Aunty Dulcie Flower is a Meriam kosker born in Cairns whose family is from Erub (Darnley Island) Torres Strait. She trained as a nurse at the then Cairns Base Hospital which was underfunded to the extent that patients requiring specialist medical care, surgery, limb prosthetics were transferred to Brisbane. This also meant that nurses had to economise and adapt nursing procedures to provide maximum quality care at minimal cost with few basic resources. Nurses used to raise money to spend on needy patients who came from areas north of Townsville and included the Torres Strait. The population included a large number of Aboriginal patients as well as people from other countries.
Nurses from this hospital had to be tough to survive. So they graduated with the Qld health standard white uniforms buttoned from hem up, brown pencil lines drawn on the back of their legs instead of stockings and brown lace-up shoes and starched veils.
The nursing profession has made great headway since those days especially around autonomy, valued input into science, politics, the culture of nursing, respect of patients cultural beliefs, education, and self-identification and respect.
Aunty Dulcie has been involved with community health for a long time and has experienced First Nation and emerging nations gatherings on research into the health of their populations as well as many expert panels on Aboriginal Health at local, state and Commonwealth levels.
Aunty Dulcie has always reminded people that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses have contributed to the health and well-being of Australia and internationally.
Aunty Dulcie is also a foundation member of CATSIN now CATSINaM and values the opportunity to be a member of The Council of Elders.