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ANMF launches new book honouring the pandemic work of members

ANMF launches new book honouring the pandemic work of members

Prof. Brett Sutton, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Paul Gilbert, Madeleine Harradence and Head On contributors at the 2023 Delegates Conference. Photo: Christopher Hopkins

In March ANMF invited members to share their story about working during the first three years of the pandemic for publication.

Thank you to those who generously shared their story. The editors were inundated with submissions.

The final result is Head on: how Victorian nurses and midwives confronted COVID – a 336-page hardcover book containing 76 first-person accounts capturing their courage, creativity and commitment as they met the challenges of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

While not all submissions were selected, a total of 94 stories (including those in the book) were published on a companion website.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer during the pandemic, Professor Brett Sutton, launched Head on at the Annual Delegates Conference on 22 June. In his foreword Prof Sutton wrote:

‘The stories in this book are at once haunting and inspirational. Haunting because the struggles, the pain, the loss and grief, the fear and anxiety are all too real and still too close. Yet inspirational because one cannot help but see the deep commitment to care, the dedication in the face of overwhelming circumstances, and the profoundly human responses to the devastating events that played out over months and then years.’

Head on places Victorian nurses’, midwives’ and carers’ voices firmly in the historical record and honours the work and contribution of all our almost 100,000 members.

This book will be important reading for public health and health policy makers so they understand how their decisions played out and why we need a fully integrated health system.

It will also help the community understand what it was like during the pandemic to be a nurse, midwife or a nursing and/or midwifery student and why it was so important to protect our precious health system.

To read the stories online or purchase the book visit