Violet Vines Marshman

Violet Vines Marshman devoted her life to improving the health and wellbeing of people living in rural and regional Australia.

Violet Vines Marshman was born in 1917, in a rural township in the Southern Grampians, and in the shadow of the Great War.

Violet grew up in Branxholme, 23 kilometres south west of Hamilton, surrounded by proud farms and gentle slopes, a sleepy railway line, a church, a public hall and a smattering of shops. Family, farming and community was the backbone of life.

Violet attended Branxholme Public School as a child, relocating to Tintern Girls’ Grammar in Hawthorn at thirteen years of age. The Depression cut short her education and Violet returned home to Branxholme, filled with regret that she had been unable to complete her matriculation.

In 1936, Violet accepted an opportunity to train as a nurse at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. In her beautifully pressed uniform, she had her photo taken, probably for her family back at home. Her hair fell gently around her nursing cap, her face filled with purpose and a pensive smile.

It was a time of discipline, comradery with fellow nurses and rewarding work. She studied hard, receiving high awards in general nursing and midwifery, before working as a nursing sister and charge nurse. Melbourne became Violet’s home. She continued to work through the outbreak of war in the Pacific, and in the following years, as the city’s hospitals moved from general to military care.

Violet Vines married Ray Marshman in 1943, at the height of World War Two. Their early married life was filled with the pinching hardship of war, and then illness. Ray had tuberculosis, and Violet nursed him through several relapses, devoting the rest of her time to the care of her extended family.

In the following years the couple had three sons: Ian, Neil and Ken. Violet invested in her children’s education and community-minded endeavours including school fetes and school sports. When Ray died in 1993, Violet joined Probus, served as a respected elder in her church, and became a leading advocate of South Gippsland’s Carers Support Group.

Violet Vines Marshman devoted her life to improving the health and wellbeing of people living in rural and regional Australia: in towns like Branxholme, where caring sat at the very heart of community spirit. She was interested in people and helping them, always volunteering to roll up her sleeves to get things done. Her optimism and endurance saw her through life, with all its challenges.

In 2004, Violet and her sons established the VV Marshman Charitable Trust.

Violet Vines Marshman died in 2014.

The $3 million investment to establish the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research at La Trobe University is the Trust’s largest donation to date.