The trailblazing of nurse practitioner Terry Swanson is recognised in UNMASKED, an initiative marking International Year of the Nurse and Midwife postponed from 2020 as the global pandemic arrived at our doors. The exhibition shows how nurses have faced disease, discrimination, wars, and COVID-19, and how nursing might look in the future.
UNMASKED will grace the space of Australia’s first women’s museum, Her Place, in East Melbourne until April 1. Her Place Women’s Museum Australia celebrates the social, civic and entrepreneurial achievements of all Australian women and their role in shaping our nation.
The exhibition pays tribute to the nurses and midwives of Australia, with particular focus on Victoria. It draws on 230 years of history riding the social and political changes that shaped the nation as nurses and midwives lifted the veil and took on leadership. Twelve practitioners feature as past and present exemplars of their profession, from fierce advocates to pioneers and innovators. Terry is all three. She was one of Victoria’s first nurse practitioners, one of the first nurse practitioners to specialise in wound management, and her work and expertise, internationally, is highly regarded.
‘It’s an honor to have been chosen for UNMASKED. What I’m most happy and proud of is the fact that I’m recognised for being Australian. I love what I do and hope that I’ve made practices and lives better through my dedication and expertise,’ Terry says.
NMF Vic secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick says through a historical and contemporary lens, the exhibition shines a light on nursing and midwifery work in all its diversity and exposes the reality that nurses and midwives are ‘the backbone of the healthcare system’.
UNMASKED is open Tuesday–Saturday/11am–4pm. Entry’s free and bookings are via herplacemuseum.com