Casting the Mantle: John Flynn's Outback Angels


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Volume 1. AIM Nurses in the outback, 1901 to World War II This is a book about John Flynn's AIM "angels" of the Australian Outback in the early twentieth century and the vital roles they played in fulfilling his dreams for a "mantle of safety" over the isolation of the bush. There are sensitive and moving accounts of Jeannie Gunn at Elsey station in 1901 and her subsequent work in Melbourne; Jessie Litchfield at west Arm; Jean Finlayson and Ida Standley in Alice Springs during World War I; Minnie Kinnear as a Border Nurse at Innamincka; Grace Francis pioneering a cottage hospital in the isolation of Birdsville heroic nursing from two Territorian nurses, Ruth Heathcock and Elsie Jones; the world's first woman Flying Doctor, Jean White, the "Angel of the North"; and many other dedicated women. Confronted by rough, tough bush communities, these young women from the cities experienced culture shock we can barely imagine today. Epic, life-threatening journeys to minister to the sick were part of workday life for these gallant women and we can only marvel at their dedication amid the heat, the dust and the haunting loneliness. They sought no praise nor great reward, but in the words of John Flynn, their mentor and inspiration, "Silent lives often accomplish more". First published in 2001

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