A letter from Doreen Finlayson

Peg Donohoe around 1954’s

Hello Ms Baker,

I have recently searched the website of the NDSN and was very disappointed that there is no mention of Miss Wilma “Peg” Donohoe and only one small photo with other tutors.  Peg was a tutor at the NDSN for a total period of 19 years. Peg was committed to Nurse education. 

Peg initially commenced working at the NDSN in 1951 after being recommended to the Dean, Miss Long by the Matron of Bendigo Hospital Miss Esler. Peg was appointed by Miss Long to the tutorial staff in that year. Miss Long encouraged and gave Peg leave to complete the Nurse Educators Diploma at the College of Nursing Australia ( a rare qualification for Tutors in those early years). Peg continued working at the NDSN until 1957. Peg then felt she needed more nursing experience. As Peg would often comment …. “you can’t be a good teacher unless you have regular practical experience”.

Peg then worked at Red Cliffs, Kooweerup and Murtoa over the next couple of years until she was appointed in 1959 as the Principal Nurse Educator at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne. At a chance meeting with Miss Long in 1961 at the International Nurses Congress resulted in Miss Long persuading Peg to return to the NDSN. Peg was appointed as a principal tutor at the NDSN until 1974. During this time Peg was also appointed to the State Examiners panel for final year students. 

In 1974 Peg was appointed as the Matron of Castlemaine Hospital. Peg was a very experienced and well-qualified nurse; she completed her midwifery training at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Melbourne in the late 1940’s (possibly 1949). Peg was also a corporal in the Australian Women’s Army Service as a wireless operator during world war 2.

Peg was a modest lady who did not seek any accolades however I do think her very long affiliation with NSDN is noteworthy.