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Truby King’s women: Four Australian case studies


Mein Smith, P, Truby King's women: Four Australian case studies, Social History of Medicine, 32, (2) pp. 357-376. ISSN 0951-631X (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© The Author 2017.

DOI: doi:10.1093/shm/hkx083


Infant welfare work by women supporters of the Truby King system for the feeding and care of babies included initiatives by nurses who conveyed his routines along the trade routes of Empire. After the First World War, Dr Truby King’s appeal as an infant welfare authority was transnational, across the British world. This article analyses the work of four women with a nursing background who promoted the Truby King system of mothercraft in the south-eastern States of Australia in the 1920s and 1930s. It examines these nurse devotees’ motives, initiatives, and degree of success in the context of constraints imposed by medical rivalries, paternalism, and State politics. The findings offer insights into the transfer of maternal and child health policies and practices in the British Empire, as well as into the nurses’ lives and principles, and demonstrate that nurses and matrons effected transfers on the ground.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Truby King's women, infant welfare, history, nursing
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Other Indigenous studies
Research Field:Other Indigenous studies not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Mein Smith, P (Professor Philippa Mein Smith)
ID Code:121713
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-10-12
Last Modified:2021-07-21

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