• Entry type: Cultural Artefact
  • Entry ID: AWE0604

Australian Service Nurses National Memorial

  • Occupation Commemoration


The Australian Service Nurses National Memorial was unveiled on 2 October 1999, 100 years after the first Australian nurses paid their own way to the Boer War, by the then Governor-General Sir William Deane.


The Australian Service Nurses National Memorial, designed by Sydney-based sculptor Robin Moorhouse, commemorates the role of more than 10,000 Australian service nurses who have served in times of war, including 102 who died while on active service.

The Memorial is constructed from translucent blue glass and has the words ‘Beyond all praise’ on the front. It consists of two curvilinear glass walls which are etched with text and images, in a timeline sequence, portraying the history and contribution of Australian Service Nursing. Also included is a collage of historical photographs and extracts from diaries and letters, in the original handwriting. Included on the west side of the memorial are the insignias of the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Unveiled on 2 October 1999, the ceremony was attended by over 1000 nurses, some from World War II who were in their 80s. A fly past by the Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes and royal salutes by officers from all defence services were included in the ceremony. A march by nurses carrying 102 Australian flags in memory of the nurses who fell in service plus one other flag in memory of civilian nurses who had lost their lives was also included. Other nurses wore vintage uniforms from previous war campaigns and wreaths were placed at the foot of the memorial by several dignitaries, service and civilian nursing groups from across Australia.


Published resources

  • Article
    • Service nurses honoured with long awaited memorial, 1999

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