In 1938, a Royal Commission in Perth began hearing evidence into the running of Heathcote Reception Home in Western Australia and its matron, Mildred Vernon Shawcross. Shawcross was accused of-among other things-undermining medical authority, being a drug addict, and having an illicit relationship with William Kitson, who as Western Australia's chief secretary was directly responsible for mental health services at ministerial level. The investigation reveals a number of fault-lines in the history of mental health care in Australia: the dynamic and hazardous relationship between medical and nursing authority; the conflict between general nursing and mental health nursing; and the role of personal relationships in governmental decision-making in small communities.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Health and History|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|