Anzac Day- remembering the contribution of Australian women in action.


On Anzac Day we remember the Anzac spirit of those Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Today I would like to dedicate this post to the role of Australian women in war and recognise their sacrifices and contribution to the war effort of Australia going back to 1898 when sixty nurses served in the Boer War.

This contribution was made through their service, as well as through the work of women on the home front in supporting the troops and taking up positions in the workforce to keep the country going while the men were away fighting. It should be remembered that women in this era were not generally occupied in the workforce so their spirit and energy in taking up these new roles is even more remarkable.


This public domain image comes from the collection of the Australian War Memorial and was made available by the donor N. Crossing. It was taken at Rosez France,in 1917. The following is an excerpt from the summary provided.

“A surgical operation about to begin in an operating theatre of French hospital no. 23, 4th section, region 16 in Rodez, in the Midi during World War 1. From left: Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) worker Mrs Keith Murray, Sister Dorothy Ellena Duffy, surgeon, assistant, and 2nd assistant giving anaesthetic. Sister Duffy was one of a group of twenty civilian trained nurses, from New South Wales, who volunteered to serve in France for the Australian Red Cross during World War I. They were known as ‘Bluebirds’ because of their distinctive blue uniforms. Note the floorcovering, indicating the makeshift nature of the operating theatre. ”

And this from culture.

One nurse, Sister Narrelle Hobbs, was with Australian forces at Gallipoli.

I’ve been a soldier now for nearly three years, and please God I will go right to the end … if anything happened, and I too passed out, well, there would be no finer way, and no way in which I would be happier, than to lay down one’s life for the men who have given everything.

She died five months later, in May 1918. (Source:

Women have made significant contributions by their service and efforts ever since. Though not always allowed to march alongside servicemen women have been formally recognised for their efforts.

To read more here are some excellent links for teachers, students or anyone who would like to learn more about the contribution made by Australian men and women:

This excellent and exhaustive website full of information is also recommended:


here is the recipe for Anzac biscuits such traditional fare on Anzac Day.


Photo of Anzac Biscuit courtesy of Wikibooks.


  • 1 cup of plain flour,
  • 1 cup of sugar,
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of coconut
  • 125g butter
  • 1 Tbls golden syrup
  • 2 Tbls boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda.


1. Pre- heat oven to 180C,
2. Mix together flour, coconut, rolled oats, and sugar,

3. Melt butter and golden syrup.

4. Mix bicarbonate soda with water,

5. Mix butter and bicarb mixture and then add to dry ingredients,stirring well.

6. Place spoonfuls onto a greased baking tray,

7. Make sure to allow enough space between each biscuit for them to spread.

8. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden.

9. Cool on tray until the biscuits are firm enough to lift onto cooling on racks.

I hope you enjoy these delicious easy to make biscuits.


~ by abstraktbiblos on Saturday, 25 April, 2009.

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