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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Susan Haines OBE

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Susan Haines

Awarded for service to Health and Defence

1910 - 1992

Entered on roll: 2013


One of Australia's most eminent nurses…St John's Hospital's most famous graduate.

Susan Haines was born on the West Coast of Tasmania on 8 June 1910 and was described as 'St John's Hospital's most famous graduate' in the book Inasmuch: St John's Hospital Hobart,

1899-1999 by Linda Gannell. The description was apt for one of Australia's most eminent nurses.

After completing her general nurse training at St John's Hospital, Susan was later theatre charge nurse, a position she also held at the Masonic Hospital in Sydney. Other Australian appointments included Matron of 109 Australian General Hospital (AGH) Alice Springs, Principal Matron of the Northern Territory Forces and Matron of Concord (NSW) 113 AGH.

In 1940 Susan was one of the first of eight Tasmanian nurses to be posted to the Middle East with the Australian Imperial Force and held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1945, she received the award of the Royal Red Cross for her role with the Australian Army Nursing Service during the war.

In 1946, Susan was appointed Chief Nurse of the English Section of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. In this role she travelled from her London headquarters to be involved in nursing services in Italy, Greece, the Dodecanese Islands (in the Aegean Sea), Germany and Austria.

After 11 years in Europe, Susan was seconded to the position of Nursing Consultant to the Minister of Health in South Korea to re-establish the nursing service after the Korean War.

In 1955, Susan was awarded the Order of the British Empire - Commander (Civil).  In 1957 poor health forced Susan to retire from nursing and return to Tasmania, where she undertook consultancy projects with the Australian Federation of Nursing. Susan was one of the first nurses to be made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing.

In the 1960s, Susan established The Curiosity Shop in Hobart, and became an acknowledged authority on antiques.

Susan passed away on 8 August 1992.

 Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women