District Nursing Associations

District Nursing Associations, which aimed to 'nurse the sick poor' in their own homes, were established at a time when there was increasing public concern about public health, middle-class women were becoming more active publicly, and nursing was beginning to be accepted as a profession. They were essentially urban-based.

In Hobart, the Hobart District Nursing Association developed from the Amateur Nursing Band of the Young Women's Christian Temperance Association, formed in 1892 by Lady Hamilton, wife of the governor. The Launceston District Nursing Association was founded in 1893. Initially funded by donations and subscriptions, both associations shared the aim of helping the aged, the incapacitated and the chronically ill through simple home-nursing, bed-making, cooking for invalids and home maintenance generally. By 1996, the District Nursing services had grown into large businesses, employing over a hundred people.

Further reading: D Snowden, Caring for the community, Hobart, 1996.

Dianne Snowden