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Awarded for service to Health
Born: 1 April 1922
Entered on roll: 2011
Johanna Coy was born in Holland in 1922. She first came to Tasmania in 1953 and was appointed as Tasmanian Nutrition Officer in the Department of Health Services, a position she held for 34 years. During this time, Johanna was the only nutritionist in Tasmania.
Johanna had a pioneering role in this field, and lifted the profile and understanding of nutrition. As well as educating the public on the importance of nutrition, she also promoted its importance as a scientific discipline amongst health professions.
She published over 50 papers, working on these in her own time. Papers included: Dietary Survey of Tasmanian School Children (1957); Food – Problems of Pollution (1977); and the Comparative Study Over a 12 Year Period of the Weights of Tasmanian Children from Birth to 3 Years of Age (Coy and Robert Lowry, 1984).
Importantly, Johanna was conscious of the community, and provided ideas and advice in order to empower people to take responsibility for their own nutritional needs.
Johanna’s endeavour to promote an understanding of nutrition continued into her retirement. Johanna kept her knowledge in this area up-to-date, continually attending meetings and conferences, and supporting and inspiring her younger colleagues. She held the honorary position as nutrition adviser to the National Council of Women in Tasmania for many years.
Having largely worked without support throughout her career, in her retirement, Johanna made sure that her colleagues had her support, professionally and practically, as she remained active in her field.
Johanna’s contribution to the Tasmanian community in the area of nutrition was significant. She ensured that the science of nutrition was taken seriously, while also promoting an understanding of nutrition in the community.