A Nurse Like Aunty Mavis


From when she was four years old, the author wanted to be “a nurse like Aunty Mavis”. Her Aunty Mavis told her amazing and funny stories of nursing adventures and travels on great ocean liners to see wonderful places, different cultures and art works throughout the world.

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  • Title: A Nurse Like Aunty Mavis
  • Published by: Jabiru Publishing
  • Year of publishing: 2017
  • Book format: Paperback
  • Pages: 322 pages, 41 photographs and illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780648107439

Denise Petersen

Denise Petersen (McCallum) was born in Jamestown in 1949, and lived in Caltowie, a small town near the grain belt of South Australia.

She now lives in Cairns with her husband and adult children. She still works happily at the Cairns Hospital.

As a child in the 1950s Denise was asked many times, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” Aunty Mavis, her mother’s sister, was a much-travelled nurse, who would chat extensively about her great adventures travelling overseas and her many stories of nursing experiences. Denise always answered she wanted to be “a nurse like Aunty Mavis”.

The family moved to Port Augusta. After a difficult time in school due to her dyslexia, Denise commenced nursing training at the Port Augusta General Hospital in 1966. This began her journey with nursing, from the fun days of training, where the nursing students learned compassion and camaraderie, to the hard work of a nurse’s life. This led to Midwifery training, remote nursing out on the Nullarbor Plains of Australia, and to patrol work and home deliveries in Papua New Guinea.

Denise Petersen’s book will be published in Cairns, Australia, by Jabiru Publishing in December 2017.