons were made. Personal care was given to patients ranging in age and with varying mobility problems, such as Amputees, those with MS, MND, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, Poliomyelitis, Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Acquired Brain Injury, to those following a Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke), those with severe Arthritis and those with a form of Dementia. When necessary the elderly were assisted with personal care and advice given on safety factors with the use of hand rails, bath or shower seats, and hand showers. Rehabilitation with an aim towards independence remained at the forefront of the Sister’s minds and when possible using aids and instruction on safe techniques enabled the person to become fully independent. All care included giving advice and support to the patient and their Carers. The Sisters liaised with the persons Doctor, Hospital and allied Health personal when necessary. 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 insure they were able to live independently in their own homes was at the forefront of care given by their Trained nurses. As well as teaching and supervising the use of equipment, their Trained nurses 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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Barry Sutton LW 6 Names

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

In the right rear of this black and white photograph is a Royal District Nursing Service, (RDNS), Sister who is wearing a white gown over her uniform, and wearing her grey peaked hat with the RDNS badge visible, looking down at a baby she is about to weigh. The baby has sparse dark hair, is wearing a white singlet and is crying. The Baby scales, which are sitting on a table in front of the Sister, are white with a rectangular base and curved sided tray on the top. The Sister is standing behind the scales, and is supporting the babe's body with her right hand and holding baby's legs with her left hand as she lowers babe fully onto the scales. On the left of the photograph, the mother, who has long dark hair with a hair scarf holding it back, and is wearing a striped frock, is siting on a chair with her arms crossed at her waist, and is smiling at her babe as she observes proceedings..

Historical information

This photograph depicts Post-Natal care being given by a Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), Sister who is working in the RDNS Domiciliary Infant and Maternal Care (DIMC) section of the Service. The photograph is taken in the home of the mother and baby and the Sister is in the process of putting the baby onto the Baby scales to ascertain the babe's weight. Sisters employed in the DIMC section of RDNS gave Post-natal care to both the mother and her newly born babe when they were discharged early from hospital. This photograph was taken in the year following Melbourne District Nursing Service (MDNS) being granted Royal patronage in 1966 and becoming Royal District Nursing Service. The Sister is wearing the the same grey uniform frock used by MDNS but the badge on her peaked cap has changed from a red Maltese cross to a metal round silver badge with a royal blue circle around the edge with the words 'Royal District Nursing Service' in white capital letters running inside the blue circle.The centre of the badge is divided into three sections; a silver rising sun top and bottom, and a thick royal blue horizontal central strip with 'RDNS' written in large white capital letters. This uniform continued to be worn until 1971 when it changed colour and style.

Significance

In 1894 Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), commenced a Midwifery Service with Nurse Fowler, who trained in a Hospital and was qualified in General nursing and Midwifery nursing, being the first Midwife employed. Mothers were assessed for suitability of a home birth, or if they required delivery at the Women’s Hospital. The Midwife worked in conjunction with the Doctors at the Women’s Hospital and if a complication arose the patient was transferred to their care. Following birth they gave Post-Natal care to both the mother and babe. In 1898 the service ceased due to lack of funds but recommenced in 1906, and in the August 1925 Annual Report the number of MDNS home births was recorded at 478. MDNS built the After-Care Home and an Anti-Natal Clinic was opened in 1930. The last Ante-Natal clinic was held there in December 1951 and the MDNS Midwifery service ceased in February 1952. In 1964 MDNS commenced a Post-Natal service with General and Midwifery trained MDNS Sisters working from a room at Footscray Hospital, and visiting early discharged Footscray Hospital maternity cases at home. Now as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), this service was extended to a Domiciliary Infant and Maternal Care, (DIMC) service operating from most Centres and visiting early discharged, often 24 hours after birth, maternity cases from hospitals to give post-natal care to the mother and babe. Many Sisters working in this area had a Certificate in Infant Welfare as well as their General and Midwifery Certificates.

Inscriptions & Markings

Photographers Stamp

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

This Black and white photograph is showing Sister Liddalow, of the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), linking up a home dialysis unit into the left arm of an elderly lady. The lady who wears glasses and has wavy hair, is wearing a white nightdress with lace at the neck and down the centre front. Her left arm is resting on top of a surgical cover and she is clenching her left fist and has a tourniquet above her elbow. She is sitting against a flower patterned pillow on her bed watching the procedure. Sister Liddalow has short dark hair and is wearing a white gown over her uniform. She has a glove on her right hand and a syringe in her hand. In the left rear IV apparatus, with two syringes and a trolley on which a machine can be seen.

Historical information

This photograph is showing a procedure performed by an RDNS Sister in the home of an elderly lady.

Significance

Education was an integral part of Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) from its inception in 1885, later called Royal District Nursing Service, (RDNS). Only Trained Nurses were employed by the Society, and on visits to patients they taught the necessity of hygiene and cleanliness, as well as the need for a good diet, to bring about good health. Doctor’s lectures were later given at the MDNS home to instruct patients and their families on prevention of disease. Education to patients continued throughout the years regarding health care and the use of equipment in the home. In 1961 Education programs commenced at MDNS with Sisters receiving In-service education. Staff could also apply for scholarships to further their education outside of RDNS. At RDNS many programs were run, including: a Post Basic Course, Cardiac Rehabilitation Nursing, Haematology/Oncology Nursing, Palliative Care program, Diabetic Stabilization Program, Leg Ulcer Management Program, HIV/AIDS Nursing Care, Cystic Fibrosis Home Support, Veterans Home Care Program, Breast Cancer Support Program, Continence Management Program, Stomal Therapy Program, In-Home Lactation Support Program and a Community Nursing Education Program extended to student nurses from hospitals and to other nursing organizations. RDNS staff attended several hospitals to observe and learn special care needed to some clients, e.g. to the Austin Hospital to learn the care required for paraplegic and quadriplegic clients at home and to Mount Royal Hospital to observe the care of clients in the rehabilitation ward.

Inscriptions & Markings

date of photograph

Document, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white document 'Petition to Incorporate the After Care Hospital' The document is bold black printing on a white background. It commences; 'Hospital and Charities Act 1948 (No. 5300), Section 46. The body of the document contains nineteen lines and finishes with ‘'E. P. Cameron, Minister of Health’.

Historical information

The name Melbourne District Nursing Society and After-Care Hospital came into being in 1935. In 1957 the two bodies separated and the Hospital and Charities Commission of Victoria received the document a 'Petition to Incorporate the After Care Hospital'

Significance

The Melbourne District Nursing Society was founded in 1885 and in 1926 opened the After-Care Home. The Society then became the 'Melbourne District Nursing Society and After-Care Home' until 1935 when the word 'Home' was replaced b the word 'Hospital'. In 1957 the two bodies separated and the Hospital and Charities Commission of Victoria received a 'Petition to Incorporate the After Care Hospital'

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

On the right of the black and white photograph is Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), Sister Cheryl Prentice, who has dark shoulder length hair and is wearing a white gown over her RDNS uniform, the sleeves of which are seen. On her left Mrs. Morgan is sitting propped against a pillow at the top of her bed and has her knees slightly bent with legs extended. Sr. Prentice, who is looking at her right hand, is holding a small open bottle in her left hand and has her right arm extended across Mrs. Morgan's legs, with the fingers of her hand touching the skin on the far side of an open ulcer wound on the right leg of Mrs. Morgan. Mrs. Morgan, who has short light coloured hair, is wearing a cardigan over her floral frock, is looking at the procedure. The bedhead has fine turned wooden slats and the bed coverings are a checked rug and chenile bedspread with a floral towel under Mrs. Morgan's legs..

Historical information

Sister Prentice is visiting Mrs. Morgan in her home and is applying a lotion around the outside of Mrs. Morgan's leg ulcer. Following this application Sr. Prentice dressed the wound with the dressing material as ordered by Mrs. Morgan's Doctor. Under her gown, Sister Prentice is wearing the RDNS winter uniform introduced in 1971, which was a grey/blue skivy under a blue/grey herringbone woollen V neck tunic.

Significance

From its inception in 1885 as Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), their Trained nurses (Nurses) provided wound care to their patients, who ranged in age from the very young to the elderly. The methods and medication applied to wounds changed as research developed better products. MDNS received Royal patronage in 1966 and as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), the Education department developed programs, such as the Leg Ulcer Management Program, to provide their trained nurses (Sisters) with methods of best quality care. The Sisters liaised with the patient’s Doctors and Hospitals to provide information on the progress of patient’s wounds and to receive any change of wound care from the Doctors. RDNS introduced Wound Care Specialists who did assessments and provided advice and support to the District Sisters working in the field.

Inscriptions & Markings

Photographer stamp. Quote No. DN 77 Handwritten information

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

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.

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.

Significance

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.

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

The black and white photograph depicts a group of eight Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Sisters (Sr) seated and looking at, and some writing in, white paged books on tables in front of them. Seated in a semi-circle are. L - R: a Sister who is wearing glasses and has her dark shoulder length hair drawn back, then Sisters: Yvonne Laird, who has collar length dark hair, Anne Greenwood, who wears glasses and has short dark curled hair, a Sr with her long hair drawn back, then Sue Moore with shoulder length dark hair and wearing a dark V neck tunic style frock over a white blouse, and a dark cardigan. The next Sister, with dark hair, is partly hidden and next to her is Ethel Fullerton. who wears glasses and has curly hair. She is sitting with a pen in her right hand poised over white book. Sr. Mary Gawith, who has short dark curled hair, is standing in front of and slightly to the right of her. She is looking down at Sr. Fullerton and is holding an open book with the end of the spine resting on her table and showing the open pages to Sr. Fullerton. Sr. Judy Peter, who has her blonde hair drawn back, is sitting side-on in the centre foreground of the photograph with her arms resting on the other side of Sr. Fullerton's table. Most Sisters are wearing the RDNS winter uniform, of a V neck grey tunic style dress over a light grey skivvie.

Historical information

Sister Gawith is a Nurse Educator with Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) and she is instructing a group of RDNS Sisters during an Advanced Post Basic Course being held in a room in the Education Department at RDNS. Most of the Sisters are wearing the RDNS winter uniform, which at that time was a V neck tunic style dress made of blue/grey herringbone winter material, over a blue/grey skivvie. Sr. Moore is wearing the summer uniform of a royal blue V neck tunic style dress worn over a short sleeve white blouse and a dark blue cardigan.

Significance

Education was an integral part of Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), from its inception in 1885, later, in 1966, called Royal District Nursing Service, (RDNS). From 1885, only Trained Nurses (Nurses), through the Hospital training system, were employed by the Society, and on visits to patients they taught the necessity of hygiene and cleanliness, as well as the need for a good diet, to bring about good health. Doctor’s lectures were later given at the MDNS home to instruct patients and their families on prevention of disease. Education to patients continued throughout the years regarding health care and the use of equipment in the home. In 1961, Education programs commenced at MDNS with Trained nurses (Sisters) receiving In-service Education. Sr. Pat (Paddy) Rowley was a leader in In-service Education and established the RDNS Department of Community Nursing Education in 1962. Staff could also apply for scholarships to further their education outside of RDNS. Many of their senior Sisters graduated from the College of Nursing in Community Health, Education and Administration and several travelled overseas visiting nursing organizations viewing their public health and District nursing systems. At RDNS many programs were run, including: a Post Basic Course, Cardiac Rehabilitation Nursing, Haematology/Oncology Nursing, Palliative Care program, Diabetic Stabilization Program, Leg Ulcer Management Program, Wound Care Specialist Program, HIV/AIDS Nursing Care, Cystic Fibrosis Home Support, Veterans Home Care Program, Breast Cancer Support Program, Continence Management Program, Stomal Therapy Program, In-Home Lactation Support Program and the Homeless Persons Program. RDNS staff attended several hospitals to observe and learn special care needed to some clients, e.g. to the Austin Hospital to learn the care required for paraplegic and quadriplegic patients at home, and to Mount Royal Hospital to observe the care of patients in the Rehabilitation ward. A Community Nursing Education Program was extended to student nurses from Hospitals and to other nursing organizations. These Education programs kept the RDNS Sisters abreast of new techniques, such as changes in technology for e.g. new testing methods in detecting glucose levels in Diabetic patients. Sr. Nan Deakin did a Post Basic Course in Psychiatric Nursing and included this area in her Education lectures. Sr. Daphne Geldard specialized in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. These Sisters visited patients in District areas with the regular RDNS Sister when required. Every member of staff, both professional and non professional staff, received regular education in the Education Department. 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 Sr. Rowley, was evaluated as successful, and Home Health Aides were employed and worked in RDNS Centres under the supervision of the RDNS Sisters.

Inscriptions & Markings

Photographer Stamp. Quote No. MA 22

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white photograph of a Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) Trained nurse, known as 'Nurse' in those days, wearing a white apron over her full length grey uniform with white collar seen; she is wearing a white cap. She is sitting on a step at the front of a weatherboard house attending to a man, who is dressed in dark clothing and is wearing a brimmed hat. He is lying on his side on the pavement with his head close to the Nurse and his face turned towards the road . A policeman, wearing his dark uniform and helmet, is kneeling beside the man.

Historical information

This photograph shows a Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) Trained nurse, 'Nurse' in the 1890s who is giving care to a patient who has collapsed in the street. It depicts the type of conditions the Nurses faced in that era and the uniform she wore It shows the help the Nurses received from the Police in that era and also the style of uniform worn by the police.

Significance

In 1885 it was recognized that nursing care was needed for the sick poor in inner Melbourne. The Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) was founded in February of that year, the first District Nursing Society in Australia, and it was decided only Nurses who had attended a Hospital Nurses Training School and were fully qualified would be employed by the Society. In those days even though they were trained they were called 'Nurse'. The Society began with one Nurse, and a second employed six months later, working in the now CBD, ie from Spencer Street to Spring Street and from Victoria Parade to Flinders Street. From its inception the Society was at the forefront of health care and liaised with Doctors. They provided high quality nursing care; educated their patients in the curing and prevention of disease; teaching the importance of cleanliness and good nutrition, both by verbal instruction and demonstration, even supplying soup and milk when needed. At that time they walked the streets and lane ways amid the slums of inner Melbourne carrying their nursing bag containing lotion, ointments, powders, liniment, bandages, dressings, a case of spirits, and the Nurse's own clean apron, soap and small towel. They supplied equipment on loan, such as earthenware hot water bottles, splints, urinals, bed pans, bed cradles, feeding mugs, and air-cushions as well as providing blankets and clean bed linen, and nightdresses as necessary. They provided nursing care to a range of people, often in destitute situations, some lying on rags on the floor as they had no bed, others with just a bed and maybe a thin blanket, a chair and nothing else. Their ages ranged from babes, children, adults to the elderly. The Nurses gave medications as ordered by a Doctor, dressed wounds e.g. to the injured, and surgical cases, and to those with leg ulcers; attended to patients with ‘surgical ailments’ such as ‘hip disease’; gave care to those with acute illnesses such as bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, measles, and scarlet fever, as well as those with chronic illnesses such as consumption (tuberculosis), heart disease, arthritis, cancer, debility, neuritis and paralysis. They educated their patients, and their Carers, in the curing and prevention of disease; teaching the importance of hygiene, cleanliness, ventilation and good nutrition. They taught them, by verbal instruction and demonstration, how to make poultices, to make and apply bandages, apply medical appliances such as splints; and the Nurses supplied milk, beef tea and cooked soup when needed. As the work increased a third Nurse was employed but this was arduous work, particularly in the heat of summer and many Nurses only remained with the Society for several months.

Photograph, colour

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black deep case made of man made material. it has a raised lid with attached handle. The metal section between the lid and body of the case has metal clasps attached to it which open and close within this section. The deep section contains a cotton bag sewn in sections which contain artery forceps, dissecting forceps, scissors, thermometer, wooden spatula. Shown are a packet of Band-Aids, plastic bottle containing chlorhexidine, jar containing soft-soap and jar containing Saf-sol which were carried within the body of the case.

Historical information

This is style of nursing case and type of equipment used by the Sisters of the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) in the 1970s. The Sisters worked throughout the Melbourne inner and outer suburbs visiting patients to administer nursing care in their homes and other arranged venues.

Significance

The Trained nurses of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), later known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), visited patients in their home and gave best practice care in many fields of nursing, and to people of many cultures, throughout its 130 years of expansion. Initial visits not only assessed the specific nursing situation but the situation as a whole. Their patients ranged in age from babes, children, adults to the elderly and referrals were taken from Hospitals, General Practitioners and allied Health facilities. Some of the care the Sisters provided is as follows: – Post-Natal care given to mother and babe, Wound Care following various types of surgery, accidents, burns, cancer, leg ulcers etc. Supervising and teaching Diabetic Care, including teaching and supervising people with Diabetes to administer their own Insulin, and administering Insulin to those unable to give their own injections. Administering other injections and setting up weekly medication boxes. The Sisters performed Catheterizations on adults suffering from conditions such as Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Guillan-Barre Syndrome, and when required at school on children for e.g. those with Spina Bifida. The Sisters visited those requiring Cystic Fibrosis support and care; those requiring Haemo-Oncology care, including visiting children at school; those requiring Home Enteral Feeding care, and those requiring IV therapy at home and home Dialysis. Palliative Care was given including pain relief with the use of syringe drivers, personal care as needed, and advice and support to both patient and family. The Sisters provided Stoma management to those needing Urostomy, Ileostomy and Colostomy care and those requiring Continence care. HIV/AIDS nursing care was provided; visits to Homeless Persons were made. Personal care was given to patients ranging in age and with varying mobility problems, such as those with MS, MND, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Acquired Brain Injury, to those following a Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke), those with severe Arthritis and those with a form of Dementia. When necessary the elderly were assisted with personal care and advice given on safety factors with the use of hand rails, bath or shower seats, and hand showers. Rehabilitation with an aim towards independence remained at the forefront of the Sister’s minds and when possible using aids and instruction on safe techniques enabled the person to become fully independent. All care included giving advice and support to the patient and their Carers. The Sisters liaised with the persons Doctor, Hospital and allied Health personal as necessary.

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

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.

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..

Significance

Liaison had occurred between Doctors and the Trained 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), 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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Barry Sutton LO 40

Photograph

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

On the left of the black and white photograph is a a lady laying in her bed, and to her right is a Melbourne District Nursing Service, (MDNS), Sister sitting beside her. The Sister is wearing glasses, and has a white gown over her uniform; with the grey collar of her uniform and dark sleeves of her cardigan in view. The Sister is wearing her grey peaked uniform hat, with a Maltese cross emblazoned in the centre front, over her short dark curled hair. The Sister has her hands on the left hand of the lady, who is wearing glasses, has white curly hair, and is wearing a crocheted shawl over her grey nightgown. Her head is resting on the pillow on her bed which has a dark bedhead, .Light coloured bedding covers most of her body.

Historical information

The Melbourne District Nursing Service (MDNS) Sister is massaging the left hand of the patient. The Sister is wearing her grey cotton uniform dress and red cardigan under her white gown. A red Maltese cross emblazoned on her peaked hat.

Significance

The Trained nurses of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), later known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), visited patients in their home and gave best practice care in many fields of nursing, and to people of many cultures, throughout its 130 years of expansion. Initial visits not only assessed the specific nursing situation but the situation as a whole. Their patients ranged in age from babes, children, adults to the elderly and referrals were taken from Hospitals, General Practitioners and allied Health facilities. Some of the care the Sisters provided is as follows: – Post-Natal care given to mother and babe, Wound Care following various types of surgery, accidents, burns, cancer, leg ulcers etc. Supervising and teaching Diabetic Care, including teaching and supervising people with Diabetes to administer their own Insulin, and administering Insulin to those unable to give their own injections. Administering other injections and setting up weekly medication boxes. The Sisters performed Catheterizations on adults suffering from conditions such as Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Guillan-Barre Syndrome, and when required at school on children for e.g. those with Spina Bifida. The Sisters visited those requiring Cystic Fibrosis support and care; those requiring Haemo-Oncology care, including visiting children at school; those requiring Home Enteral Feeding care, and those requiring IV therapy at home and home Dialysis. Palliative Care was given including pain relief with the use of syringe drivers, personal care as needed, and advice and support to both patient and family. The Sisters provided Stoma management to those needing Urostomy, Ileostomy and Colostomy care and those requiring Continence care. HIV/AIDS nursing care was provided; visits to Homeless Persons were made. Personal care was given to patients ranging in age and with varying mobility problems, such as those with MS, MND, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, Poliomyelistis, Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Acquired Brain Injury, to those following a Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke), those with severe Arthritis and those with a form of Dementia. When necessary the elderly were assisted with personal care and advice given on safety factors with the use of hand rails, bath or shower seats, and hand showers. Rehabilitation with an aim towards independence remained at the forefront of the Sister’s minds and when possible using aids and instruction on safe techniques enabled the person to become fully independent. All care included giving advice and support to the patient and their Carers. The Sisters liaised with the persons Doctor, Hospital and allied Health personal when necessary.

Inscriptions & Markings

Photographers stamp and 'Quote No. DW 86'

Annual Report - Melbourne District Nursing Society. Annual report. 1949-1950

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Grey paper cover with red cross in centre and includes title and printers details. 33 pages with black text and 6 black and white photos in centre pages

Historical information

The 65th Annual report includes details of the Committee of Management and Honorary Governors . Reports from the President, Matron of the After-Care Hospital, Matron of MDNS, the Social Service Officer and Honorary Obstetricians. There are also financial, Auxiliary and donor reports. Centre pages contain black and white photos for the After-Care Hospital.

Significance

MDNS published annual reports from 1885. The reports document the people, social conditions, events and achievements of the Society from that time.

Photograph, black and white:

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

On the left of the black and white photograph is Mr. George Spartel, who has dark short curly hair and is lying on his bed. His shoulders and head are resting on the white pillow with his head against the wooden slatted backrest of his bed. His torso is bare and part of a white wound dressing can be seen on his upper abdominal area. A dark grey covering is over the lower portion of his body. He is smiling and looking up at Sister J. Faust from Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) who is standing to the right of his bed.Sister Faust, who has dark curled hair, has her arms raised behind her neck as she reaches the ties on the white gown she is wearing over her uniform. She is wearing her grey brimmed uniform hat. Behind her is a wooden table, with a dark coloured radio on its right, and a jug with a doily over it, on the right.

Historical information

The photograph is taken in Mr. Spartel's home in St. Kilda. The MDNS uniform worn under her white gown was a dark grey cotton frock with a belt. The grey stiffened and brimmed felt hat had a light grey hatband with a red Maltese cross attached in the centre. Sister J. Faust is about to redress a wound on Mr. Spartel's abdomen. The photograph is a record of wound care being given by MDNS trained nurses in a patients home during the 1950s. This photograph appeared along with an article in The Sun newspaper Oct 17 1952.

Significance

The Trained nurses (Nurses) of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), from its inception in 1885, provided wound care to their patients, who ranged in age from the very young to the elderly. As research developed better products and dressing materials, the methods and medication applied to wounds changed. MDNS received Royal patronage in 1966 and as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), the Education department developed programs, such as the Wound Specialist program, and the Leg Ulcer Management Program, to provide their Trained nurses (Sisters) with methods of best quality care. The Sisters liaised with the patient’s Doctors and hospitals to provide information on the progress of patient’s wounds and to receive any change of wound care from the Doctors. When RDNS introduced Wound Care Specialists they carried out assessments and provided advice and support to the District Sisters working in the field.

Photograph, colour

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Coloured photograph taken at a function in a room at Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS). It shows, left to right, Sister Bev Armstrong, who has short blonde hair, Miss Mary Evans, who has short curled brown hair and another RDNS Sister who has short dark hair. The two RDNS Sisters are wearing the RDNS summer uniform of a white blouse under a royal blue V neck tunic style dress with the RDNS insignia on the left hand side. Miss Evans, is wearing a long dark coat. The three are smiling and the Sister on the right is looking at Miss Evans who is turned slightly and has part of her right arm resting over the top of the back of the chair. They are sitting in front of a window and opened gold long curtains. A tree is seen through the window. Both RDNS Sisters have cups in their hands.

Historical information

The photograph is taken at a function in the Board Room of RDNS Headquarters, 452 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. Miss Mary Evans was the RDNS Director of Nursing from 1963-1978,

Significance

From its founding in 1885 until 1891 the trained nurses of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) worked from their own homes which were located in the vicinity of their areas (districts). The Committee meetings were held at the Religious Tract Society rooms at Queen’s walk, off Swanston Street and then at the Library Room at the Melbourne Town Hall. The Annual General Meeting was held at the Town Hall. In November 1891 MDNS was able to rent a two story terraced house at 66 Cardigan Street, Carlton, at £65 a year, which contained accommodation for three Trained nurses (Nurses) and one pupil nurse as well as being used as their Headquarters. They left from their Nurses Home each morning and returned at the end of their shift to write up their book work before retiring for the day. Three years later they moved into a larger terraced house at 49 Drummond Street Carlton which was rented at ‘a very moderate rental’. There was a Board room, apartments for the Nurses and pupil nurse, a large dispensary which patients could attend each evening to have prescriptions signed and bottles refilled with ‘homely remedies’ and elixirs, which were administered for e.g. to Consumptive cases. Doctor’s prescriptions were filled at the Pharmacy. Cupboards containing donated blankets and bedclothes for needy patients were kept in this room, and it was here where the Nurses kept their nursing bags which were refilled at the end of each shift ready for any emergency and for the next day. A list of Doctors the Nurses could call was kept by the telephone. The home also had a kitchen where nourishing soup was made and distributed twice a week to the needy. Milk was also distributed when needed. In 1902 they moved into rented premises at 188 Leicester Street, Carlton and two years later, in 1904, to premises at 5 Royal Terrace, Nicholson Street, Fitzroy where they remained for ten years. In June 1914 at last the Society had sufficient funds to purchase their own terraced premises, ‘Floraston’ 39 Victoria Parade, Collingwood which was their Headquarters and Nurses Home. In 1926 the After-Care Home for recovering patients, (later called After-Care Hospital) was built by the Society next door, running from 41-47 Victoria Parade (became No. 45); the District nurses continued to live at No. 39. In November 1953 the District Nursing Division moved into their new Headquarters and Nurses Home at 452 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. As RDNS expanded and now, with Centres opening throughout the suburbs, the Sisters lived in their own homes and the Nurses Home at 452 closed and those rooms used for administrative purposes. On April the 1st 1996 RDNS Head Office relocated to 31 Alma Road, St. Kilda.

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

On the left of this black and white photograph is Mrs. McCoubrie, who is an elderly lady with white curly hair;. She is wearing dark rimmed glasses and is standing on a rug between the raised footplates of a wheelchair which is behind her. She is smiling and looking at Sister Ethel Fullarton from the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) who is in the right of the photograph. Mrs. McCoubrie is wearing a black frock with white buttons, collar and belt. She has her right hand on the wooden handle of a 4 prong stick and her left arm is supported by. Sr. Fullarton, who is standing side-on, and is smiling at Mrs. McCoubrie. Sr. Fullarton is wearing glasses; has curly dark hair, and is wearing a white gown over her uniform. She has her right hand under, and supporting, the upper section of Mrs. McCoubrie's left arm and is grasping Mrs. McCoubrie's hand with her left hand. In the left background, part of a brick fireplace with a small vase of flowers sitting on the wooden mantelpiece can be seen. A lounge chair is seen on the far right and a patterned carpet is under the dark patterned rug.

Historical information

This photograph is taken in the lounge room of Mrs. McCoubrie's home in Dudley Street, Fitzroy. Sr. Fullarton is assisting her to regain her independence from being wheelchair bound to walking with a 4 prong stick.

Significance

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 insure they were able to live independently in their own homes was at the forefront of care given by their Trained nurses. As well as teaching and supervising the use of equipment, their Trained nurses 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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Barry Sutton LW 1 Names.

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

On the left of this black and white photograph is a Royal District Nursing Service, (RDNS), Sister wearing a white gown over her grey uniform. She is bending over and slightly towards her right; her face is not visible, only the crown of her grey peaked hat is seen. On her right is a lady sitting in a wheelchair with her right leg extended resting on a bed. The Sister has her left hand on, with her fingers holding the strap, and her right hand on the strap below, of a Splint on the upper right leg of the lady who is watching the procedure. The lady has short dark hair and is wearing a grey buttoned up cardigan and dark skirt; she is wearing a black shoe on the foot of her extended leg. Her left leg is bent at the knee and the top of a splint with some of the straps are visible. Part of the bedspread covering the bed has a grey and white pattern. A pair of crutches and a dark drape can be seen behind the Sister and wheelchair.

Historical information

The RDNS Sister is applying a splint to the lady's leg after attending to any other nursing care required. This photograph depicts one of the types of nursing care carried out by the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS).

Significance

The Trained nurses of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), later known as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), visited patients in their home and gave best practice care in many fields of nursing, and to people of many cultures, throughout its 130 years of expansion. Initial visits not only assessed the specific nursing situation but the situation as a whole. Their patients ranged in age from babes, children, adults to the elderly and referrals were taken from Hospitals, General Practitioners and allied Health facilities. Some of the care the Sisters provided is as follows: – Post-Natal care given to mother and babe, Wound Care following various types of surgery, accidents, burns, cancer, leg ulcers etc. Supervising and teaching Diabetic Care, including teaching and supervising people with Diabetes to administer their own Insulin, and administering Insulin to those unable to give their own injections. Administering other injections and setting up weekly medication boxes. The Sisters performed Catheterizations on adults suffering from conditions such as Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Guillan-Barre Syndrome, and when required at school on children for e.g. those with Spina Bifida. The Sisters visited those requiring Cystic Fibrosis support and care; those requiring Haemo-Oncology care, including visiting children at school; those requiring Home Enteral Feeding care, and those requiring IV therapy at home and home Dialysis. Palliative Care was given including pain relief with the use of syringe drivers, personal care as needed, and advice and support to both patient and family. The Sisters provided Stoma management to those needing Urostomy, Ileostomy and Colostomy care and those requiring Continence care. HIV/AIDS nursing care was provided; visits to Homeless Persons were made. Personal care was given to patients ranging in age and with varying mobility problems, such as those with MS, MND, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, Poliomyelistis, Quadriplegia, Paraplegia, Acquired Brain Injury, to those following a Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke), those with severe Arthritis and those with a form of Dementia. When necessary the elderly were assisted with personal care and advice given on safety factors with the use of hand rails, bath or shower seats, and hand showers. Rehabilitation with an aim towards independence remained at the forefront of the Sister’s minds and when possible using aids and instruction on safe techniques enabled the person to become fully independent. All care included giving advice and support to the patient and their Carers. The Sisters liaised with the persons Doctor, Hospital and allied Health personal when necessary.

Inscriptions & Markings

photographer stamp

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white photograph of 14, some partly hidden, new grey Holden Torana two door vehicles parked in two rows in the RDNS concrete based car park. The cars are parked with their front lights, grill, bumper bars and number plates facing the left of the photograph. The cars are seen side-on with the full side-on view of the two cars at the beginning of the rows seen in the foreground of the photograph. The flat bonnet is the same width as the rest of the body of the car; the windscreen slopes upward and joins the flat roof; there are two wiper blades resting at the base of the windscreen. In line, and at the level of the windscreen, a quarter window, and two windows divided by a narrow pillar can be seen running along the side of the car above the slightly convex body work and front door. The rear window slopes back from the roof and the slope continues on the upper bodywork of the boot lid. A metal strip runs along the side of the car about half way down the bodywork, and another runs just up from the beginning of the front wheel arch to the rear wheel arch; beside the front wheel arch is the word 'Torana'. The round, with capital letters 'RDNS', insignia can be seen on the upper centre of the front door of the two cars. The solid wheel caps have the Holden logo on them. The front grill which runs between the headlights on either side of the car, slopes slightly backwards from the central Holden badge. The bumper bar below this is metal. Black number plates with white written capital letters and numbers 'LFA - 208' and 'LFA - 207' are seen on two of the cars in the front row. The tops of two front seats with headrests and the top of a long back seat can be seen inside the car. A tall brick fence is seen running along the rear and right hand side of the car park. In the left background is a two storey building with a flat roof, and behind this on its left is a part of a tall building and to its right part of a bare tree can be seen. To the buildings right rear part of a house can be seen. In front and to the right of this is a three storey brick building, with the top two storeys seen above the car park fence. Multiple windows run along both levels of this building which has a tiled hip roof. The tops of some bushes are seen behind parts of the car park fence.

Historical information

The photograph of the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Holden Torana vehicles was taken in the RDNS Headquarters car park at the rear of 452 St Kilda Road. These cars are part of the RDNS fleet, with others housed at RDNS Centres. The cars were used by the RDNS District nurses to visit patients in their own homes. This photograph depicts two door Holden Torana cars of 1972.

Significance

Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) has had various modes of transport over the last 130 plus years. At first, from 1885 as Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), their Trained nurses (Nurses) walked the streets and lane ways amid the slums of central Melbourne. As the Society expanded public transport was used, and bicycles were bought by the Society in 1903 and used in inner areas until 1945. During the Spanish flu epidemic, in 1919, MDNS appealed for assistance to procure Motor vehicles so the Nurses could visit an influx of cases. Through trusts, grants and donations four 'Ford T Model' cars were procured which enabled the Nurses to triple their visits. Through constant use the cars were in such a poor state they were sold in 1927. A Motor Auxiliary was formed in 1929 to take Sisters to patients, and some Sisters used their own cars; even a motorcycle was used by one Sister in 1933. All these forms of transport were intermingled and in the early 1950s, and now as Melbourne District Nursing Service, seven Ford Prefect cars were bought followed by twelve Ford Anglia cars 1955. Having received Royal patronage; the now Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) had its own fleet of Holden vehicles by the mid 1960s and the Motor Auxiliary ceased operating in 1971 as by then all staff employed were required to have a driving licence. Seat-belts had been introduced to Victoria in 1959 and District fitted them to their cars from 1962, even though they did not become compulsory until 1970. The Holden vehicles were replaced with grey Holden Torana vehicles. After several years the fleet was changed to white Toyota Corolla vehicles. The Melways Directory of maps was introduced in 1966, which was a boon to the Sisters, though it was a few years before it went beyond Seville, so a large paper map was used by the Sisters visiting patients in the areas passed Seville. By 2009 there were 598 cars in the fleet and the Sisters travelled 9 million 200,000 kilometres – this is equivalent to 12 trips to the moon and back.

Inscriptions & Markings

Barry Sutton Photographer's Stamp Quote KX83

Digital image

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Digital image of the rear of the extended Melbourne District Nursing Society After-Care Home 45 Victoria Parade, Collingwood. It shows a three story brick building with a tiled hip roof and open verandas running along each story with windows seen behind. A zigzag stair case runs down the left hand side of the building and on the right hand side of the image you can see a section set back with one window on each floor. Behind this section, part of another multi story building is seen. A wooden paling fence is seen in the foreground of the photograph. On the far right, part of another brick building with hip roof can be seen

Historical information

The Melbourne District Nursing Society After-Care Home was built in 1926 to give short term care to MDNS patients who were too ill to remain in their home, but not ill enough to go to hospital. Melbourne hospitals also sent patients there who required further care after discharge from hospital. After convalescence they returned to their homes. Many children were nursed there, particularly during the Polio epidemic.

Significance

The Society were pioneers in recognizing the need for premises where patients too ill to be in their own home, but not ill enough to go to hospital, was needed, and the Society built, then opened, the After-Care Home in 1926, (from 1934 called After-Care Hospital), for these patients, and patients from Hospitals. Many children were nursed there, some long term, during the Polio epidemic and the Society employed two School Teachers. The Society now ran two divisions, the After-Care with its own Trained nurses and the District division. The Society were the first in Melbourne, in early 1928, to recognize some patients leaving the After-Care, and many at home, needed further social care and they set up ‘Almoners’ from their Committee to visit these patients and be intermediaries in getting them social assistance. It was late the following year before the first training of Almoners took place in Melbourne. In 1930 the Society employed a full time kindergarten teacher to visit poor children in their homes. That year the Society were pioneers in opening an Ante-Natal Clinic at the After-Care, setting a high standard with equipment, keeping records and providing leaflets with instructions in how to keep healthy during pregnancy, what complications to look for, and what to do when labour commenced. In 1934 the Society were pioneers again when they opened the first Women’s Welfare Clinic in Melbourne giving advice on birth-control, at first attended by their own patients, but then accepting patients from public hospitals until their own clinics were opened. A trained Almoner was employed, but left after twelve months due to the amount of work required. Trained Almoners were in short supply so a Social Service Officer was employed at the After-Care who successfully gained better housing from the Housing Commission for families living under unsuitable conditions. In the 1950s the Hospital and Charities Commission decided to take over the After-Care Hospital, so the Melbourne District Nursing Society and After-Care Hospital separated and the Melbourne District Nursing Service was formed, setting up Headquarters at 452 St. Kilda Road. In 1966 Royal patronage was given and the name changed to Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS).

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

This black and white photograph depicts six Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) staff standing in two rows in front of closed long grey curtains. They are looking at the camera and smiling, some are partly hidden. L- R back row - A lady who has short dark hair and is wearing a grey and black patterned frock. Next is a lady with her black hair drawn back; is wearing black pants and a black sleeveless V neck jacket over a white skivvie. The next lady has wavy short dark hair; is wearing white slacks, a light grey jacket with lapels and the pocket on its upper left has a vertical zip in the centre. She has a black and white striped scarf around her neck. Front row L-R - A lady with shoulder length black curled hair who is wearing a white uniform style dress and is turned toward the right of the photograph. Her right hand is on the top edge of an RDNS beret which is held on its edge with the inner white lining seen, and the upper section showing the deep front of the beret which has a central RDNS logo. To the right of this, is Sister Pat (Paddy) Rowley who has short dark straight hair; is wearing dark rimmed glasses and is wearing a light grey skivvie under a darker V neck tunic style dress. She is turned toward the left of the photograph and her right hand is holding the bottom edge of the RDNS beret and her left hand is on the top edge. The next lady, on the far right, has shoulder length black curly hair and is wearing dark grey slacks, and a black round neck jumper over a white blouse with the peaks and cuff seen.

Historical information

Sister Pat (Paddy) Rowley is the Principal Nurse Educator at Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) and is standing with a group of RDNS staff in the Education Department at RDNS Headquarters, 452 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. Sr. Rowley is wearing the RDNS winter uniform of a blue/grey skivvie under a blue/grey V neck tunic style dress made of herring bone winter material. She, and the lady in the white dress, are displaying the RDNS winter beret made of the same herringbone material as the RDNS winter dress.

Significance

From its earliest years when Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) began to wear uniforms the chosen colour was grey, though the style changed throughout the years as fashions changed from the late 1800s through to the 1970s. Their Trained nurses (Nurses) firstly wore long grey frocks and on their heads a white cap with a long white tail hanging from the centre back. When bicycles were introduced the headgear changed to a white pith helmet adorned with a red Maltese cross in the centre front. This was held on with a veil going over the hat and tied under the chin. Over the years there were complaints that the veils became wet in the rain and they asked for a change of uniform, but this did not happen until 1921. Later the Trained nurses (Sisters) complained their skirts became wet when riding their bicycles in the rain and asked, when raining, to be able to wear breeches and gaiters. This was granted provided they wore aprons when attending patients. It was not long before the uniform changed to a shorter length grey frock, red cardigan, grey coat and grey brimmed hat; later changed to a peaked grey hat. In 1966 MDNS were granted Royal patronage. Now as Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS), the uniform was redesigned and colour changed in 1971. By 1972 the Sisters were wearing the new winter uniform of a blue/grey skivvie under a V neck tunic style frock made of blue/grey herringbone winter material with the RDNS insignia on the upper left, and a beret of the same material. In summer the uniform became a royal blue V neck tunic style frock, with the RDNS insignia on the upper left, worn over a short sleeve white blouse. A royal blue peaked hat with the RDNS insignia in the centre front was worn at first and then only worn on official occasions. This uniform was worn until changed to a corporate style in the mid 1980s,

Inscriptions & Markings

Barry Sutton MA 23

Photograph, Portrait black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

This black and white photograph is a portrait view of Dame Mary Herring. She has curled light coloured hair. Only a portion of her scooped neck dark coloured frock which falls in soft folds can be seen. There is a light colour brooch attached on the left hand side of her frock near the shoulder. She is wearing a string of pearls around her neck. A curtain can be seen in the background of the photograph.

Historical information

This portrait photograph of Dame Mary Herring is a visual record of her taken during the time she was offering advice to Melbourne District Nursing Society After-Care Home (later Hospital)' as a member of their Committee from 1931. She was a Vice-president from 1943-1957 and acted as President in 1953. As a Medical practitioner she was involved with the formation of the MDNS After-Care Ante-Natal clinic in 1930 and the establishment of the Women's Welfare Clinic at the MDNS After-Care in 1934.

Significance

Dame Mary Herring was born in Carlton on the 31st of March 1895. She graduated as a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB. BS) at the University of Melbourne in March 1921. During her training she went out with the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS), where she visited many in poor circumstances and through this decided she wanted to improve the lives of women and children. She married Edmund Herring on the 6th of April 1922 and he supported her to continue her Medical career. She established an Ante-Natal Clinic at the Prahran Health Centre in 1926 and assisted MDNS After-Care Home in the establishment of its Ante-Natal clinic in September 1930. In 1931, as Dr. Mary Herring she became a member of the Committee of the now named ‘Melbourne District Nursing Society After-Care Home’ (later Hospital), and as Lady Herring became a Vice-president from 1943 until 1957 and acted as President in 1953. In 1934, along with Dr. George Simpson and Dr. Victor Wallace, she established the Women’s Welfare Clinic at the MDNS After-Care Hospital for patients of the Society; the first of its kind in Melbourne. After its opening in October 1934 she was the Hon Secretary of the Welfare Clinic, which operated from a room in the Ante-Natal Clinic of the After-Care. Dr. Herring pioneered family planning services. The clinic ran until 1940 when women could now obtain this advice from other establishments. In 1953, as Acting President, Lady Herring was involved with the discussions of the District Division of MDNS relocating to ‘Airlie’, 452 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne and the separation of Melbourne District Nursing Society and After Care Hospital, with the District Division now a separate entity, known as Melbourne District Nursing Service with its Headquarters at 452 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. In 1966 with Royal patronage, this became the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS). Though asked to be President of the Hospital division of the MDNS Society, she declined due to her many activities. In 1940 Dr. Mary Herring was a founder of the A.I.F Women’s Association and served on the Women’s Welfare Subcommittee to assist the families of soldiers and now as Lady Herring, she became President from 1943-1946. She was a a founding member and first president of the Victorian Council of Social Service 1946, chairman of the Vera Scantlebury Brown Memorial Trust 1946-1979, Deputy-president of Victorian division of the Australian Red Cross 1944-1963, and of the Victoria League 1945-1972 and the Australian council of the Save the Children Fund from 1962-1967. Lady Herring was a tireless worker for many charities particularly charities for children. On the 10th of July 1953 she was made Commander of the Order of St. John in recognition of her charity work and on the 11th of June 1960 was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for “services to nursing in Victoria” In 1949 the Argus Newspaper (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/22776603) described her as “one of the finest examples of Australian women in our State, with a record of selfless devotion to the service of others. Calm, kindly, clear-minded, and intensely logical”,..... “she has taken all this in her stride without once stopping out of her aura of cool, unruffled efficiency, an efficiency which is tempered by her warmth and understanding, her approachability, and her human sympathy.” Dame Mary Ranken Herring died in Camberwell on the 26th of October 1981.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stuart Tompkin Studio

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Black and white photograph showing the sign displayed at the 1st International Domiciliary Nursing Congress. Across the photograph is a long black metal stand, with eight legs, which holds a large board. On the upper quarter can be seen to the left a medium sized black circle which has the lettering '1st' outlined in white on it. To the right of this is the black lettering "International Domiciliary Nursing Congress" in capital letters on a white background. Below the black circle, on a white background, is a large round white globe outlined in black and with black spaced vertical and horizontal grids on it. In the lower centre of this is the black coloured land mass of Australia. Over the left hand top section, and above and to each side of the white globe are different land masses of the world displayed in grey. To the right of this there are two grey sections which are divided vertically with a black line,.and contain information on white sheets. To the right of that is a white section with round photographs in three pairs running down the board.

Historical information

This sign was displayed at the 1st International Domiciliary Nursing Congress which was hosted by the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS).

Significance

The 1st International Domiciliary Nursing Congress was hosted by Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS). Mrs. D.(Elsa) Hallenstein, President of RDNS, presided over the opening ceremony with the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon John Gorton opening the Congress. It was held in Melbourne and ran from the 1st to the 8th of February 1970. Many delegates came from around Australia and overseas; from the World Health Organisation; from the North American continent; from Europe, from Asia and from the Pacific.

Inscriptions & Markings

Photographer stamp. Quote No. JE 4

Photograph, black and white

Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill

Standing in a semi circle of this photograph are 5 Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) Sisters in their long sleeve grey uniform dresses which have a belt, peaked collars and white buttons down the centre. They are wearing their grey brimmed hats with a central Maltese cross on the light colour headband over their short dark curled hair. From Left to Right are Sisters Marianne Metcalf who is smiling and is holding a tennis racket and soft sided oblong travel bag which has two leather straps and handle in her right hand; it is resting on a closed case, which has two leather straps across the lid; this sits in front of her. Next is Gerda Oppenheim who is looking serious and has her right hand on the top of the lid of an open case in front of her, then Beryl Rowley, who is smiling and has her hands on a narrow white metal horizontal pole which has a vertical pole attached. Next is Marcia Parrat who is smiling and is holding a piece of white linen on the open case, and next, on the far right, is Florence Hoey who is holding a piece of white linen on top of an open hard leather travelling bag which is sitting in front of her next to the closed case.

Historical information

The MDNS Sisters are packing their belongs ready to move from their current Nurses Home at 39 Victoria Parade, Collingwood to their new Nurses Home and Headquarters situated at 452 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, then known as 'Airlie'.

Significance

From its founding in 1885 until 1891 the Trained nurses (Nurses) of the Melbourne District Nursing Society (MDNS) worked from their own homes which were located in the vicinity of their areas (districts). The Committee meetings were held at the Religious Tract Society rooms at Queen’s walk, off Swanston Street and then at the Library Room at the Melbourne Town Hall. The Annual General Meeting was held at the Town Hall. In November 1891 MDNS was able to rent a two story terraced house at 66 Cardigan Street, Carlton, at £65 a year, which contained accommodation for three Nurses and one pupil nurse as well as being used as their Headquarters. They left from their Nurses Home each morning and returned at the end of their shift to write up their book work before retiring for the day. Three years later they moved into a larger terraced house at 49 Drummond Street Carlton which was rented at ‘a very moderate rental’. There was a Board room, apartments for the Nurses and pupil nurse, a large dispensary which patients could attend each evening to have prescriptions signed and bottles refilled with ‘homely remedies’ and elixirs, which were administered for e.g. to Consumptive cases. Doctor’s prescriptions were filled at the Pharmacy. Cupboards containing donated blankets and bedclothes for needy patients were kept in this room, and it was here where the Nurses kept their nursing bags which were refilled at the end of each shift ready for any emergency and for the next day. A list of Doctors the Nurses could call was kept by the telephone. The home also had a kitchen where nourishing soup was made and distributed twice a week to the needy. Milk was also distributed when needed. In 1902 they moved into rented premises at 188 Leicester Street, Carlton and two years later, in 1904, to premises at 5 Royal Terrace, Nicholson Street, Fitzroy where they remained for ten years. In June 1914 at last the Society had sufficient funds to purchase their own terraced premises, ‘Floraston’ 39 Victoria Parade, Collingwood which was their Headquarters and Nurses Home. In 1926 the After-Care Home for recovering patients, (later called After-Care Hospital) was built by the Society next door, running from 41-47 Victoria Parade (became No. 45). There were now two divisions with the After Care having their owned Trained nurses (Sisters) and the District Division of Trained nurses (Sisters) who continued to live at No. 39. In November 1953 the Sisters working in the District Nursing Division moved into their new Headquarters and Nurses Home at 452 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. In 1957 this Division changed its name to the Melbourne District Nursing Service when it separated from the After-Care Hospital. It was given Royal patronage in 1966 and became Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS). As it expanded, and now with Centres opening throughout the suburbs, the Nurses Home at 452 closed and those rooms used for administrative purposes. It now had outlying districts to service, and with a full fleet of District cars, the Sisters lived in their own homes and visited their closest District Centre each morning to collect their work for the day and returned there at the end of their community duties to do their administrative work. On April the 1st 1996 RDNS Head Office relocated to 31 Alma Road, St. Kilda.