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Commemoration of Australian Women Doctors in WWI


In 2015, the AFMW and the VMWS were successful in obtaining a grant to support the commemoration of the service of Australian women doctors in the First World War.

On Sunday, September 11 2016, the Memorial Plaque Unveiling for the Women Doctors from World War One  was held in the beautiful Welsh Church on LaTrobe Street, Melbourne.  This was the site of a clinic of Dr Constance Stone, the first medical practitioner registered in Australia, and the founder of the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital.

The service was conducted by Reverend Sion Hughes.  We heard a detailed account of the women doctors in World War One from Dr Heather Sheard.  Dr Merrilyn Murnane highlighted Dr Constance Stone’s background, her struggle to become one of Australia’s first women medical doctors, and her pioneering efforts to have women accepted at the University of Melbourne.

The six Melbourne Medical Women who were honoured are: Rachel Champion, Hilda Bull, Mary de Garis, Helen Secton, Vera Scantlebury and Isabella Younger.

The memorial plaque was made possible by The ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program, via Adam Bandt MP, the VMWS, the AFMW and generous community donations.

We continued to raise funds towards a sculpture to accompany the plaque.  To make a contribution, contact our secretariat: afmw[at]afmw[dot]org[dot]au.