Elizabeth was a bush nurse and although she didn’t have the recognised qualifications for registration, she served in WW I as a staff nurse in the AANS on troopships and was promoted to Sister in November 1917. Sister Kenny, working alone in country NSW and QLD, developed a successful but ‘radically new and controversial method of treating children with polio’. There were no vaccines then for polio. Her therapies ran counter to the conventional medical treatment of the day and so, were opposed by the medical profession. However, she won support from the Queensland government and opened two clinics. Her ideas and practices were better received in America where she went in 1940; there she won acclaim and became the recipient of many honours. After she passed, she received another honour within her home country. In 1995, she was awarded the Posthumous Testimonial Fellowship by RCNA, the first of its kind.
Picture credit: Australian War Memorial