• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE4053

Kernot, Rhoda Joan

(1899 – 1978)
  • Born 29 March, 1899, Magill South Australia
  • Died 8 August, 1978, Broken Hill New South Wales Australia
  • Occupation Nurse


Rhoda Kernot opened the La Balfour hospital in Broken Hill, New South Wales, in 1924.


Rhoda Kernot was the daughter of Ellis Edwin Kernot and Christina Mary Ann Mackay. Ellis Edwin was the son of Edwin Wight Kernot and Joan Matthews. Joan was the daughter of Thomas Matthews, who sailed from Pitney, Somerset Shire, on the Moffatt and arrived in South Australia in December 1839. Rhoda’s siblings were William Charles Kernot and Mary Ruby Smythe Kernot.

Rhoda Kernot attended the Central Public School in Broken Hill and worked at Torpy’s Boot Emporium in Argent Street. She was a promising pianist but had to have the first finger of her right hand amputated after an accident during a fierce storm, and she began training as a nurse. She worked at the Broken Hill District Hospital between 1918 and 1921, when she moved to Adelaide, but she returned in 1924 to open her own hospital, La Balfour, on the corner of Williams and Oxide Streets. She moved the hospital to 190 Wills Street in 1926, but fell on hard times during the depression years and began working for doctors in town including Dr. William MacGillivray, Dr. Ian MacGillivray, and Dr. Franziska Schlink.

Rhoda Kernot married Henry Boyd Clark, himself the son of grazier Thomas Clark and his wife Jane Elizabeth Ford. Henry and Rhoda had two children: Patricia Margaret and Edwin Wight Boyd Clark. A family tree is held at the Outback Archives, Broken Hill, and materials belonging to Rhoda including photographs and medical instruments are held by the Broken Hill Railway Museum.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • Outback Archives, Broken Hill City Library
    • Kernot, Rhoda