Mercy Mandurah residents celebrated International Women’s Day


Retired nurse Iris Driver.  Picture: Jon Hewson        d450987
Retired nurse Iris Driver. Picture: Jon Hewson        d450987

At the home’s morning tea, the accomplishments of resident and retired nurse Iris Driver struck a particular chord amongst Mercy Health’s nursing staff.

The 78-year-old Aboriginal Elder spent many years in her early nursing career working with the Royal Flying Doctors’ Service, when she flew throughout WA responding to distress calls from sick and injured people in remote and regional locations, trying to get them to safety and urgent medical care.

“I was very young when I began flying as an RFDS nurse and there were times when the flights we did were quite frightening,” Mrs Driver said.

“But whenever the pilot told me we were about to go through a rough patch, I just hung on as hard as I could, because those were the days when I was also holding on to the patient – there were no stretchers on board the RFDS planes in the 1950s.

“I really loved my time working with the RFDS, although I can honestly say I’ve loved working as a nurse generally. I’ve been fortunate to work at many hospitals, including Armadale Hospital, and I’ve spent many years working at hospitals over east.”

Mercy Health WA state manager Anita Ghose said International Women’s Day provided an important opportunity to celebrate the achievements of female residents at Mercy Health’s six aged care homes throughout WA.

“Iris in particular can be very proud of her contribution to the WA community, as a woman who was committed to caring for others during a nursing career that spanned more than 40 years,’’ she said.