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Allen, Annie Henrietta (c. 1881 - )

c. 1881
Health administrator


Annie Henrietta Allen began as the first Health Inspector for Broken Hill in 1913 and was instrumental in drastically decreasing the number of cases of infectious disease by 1924.


Annie Allen began working as a nurse at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in November 1906. After becoming the nurse in charge at an isolation hospital and receiving her certificate from the Royal Sanitary Institute in London, Annie was appointed Inspector of Nuisances for the Borough of Leicester for two years. She worked with the Health Commission in Worcester for three years before being made the Health Visitor for the city of Birmingham and became a member of the Public Health Committee.

After the death of her husband, Annie moved to Australia, arriving in Sydney in May 1913. In July of the following year she became the first Health Inspector for Broken Hill, a position created by the city council in order to reduce instances of infectious disease such as diphtheria and typhoid. The council had cause for concern as the Health Department reported 704 cases of infectious disease in Broken Hill in 1916 alone. In February 1919, an outbreak of 'Spanish' or Pneumonic Influenza threatened Broken Hill and Annie was responsible for establishing an isolation ward at the Broken Hill Hospital and for organising for the miners to be inoculated against the disease. With the co-operation of the city's medical practitioners, Annie succeeded in reducing the number of cases of diphtheria, typhoid and scarlet fever to just 73 by 1924. Annie resigned from her role as Health Inspector in November of the same year.

This entry was prepared and written by Georgia Moodie.

Sources used to compile this entry: Camilleri, Jenny, Some Outstanding Women of Broken Hill and District, Jenny Camilleri (Broken Hill Historical Society/Broken Hill Council), Broken Hill, NSW, 2002.

Barbara Lemon

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