I am:

• an accredited Professional Member of Professional Historians Australia (NSW & ACT);
• an Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing;
• an Honorary Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine;
• a Patron of the Ryde District Historical Society;
• Secretary of the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society; and

• Council member of the Royal Australian Historical Society.


What I do

I write books, heritage significance assessments, web-based histories, and undertake research tasks of any size. My research/writing is both in a solo capacity and in collaboration with others.

Publications and Reports

I have published 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. Recent publications include articles in Health and History, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and a publication in the Ryde District Historical Society’s Ryde History Series.

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.

Sample of Past Projects

  • Consultant for  Australia’s Pioneer Dietitians, the First Decades, 1929-1950 by Beverley Wood (2022).
  • Preparing a scoping document for Dietitians Australia for its history from 1950 to 1983.
  • Consultant editor and historian for Bangalore Dies with Me. An historical reflection on the legacy and lives of three generations of Morant family pioneers on the heritage protected property ‘Bangalore’ in Renmark, SA by Peter Loveday (Peter Loveday, Sydney, 2021)
  • Commissioned history of the mental health organisation, Aftercare (now called Stride).
  • Commissioned history of the Australian Pain Society.
  • Consultant to TV series Love Child.
  • Commissioned history of Crown Street Women’s Hospital.


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.  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 This is the history of Australia’s longest-serving mental health NGO, now called Stride. Aftercare was founded by Emily Paterson, a blind woman who spent much of her childhood living next door to Gladesville Mental Hospital. The book, edited by Aftercare’s then public relations team, was published in December 2017.