Staff from across Western Sydney Local Health District gathered this week to pay solemn tribute to servicemen and women ahead of Anzac Day.
Memorial services were held at Auburn, Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Westmead hospitals on Tuesday and Wednesday, giving staff the opportunity to pay their respects and reflect on the meaning of the Anzac spirit.
The theme for Anzac Day posters across the nation this year is ‘Australian service nurses’, encouraging people to recognise the role nurses have played since the Boer War in 1900.
Speaking at the memorial service at Westmead Hospital, WSLHD executive director operations Robynne Cooke paid tribute to Parramatta nurse Dorothy Cawood.
Sister Cawood was the first Sydney woman to receive a Military Medal, awarded in recognition of her bravery when her unit was bombed in France in July 1917.
Along with three others, she remained at her post and afterwards brought many of the wounded to safety.
“She was a truly courageous western Sydney girl,” Robynne said.
Professor Chris Griffiths, Air Commodore (retired) with the Royal Australian Air Force, spoke about the invaluable role that health specialists play as military reserves during war and disaster relief operations.
WSLHD would like to thank all the special guests for their contributions to the services, including: Don Anderson from the City of Parramatta RSL Sub Branch, Peter Hamrol from the Rooty Hill RSL Sub Branch, Greg Read from Cumberland RSL, John O’Brien from the Blacktown RSL Sub Branch, Richard Sandham from Holroyd City Band, Gemma Ma from Willoughby City Band, and Andrew Margos and David Withers from Parramatta RSL Pipe Band.