• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6163

Slater, Patricia Violet

(1918 – 1990)
  • Born 16 December, 1918, St Kilda Victoria Australia
  • Died 2 August, 1990, Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Army Nurse, Nurse, Nurse educator


Patricia Slater began her nursing training at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, in 1937. She subsequently undertook additional training in adult nursing at the Alfred Hospital, followed by a midwifery certificate at the Royal Women’s Hospital (1942) and an infant welfare certificate at the Karitane Home, Sydney (1947).

Patricia served as a lieutenant in the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) from 1943 until 1947. She worked in hospitals in Victoria and Queensland and from 1945 to 46 she worked at the 2/4th Australian General Hospital and 2/1st Casualty Clearing Station on Morotai and Labuan islands, Netherlands East Indies.

After the war Patricia worked and travelled, before returning to Melbourne to teach nursing at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

In 1956 Patricia completed a diploma in nurse education from the Melbourne-based College of Nursing and in 1959 she was awarded a Centaur war nurses’ memorial scholarship to study in Seattle, United States of America, at the University of Washington (B.Sc. Nursing, MA, 1961). While overseas, she also won a Rockefeller fellowship (1961) to visit university nursing schools in North America and Europe.

Patricia became a fellow (1960) and a part-time lecturer (1963) at the College of Nursing in Melbourne, before taking over as director in 1965. In 1974 the college established Australia’s first undergraduate nurse-education course. Patricia was instrumental in transforming nurse education from a hospital-based system to instead include undergraduate courses within tertiary institutions.

With the amalgamation of the College of Nursing and the Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences in 1977, Patricia became the inaugural head of the school of nursing; a position which she held from 1977 to 1983.

Patricia was appointed OBE in 1975 and a fellow of the Australian College of Education in 1977.

Archival resources

  • National Archives of Australia, National Office, Canberra
    • SLATER VIOLET PATRICIA : Service Number - VX133052 : Date of birth - 16 Dec 1918 : Place of birth - ST KILDA VIC : Place of enlistment - MELBOURNE VIC : Next of Kin - SLATER E

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) (1902 - 1948)
    • Women's Hospital (1943 - 1954)