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metadata.territorywomen.dc.title: Joan Higgins
Name: Higgins, Joan
Also known as: Scott, Joan
Date of Death: 2008-10-18
Place of Birth: Adelaide (S.A.)
Date of Birth: 1920-10-20
Place of Death: Alice Springs (N.T.)
Occupation: Nurse
Business Woman
Biographical notes: Joan arrived in Alice Springs, in July 1942 during the war. She came to Alice to work as a nurse in the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Hospital Unit [109th AGH-Australian General Hospital]. Accommodation was basic; tents with gravel floors and hand basins to wash, there was no running water. Joan spent time in theatre, sometimes assisting with up to eight operations a day. She assisted Father Flynn the eye specialist who was working from the hospital at the time with eye operations. The staff nursed civilians, Aborigines and service personal. Joan met her husband, John, at the Hospital when he was transferred from the Field Ambulance to work as an orderly and assist staff in the theatre. Joan and John left Alice Springs for South Australia to get married; they married 17 March 1945. The couple returned to Alice in 1947, where they had two children and Joan taught gymnastics.
Joan was an active member of the community. From 1965 until 1991, she was the director of the Alice Springs Youth Centre (Glee Club). She was a member of numerous committees as well as being the secretary/captain/president of the golf club. Joan helped to organise the Alice Springs Council reception at Traeger Park for Princess Anne and Captain Mark Philips when they visit the Northern Territory. Joan worked as a Dental Nurse and receptionist at the Government Dental clinic, which was attached to the Alice Springs Hospital. She aided in the start up of a permanent clinic in the Hartley Street School grounds and assisted the Dentist, Ray Meldrum, with theatre work, due to her previous experience. Joan was the Inaugural Centralian of the Year in 1982 and received the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1982 on Australia Day for her 40 years involvement in the Girl Guides Association and Alice Springs Youth Centre. Joan was made a Life member of the Ladies Golf Club Alice Springs.
Honours and Awards: Medal of the Order of Australia 1982
Related link: Medal of the Order of Australia.
Related Materials: Brown, Shirley. Chatting with Centralians: the lives of 30 Centralians and their contributions to the growth of the Northern Territory. Historical Society of the Northern Territory Darwin, 1998. NTC 994.291 BROW
“Joan’s memories of town like Alice.” Sunday Territorian, 23 January 2000, p.24.
Appears in Collections:Territory Women

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