Matron Muriel Doherty, RAAFNS

Accession Number ART29580
Collection type Art
Measurement Framed: 99.8 cm x 86.9 cm x 6 cm; Unframed: 84.6 cm x 71.1 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Marcovitch, Alfreda
Place made Australia
Date made 1948
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Unlicensed copyright


Portrait of Matron Muriel Doherty, Principal Nursing officer, New South Wales and Queensland, Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service.

Until 1940, RAAF sick were nursed by male nursing orderlies or by civilian nurses. In June 1940 it was recommended that an air force nursing service be formed, which came into being in July 1940. The RAAF Nursing Service was modelled on Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service (Great Britain), with conditions and rates of pay similar to those of the Army nursing service. Murial Doherty became Matron of No.3 RAAF Hospital on 16 September 1940 and was the principal nursing officer of No.2 Training Group for all the Units in New South Wales and Queensland. Later she was an Australian Red Cross Nurse who described the scenes at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany during the Second World War.

This portrait was selected as a finalist in the Archibald Prize for 1948. Marcovitch had met Muriel Doherty at Sydney's Abbotsleigh girl's school when she was a student there.