Almanac Community Responsibility: Remote Area Nurses

Two members of The Footy Almanac community (at least) have experience as Remote Area Nurses: Sue Currie and Anne Myers. Both are deeply troubled by the death of Gayle Woodford a RAN in the APY Lands of South Australia.

Sue Currie wrote A Mouthful of Flies a memoir of her time as an RAN which was introduced to Almanac readers two years ago now and then reviewed by Martin Flanagan in The Age and also by Anne Myers on this site.

Anne Myers is a palliative care nurse on Melbourne. She also regularly works as a RAN. Her opinion piece was published in The Guardian on Tuesday:

Please consider what you can do to both protect RANs and help improve healthcare for those who live in remote communities – and work in remote communities.

To sign the petition established by Joanne Norton regarding the abolition of single-nurse healthcare posts CLICK HERE. At 8am on Wednesday morning it had 101,000 signatures and was hoping to reach 150.000. You can make a difference.


  1. As both a health worker, and an elected OH&S representative this cause resonates for me.

    Whilst i have never worked in these remote areas as a health worker i’m only too aware of examples of aggression shown towards myself and my colleagues by patients/service users, etc.

    health and Safety is a right not a privilege. This horrible case shows the dangers inherent in this sort of work. If i can get a copy of this petition to circulate amongst my colleagues i’m only too happy to get more signatures.


  2. Hi Glen, my comment on the petition was similar to yours in that health workers are faced with increasingly higher rates of aggression and abuse, physical and verbal as the community faces up to higher levels of mental health and drug related problems. I can only imagine/wonder at how single nurse medical units cope with those same issues in such remote communities.

  3. Well i’ve circulated the petition, and the signatures are coming in.

    Thanks to my colleagues, as well as any almanckers who have signed this worthwhile petition.


  4. Yvette Wroby says

    I met Sue and read her book after an Almanac function last year. Was shocked and horrified by the isolation and the lack of appreciation for the work of remote nurses, but I also know like Glen says, this is an issue on a wider level for anyone working in the welfare area. Good luck with the campaign

  5. Important article Annie. Well done. There is a mountain of work to be done in this area. Good luck getting the resources you need.

  6. Peter Flynn says

    Annie. Well done on articulating your concerns and the concerns of most RANs so lucidly. The spear story simultaneously makes me laugh and gives me the heebee jeebees. No wonder Chappy mopes when you leave us.

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