Nursing graduates return to Ballarat to celebrate half a century

CLASS of 1964 nursing graduates returned to Ballarat at the weekend to celebrate their 50-year anniversary.

Half a century since graduating, the group of Ballarat Base Hospital nurse training school class A nurses spent the weekend reminiscing and sharing stories of their time in the industry.

Retired nurse Gayl Ryan said this was the first time the group of nurses had all been in the same room since graduating.

“We enjoyed catching up and sharing stories,” she said.

“Some women travelled from as far as Malaysia, Bundaberg, Horsham and Maryborough to be here.”

Retiring from the industry 11-years-ago Mrs Ryan said the camaraderie in the nurses homes during their three years of training brought the women close and all has stayed friends since.

“We have kept in touch over the years, we were always a strong bonded group.”

Mrs Ryan said all 16 women had plenty of stories to share, but agreed they had enjoyed making a difference in people’s lives most over their time as nurses.

“We’ve seen huge changes over the years, in the likes of occupational health and safety for instance,” she said.

“We weren’t aware of it at the time, but there was a lack of OHS. We also had no counselling for stress after duty and you can imagine at the age of 17 it was a huge thing to go through.

“It’s very different today.”

The only building that remains of the training school is Yuille House, which is set

to be demolished later this year.