History Makers Meet History Caretakers

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 26-9-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney

Publication Place



The foundation class of The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney School of Nursing was recently treated to a special guided tour of the Lucy Osburn Nightingale Museum at Sydney Hospital.

Retired nurses from the Hospital were thrilled to have a student audience listen to the story of its history and to share some of their personal experiences.

The museum houses a considerable collection of nursing memorabilia dating back to when Florence Nightingale sent Lucy Osburn, the founder of Australia’s Nightingales, and four nurses to the fledgling penal colony to establish a nursing school at Sydney Hospital.

Student, Ellie Ritchie, said she really enjoyed visiting the museum and thought it was a good experience for the whole group.

“We all had a great time at the museum. The lady who showed us around was a nursing graduate of the Hospital in the 1950s and she really enjoyed sharing her stories. She took a lot of care to explain how it was when she trained, so we got a real glimpse at how nursing used to be,” said Ms Ritchie.

In addition to learning about the Hospital’s past and viewing the historic nursing collection the students got to see the museum’s priceless collection of ‘morbid’ anatomical specimens.

They marvelled at the rows of bottles containing the specimens, as retired pathologist, Dr Pat Hurst, gave them some impromptu pathology lessons.

Student, Nicole Brown, commented, “It was a fascinating collection of historical memorabilia and the whole day was an inspiration to the group as future nurses.”