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metadata.territorywomen.dc.title: Ellen Kettle
Name: Kettle, Ellen S. (Ellen Sarah)
Date of Death: 1999-08-02
Place of Birth: Colac (Vic.)
Date of Birth: 1922-04-21
Place of Death: Darwin
Place of Burial: Darwin General Cemetery
Occupation: Nursing sister
Biographical notes: Ellen Kettle completed her general nursing training in 1945 and her Midwifery training and certificate in 1951. She then worked for six months on Thursday Island caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This experience prompted her to write to the Director of Health in Canberra to ask for an opportunity to work as a nurse in the Northern Territory. Kettle then commenced nursing on a Government Aboriginal settlement about 185 miles from Alice Springs. In 1954 Nurse Kettle was appointed the Commonwealth Department of Health’s first Rural Survey Sister, pioneering mobile health work in isolated areas of the Northern Territory. Over the next five decades she almost single-handedly revolutionised Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory by creating medical records for thousands of patients and drawing attention to their plight, particularly in regard to high infant mortality. In 1967 Miss Ellen Kettle received an OBE for her services to nursing. Her personal papers are held at the Northern Territory Library and include diaries kept from 1959 to 1997 and her autobiography, Gone Bush, provides a remarkable insight into the work of this dedicated and courageous woman. Sister Ellen Kettle died in Darwin on 2 August 1999, aged 77. Source: Northern Territory dictionary of biography. Darwin : Charles Darwin University Press, 2008.
Honours and Awards: The Order of the British Empire Member (Civil) 1967.
Related link: PictureNT : Sister Ellen Kettle immunising Aborigines gathered under gum trees
Northern Territory Library : Personal Papers Collection, Ellen Kettle Collection
"Country Shows", The Argus, Saturday 3 November 1934, p.17.
National Treasures from Australia’s Great Libraries : Ellen Kettle's Diary
PictureNT : Sister Ellen Kettle with Mrs and Dr Alderman
Related Materials: Northern Territory dictionary of biography. Darwin : Charles Darwin University Press, 2008. NTC 920.9429 NORT
Appears in Collections:Territory Women

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