I am a highly experienced professional historian who undertakes freelance work. 

What I do

The work I undertake includes writing books, heritage significance assessments, web-based histories, and research tasks of any size. My research is undertaken both in a solo capacity and in collaboration with other researcher/s. I am currently working part-time on an innovative web-based family history – access to the draft version is available on request. My other activities include being an honorary associate of the Department of History, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney.

Publications and Reports

I have published extensively in a wide range of peer-reviewed and other journals, and have written six books, including one co-authored book. These books have been widely and favourably reviewed in professional and other journals and have won awards. My reports have been well received by clients: the most recent report is a co-authored heritage significance assessment.

Public Speaking/History Promotion

As a qualified teacher and experienced lecturer, I frequently give talks on my work to a wide variety of audiences, from community groups to academic conferences. Additionally, I actively promote history through various professional bodies. For more information, see About Judith above.

Crown Street Women’s Hospital, a history 1893-1983 This book was published by Allen & Unwin and is the first comprehensive history of this important hospital. It is based on extensive archival research, supplemented by private records and nearly 160 interviews of staff, patients, volunteers and others. It is told from multiple perspectives and illustrated by revealing photos. It is a book to be enjoyed by general readers and specialised scholars.

Lucy Osburn, a Lady Displaced: Florence Nightingale’s Envoy to Australia This is the definite account of Lucy Osburn (1836-91). Lucy Osburn is the founder of modern nursing in Australia and learnt her vocation at the Nightingale School of Nursing in London. This book was short-listed for Australia’s 2008 National Biography Award.

Australia’s Controversial Matron: Gwen Burbidge and Nursing Reform This is a compelling account of Gwen Burbidge, (1904-2000), one of the first Australian nurses to write a nursing textbook and a controversial nursing reformer. She improved nurses’ working, living and educational conditions.

Australian Pain Society – The First 35 Years The Australian Pain Society is a not-for-profit organisation that was formed in 1979 as the Australasian Chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain. In 2015 the Society marked their 35th anniversary by commissioning a history. This colourful, high-quality publication is a timely preservation of  corporate memory and sheds light on on-going issues in the management of pain.

Nursing before Nightingale, 1815–1899 This book, co-authored with Carol Helmstadter, argues that, rather than being the beginning of nursing reform, the changes associated with Florence Nightingale were the culmination of earlier reforms. This book won a major North American award and citation.

Aftercare: our journey 1907-2017 (see http://www.aftercare.com.au). Aftercare: its journey 1907-2017 is the history of Australia’s longest-serving mental health NGO, commissioned by Aftercare’s then CEO John Malone. Aftercare was founded by Emily Paterson (pictured, circa 1940), a blind woman who spent much of her childhood living at Rockend Cottage, next door to Gladesville Mental Hospital. The book, edited by Aftercare’s then public relations team, was published in December 2017. It is available by clicking here .