Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Organisation

  • Trove

Australasian Trained Nurses' Association (1899 - )

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Trade Union


The Australasian Trained Nurses' Association (ATNA), Australia's first nursing association, was formed in New South Wales in 1899, with branches subsequently established in Queensland in 1904, South Australia in 1905, Western Australia in 1907 and Tasmania in 1908. It sought to improve the status of nurses through registration and to develop standards of training in hospital schools of nursing. The Association commenced publication of its journal entitled Australasian Nurses' Journal, (ANJ) in 1904. The state branches eventually came to form branches of the Australian Nursing Federation, which was established in 1924.


The specific objects of the Australasian Trained Nurses' Association were:
1. To promote the interests of trained nurses in all matters affecting their work as a class.
2. To establish a system of registration for trained nurses.
3. To afford opportunities for discussing subjects bearing on the work of nursing.
4. To initiate and control schemes that will provide nurses with an allowance 'during incapacity for work caused by sickness, accident, age or other necessitous circumstances'.

The Association began in the larger training hospitals on the initiative of senior medical practitioners and nurses. It comprised an annually elected Council of seventeen members, including five qualified medical practitioners, five matrons or superintendents of nurses, five sisters and nurses, with two honorary members.

Sources used to compile this entry: Smith, Russell G, In pursuit of nursing excellence: a history of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia 1949-99, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1999, 390 pp; Strachan, Glenda, Labour of love: the history of the Nurses' Association in Queensland, 1860-1950, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1996, 291 pp.

Related entries

Foundation member

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Australasian Trained Nurses' Association - Records, 1899-1976, 1899 - 1976, MLMSS 4144; Australasian Trained Nurses' Association (1899 - ); Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Rosemary Francis and Carolyne Carter

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124