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Elizabeth Lauretta Barron OAM

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Elizabeth Lauretta Barron OAM

Awarded for service to Health

Born: 9 August 1933

Entered on roll: 2008

She’s an expert on pensions, claim forms and drainage … She bandages, gives injections, helps with diet and smiles, knowing that she may be the only person to step inside the house that day … She’s a domiciliary nurse, and she is welcome wherever she goes! (Jill Bourne, Advocate, 16 January 1974)

Elizabeth Barron was born in Alberta, Canada and moved to Scotland at an early age to live with her grandparents after the death of her mother. The strong values, ethics and respect for older citizens instilled by her grandparents, influenced Elizabeth in pursuing her vocation as a nurse, a career that would provide her with enormous satisfaction over many years. She moved to Tasmania with her husband in 1962 and together they raised four children.

Elizabeth first trained as a nurse at the Stracathro Hospital in Scotland. She then completed a year’s training in fever nursing at Aberdeen City Hospital, followed by a year’s training in midwifery at the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. In 1961 she successfully completed her training in district nursing at the Queen’s Institute of District Nursing in Aberdeen.

Elizabeth began working as a domiciliary nurse for the Burnie Hospital in 1968. During her time at the Burnie Hospital she motivated professionals with a hospital perspective to try a new, community based approach to health care, particularly for the aged and disabled. Elizabeth recognised early in her career the value of community health as an important aspect of both preventative and curative health services. She was put in charge of the Home Nursing Service at the Burnie Hospital in 1972, and was appointed Regional Coordinator in Community Health Nursing Services in 1981. By 1989 she had been appointed Director of Nursing, Community Health, North-West.  Her dedication to patient and family care in the community setting set the standard for the system that would be adopted statewide.

In 1990, Elizabeth joined the Board of Umina Park Nursing Home in Burnie and was the Director of Nursing there from 1991-1998. In 1998, she took on the dual role of CEO and Director of Nursing at Umina Park and her services were recognised in 2000, when she received a Life Membership Award.

As well as the significant contribution Elizabeth has made to community nursing in Tasmania she has continually contributed to her community in a variety of ways. She was a volunteer and fund raiser for Lifeline and received a Life Membership Award in 1997. She served as an Alderman on the Burnie City Council from 1990-1995 and has been a member of a number of boards and committees. Elizabeth was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1996.

Elizabeth has also been an active member of Soroptomist Burnie, the Emu Bay Business and Professional Women’s Association, and a judge in the Multicap National Mrs Australia Quest. She received a Certificate of Recognition for her extraordinary contribution to her community in the International Year of Volunteers in 2001.

Elizabeth was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in June 1998, in recognition of her service to nursing in North-Western Tasmania, particularly as an administrator.

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