Australian Women's Register

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Sound recording

Author
Grant, Beryl, 1921-
Title
[Interview with Beryl Grant, Matron of Ngala, 1959-1980]
Editor
[interviewed by Helene Charlesworth].
Description

Miss Beryl Grant was born on 11 September 1921 in Subiaco and was educated at the Thomas Street school in West Perth and Perth Girl's School in James Street, Perth. Both her parents died when she was young leaving behind herself, an older sister and a younger brother. At age 14 she left school and entered the workforce with the Public Works Department. Seven years later Miss Grant was accepted, to do general nursing training at the Children's Hospital. Mid-wifery training followed at King Edward Memorial Hospital and in 1957 she was chosen as the Florence Nightingale Scholar for WA to study Administration, and attended the College of Nursing in Melbourne. In 1959 Miss Grant was appointed matron of Ngala in South Perth and retired from there in 1980. Whilst at Ngala she was awarded, in 1968, a Winston Churchill Fellowship to travel overseas to study in particular cross-cultural adoptions, fostering and single mothers. In 1976 she was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services in this area. The interview briefly records Miss Grant's biographical details but primarily details the beginnings of Ngala, her appointment, the development of facilities, the roles of staff and the committees. The role of Ngala as a mothercraft training centre, a Day Care Centre and a place of young unmarried pregnant girls to live whilst awaiting the birth of their child is discussed in a society where few options or community sympathy existed.

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