Sister Dame, DBE
- 25 December 1896
- 1 January 1988
- Nurse, Religious sister and Teacher
Sister Philippa, as she preferred to be known, took the religious name of Sister Mary Philippa at her Religious Profession to the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy on 10th January 1918. After graduating from the Teachers' Training College at Ascot Vale, she became a teacher in several Victorian Schools. In 1928 she transferred from teaching to nursing, completing her training at Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Brisbane. In 1935 she became foundation matron at the Mercy Private Hospital, where she introduced general nurse training.
From 1954 to 1959 she was appointed Provincial of the Sisters of Mercy in Victoria and Tasmania, after which she returned to the Mercy Private Hospital.
In 1979 Sister Philippa was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for outstanding service to the people of Victoria and beyond, especially in the Health Care Field.
Two years later, on the 1 August, the University of Melbourne awarded Sister the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of her services to women and family life. She was the first nun to receive the award from the University.