Dr Heather Sheard- 19 March 2014
By 1914, a small number of determined women had been graduating from the Melbourne Medical School for 23 years and there were almost 130 women registered as medical practitioners in Australia. From the declaration of war in August 1914, the male medical fraternity enlisted enthusiastically across the country and women doctors were just as keen to offer their skills and experience.
Their attempts to enlist, however, were met with firm rebuttals by military authorities in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Canada and America. This lecture narrates the little known story of the more than twenty Australian women who sidestepped the barriers to work as surgeons and medical officers on the battlefields of France, Serbia and Galicia and military hospitals in Britain.