UQ scholarship honours WW1 nurse

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Australian Imperial Force nurse Matron Grace Wilson (centre).

A Queensland nurse who proved her mettle treating Anzac casualties on a Greek island in World War One is being honoured with a $30,000 RSL University of Queensland (UQ) scholarship.

UQ and the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) South Eastern District Limited will commemorate the service and sacrifice made by World War One nurses with the launch of the Matron Grace Wilson RSL SED Scholarship.

Grace Wilson was born in Brisbane in 1857 and trained as a nurse in Brisbane and later as a midwife in London.

In World War One she served with the Australian Imperial Force on the Greek Island of Lemnos, treating Anzac casualties in conditions she described as “too awful for words”, and in Egypt and England.

The Matron Grace Wilson RSL SED Scholarship, offered by the RSL in conjunction with UQ’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, recognises the contributions of all Australian Defence Force (ADF) nurses at home and abroad during war and on peacekeeping missions. 

The scholarship is for a past ADF nursing officer or one serving in the reserve forces to undertake postgraduate study in the school.

Acting Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery Associate Professor Christine Neville said the scholarship acknowledged the importance of collaborative engagements between UQ and key community groups such as the RSL.

“This exciting scholarship will play a vital role in addressing the growing need for continued nursing education across a wide sector,” Associate Professor Neville said.

“Nurses are a crucial part of the Australian Defence Force as they provide and manage the health needs of the nation’s defence community across a wide range of contexts.

“UQ is delighted to be involved with the RSL South Eastern District in providing a service nurse with the opportunity to further their education through the wide range of courses we have on offer.

Newly-elected RSL South Eastern District President and former Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps member Ms Wendy Taylor said the scholarship would continue to acknowledge the contribution of nurses in the ADF.

“The RSL had its origins in World War I and, with more than 36,000 members across Queensland, it continues to care for both ex-serving and current ADF personnel and their families,” Ms Taylor said.

“The Matron Grace Wilson RSL SED Scholarship aligns with the mission of the RSL to preserve the memory of the fallen and appeal to younger veterans entering our healthcare system”.

 “The creation of this scholarship assists in preserving the memory of those brave service personnel for future generations.”

Grace Wilson trained at the Brisbane Hospital site that now serves as the workplace of many of UQ’s School of Nursing and Midwifery staff.

Applications for the scholarship can be made at: www.nursing-midwifery.uq.edu.au or http://www.nursing-midwifery.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=212809

For more information contact School of Nursing and Midwifery Alumni Coordinator Susan Kellett on 0144 024 125 or via email at s.kellett@uq.edu.au.

Media Contact: UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery Senior Media and Communications Officer Lya McTaggart, 07 3365 5084, lya.mctaggart@uq.edu.au ; or RSL Queensland Branch Public Relations and Marketing Officer Vasili Loizou, 07 3634 9423, vasili.loizou@rslqld.org.

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