Sadie Canning - super nurse

Sadie Canning (nee Corner) was Western Australia's first Aboriginal nurse. She was a member of the Stolen Generations and grew up at Mount Margaret Mission in the north eastern goldfields.

Sadie Canning's outstanding contribution and devoted service to nursing, improving facilities and indigenous healthcare in Western Australia was recognised in the Queens' Birthday Honours in 1964 when she was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire). She was a Justice of the Peace and also served on many committees. In 1977, she received a QEII Silver Jubilee Medal for her service to country nursing in Western Australia. In her retirement, she was a member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the State Reconciliation Committee. She also served on the Australian Children's Trust Board and was a patron of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses.

Sadie sat down with a State Library of Western Australia oral historian Stuart Reid to tell her story in 1996.

ABC Radio Perth's Hilary Smale recently interviewed Stuart on the life of the amazing Sadie Canning.

You can access the entire oral history on the State Library catalogue.

You might also want to check out a fantastic three-part Library Facebook story of Sadie, complete with photographs - part one, part two and part three.

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This page last updated on
17 March 2022