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Abbott, Joan Stevenson (Judy) (1899 - 1975)

RRC

Born
11 December 1899
Normanby Hill, Queensland, Australia
Died
1975
Bethesda Hospital, Corinda, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Nurse and Servicewoman

Summary

Judy Abbott was awarded the Royal Red Cross, 1st Class on 18 February 1943 for her leadership while matron with the 2/6 Australian General Hospital in the Middle East and Greece. After the war Abbott won the 1946 Florence Nightingale International Foundation scholarship, and studied at the Royal College of Nursing, London for 18 months. In 1948 she returned to her pre-war position on the tutorial staff at the Brisbane Hospital.

Abbott was appointed principal matron of the Citizen Military Forces and served with the 1st Camp Hospital, Brisbane, for a short time during the Korean War. From 1954 until 1956 she was president of the Australasian Trained Nurses' Association (Queensland Branch) and a member of the Queensland State Nurses and Masseurs Registration Board. Nearing the end of her career, she worked as a staff nurse with the Commonwealth Savings Bank for five years and then in a doctors' surgery before retiring in 1970.

Judy Abbott fractured her spine in 1975 and suffered quadriplegia. After her death on 27th November her body was given to the school of anatomy, University of Queensland.

Details

Events

11 December 1899
Born: daughter of John William and Isabella (née Stevenson) Abbott
1920
Probationer at the Brisbane General Hospital
1923
Awarded gold medal for theoretical and practical work
c. 1924
Obtained midwifery certificate at the Lady Bowen Hospital, Wickham Terrace, Brisbane
1924
Completed general nursing certificate
c. 1925
Completed State child-welfare course
1926 - 1928
Worked in baby clinics
1929
Employed as a tutor sister by the Brisbane and South Coast Hospitals Board
1937
Employed briefly by the Canberra Community Hospital
c. 1937 - c. 1940
Travelled in England
19 August 1940
Enlisted in the Australian Army at Windsor, Qld. Appointed matron of the 2/6 Australian General Hospital
31 March 1941
Disembarked with 55 nurses and masseuses to Greece
20 April 1941
Ordered to evacuate to Alexandria, Egypt
October 1941 - March 1942
Temporarily located at Jerusalem
May 1942 - August 1942
2/6 A.G.H. expanded from 600 to 1500 beds
November 1942
Nursing staff handled 615 admissions and 235 discharges in one day
February 1943
Repatriated to Australia
18 February 1943
Awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal, 1st Class
12 April 1943
Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and posted to the Queensland Lines of Communication Area
January 1944
Became principal matron
1946
Winner of the Florence Nightingale International Foundation scholarship and studied for 18 months at the Royal College of Nursing, London
1948
Member of the tutorial staff of the Brisbane Hospital
1 July 1948
Appointed principal matron of the Citizen Military Forces at the Northern Command headquarters
1954 - 1956
President of the Australasian Trained Nurses' Association (Queensland Branch)
1955 - 1958
Member of the Queensland State Nurses and Masseurs Registration Board
1957
Awarded the Florence Nightingale medal
1962
Appointed honorary Colonel of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps
27 November 1975
Died: Bethesda Hospital and her body was given to the school of anatomy, University of Queensland

Sources used to compile this entry: Alexander, Joseph A (ed.), Who's Who in Australia 1944, 12 edn, The Herald and Weekly Times, Melbourne, 1944, 906 pp; Fulloon, Gillian, 'Abbott, Joan Stevenson (1899-1975)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130003b.htm.

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