Cherbourg Hospital domestics Cassandra Duncan and Vera Roma 1962

Cassandra Duncan and Vera Roma are part of a large number of girls and women who work at the hospital. They are employed as domestics, nurse’s aides, midwives, cooks, kitchen hands and laundresses.

The domestics, nurse’s aides and midwives are required to work in shifts. The morning shift starts at 7am through until 2pm. The afternoon shift is from 2pm to 9pm, the night shift is from 9pm to 7am the next morning. During the night shift white nurses do not work, they are on call for any emergencies — an expectant mother in labour with complications. Otherwise the Aboriginal mid-wife would attend to the birth.


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The Cherbourg Memory is an initiative of the Rationshed Museum and brings together the photos, videos, oral history recordings, documents and other artifacts of our lives on this settlement. It a website, an archive, an educational resource, a recording project, a research data-base, a store of the people’s stories and an interactive space for comments and engagement. We encourage the people of Cherbourg, the Indigenous communities in Australia and others who have experience of our settlement to help us create a living archive of Barambah-Cherbourg. So find out a little more about the Cherbourg Memory, discover how you can Participate, or find out how you can Contribute to the development of the Cherbourg Memory.