House debates

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Statements by Members

McCarthy, Dame Emma Maud, GBE, RRC

1:45 pm

Photo of Graham PerrettGraham Perrett (Moreton, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise following some correspondence from Dr Michael Macklin about Maud McCarthy. He wrote saying that, despite the fact that Maud McCarthy was born in Australia, we have not honoured this outstanding woman. Perhaps it is time during the centenary commemorations to rectify this omission. I wrote to the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, and we are working to acknowledge this incredible woman. She was noted for her role in the South African War, the establishment of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and her work as matron-in-chief of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders during the First World War. She has an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Her story has been put on the ABC Life Matters program. There is actually a portrait of her in the Imperial War Museum in the United Kingdom.

Dame Maud McCarthy is not from my electorate. Her connections with Australia are actually with the electorate of the member for Wentworth. After I approached Minister Ronaldson, I realised it might be more of a project to take place from the electorate of the member for Wentworth; so, hopefully, between Dr Macklin and me, we can make sure this woman is recognised here in Australia, as she is in the United Kingdom, for the great work that she did 100 years ago. I do this as both an amateur historian and the son of a nurse. I know how important it is to recognise this great service, and I look forward to working with the member for Wentworth when appropriate to do so.