Northern District School of Nursing Graduates Association

The La Trobe University Alumni and Advancement Office supports the activities of the Northern District School of Nursing Graduates' Association (NDSNGA), which represents former students of the Northern District School of Nursing, an antecedent institution of La Trobe University.

The NDSNGA arranges regular reunions for its members.

President’s report


The NDSN Graduates Association is planning to write a book on the training of nurses at Lister House.  This book is to be compiled to complete the history of the NDSN from the earlier book written by Frank Cusack.  It is intended that the book be published and released at the April 2015 reunion.  However, we need contributions from any nurse, lecturer, administrative, auxiliary or outdoor staff who worked or trained at Lister House.  This is an opportunity for you to write your story or recollections of days spent in study blocks or working at Lister House and/or times spent in hostel accommodation. Your anecdotes, and photographs too, will enhance the book and be a wonderful keepsake of a unique concept of nursing.

The deadline is set for November 2013 – so get those memories down on paper for everyone to enjoy. Things to write about could be:

  • what you got up to in the hostels, particularly on weekends, late passes,
  • uniform inspections
  • classes/exams/study blocks
  • building of the new hostel, library, lecture theatre etc.
  • the pilot schools – what was it like to be in one
  • friendships made
  • interviews with the Dean
  • what was it like to be a lecturer at Lister House – hours, conditions of work etc.

These are just a sample of what you could write about and we are keen to hear from you with your tales of fun and heartache from your days at Lister House.

Please post your contributions to:

The Secretary, NDSNGA, PO Box 509, BENDIGO VIC 3550

Alternatively, email to Jenny Pata at or call Jenny on (03) 5442 7857

Florence Trethowan (Nancy Long's sister ) with her daughters Susan and MidgeRural Health Sciences School Opening

La Trobe University opened its new Rural Health Sciences School and acknowledged Miss Nancy Long, first Dean of the Northern District School of Nursing, by naming the Dining Hall, The Nancy Long Dining Hall.  Miss Long’s sister, Mrs Florence Trethowan and two of her daughters Susan and Midge (see photograph), were present at the opening ceremony and were delighted with the recognition given to their much loved sister and aunt.  Several graduates from the Northern District School of Nursing were present at the ceremony.

ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day

Flowers were again placed at the Cenotaph in Bendigo from the NDSNGA on ANZAC Day.

Website needs updating. Anyone with expertise in this field is welcomed to assist us.


Tell us about your annual reunions and send photos which we can print in the next newsletter.


We continue to maintain connections with La Trobe University, LTU Alumni, Heritage meetings, Huntly Districts Historical Society, Bendigo Historical Society and renewed lobbying of the Bendigo Council for a much needed museum.

Marion Symes


About the chapter

Committee 2010 - 2015

President Marion Symes
Secretary/Membership Jenny Pata (Clutterbuck)
Assistant Secretary Rosemary Baker
Treasurer Viv Fazulla
Archives/IT Peter Rosewall
Committee members

Fay Bourke

Margaret Theobold

Maree Worme

Joan O'Shea

Gaye Bonney

Marg Coad 

Chris Forbes

Gwen Hooper

Joan Jones

Reunion Groups

Swan Hill

Swan Hill nurses held their annual luncheon reunion on the 8th September 2012 at Spoons Restaurant, overlooking the Little Murray River.

Although only a small gathering, the food was delicious and conversation enjoyable, with each relating what had been happening to them from the previous year.

Swan Hill holds a reunion on the 2nd Saturday each September.


Mildura District Nurses Association hold their annual reunion and AGM on the last Saturday in June, with the 2012 reunion being held on 30th June as a luncheon at the Setts in 8th Street.

The Association also provides an annual award for Graduate Nurses from Mildura along with a Preceptor Award.

Contact: Jenny Gledhill (President)  T: 03 5027 4225


Echuca Trained Nurses held their annual reunion on 13th October at Rich River.

There were over 40 in attendance and there was much conversation about the advent of the new hospital. For anyone wanting an overview go to

Contact: June Brereton  T: 03 5482 2732


Bendigo Base Hospital Trained Nurses' League holds their reunion in March or April each year. In 2013 the date selected is 20th April. The new venue will be the Platinum Room at the Foundry Hotel, High St. Bendigo.

Although numbers are inevitably decreasing, over 70 attended this year. There are several mother - daughter and sister combinations, and this can be a reunion opportunity because they no longer live near each other.

Those eligible to be included are nurses who completed their training at Bendigo, any nurse who was a staff member for 10 years or more, and anyone who began but did not complete training

Invitations are sent to all financial members. If your membership is not paid for two years, an invitation will no longer be sent. However you may re-join at any time by paying your subscriptions to Wendy Wilkinson.

Contact: Wendy Wilkinson (School 41)


The Northern District School of Nursing Graduates Association Award

Carly Hickson receiving the Northern District School of Nursing Graduates Association Award

Carly Hickson receiving the Northern District School of Nursing Graduates Association Award

This award, which began in the early 1990s, is presented annually, at the Prize ceremony on the Bendigo Campus of La Trobe University.

The Northern District School of Nursing was the first regional independent school of nursing established in the southern hemisphere. This award has been sponsored by the Northern District School of Nursing Graduates Association to recognise academic achievement of nursing students.

The winner of the 2011 Northern District School of Nursing Graduates Association Award was Carly Hickson. The Award, to the value of $100 is presented for outstanding academic achievement in the third year of an undergraduate course at La Trobe University Bendigo Campus.

Here Carly is photographed with committee representative Rosemary Baker and Emeritus Professor John McKenzie AM, Deputy Chancellor of La Trobe University.

Our congratulations go to Carly with best wishes for her nursing career. (Rosemary Baker School 59)