Colleen Ann Thurgar (neé Mealy) as a lieutenant nursing sister 8th Ambulance later 1st Australian Field Hospital, South Vietnam 1966-1967, interviewed by Lynn Hemmings

Place Asia: Vietnam, Vung Tau Special Zone, Vung Tau
Accession Number S01547
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 28 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; AGFA PEM 369; 3 3/4 ips/9.5 cm.s; stereo; 5 inch
Date made 19 September 1991
Access Onsite use only
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright

Item copyright: Unlicensed copyright

Copying Provisions Copy provided subject to permission from copyright holder
Source credit to AWM Research Grants Scheme
Description

Joining army; in the first group of four nurses to be posted to 8th Field Ambulance in Vietnam; description of accommodation and hospital facilities; hospital upgraded to 1 Australian Hospital; uniforms; sexual harrassment and discrimination; friendship between the nurses; relations with other medical staff; attitude of medical orderlies to the arrival of nurses; handing over patients to RAAF nurses for evacuation back to Australia; description of patient "Jock" Sutherland; emotional stresses among medical staff becoming evident after about nine months in Vietnam; recreation; return to Australia; stayed in army for five years after return from Vietnam then resigned when pregnant; effects of service in Vietnam on attitudes to life; became civilian nurse working for the army at Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra; took position as Triage Sister at Royal Canberra Hospital. Australian troops with Venereal Disease; setting up VD clinic for Vietnamese civilians; attitude to Vietnam War; became involved with the Vietnam Veterans' Counselling Service in the 1980s; joined a number of welfare committees for Vietnam veterans; Agent Orange; personal effects of service in Vietnam; "Welcome Home Parade" in Sydney; building of Vietnam War Memorial in Canberra; comparison between Australian and American casualty treatment procedures.