208–210 Clarendon Street,
East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002

TUESDAY 30 APRIL 2019 at 6.00PM

Please join us in celebrating the life and contributions of Dr Mary De Garis.
View our new short video and listen to historian Dr Ruth Lee as we share Mary’s story.

Born in Charlton and raised in Mildura, Mary studied medicine at a time when few women did, before embarking on an extraordinary path as a ‘woman war doctor’.

Hear of Mary’s courage, innovation and determination to save lives both on the battlefields of Europe and, on her return, through establishing Geelong’s first public hospital maternity ward.

Mary’s story has been largely unknown until recently. As women were unable to enlist in the Australian armed forces as doctors when World War I broke out, Mary’s war service was not officially recognised. What Courage Such a Thing Takes: The Life of Mary De Gariswill help to make her extraordinary life better known.

Dr Ruth Lee has taught Australian history and academic writing at Deakin University, Geelong, for 25 years; her major research interest has been documenting women’s history. Researching the life of Dr Mary De Garis, she was awarded her PhD at Deakin University in 2011 and went on to write the biography Woman War Doctor: The Life of Mary De Garis, Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2014, which was commended by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria’s Community History awards. She is co-author, with Heather Sheard, of Women to the Front: The Extraordinary Australian Women Doctors of the Great War, released by Penguin Books this month.

Hear Dr Ruth Lee discuss Mary De Garis and other female World War One doctors on ABC Radio National. 




* Please note disabled access is currently limited. Please email herplace@herplacemuseum.com if you require assisted access.

What Courage Such a Thing Takes: The Life of Mary De Garis is supported by the Victorian Government and the Victorian Veteran Council.