Point of Interest

Lucy Osburn Plaque

Australia / The Pacific

There is a bronze plaque at Surgeons Court near The Rocks, commemorating Lucy Osburn (1836-91).  She was Lady Superintendent of Sydney Infirmary and Dispensary from 1868 to 1884.  She was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and was invited by Sir Henry Parkes (1815-96), the Premier of New South Wales, via Florence Nightingale, to come to Australia to reform nursing in New South Wales.  She arrived in 1868 with five nurses, and one of her first jobs was to tend to Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900), who had been shot in the back while attending a function.  She trained 16 more nurses.   Despite many setbacks, caused by religion and internal hospital politics, she succeeded in reforming Sydney Hospital and is acknowledged as the founder of Nightingale nursing in Australia.   Later she returned to England.

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