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Australian Nurses Memorial Centre ANZAC Commemorative Service

Australian Nurses Memorial Centre ANZAC Commemorative Service

Studio portrait of Staff Nurse Vivian Bullwinkel, Australian Army Nursing Service. Photo: Australian War Memorial

The Australian Nurses Memorial Centre will hold an ANZAC Commemorative Service on Sunday 23 April 2023 to honour all nurses, past and present, who have given their lives for their country.

The Centre was founded by nurses Betty Jeffrey and Vivian Bullwinkel. Bullwinkel was the only survivor of the Banka Island Massacre that saw 21 of her fellow WWII nurses gunned down. Following the massacre, she ended up in a prisoner of war camp for over three years.

After her release and repatriation home, Bullwinkel and fellow Victorian nurses and POWs Betty Jeffrey and Wilma Oram established the Centre (with the support of Colonel Annie Sage and Edith Hughes-Jones) as a ‘living memorial’ to the heroism and sacrifice of the 77 Australian nurses who died in WWII, or who survived years in prisoner-of-war camps during that time.

They toured around Victoria, visiting every hospital with more than 20 beds, to raise funds for the centre. They described their idea to colleagues as a living memorial not just to remember the passing of the fallen nurses but to continue the ongoing professional development of nurses through education.

As part of this mission, the centre offers postgraduate education scholarships to nurses and midwives annually. These scholarships are the:

  • ANMC Vivian Bullwinkel Award ($20,000)
  • ANMC Betty Jeffrey Award ($15,000)
  • ANMC Indigenous Nurse Scholarship ($5000)
  • ANMC Mental Health Scholarship ($5000)

In addition to the above ANMC scholarships, the centre also administers or collaborates on the following scholarships:

  • The ‘Babe’ Norman Scholarship ($40,000 per annum for three years) – for nurses or midwives undertaking a full-time clinical research doctorate at an Australian university
  • The Beth Cuthbertson Scholarship ($10,000) – a new scholarship for nurses or midwives practising in regional or rural Victoria
  • The Prince Henry’s Affiliates Scholarship ($5000) – for nurses undertaking further qualifications in patient-centred acute care nursing
  • The Anne Murray Scholarship for the Study of Dementia Care ($6000)
  • The Michael Dent Scholarship ($5000) – for a nurse or midwife practising in Victoria
  • And, in collaboration with the Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women, scholarships for nurses undertaking postgraduate study involving care of the older person or palliative care ($5000)

Scholarship applications open annually from 1 July and close on 31 August. Visit for details.

The centre’s 2023 ANZAC service will commence at 2pm on Sunday 23 April, at the memorial to nurses, Fawkner Towers forecourts, 431 St Kilda Road, and will feature a wreath-laying ceremony and a choir performance.

Visit for further details about scholarships or the service.