About the ANMC.

Our Mission

Our mission is to award scholarships to nurses today as a living memorial to nurses who served..

  • Our Goals

    To inspire nurses to lead with resilience, courage and determination

  • To serve as a living memorial for remembering and learning from history

  • To promote, honour and respect the qualities of nurses who served

  • To share stories of leadership; past & present

  • To award scholarships to nurses & organise memorial events

Our History

The Nurses Memorial Centre is a ‘living memorial’ to the heroism and sacrifice of the 77 Australian nurses who died in World War Two or survived years in prisoner-of-war camps during that time.

  • FEBRUARY 1942

    Vivian Bullwinkel is the sole survivor after she and 21 fellow nurses are machine gunned down in the Banka Island Massacre

  • AUGUST 1945

    Vivian, along with fellow nurse Betty Jeffrey, after 3 1/2 years in captivity are released

  • MARCH 1949

    the Victorian home ‘Madowla’ situated at 431 St Kilda Road was purchased for the establishment of the Nurses Memorial Centre

A Vision becomes A Reality

Upon their return home after 3 ½ years of captivity, Betty Jeffrey and Vivian Bullwinkel, with the support of colleagues Wilma Oram-Young, Colonel Annie Sage, Edith Hughes-Jones, and others, toured around Victoria in a little Austin car to raise funds for the establishment of the centre.
They visited every hospital in Victoria with more than 20 beds to explain to their nursing colleagues how they hoped to make their vision of a living memorial a reality. A living memorial was not just to remember the passing of the fallen nurses but continue the ongoing professional development of nurses through education. A variety of fundraising activities was undertaken to raise the money needed, and this was the most successful appeal ever held in Victoria at the time.

Betty Jeffrey

People of the ANMC – Past and Present


Vivian Bullwinkel Co-Founder
Born: 18 December 1915
Died: 3 July 2000

The Vivian Bullwinkel Story

Betty Jeffrey Co-Founder
Born: 14 May 1908
Died: 13 September 2000

The Betty Jeffrey Story

Wilma Oram Founder
Born: 17 August 1916
Died: 28 May 2001

Annie Sage Founder
Born: 17 August 1895
Died: 4 April 1969

Edith Hughes-Jones Founder
Born: 10 March 1905
Died: 15 April 1976

ANMC Board 2020


Ms Arlene BennettPresident

Board Member since 2013

Arlene trained as a nurse at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She holds certificates in Coronary Care and Midwifery nursing and completed a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and Training at the University of Melbourne. She has held positions as a Charge Nurse and Nurses Educator at the Royal Melbourne Hospital .
She is a member of the Royal Melbourne Graduate Nurses Association and is also a member of the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s History and Arts Committee at the RMH .She is the treasurer of the Lemnos - Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.
Arlene chairs the History and Heritage Committee of the Australian Nurses Memorial Centre.

Dr Elizabeth Lavender Vice President

Board Member since 2014

Liz undertook her initial nursing education at the Addington Hospital and the University of Kwa/Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa. After graduation she worked as a registered nurse in South Africa, London and Queensland. She joined La Trobe University when the Lincoln Institute of HealthSciences became part of the University in 1988 and worked in nurse education at the Melbourne, Albury/Wodonga and Bendigo Campuses before taking the senior roles of Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and latterly Director of the Shepparton Campuses. Her professional interests are in international and rural and regional education particularly providing educational opportunities for students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to higher education.

Mrs Rochna Banerjee Treasurer

Board Member since 2015

Rochna is a Chartered Accountant with 20+ years experience in commercial and not for profit organisations with multi country exposure in India, South East Asia and Australia. She spent 10+years as a consultant, entrepreneur and finance professional in the private sector and later transitioned into the not for profit sector to contribute to the community at large. She has engaged passionately with communities to develop financially sound practices during her tenure with World Vision and currently with International Women’s Development Agency, as the Management Accountant where she has oversight on financial management, risk, governance and statutory compliance.

Ms Angela Doherty Member

Board Member since 2014

Angela trained as a nurse in Dublin, Ireland. She holds a Degree in Nursing, Graduate Diploma in Health Administration and certificates in Midwifery, Infection Control and Prevention. She is a member of the Nurses’ Committee for Interplast, a not-for-profit organisation which delivers reconstructive plastic surgery in developing countries across the Asia Pacific. Angela has been a volunteer in programmes in Fiji, Laos, the Philippians and recently Mongolia. Angela brings to the board her passion nursing as well as a wide range of nursing experience both in Australia and overseas as well as a diverse range of managerial experience in health care.

Air Commodore Rowan D Story AM, RFD Member

Board Member since 2017

Rowan is a graduate in science, dentistry and law. He did his post-graduate surgical training in Melbourne and the United Kingdom. He is in private practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Melbourne. He founded the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at Monash Medical Centre in 1987. He has served as President of the Dental Board of Victoria and is a member of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Rowan is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne where he teaches law and ethics. He is a volunteer solicitor at the Fitzroy Community Legal Centre. Rowan has led an annual surgical mission to Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam since 1998, treating cleft and jaw deformity patients and teaching surgical skills and has been a Defence Force Reservist since 1979. Rowan was promoted Air Commodore in 2011 and served 4 years as Director General Health Reserves – Air Force.

Dr Beverley Wood Member

Board Member since 2017

Beverley holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Advanced Nursing (Education) from Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences, and a Master of Educational Studies and Doctor of Philosophy from Monash University. After completing the General Certificate of Nursing at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia, Beverly worked as a registered nurse in Perth and Melbourne, and as a charge nurse and nurse educator at the Royal Melbourne Hospital before joining the staff of the School of Nursing, La Trobe University. She has extensive experience in nursing education in university, health care and international settings and the strategic development, administration and delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate programs within the context of local and international health care issues and professional regulation. Beverley is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing and has been a life member of the Nurses Memorial Centre since 2008.

Ms Barbara Green Member

Board Member since 2018

Barbara has spent the majority of her professional life working in higher education in Victoria, she holds a Graduate Diploma in Administrative Management and a Graduate Diploma in Computing. She recently retired following 10 years as an administrator in a university library and 32 years in nursing education (Deakin University, La Trobe University and Victoria University). Her focus during her latter time in nursing was international students, international experiences for domestic students, international relationships, partnerships and staff and student cultural competency. Barbara worked closely with the transfer of nursing education into the higher education sector, has worked internationally, Thailand and London, and is the Chair of the Melbourne Chapter of the Australia Bhutan Friendship Association.

Ms Cynthea Wellings Member

Board Member since 2018

Cynthea is the CEO of Ausmed Education Pty Ltd, a private company that produces continual professional development activities for health professionals. Cynthea was a founding member of The Continence Foundation of Australia and has been recognised as one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ awarded by The Australian Financial Review and Westpac Bank. Cynthea has a Master of Nursing Leadership and recently undertook short courses at Yale School of Management and Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Australian College of Nursing and the Association for Nursing Professional Development, USA.

Mr David Balcombe Member

Board Member since 2018

David is a Chartered Accountant who had a long career at a top 4 accounting firm. He undertook a range of roles including audit, corporate finance, risk management and quality systems. Currently he is a financial counsellor specialising in problem gambling financial issues. He is energised by working for fairness and justice for vulnerable people using the skills learned during his previous career. He is also a member of the Australia Health Practitioners Regulation Agency finance, audit and risk committee and the board of Financial Counselling Victoria Inc.

Ms Sue Morisset Member

Board Member since 2018