Our Common Bond details the years of dedicated work carried out by nursing staff of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital to establish and maintain a School of Nursing for the training of nurses, the first such school in South Australia. The history starts in 1876 when the Hospital’s early founders proposed that a nurse training school would be an integral part of a hospital deemed critical for the welfare of the colony’s young people, and concludes in 1989 when the Adelaide Children’s Hospital amalgamated with the Queen Victoria Hospital.
The chapters unfold to describe the development of nurse training programs, and how nurses juggled work, study and their private lives, challenged by wars, epidemics and economic depressions in pursuit of their chosen careers – with a Common Bond that reflected collegiality, camaraderie, and organizational loyalty. Many remarkable women graduated from the Adelaide Children’s Hospital including visionary leaders who, with the support of dedicated medical staff became influential pioneers of nursing within the Hospital and beyond.
Our Common Bond is a highly readable work of scholarship that will appeal to many people with interests in history, and most importantly the many hundreds of nurses who trained, taught or worked at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. With a nursing career spanning over 40 years, Marilyn Seidel is well versed in her subject, having dedicated her life to education. Her work is a truly worthwhile addition to the history of a very significant institution in the state of South Australia.