2-minute nurses montage - across all wars from the Boer War to today

Running time
2 min
Date made
Place made

Women have played vital roles as nurses for Australia across all wars, conflicts and peace keeping operations


LIZ HAYES: I'm Liz Hayes. For International Women's Day 2019, we recognise the role of women in wartime. Women like the many nurses who have served Australia across all wars, including; the Boer War,

BOER WAR NURSE: I remember one young chap – he couldn't lie on his front at all. He got wounds all down his back. I was sorry for him. And he was only a boy really;

LIZ HAYES: the First World War,

FIRST WORLD WAR NURSE ESSIE FUSSELL: You couldn't imagine anything so distressed as these people trying to hold oxygen masks, gasping for breath. It was really worse than any bad wound I think;

LIZ HAYES: the Second World War,

SECOND WORLD WAR NURSE: There were some who'd lost limbs; there were others who'd lost their minds. You felt that somehow that a lot of them would have been battle casualties on way or another, and that others would go home and require help for the rest of their lives;

LIZ HAYES: the Korean War,

KOREAN WAR NURSE JULIE ROLFE: I think seeing a tiny Korean child. We gave her an orange. And she'd had both hands blown off. She wouldn't have been any more than 3. And it was quite pathetic really;

LIZ HAYES: The Vietnam War,

VIETNAM WAR NURSE COLLEEN THURGAR: You become mother, sister and girlfriend to the boys that are dying. And so you just have to learn to hold their hand, pretend to be who they want to be, and give them the best death they can have;

LIZ HAYES: The Gulf War and Afghanistan,

AFGANISTAN WAR NURSE: I felt fear. The fears were for your own life; the fears of your own mortality; the fears that you may die;

LIZ HAYES: And the Peacekeepers,

RAAF NURSE LIBBY SWINDEN: I vividly remember one chap and he would have been in an enormous amount of pain, and he refused treatment because he just, saw other people coming in. He was certainly a very selfless gentleman.

LIZ HAYES: This International Women's Day we pay homage to our women in wartime and recognise their role during war and peacekeeping efforts.

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